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19760Re: [mythsoc] oxford visit

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  • David Bratman
    May 16, 2008
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      Sara -

      Wolvercote is a village at the edge of the Oxford conurbation, but the cemetery isn't actually in it, in the sense that you don't get there by driving to Wolvercote and then looking for the cemetery. You won't find it that way. The way to get there is by road directions.

      From central Oxford, take the Banbury Road - which is one of the main north roads out of town, a continuation of St. Giles High Street (where the Eagle and Child pub is) - out past the ring road that circles Oxford.

      Or, if you're coming along the ring road, take it around to north Oxford and look for the A4165, which is the highway number of the Banbury Road, and take it in the direction away from Oxford.

      Drive one more block along Banbury Road away from Oxford past the ring road, and the cemetery is just there on the left. There's street parking on the side streets. There are, or were when I was last there, little markers directing you to Tolkien's grave.

      There are various online guides to Tolkien's Oxford. This one is pretty good: <http://users.ox.ac.uk/~tolksoc/TolkiensOxford/>. I would recommend visiting a college or two and a couple of the Inklings' pubs and the Botanical Gardens, and driving past some of Tolkien's residences, as the Tolkien part of a day in Oxford. But of course there's much more to see. The central university buildings, wonderful museums, and Blackwell's bookshop.

      Which colleges to see may depend on which ones are open. Tourists are treated very much on sufferance in colleges, which are working academic institutions. Magdalen College should be your top priority: it's one of the most beautiful, it has the deer park and the river walks (where Tolkien and Lewis had the conversation that led to Lewis's conversion), and the Inklings usually met for evening readings in Lewis's rooms in the 18th century New Buildings. After that, either Merton or Exeter for the Tolkien connections, or if neither of those are available, I'd recommend either Christ Church (very grand and impressive) or nearby Corpus Christi (very small and attractive - Tolkien's friend G.B. Smith went here and his name is on the chapel board of college men lost in World War I).

      David Bratman

      -----Original Message-----
      >From: saraciborski <saraciborski@...>
      >Sent: May 16, 2008 12:20 PM
      >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [mythsoc] oxford visit
      >
      >A practical question: I am going to England in a few days--a long-
      >planned vacation-type trip--and I will have one day to spend in Oxford.
      >And of course--for this, in particular, is long-desired-- I would like
      >to visit Tolkien's grave. I see on my road atlas (I will be driving)
      >that Wolvercote, the town, is somewhat to the northwest of Oxford.
      >So...can I assume that Wolvercote cemetery is in the town of
      >Wolvercote? And is it hard to find? Many on this list must have been
      >there and I am grateful for any driving instructions you might be able
      >to provide.
      >Thanks,
      >Sara Ciborski
      >
      >
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