Friday, 11 May 2012

Picture Post: Four Colleges and a Palace

Here are some pictures from the Easter vacation.  The end of March was very warm and summer-like, so Tim and I had an excellent excuse to go exploring Oxford and its college.  April, however, and frankly most of May so far, has been rather cool and rainy.  April was, in fact, that rainiest April since 1910, which is quite something.

 The ceiling of Pembroke College's chapel.

 The view of the Radcliffe Camera from the very grand quad at All Soul's College.  All Soul's is a graduate only college and you must be invited to become a member or become a member by writing a gruelling exam.  Yikes.

 The antechamber of Merton College's chapel.  J.R.R. Tolkien was a professor here for many years.  Also, Merton is very old (I think it was founded in the Medieval period) and has lovely gardens.

 Another view of the Radcliffe Camera, this time from Exeter's Fellows' Gardens.

I really must work in here sometime.  I've only ever popped in to take a very reverent look around.  I usually either work from home or read in the Upper Reading Room at the Old Bod.

And Blenheim Palace, which we visited with my parents.  It is the only non-royal residence in Britain to be called a "palace" (I think).  Its library, which is tremendously grand and boasts its own pipe organ, is apparently the second longest room in a private house in the UK.  Now I'm most curious to find out which house has a longer room.  Also, if you happen to visit and have the opportunity to tour the private apartments of the current Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, do so.  You'll get a much better idea of how the residents of this house actually lived, as the state apartments are only used on special occasions.  And, if you are a Winston Churchill fan (as we all are), take a walk around the grounds because a) they are wonderfully landscaped, with their own waterfall and lake and b) you can see the Temple of Artemis where he proposed to his wife!


  1. If you walk through B.P. grounds to the other side, you'll get to the village of Bladon, where you can see Churchill's grave. It's just on the other side of the grounds.

    1. Yeah, I figured that out just when we were leaving. We'll have to go back again to visit the grave site. We've got annual passes (with slightly dodgy photos) we intend to make use of.