Christ Church College ~ 2

Today we will go that way…

A fair warning: This post will be long with lots of photos!

The Grand Staircase where Professor McGonagall met new students arriving at Hogwarts.

A more well-known Harry Potter filming location is the stairwell, leading up to the Great Hall.

These iconic Harry Potter steps were used in multiple films, but they are mostly known for the grand arrival of the students at Hogwarts on their very first day at Hogwarts.

Now we move on to the dining hall that was the inspiration for the dining hall in the Harry Potter series. This great hall is filled with non-fiction history and not just the fiction of J.K. Rowling and Lewis Carroll.

The Christ Church College Dining Hall is the largest in Oxford, seats 300, and is known for its stained glass, hammerbeam roof and portrait collection.

The Dining Hall at Christ Church has dozens of paintings hanging on all four of its walls. This is the wall at the one end of the hall and features paintings of Henry VIII in the middle and Elizabeth 1 to the left. To the right of the King is Cardinal Thomas Wolsey(1475-1530), Lord Chancellor of England (1515-1529).

Christ Church College was founded during the reign of King Henry VIII in the early 16th century.  It is the only college that was founded by King Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor of England, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. It was founded in 1524 and originally called Cardinal College, named after Wolsey himself. He was a product of Oxford, having graduated from Magdalen College. The founding of his own college was a great undertaking, and one that could only increase his already-impressive status. He was not only one of the wealthiest men in England, but also one of the most powerful.

Cardinal Wolsey fell out of grace with Henry the VIII when he failed to secure an annulment for the King and his marriage to Katherine of Aragon. He was charged with allegiance to a foreign power (Rome and the Pope). He was forced to hand over all properties to the King. The college was known for some time as “King Henry VIII’s College,” and finally named Christ Church College by King Henry in the year 1546 – one year before his death.

There’s a lot more interesting history from this college but I’ll let you discover it if you wish.

Looks like I’ll need one more post in the Christ Church College series to cover Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland. Till next time, cheers!

Christ Church College Part 1

On Wednesday morning September 14th we ate breakfast out at The Breakfast Club on the upper level of Westgate Shopping Center. After breakfast we made our way to Christ Church College via Brewer Street right past the home where Dorothy Sayers was born. We’ve enjoyed many books by Sayers like her Lord Peter Wimsey series. She was a friend of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. She was baptized by her father in Christ Church Cathedral.

We walk past the front of the college where it’s famous Tom Tower looms onto the Oxford Spire skyline.

We crossed St. Aldates and continued on Broad Walk to the Christ Church Gift Shop to buy our tickets for our tour of Christ Church College.

Our tickets were discounted since the Cathedral was closed to visitors during the Mourning Period for the Queen. Christ Church College was the most commercialized tour and restricted of the colleges we visited. You had to wear a lanyard attached to an electronic tour guide and you got head phones for listening. All the paths were marked and restricted areas marked, too. Not my favorite way to tour but for many it’s a great way to get all the information you need as you walk through.

Christ Church is one of the most famous Oxford colleges for several reasons: its size, its wealth, its grandeur and, to the current generation Harry Potter. But this college’s history spans back over 500 years as Christ Church was founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII.

The tour visitor door is off of Broad Walk across from the Gift Shop. This was the only college to our knowledge that had a gift shop, too.

Christ Church was founded in 1546, and there had been a college here since 1525, but prior to the dissolution of the monasteries, the site was occupied by a priory dedicated to the memory of St Frideswide, the patron saint of both university and city.

Christ Church receives over half a million tourists each year

We’ll go that way in my second post about Christ Church. Today we’ll cover the outside and the small courtyard and beautiful cloisters.

As you approach the “Harry Potter steps” at Christ Church, which lead up to the dining hall, you will notice a curious form of graffiti on a door to the right.

On an old brown door, there is the word “Peel”, with each letter formed out of very small circles.

This is the oldest form of graffiti on record and the door was marked in protest against the Sir Robert Peel who was the British Prime Minister in the early nineteenth century.

The reason it looks like there are lots and lots of tiny circles making up the word is because the name “Peel” was marked onto the door with nails.

Past the ‘No Peel’ door we head out to Tom Quad but have to turn right to the Courtyard that will eventually lead us out of the college.

I was happy to be able to see Tom Quad even though we couldn’t walk around the Quad.

The plaque on the left reads Culham College, Founded by Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, to prepare school teachers to serve children within the Diocese of Oxford and well beyond its borders. 1852-1979

Samuel Wilberforce, FRS was an English bishop in the Church of England, and the third son of William Wilberforce. Known as “Soapy Sam”, Wilberforce was one of the greatest public speakers of his day. He is now best remembered for his opposition to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution at a debate in 1860.

The Cloisters here were used in filming of Harry Potter movies, too.

After touring the courtyard and cloisters around the courtyard we exited the college.

My second post from Christ Church College will cover the Harry Potter and Lewis Carroll connections.

 

The Bodlein

On Tuesday September 13th we booked a tour for the Bodlein Library at 11:00. We waited for our tour guide in this section of the building which was the Divinity School. Divinity School is the oldest and largest room in the Old Bodleian Library, and a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The stone carved ceiling is magnificent.

I’m standing between the two pulpits.

This room was used as the Hogwarts infirmary in the Harry Potter film series. It was also used in the Morse Series and Shadowlands. The Hugh Humphreys library was also used in the films. No photos were allowed in the library.

This is the door that was added by Sir Christopher Wren.

Our tour guide arrived and he had so much history stored in his brain to share with us.

We went through this door to the Convocation House and Chancellors Court which was the Universities former courtroom.

Originally built in the 17th century, Convocation House was once designed as a meeting place for the University’s supreme legislative body while Chancellor’s Court was the University’s former courtroom.

Adjoining Convocation House is the anteroom, Chancellor’s Court, which was used as the court for the university.

After we left this room we walked up a series of stairways to the Duke Humphrey’s Library. Duke Humphrey’s Library is the oldest reading room in the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. It is named after Humphrey of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Gloucester, who donated 281 books after his death in 1447.

As I mentioned before I was disappointed that photos were not allowed in the Duke Humphrey’s but I’m glad we could see it in person.

The Divinity School and the Convocation House can be rented for weddings or other meetings.

You can read some history about the Bodlein here.

Sneak Peek to Blenheim

Today Thursday the 22nd of September and the first day of Autumn we walked our feet off. After our hotel breakfast at 7am we walked to a free entrance to Blenheim Palace grounds only to find out the paths we wanted to take were closed and restricted because of work being done with dredging in the lake. We walked around the restricted paths and found our way to the Harry Potter Tree which I will post about later. Back to town and showers and lunch and then back to Blenheim grounds for a ticket to tour the grounds. On Friday we are heading back to Oxford for our last night in the United Kingdom.

Dining Hall, Christ Church College

Christ Church College Dining Hall. Inspiration for Hogwart’s Dining Hall. More from Harry Potter at this college in Oxford to come. Alice in Wonderland was inspired at this college, too.

Today was an easier walking day. We spent part of the afternoon watching the live coverage of the Queen’s journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. So moving. Still adjusting to this time zone. It seems to be harder now that we are older.

Tomorrow is our day tour in the Cotswolds.

Cheers!

Oxford Archives ~ Bodlein

Continuing posting from my archives to refresh our memory of our time in Oxford and to remind us of what we do not want to miss this time around. We will be making sure to sign up for a tour of the Bodlein Library this time in September of 2022.
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This magnificent room in the Bodlein in Oxford was used as the Hogwarts Infirmary in the Harry Potter movies. The detail of the carved ceiling is amazing, don’t you think?

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Oxford Day 6 074Our timing wasn’t the best to be able to get the guided tour of the library room while we were in Oxford in 2014. You have to sign up for their timed tours and we were a bit late out of the gate to do that. Next time…

 

Portal to Hogwarts?

I think we’ve found a way to reach Hogwarts from the Northwest. I love this mile marker on the Sammamish River Trail. I rushed towards it but nothing happened… but I think I’m way too old for Hogwarts.

So at 12:01 a.m. July 15th  you can go see the latest Harry Potter Movie to hit the big screen. I’ll be in bed. I choose to go to theaters when I am awake. My daughter and a few of my nieces, nephews, and SIL will be in the theater tonight in Washington and California. Only one more book that is being made into two films after this one…(thanks for correcting me, Sara) :0)

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

A Meme about Books

 Willow from Willow’s Cottage tagged me for a meme about Books. I had to think a while on this one and I’m sure my answers might change as time goes on or as my memory clears here and there…

The Bible would fill the bill for many of these answers for me but I’m going to answer with books written by human beings…

1. A book that has changed your life.

I loved Willow’s answer about Dick and Jane. I too remember how thrilled I was to be able to read those books, hold them in my hand. I even remember the smell, putting in the book mark, not wanting my reading time to ever end but I’m going to come up with something different…

I’m going to say that being able to read and enjoying reading and reading a variety of books through my life has changed my life for the better. From Dick and Jane, to the Little House on the Prairie Series, The Freddy the Pig Series, some classics, some good Christian non-fiction, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Stephen Lawhead, R.C. Sproul. That might be cheating but I really can’t point to one book except the Bible that has changed my life all by itself.

2. A book you read more than once

Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit both by Tolkien, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead, The Harry Potter Series

(and of course all those childrens books that I read over and over and over to my kids)

3. A book you would take to a desert island.

Before I answer I was wondering… What is a desert Island? A deserted Island? An Island that doesn’t get rainfall? Anyway it for sure doesn’t sound like somewhere I’d want to be so maybe I would take a book I can escape into and be inspired by like,

The Lord of the Rings

4. A book that made you laugh.

Lots of them have but right now I am reading Anne of Green Gables and it has made me laugh a lot.

5. A book that made you cry

The last time I read the Lord of the Rings and got to the last page I closed the book and wept and thanked God that He gave someone such a talent to write like that. I also cried at the end of the last Harry Potter Book…

6. A book you wish you had written

Something classified as being a classic. But honestly I don’t know if I’d be comfortable living with such brilliance. So maybe a beloved children’s book like The Pokey Little Puppy.

7. A book you wish had not been written.

I’m drawing a blank here. There is a lot of trash out there in the form of books.

8. Two books you are at present reading.

Right now besides the book of Hebrews (I’m on a quest to try to read every book of the Bible 20x before moving on to the next) I am reading Anne of Green Gables.

9. Two books you are going to read.

I’m on a reading children’s classics kick. I’m going to read The Wind in the Willows. Then I just got an Elizabeth Goudge book called The Child From the Sea that I’ll be reading too.

10. A book you read and never figured out.

Oh this is an easy one for me. I so enjoy George MacDonald but one of his books just bewildered me. It’s called Lilith. It’s one of his fantasy books. If anyone has read it and wants to explain it to me, I’m all ears. I really think I get along better with his regular fiction not his fantasy…

So there you have it. If anyone would like to join in on this meme please do and let me know when you do…

Some of the Cutest Harry Potter Fans I Know

 Bridget ~ Julie ~ Erin ~ Lucy

 Hands Down the Most Adorable Owlet ~ Finn

One of the most loyal Harry Potter Fans in the World and Finn’s Mother

Michelle, Katie and Kelly discussing Harry and all the possibilities.

Loved the Box Our Copy Came In with Attention Muggles Do Not Deliver or Open Before July 21st!

An Older less cute fan…

Katie almost done with the book at 8:00 PM Pacific Time

And now off to a corner to read till the end.

Ht: I stole photos from Erin’s blog and Bridget’s blog. Please let me know soon if you’d like me to give them back!

My photos are being held hostage at the Photobucket site as of July 2017.