Cotswolds in England

20 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  9 minutes

Broadway row © Peter K Burian/cc-by-sa-4.0

Broadway row © Peter K Burian/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Cotswolds is an area in south-central, West Midlands and South West England comprising the Cotswold Hills, a range of rolling hills that rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale. The area is defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone that creates a type of grassland habitat rare in the UK and that is quarried for the golden-coloured Cotswold stone. It contains unique features derived from the use of this stone; the predominantly rural landscape contains stone-built villages, historical towns and stately homes and gardens.   read more…

Holiday on the Thames

25 September 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

River Thames with Hampton Church Shakespeare's Temple and Garrick's Villa © Motmit

River Thames with Hampton Church Shakespeare’s Temple and Garrick’s Villa © Motmit

The River Thames is a major river flowing through southern England. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford, Reading, Henley-on-Thames, Windsor, Kingston upon Thames and Richmond.   read more…

Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire

9 February 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  6 minutes

© gailf548

© gailf548

Blenheim Palace is a monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, residence of the dukes of Marlborough. It is the only non-royal non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The palace, one of England’s largest houses, was built between 1705 and circa 1724. UNESCO recognised the palace as a World Heritage Site in 1987. Its construction was originally intended to be a gift to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough from a grateful nation in return for military triumph against the French and Bavarians at the Battle of Blenheim. However, it soon became the subject of political infighting, which led to Marlborough’s exile, the fall from power of his duchess, and irreparable damage to the reputation of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh.   read more…

Wallingford in Oxfordshire

9 December 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

The Coach & Horses pub © geograph.org.uk - Bill Nicholls/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Coach & Horses pub © geograph.org.uk – Bill Nicholls/cc-by-sa-2.0

Wallingford is a market town and civil parish in the upper Thames Valley in England. Until 1974 it was in Berkshire, but was transferred to Oxfordshire in that year. The town’s royal but mostly ruined Wallingford Castle held high status in the early medieval period as a regular royal residence until the Black Death hit the town badly in 1349. Empress Matilda retreated here for the final time from Oxford Castle in 1141. The castle declined subsequently, much stone being removed to renovate Windsor Castle instead. Nonetheless the town’s Priory produced two of the greatest minds of the age, the mathematician Richard of Wallingford and the chronicler John of Wallingford.   read more…

The Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford

2 February 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  8 minutes

Bodleian Library - Redcliff Camara at night © chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bodleian Library – Redcliff Camara at night © chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library. Known to Oxford scholars as “Bodley” or simply “the Bod”, under the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 it is one of six legal deposit libraries for works published in the United Kingdom and under Irish Law it is entitled to request a copy of each book published in the Republic of Ireland. Though University members may borrow some books from dependent libraries (such as the Radcliffe Science Library), the Bodleian operates principally as a reference library and in general documents may not be removed from the reading rooms.   read more…

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