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The City of Oxford

Oxford Castle
Oxford Castle was built in 1071, almost a thousand years ago, for William the Conqueror. While much was destroyed during the English Civil War in the 1600s, the restored structure was used as a prison until its conversion into a hotel and arts venue in 1996. As the remaining part of the original structure, St George's Tower is one of the oldest buildings in Oxford.
Carfax Tower
Built in the 1100s, St Martin's Church was the official meeting place of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Oxford, from the appointment of the first mayor in 1205 until its demolition in 1896. The remaining tower marks the centre of the city, and because belonging to an academic community is part of the requirements for their degree, all Oxford students must reside within exactly six miles of Carfax.
 
Martyrs' Memorial
In 1555, Oxford was the site of one of the key moments in the Protestant Reformation in England, when Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, and two fellow bishops were tried and burnt at the stake for refusing to accept Queen Mary I's reconversion of England to Roman Catholicism. The bishops were hailed as martyrs by many and inspired a wave of popular protestant resistance.
 
Port Meadow
Port Meadow is a special piece of ground which has never been ploughed or built upon. In return for their aid against Danish invaders in the 800s, Alfred the Great granted the land to the people of Oxford for grazing their livestock free of charge. This right was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086, and continues to today. Its preservation free of farming, building or private ownership is seen as a symbol of English liberty. It is also a great place for a country walk and lunch at its riverside pub, The Trout.
 
Punting
Oxford is on the River Thames, which flows to London, and situated just where its tributary, the Cherwell, joins it. One of the favourite Oxford pastimes, for students and locals alike, is river-boating. However, this far inland, the rivers are shallow, and so flat-bottomed boats called 'punts' are used, propelled and directed with a long pole like a Venetian gondola. A picnic while punting up the Cherwell is a great way to spend a spring or summer day.
The Covered Market
First opened in 1774, the Covered Market in Oxford has long been a favourite place for local shopping. Its Victorian strut-work and quaint market booths provide a charming and historic setting for its local retailers. In an age of mega supermarkets and mass importation, Oxford is renowned for retaining its centrally-located market for artisan goods and local farm produce.

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