There are gardens everywhere in Oxford but they're not always that easy to get into. Oxford with its college gardens provides a cornucopia of just about everything and the art is to think about when you can get in them without paying the entrance fee that many now extract. Two of the most interesting and varied are those of Magdalen College and Merton College and one such occasion is the Oxford Open Doors weekend held every September. To add to the variety there are endless other colleges to visit with a huge variety of planting and landscape, such as Wadham, Worcester and New Colleges; of course, taking in as well, the delights of the historic and learning environment.
This new attraction located within the D-Wing of the former prison, is a fantastic introduction to the history of Oxford - (the city not the University) - and the stories of some of the Prison's former inmates.
As you walk through the tiny cells and atmospheric prison corridors, you hear all about the real people and events from the site’s turbulent past: the first Oxford teachings, the owners, visionaries, activists and inmates.
People like Marshall William Smith, the King’s prison keeper, who in the 1600s made Oxford Prison as feared and as notorious as Colditz; Mary Blandy a convicted murderess, who became an 18th-century celebrity; Jack Ketch, the public executioner and the man on which the Punch & Judy hangman character was modelled; and Anne Green, who survived her own hanging and narrowly escaped being anatomised by an Oxford medical student in 1650!
After your tour of the Prison there is the chance to climb the 101 narrow steps of the Saxon St George's Tower and enjoy the spectacular 360 degree panoramic views of the Oxford skyline.
Oxford Castle, (off New Road), Oxford, OX1 1AY
T: 01865 260666
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