|Sculpture at Balliol College, Oxford,|
commemorating 30 years of
We visited Dave's family in Bristol over the weekend, taking the opportunity to stop off in Oxford on the way. I'd not been to the city before and it certainly is impressive. The many grand buildings are made of yellow coloured stone and their facades are beautifully preserved. As well as wandering around the streets, we also saw the Martyr's Memorial to Thomas Cranmer and the Protestant Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, put to death at the stake by the Catholic Queen Mary. Having read about this period of history recently in Monarchy and Elizabeth, both by David Starkey, it was fascinating to see where the event actually took place.
Being so close by, we chose Balliol College to tour around. Several of the historic colleges are open to us plebians in the afternoons! We saw the chapel, the dining room - complete with full organ just like a church and uncomfortable looking wooden benches. A great education doesn't necessarily mean a pleasant lunch. Three students were playing croquet on the lawn in the sunshine which was amusing to see. The pictured sculpture commemorates thirty years of women being allowed to study at Balliol. A step forwards no doubt, but a bit depressing to learn that this thirtieth anniversary was in 2009 so the first women only arrived there within my lifetime.