Sunday, 16 December 2012

Concert to tell story of King Richard III’s life through medieval music

The University of Leicester will hold a concert of medieval music which will tell the story of King Richard III’s life.

Members of the archaeological team behind the search for King Richard III are organising a concert featuring music from the times and places the King would have known.

The concert will be held on Friday 11 January at the Fraser Noble Hall in Leicester and will feature a trio of leading Early Music performers.

It coincides with the annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology, hosted by the University’s Centre for Historical Archaeology in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History.

Read the rest of this article...

You may also be interested in this Oxford Experience Summer School course "The Lifeand Times of Richard III"

Further information...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Colleges of Oxford

Colleges of Oxford
by Julian Munby
Oxford Experience Summer Course
 Sun 14 to Sat 20 Jul 2013

The course explores the historic Colleges and buildings of the University and city in the context of the origins of the town and growth of the University, ranging from the early medieval period to the 21st century. We shall look at the changing architectural styles of the buildings (churches, houses, colleges and institutions) in the context of the college gardens and the surrounding countryside. Following the chronology from medieval origins through to the modern period, the course consists of illustrated talks followed by walks around historic buildings and streets of Oxford. On the last morning there is a Victorian walk followed by an afternoon excursion to view modern colleges and views of the ‘dreaming spires’ from the Oxford countryside. 

Julian Munby works on historic buildings and landscapes for Oxford Archaeology, has been researching the history of Oxford for many years, with a special interest in its buildings and in drawn views of the city. He has wide interests in cultural studies from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, and he is a regular lecturer for OUDCE.

You can find further information here...

Book Early For Your Courses

The following courses for Oxford Experience 2013 are already full: The Age of Churchill Oxford Murder The Wars of the Roses The English Country House in Film and Literature From Bismarck to Hitler Jane Austen’s People in their Places English Country Houses Jane Austen’s Heroines Some other courses are filling up fast, so you are advised to book early to ensure that you are able to get a place on the course of your choice.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Blackbird Leys nunnery dig uncovers Bronze Age arrowhead

Archaeologists said the arrowhead was found among a small group of prehistoric worked flints

An archaeology dig at a medieval nunnery in Oxford has unearthed a 4,000-year-old Bronze Age arrowhead.

The five-week dig by the Archaeology of East Oxford Community Project (Archeox) also revealed prehistoric worked flints, medieval and roman pottery.

The excavation at Littlemore Priory was a collaboration between volunteers and the University of Oxford.

More than 500 volunteers gave up their free time to take part in the project near the Kassam Stadium.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Beatles, Popular Music and Sixties Britain

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "the Beatles is the biggest selling group of all time in the U.K." (Read the rest of the story here...)

"The Beatles, Popular Music and Sixties Britain", taught by Rikky Rooksby, is a fascinating examination of the Beatles and their impact.  The course description says:

" Revered and reviled in equal measure, the Sixties continue to fascinate. We will explore how the Beatles made their music, and trace its development from the relatively simple recordings of their first albums to the layered recording techniques of Abbey Road. We will place their songs in context by discussing examples by other notable British groups of the period. The course also includes some British poetry and articles from the decade, as well as archive film of Swinging London and other clips, and mention of some of the key events in British art and politics. However familiar you think the Beatles’ music is, prepare to hear more in it than before."

You can find out more about the course here...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Modernist Revolution in Britain

The Modernist Revolution in Britain: 
From Forster to Woolf, Sickert to Bomberg
Oxford Experience week 6: 4 - 10 August 2013
tutor: Henry Mead

This is one of the new courses offered in the 2013 programme:

This course will present a distinctly English perspective on the wave of revolutionary practices in writing and art that coincided with the beginning of the twentieth century. It seemed to some British critics that ‘modernist’ techniques, including free verse, the ‘stream of consciousness’ novel, and the use of abstract form in art, were foreign imports from the continent. This course asks whether there was such a thing as an indigenous British modernism; how far the undoubted European influence was melded with home-grown ideas. The distinctions being made will be set in their historical context, and we will discuss Britain’s position in the wider world from 1890 to 1940; the decline of Empire, social and political problems within England, particularly in the Edwardian period; and the impact of the First World War.

You can find full details of this course here...

Henry Mead has a doctorate from Worcester College, Oxford, and has taught courses on modernist writing over five years. His thesis focuses on the work of T.E. Hulme at the socialist journal the New Age. He has published on Hulme's early modernism, and will co-edit an anthology of essays on modernist broadcasting for the Continuum Press. He is preparing articles on George Orwell, Charles Ginner, Wyndham Lewis and David Bomberg, and has a general interest in modernist networks in London, Paris and New York from 1890 to 1940.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Dig team uncovers 4,000-year-old artefact

Project manager Jane Harrison

VOLUNTEER archaeologists in Blackbird Leys had a shock on their second day of digging yesterday, when they stumbled upon a 4,000-year-old artefact. 

Around 20 people started digging near the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday, as part of a five week project to learn more about the area’s history. 

Organised by the lottery-funded Archaeology of East Oxford Project (Archeox), the diggers hope to discover information about a 12th century priory on the site. 

But they got more than they bargained for at the site on Minchery Farm Paddock yesterday morning. 

Read the rest of the article...

"The Age of Stonehenge" Oxford Experience 4 - 10 August 2013

Stonehenge: a digital laser scan has revealed tool marks from 4,500 years ago, and graffiti made by Victorian visitors. Photograph: Yoshihiro Takada/Corbis

The first complete 3D laser scan of Stonehenge has been commissioned by English Heritage.  The scan has revealed an enormous amount of data, which is now invisible to the naked eye.

Scott McCracken, the tutor for the course "The Age of Stonehenge" commented:

A recent English Heritage project which scanned Stonehenge using laser technology revealed that the stones were shaped in different ways. The sarsens in the outer circle to the northeast were worked to make them glisten in sunlight, perhaps to highlight the view when approaching the circle at the time of a solstice; by contrast the stones in the southwest area of the circle were not so worked. This differential working has been taken as proof that the intention of the builders was to emphasise the alignment of the solstices and in particular that along the processional way, the Avenue, leading to the monument from the northeast.

You can read more about the project here:

Stonehengeup close: digital laser scan reveals secrets of the past

and you can find out more about the course here:

The Age of Stonehenge

Friday, 12 October 2012

"Bishop Odo and the Bayeux Tapestry" Oxford Experience 14 - 20 July

Sunday, October 14 is the 946th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.  The Bayeux Tapestry, which gives us an account of the battle as well as the events that led to the Norman Conquest of England, was almost certainly commissioned by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, one of the most interesting people involved in the Battle of Hastings.

Trevor Rowley, who is the tutor for the course " Bishop Odo and the Bayeux Tapestry" writes:

"Bishop Odo of Bayeux was William the Conqueror's half-brother, whose story was as colourful as his brother's. In this course we will trace his story from being a teenage bishop to his final banishment from England and death on the First Crusade. Odo was almost certainly the patron responsible for creating the Bayeux Tapestry, which we will examine in detail.

Trevor Rowley's book The Man Behind the Bayeux Tapestry is to be published by The History Press in the spring of 2013.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Yes! This is the moment you have been waiting for.  


you can find the site at:

Monday, 8 October 2012

"Henry VIII: Renaissance Monarch" Oxford Experience 14 - 20 July 2013

Henry VIII: Renaissance Monarch  
Oxford Experience
 14 - 20 July 2013
Tutor: Glenn Richardson

Henry VIII's lost crown recreated nearly 400 years on 

The lost crown of Henry VIII has been recreated in minute detail, down to the last pearl and thumbnail-sized enamelled sculpture, almost 400 years after the original was melted down along with every scrap of royal regalia Cromwell's government could lay its hands on.

The crown will be exhibited at Hampton Court Palace, where Henry wore the original on great occasions of state and church. It will be displayed in the royal pew of the Chapel Royal, which reopens this month after seven years of restoration work.

Read the rest of the article and watch the video about the making of the crown...

Find out more about the course...

Oxford Experience on Twitter

The Oxford Experience is now on Twitter.


Friday, 5 October 2012

"The Life and Times of Richard III" Oxford Experience 7 - 13 July 2013

"The Life and Times of Richard III" Oxford Experience 7 - 13 July 2013 
Tutor: Jackie Duff

Have archaeologists found the grave of Richard III?

In recent weeks the archaeological world has been excited by the possibility that excavations carried out in Leicester have located the grave of King Richard III.

(See for example this BBC article: Richard III dig: 'Strong evidence' bones are lost king)

Part of the excitement revolves around the extent to which Shakespeare's portrait of Richard as a hunchback was true.

These discoveries will contribute a fascinating new light in the Oxford Experience course "The Life and Times of Richard III" which will run from 7 - 13 July 2013.

Jackie Duff, the tutor for the course, said:

"Since his death at Bosworth in 1485 the actions of King Richard III have courted controversy. Was he the despotic monarch, murderous uncle, cold-hearted hunchback described by Shakespeare or were his deeds driven by other, more well-meaning motives? The human remains discovered in Leicester this summer may be those of Richard and prove his physical deformity a myth, but it is unlikely to quell those other controversial aspects of his life which this course aims to examine."
Further information...

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Hungry for Learning? Sample Oxford’s Summer Banquet

story by Isobel Warren,  photos by Milan Chvostek

Oxford’s Summer Banquet
Hang the expense, they said.  Go for  it, they urged.  Live your dream, they exhorted.

So we did.

Last summer, we enrolled at Oxford University and revelled in the sweetest sojourn of our lives.  But six days at Oxford do not a scholar make.  We came away with no honours or degrees – only memories of enriching learning and idea exchange with brilliant ‘tutors’ (that’s Oxford-speak for professors), a sense of wonder at the antiquity and beauty of that vast complex and memories of fun and laughter in the company of kindred souls from around the world.

We learned and marvelled and shared and determined that somehow, no matter how cash-strapped we are, we MUST return – preferably every summer for the rest of our lives.

 Read the rest of this article on the Travel Society Website

Thursday, 27 September 2012

More from Margreet de Heer

More wonderful Oxford Experience cartoons from Margreet de Heer!

This very talented artist, together with her husband Yiri T. Kohl, has produced a delightful account of their two years at the Oxford Experience.

You can find it at:

Highly recommended!

Monday, 10 September 2012

From Oxford with love

(click on the picture to enlarge)

Very many thanks indeed to graphic artist Margreet de Heer for her wonderful cartoon "From Oxford with Love".

You can find out more about Margreet's work here...

and more about her time at Oxford Experience here...

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Summer at last!

At last Summer has arrived!

A beautiful summer's evening in Tom Quad, with a hot air balloon completing the picture.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Arthur Frommer at Oxford

Arthur Frommer, the well-known travel writer and publisher, and the founder of the Frommer's series of travel guides and Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel magazine.

He is posting about his Oxford Experience on his blog at:

Monday, 23 July 2012

Construction Work in Tom Quad

An access ramp for wheelchairs is being constructed in Tom Quad.  This ramp, which is part of the essential work of improving the disabled access to Christ Church, should have been built before the Oxford Experience started but was delayed owing to the very bad weather.

There will be archaeological supervision during this work, as it is possible that the cobbled surface of the old St Frideswide’s Lane (shown arrowed in the sketch map) and even part of the tenement that fronted on to Fish Street (now St Aldates) may be revealed.

A viewing panel will be constructed in the hoarding to allow people to see the work taking place.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Rain it Raineth Every Day

Despite the weather, the Oxford Experience has got off to a good start this year.  This week we have a wide range of courses:

Anglo-American Relations and the Making of Modern England
Archaeology of English Medieval Palaces
The Beatles, Popular Music and Sixties Britain
The Forgotten Tudors: Edward, Jane and Mary
The Georgian Home
History of the English Language
The Novel and Growing up in the 20th Century
Oxford Murder
From Rasputin to Putin: the Russian Enigma

And our participants from New York University have joined us for a course on Jane Austen’s Regency England.

At the moment, we even have a little sunshine!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Oxford Online Courses in Archaeology

The University of Oxford's online courses in archaeology for Trinity term are now open for enrolment.

"Cave paintings, castles and pyramids, Neanderthals, Romans and Vikings - archaeology is about the excitement of discovery, finding out about our ancestors, exploring landscape through time, piecing together puzzles of the past from material remains.
"Our courses enable you to experience all this through online archaeological resources based on primary evidence from excavations and artefacts and from complex scientific processes and current thinking. Together with guided reading, discussion and activities you can experience how archaeologists work today to increase our knowledge of people and societies from the past."
You can find the full list of courses here...

Friday, 13 April 2012

Visit Britain: Discover Oxford's Treasure Trove of Arts, Science and Culture

Hearing about this part of England could give you that impression of the academic halls of the prestigious university that spun learning and research through the centuries.
Nevertheless, Oxford has so much more to offer to those harbouring the dauntless spirit of adventure and the curious mind of an explorer.

The historic University is in Oxfordshire, dubbed as the city of dreaming spires could both be entertaining and educational for visiting travelers.

A colourful fusion of things old and new, a trip to Oxforshire, dubbed as the city of dreaming spires could both be entertaining and educational for visiting travellers.

Oxfordshire is comprised of the towns of Abingdon, Banbury, Bicester, Burford, Carterton, Chipping Norton, Didcot, Faringdon, Henley, Kidlington, Oxford, Thame, Wallingford, Witney, and Woodstock.

The historical university has opened its doors to the public by showcasing the various university art and archaeological findings and other collections accumulated by the different colleges for over 800 years.

The eclectic mix of the ancient and modern discoveries in art and science will be enjoyed by children and adults.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Oxford dons ready to revolt on new Iron Lady honour

Plans to name a new building at Oxford University after Baroness Thatcher has divided academics at the institution.

She is one of Oxford's most illustrious alumnae, with a worldwide reputation.

But Baroness Thatcher was snubbed by her old university when it declined to award her an honorary degree during her time as prime minister.

Now, one of the university's biggest donors hopes to lay the dispute to rest by naming a major new building after her. 

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Einmal noch in Oxford studieren

Kein Problem! Wer sich diesen Traum erfüllen möchte, hat in der Oxford Summer School die Möglichkeit, für eine Woche oder mehr in den nahezu heiligen Hallen der Oxford University zu wandeln und sich mit Gleichgesinnten seinem Lieblingsthema und der englischen Sprache zu widmen.

Read:  Article from Pablo No. 1 . 2012

Friday, 3 February 2012

Welcome to the Oxford Experience Blog

Welcome to the Oxford Experience Blog!

The Oxford Experience will be running for six weeks this year, from 1 July to 11 August.  During that time we will be offering over 60 different one-week courses in archaeology, architecture, British film, history, garden history, literature, music and philosophy.

You can come for one or more weeks, and live in Christ Church, Oxford's largest college and dine in the famous Hall.

You can find out more about the Oxford Experience at: and you can find the complete programme here...