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Oxford lies in the central southern region of the England with a population of around 168,270 according to the survey conducted in 2015. It also serves as a county town of Oxfordshire and becomes the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom. The city also known as the city of dreaming spires, lies 57 miles from London, 65 miles from both Birmingham and Southampton and 40 miles from Reading. The city became famous after the establishment of prestigious and oldest university ‘University of Oxford’ in the 12th century. The early evidence of the city found back to Saxon period and buildings of the city depict the English influence or architectural period. The economy of the city grew is primarily based on information technology, education, motor manufacturing, publishing and science-based businesses.
The history of the city found its root back to the Saxon times. It has been suggested that the name of the city is derived from Oxenaforda meaning Ford of the Oxen (Oxen crossed the river through fords than bridges around AD 900). During the empire of Wessex and Mercia, the city grew as an important military frontier town. Danes attacked the city for several times and killed during the St Brice’s Day massacre in the 10th century. Recently, the skeletons of the victims were found during the construction work of St John’s College.
In 1066, Norman Invasion had severally damaged the town and later on the responsibility of the town was handed over to Robert D’Oyly. The Oxford castle was built to verify the authority of the Norman over the area. The castle still stands today and has never utilised for military purposes. The monastic community was also established in the castle and recognised as the oldest places of formal education in the Great Britain. King Henry II granted the charter to the city resulted in the construction of the various religious houses and residents availed the same exemptions and other benefits as enjoyed by the capital of the kingdom.
The city was affected by sweating sickness epidemic in the 15th century resulted in the death of half of the city’s population. The Cowley Barracks were constructed for establishing permanent military presence in the city. The Oxford canal was built in 1790, linked the city with the Coventry and Duke’s cut connected the new canal with the Thames River. The Great Western Railway was introduced in the city in 1844, connected the town to the cities of London and Reading.
The population of the university reduced heavily during the First World War and the university campus was being used for the training purposes by the soldiers. The city faced rapid industrial growth with the introduction of publishing and printing industries in the early 20th century. The city incorporated the suburbs of Wolvercote, Cowley and Headington. The economy of the city experienced huge transformation with the establishment of Morris Motors Limited. The major workforce of the city was employed in the Morris Motors and Pressed Steel Fisher plants. With the decline of British Leyland, the city faced unemployment between 1980 and 1990.
The city was not much affected by the Second World War due to the absence of heavy steelwork and shipbuilding industries. But refugees from London and other cities of the country migrated to the city. The university buildings were also used as military barracks for short period. The city gained a cosmopolitan character with the arrival of cafes, clubs, bars and restaurants.
The topmost places to visit in Oxford are Pitt Rivers Museums, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Square, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Magdalen College, Christ Church Meadow, Oxford Canal, Oxford Castle, Bridge of Sighs, Oxford University Museum and much more exciting places.
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