Balliol College ~ Oxford Colleges

On Friday September 23rd, 2022 after we took in the Natural Museum we headed across University Park to the River Cherwell and we found a bench dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien. The bench has seen better days and could use a sprucing up.

A few of our family are huge fans of Tolkien and his work.

We continued down the river path to a another path that led to South Parks Road and on to Parks Rd.

When we reached Broad we took a right to see if we could get into Balliol College.

Success! From the brochure we were handed we learned some interesting things about Balliol.

The current ‘Master’ of the college says, “Balliol is arguably the oldest college in Oxford, founded in 1263. It has stood on a single site (where you are now) longer than any other college in the English-speaking world. It has also over the centuries played a leading role in the intellectual life of the University and the public life of Britain and the wider world.”

This is the hallway that leads to the Chapel entrance.

A smaller chapel but one we could walk into and enjoy all the windows and other craftmanship.

An eagle lectern is a lectern made in the shape of an eagle on whose outstretched wings the Bible rests. Because it soars upward, the eagle is often used as symbol of Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension (lifting up) into Heaven. The eagle is also the symbol used to depict St John.

The eagle lectern was given to the College in about 1635 by Edward Wilson, a former Senior Fellow.

THE FLYING eagle is the symbol of John the Evangelist (see Revelation, ch 4, v 7) who proclaimed Christ as ‘the Word of God’ at the beginning of his Gospel. The flying eagle is thus a suitable emblem from which God’s word is read, reaching to the ends of the earth.

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The present chapel is the third on the site and was built in 1857. The architect was William Butterfield, who also designed Keble College. Keble is the college we visited after Balliol so that post is yet to come.

This is a link to another post on Balliol College when we visited in 2014.

I was fascinated to read that John Wycliffe, first translator of the Bible into English, was Master of Balliol in 1360. Later on this day we saw this sign.

When we lived in Huntington Beach from 1975-1984 we attended Huntington Beach EVFree church and shared the Wycliffe Bible Translators office space on Sundays for extra Sunday School rooms. We also shared the parking lot. They are no longer at that location in Huntington Beach.

Here’s some history about Wycliffe Bible Translators:

In 1917 a missionary named William Cameron Townsend went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles. But he was shocked when many people couldn’t understand the books. They spoke Cakchiquel, a language without a Bible. Cam believed everyone should understand the Bible, so he started a linguistics school (the Summer Institute of Linguistics, known today as SIL) that trained people to do Bible translation. The work continued to grow, and in 1942 Cam officially founded Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Over the following decades, Wycliffe celebrated many milestones — from the first translation completed in 1951, all the way to the 500th translation completed in 2000. Around the same time, Wycliffe adopted a new challenge — a goal of seeing a Bible translation project started in every language still needing one by 2025.

Blenheim Palace Park and Gardens

On Thursday September 22nd after a early morning walk on the Blenheim Palace grounds and lunch we returned for a self-guided tour of the courtyards of the palace, the water terraces, the Churchill Memorial Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Grand Cascades.

The Churchill Memorial garden needs some freshening up. It was interesting to walk the path that had engravings in the stone to mark different important dates in his lifetime.

1900 Member of Parliament, 1902 Edward VII Crowned, 1905 Under Secretary, 1908 Marries Clementine, 1910 Home Secretary, 1911 George V crowned, 1914 WWI Starts, 1918 WWI Ends, 1924 Chancellor of Exchequer, 1933 Marlborough Published, 1937 George VI Crowned, 1939 WWII Starts – First Lord of Admiralty, 1940 Prime Minister, 1945 WWII Ends – Election Defeat, 1951 Prime Minister, 1953 Elizabeth II Crowned – Knighthood – Nobel Prize, 1955 Resigns as Prime Minister, 1963 Made US Citizen, 1964 Leaves Parliament, 1965 Buried at Bladon.

The Rose Garden which is usually in it’s prime in late June, early July. We were here in September so way past it’s prime.

This patch is filled with the Jubilee Rose.

The Grade 1 Listed Rose Garden is contained within a circular walk, surrounded by blue cat mint and arched over by slender hoops supporting climbing white roses. At its centre is a fountain within a circular pool and surrounded by symmetrical beds; each filled with a variety of different roses.

Here’s a photo I found to show what it looks like in it’s prime.

The Grand Cascades September of 2022.

The Grand Cascades in April of 2004 on a trip to England with our daughter.

The brown section on the bottom right of the map is the village of Woodstock. The rest of the map shows the grounds of Blenheim Palace, over 500 acres. We walked the upper circular path to the Grand Cascade and back to the palace and then back to Woodstock. We should have used a pedometer on this trip to log the steps we ended up with! The Feathers Hotel in Woodstock is where we stayed for two nights. The marked yellow path is where we walked early in the morning to see the Harry Potter Tree. That was a separate post.

Back to the Present: We had a new covering of snow over the weekend and more is predicted for later today into tomorrow. It’s always fun to see some distinct paw prints in the snow (feral cat). On Sunday our church body had a time to grieve together over the passing of our dear church secretary of many years with our pastor sharing some great stories about her and their working relationship before our service. Today we have to head out early for Dear to meet his new Primary Care Doctor. Hope you all have a good week.

Woodstock

On Wednesday morning September 21st, 2022 we checked out of our apartment in Oxford.

We had a taxi booked to drive us to Woodstock which was under ten miles from our location. We decided on a taxi instead of the buses that run regularly from Oxford to Woodstock because we didn’t want to shlep our luggage to a bus stop and onto the bus.

Goodbye Oxford, hello Woodstock.

Since our checkout was at 10am we arrived in Woodstock before our check in time of 4pm.

We booked 2 nights at the Feathers Hotel. We left our luggage at the hotel and took a stroll around the small town.

Woodstock Town Hall, a beautiful Grade II listed building which was built in 1766 and is now a major landmark in the town.

We were looking for a good spot to have a lite lunch during our stroll around the town.

The War Memorial next to the church. “To The Memory of The Fallen 1914-1918 1939-1945”.  War Memorials are easy to find in most villages, towns, and cities. There are over 68,000 war memorials in the UK.

We would return to the church after lunch since it was occupied for a service when we walked by.

We found a cozy spot at the Back Lane for a refreshment but they weren’t serving lunch until noon. We would be seeing a lot of Winston Churchill in Woodstock.

THIS STONE WAS RAISED BY THE PEOPLE OF WOODSTOCK TO CELEBRATE THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.

There were many tributes to the late Queen around town. (Remember we were in England during the mourning period for the Queen)

The Kings Arms looked welcoming for our lunch spot.

We enjoyed their lunch special beef sandwich and chips.

After our nice lunch we walked back to St. Mary Magdalene Church to see if it was possible to get a look inside. It was open and we were welcomed in.  We were still early for our hotel check-in time.

It’s a challenge to get the old brain back to Oxfordshire to remember some details of our last few days there. As challenging as it is the posts will be good to look back on.

Back to the present: We have a relatively quiet week and our temps have been above freezing so there is a lot of melting happening. Plants are emerging that have been covered in snow since November.

Quotes of the weekend:

“Sin is always a big deal.” ~ Dennis Wilkening

“If you want to be a wise person, you need a Bible.” ~ Alistair Begg

Have a good week everyone! If you need a Bible, I could send you one. 🙂

Tuesday Guided Tour

We started our Tuesday afternoon tour with Tony on the 13th of September at 2pm sharp. Our guide pointed out the bronze statue of a man on top of Exeter college and pointed out the idea that the statue is looking down at the martyr’s cross set in a circle of cobbles on Broad Street where the three protestants, Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley were burned at the stake. More about their history in a later post about these Martyrs. The Statue is by Anthony Gormley and installed in 2009. It is about 7feet tall.

 

We walked past the Sheldonian where on plinths between the railings are a series of Emperor heads, representing Roman emperors, or philosophers. Each one has a different beard. Christopher Wren is the architect of the Sheldonian and other buildings in Oxford. These heads were installed when the theater was built and then remodeled in 1868 and again in 1970’s. One of the heads has a wren chiseled in its hair in honor of Christopher Wren.

We walked to the back of the Sheldonian past the Bodlein and past the Bridge of Sighs and on to Radcliffe Camera and into University Church of St. Mary’s.

Some of the information and places we visited with our guide were already known to us but he had some other insider information that we gleaned from him.

After walking through the covered market we exited and went onto Turl Street back toward The High with the All Saint’s tower and steeple ahead of us. Once on High Street we continued on to St. Aldate’s to Christ Church College.

Tom Tower at Christ Church College is another architectural masterpiece by Christopher Wren. This school was founded by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525 with its entrance embellished through the addition of Tom Tower, designed by Wren, in 1680. Great Tom, the bell from Osney Abbey, strikes 101 times at 21:05 each evening: the number represents the 100 students of Henry VIII’s foundation plus an additional place funded later; 21:05 signals the student curfew according to Oxford time, which is five minutes behind Greenwich Mean Time.

We would take a tour of Christ Church College on the following day, Wednesday September 14th.

We walked along the Broad Walk through part of the school campus and on to Merton Grove.

We caught a glimpse of the Christ Church College Cathedral through the iron gate along Merton Grove. This is the only cathedral in Oxford and it’s the smallest cathedral in the U.K. Sadly, the cathedral was closed during the mourning period of the Queen and we were not able to go inside to see it.

Dear and Tony our guide ahead of me and to the right is the tower at Merton college.

We are on Merton Street now and this is the front of Merton College Chapel.

Merton college was founded in 1264 by William de Merton, Lord Chancellor to Henry III, the oldest college in Oxford.

Above, between the statues of Edward I and the founder is a relief of a book, the Lamb of God opposite de Merton kneeling in prayer, flanked by John the Baptist and a unicorn.

J.R.R. Tolkien was an alumni of this college. We tried to get into Merton and Exeter Colleges but both were closed on the days we tried, sadly.

We turned off Merton Street onto Logic Lane.

We were drawn to the Martlets on this crest since Dear’s family crest includes these birds.

A martlet in English heraldry is a mythical bird without feet that never roosts from the moment of its drop-birth until its death fall; martlets are proposed to be continuously on the wing.

Off Logic Lane we are back on the High. We cross the street to Queen’s Lane.

Our guide pointed out The Grand Cafe which we never made it to and another cafe across the street that both claim to be the site of the first coffee house in England.

Onto Queen’s Lane past Queen’s College we turn onto New College Lane.

We see the entrance to New College, one of the colleges we did get into on the following day, and continue on to the end of our tour where we are left off at the Bridge of Sighs at the passageway to The Turf Tavern.

By this time after our 2-1/2 hour tour we are ready to quench our thirst. We say goodbye to Tony and hello to the Turf Tavern. We packed a lot of walking and touring on our first full day in Oxford.

Congratulations if you made it through this long post.

Back to the present, a Happy Thanksgiving Day to our Canadian neighbors and Happy Columbus Day here in the USA. 

The Turf Tavern

The Turf Tavern was on our list of pubs to visit while we were staying in Oxford. On Tuesday September 13th late afternoon our tour guide dropped us off at St. Helen’s Passage to make our way to The Turf.

We got the lay of the land and found our table # so we could order our food at the bar. Fish and Chips for Dear and Steak and Ale Pie for me.

We found by the end of our stay in Oxford that this was the best run pub in town, in our opinion. We enjoyed a meal or an ale at the Turf Six different times while we were in Oxford. The Staff was always cheerful and the servers were efficient and ready to help with any requests.

Since Sticky Toffee Pudding was on the menu we ordered one for us to share for dessert.

To find one of the passages to the Turf find the Bridge of Sighs and then walk under it to a narrow passage way which will take you down another passageway to the property.

Their name drop board shows all the famous people who have been to the Turf. We heard about it in researching the Pubs from the Inspector Morse Series.

The Turf Tavern (or just ‘The Turf’ to it’s locals) is probably the oldest pub in Oxford. The pub was built in the Canditch (the most outside City Wall) as gambling and betting was not permitted inside the walls of the City.

It’s foundations and use as a malthouse can be dated back to 1381, noted by tax imposed by Richard II. Originally called the ‘Spotted Cow’ the name was changed as it’s reputation grew as a venue of gambling. Patrons would frequent The Turf to mee their “Turf-Men’ and although logic might dictate that this was primarily a horse connection, it seems they would take bets on pretty much anything.

Since then it has become a firm favorite for Oxford Dons, students, Tourists from near and afar and many celebrities all searching the streets of Oxford, to find it’s best kept secret.

This is one of the outdoor patios at The Turf. The ancient city wall and the Bell tower at New College you see looming over the patio. I zoomed up with my camera to catch the gargoyles.

After church on Sunday when most of the Pubs and restaurants in town were full with people getting their Sunday Roasts and other goodies we high tailed it to the Turf again and tried to find a seat. At first the only seat we could find was outside in the patio but when our food arrived we noticed an empty seat inside and asked our server if we could switch and he obliged us. It was nice to leave the patio as some of the patrons were lighting up their cigarettes. I enjoyed a delicious Lamb Roast with standard Yorkshire pudding and gravy and roasted veggies. Dear opted for Fish and Chips again.

Our final visit to The Turf was on Friday afternoon the 23rd of September. This was our last full day in Oxford.

A pint and 1/2 a pint. We ordered something way outside of our usual on this day. A Chicken Wings platter with different sauces, etc. We met a Canadian mom and daughter who were visiting relatives in Oxford. The mom was originally from England and went to college in Oxford. A fun conversation.

If you ever find yourself in Oxford follow the passageway to The Turf, quiet and off the beaten track.

Self Guided Tour

Lot of walking again today with a walking tour book I bought for Oxford. Walked into the Jericho area of Oxford and along the canal. Visited a church, a cemetery. We wanted Fish and Chips and found out several pubs were out of fish and chips!  The Lamb and Flag was closed due to refurbishing. The Eagle and Child has been closed for over 2 years now. Both of these pubs have history with Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Today is open day in Oxford for prospective Freshmen and the town was buzzing with parents and students checking out the colleges, and eating all the fish and chips! We finally dropped off our bag of goodies we bought along the way to the apartment and headed to The Turf Tavern again and they had Fish and Chips. This is fast becoming our favorite and go to establishment. Mission accomplished, back to the apartment with our feet up!

Smoky Sunrise

On Saturday morning we walked the Rotary Trail at Sunrise.

The skies reflect the fact that there are fires in our area.

Our conditioning for walking in England is going well. Hopefully we can continue these walks after we return because it’s good for our overall health.

The small white streak against the mountains above is a plane taking off from the small Colville airport.

At the end of our walk is this section of wild flowers blooming. It’s fun to see the poppies.

We walked the trail again on Sunday at dawn and the sun came up above the mountains at the end of our walk.

It was good to be in the House of the Lord on Sunday to declare together with the ‘Body’ that our Lord and Savior is Worthy of all our praise and adoration.

Hope your extended Labor Day weekend is going well and you will have rest from your labors today!

Oxford Archives ~ Doors and Fences

‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.’

This is a post from my archives from 2014.

Oxford Day 6 040Our tour guide in Oxford, July of 2014, said that there are stories about this door being an inspiration to C.S. Lewis on the writing of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as he was housed behind this door from time to time.

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Oxford Day 6 041and just to the right of this doorway was this…

Oxford Day 6 042…the lamp post that served as the model in the story.

Good story if it’s true and you can see the inspirations are there. The Chronicles of Narnia are a favorite of mine.

There is so much great history to hear about and see in Oxford. We are already talking about spending at least a couple days in this city the next time we visit Jolly Old England. 

Back to the present. Not just a couple more days but our apartment is booked for 9 days!

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This fence with “Head” posts is in Oxford England close to the Bodlein and and next to the Sheldonian Theater and Old Ashmolean. Each post has a different head.

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Last night while Dear and I watched an episode of Inspector Morse they drove on the street next to this fence. I enjoy seeing places we have walked when we watch shows like Morse, Inspector Lewis, or Lord Peter Whimsy series from Dorothy Sayers mysteries.

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Oxford Day 6 079I didn’t have a lot of time to research why there are heads on each of these posts and information about them isn’t an easy click away.

During our 2022 visit to Oxford we do intend to take in the Sheldonian and a few museums, too. I found this Youtube description and some history of the Sheldonian.

This is my last archive post of Oxford. The days are ticking down for our trip in September.

Early Morning Conditioning

Monday morning at dawn we enjoyed a beautiful sunrise. We decided to head to the Rotary trail again to continue our walking conditioning.

An early morning walk on this trail is a real treat.

We continue to plan and condition for our trip to England in September. Our longest walk in Oxford is only 4.2 miles and those miles involve stops along the way so we are confident we should be good, conditioning on our 3 mile walk without stops on the Rotary trail. While on the trail we listen to sermons and the latest are from 2 Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 3:18 ~  And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

After our walk on Monday morning we came home and got to work, me with mowing, and Dear with finishing his work on the mount for our snowplow.

Snow this winter will be the test on whether this mounting and plow will work well.

We were in the upper 80’s today which was a nice change to our upper 90’s and low 100’s. For the rest of this week we have some Spokane shopping, some granddaughter soccer fun, a dessert get together with our church family and the Northeast Washington Fair.

Are you looking forward to anything this week and weekend?

Trinity College ~ Oxford (Archives)

This is a post from my archives from July of 2014. We traveled by train to Oxford from the Cotswolds leaving our rental car behind which is a very good idea when visiting Oxford. 
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You can read about the history of Trinity College by clicking here. After our walking tour of Oxford on our 6th day in England Dear and I enjoyed some lunch and then walked about on our own. We visited two more of the University of Oxford Colleges, Trinity and Magdalen. We had to pay a small entrance fee to walk about these colleges.

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Oxford Day 6 100The Chapel was consecrated in 1694 and was hailed by contemporaries as the most magnificent Chapel in the University.  Its dynamic integration of architecture, sculpture and painting is unrivalled amongst surviving ecclesiastical interiors in England.

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Oxford Day 6 107Deposition of Christ ~ (copy after Andrea del Sarto) by Gaetano Cannicci, 1870.

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We were in Oxford the summer of 1974 briefly on our way to Blenheim Palace with our Singing group before we were married. If my memory serves me correctly it was in Oxford that I purchased the tea set for the Teapot I bought in Canterbury in 1973 on our singing group tour (Royal Albert, Moss Rose). In 2004 on a Literary trip to celebrate our daughter’s graduation from high school we visited Oxford for a day. We parked in a park and ride outside of town and took a bus to the city center and set out to find all the places that C.S. Lewis and Tolkien were known for. We had lunch at the Eagle and Child. We spent some time at Magdalene College and walked the path where Lewis and Tolkien walked. After getting back to our car we ventured off to Wolvercote to try and find the cemetery where Tolkien is buried. With our daughter’s determination we finally did find it and found his gravesite.

Back to July 2022 here in the States. We hope on our journey this September to attend Evensong at Trinity and at Magdalene colleges. Since our time in Oxford will be extended from just several hours to many days we hope to enjoy more leisurely visits to much of Oxford that we didn’t have time to see in 2014. We’ve also been researching churches in the area to attend on the Sunday we are there.