Given that Oxford contains the most esteemed and significant centre of knowledge in the entire world, it’s unsurprising that it boasts are several museums, monuments, and historic sites to keep even the most dedicated history buff occupied for a lifetime. Many of the museums within the city of Oxford far outrank even the best collections in London, while the wider Oxfordshire county also punches well above its weight in historical offerings. While the county itself has over two millennia of local history to contend with, there are more than enough options for those looking to explore the history of civilisations and individuals from every corner of the globe. Here are the top spots for history buffs in Oxfordshire.
No matter where your historical interests lie, you’ll find something that fascinates you at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. The sprawling museum is a showcase of thousands of years of human ingenuity and cultural developments, featuring the largest collection of archaeological and anthropological items in the whole of the UK. From native American totem poles to Japanese Noh masks to shrunken heads from the Caribbean, this museum really does have it all.
Housed in a gorgeous villa on Beaumont Street in Oxford, the Ashmolean may very well be the greatest cultural gift the city has to offer. Visitors can soak up the greatest works of Raphael, Renoir, Monet, and Van Gogh, or they can explore the ancient artworks of Egypt and Greece. Their recently-added collection of ancient Egyptian artwork is stunning, featuring authentic statues of the gods Anubis and Horus, as well as some mummies. The legacy of the winged god Horus is an enduring one to this day, with the winged god being depicted in everything from comic books to slot games, such as the popular Eye of Horus slot games at https://games.paddypower.com/game/eye-of-horus-gbp, which makes use of the imagery on display in the Ashmolean to bring this cultural icon to life.
If Blenheim Palace is known for anything, it’s Winston Churchill. This most famous of British prime ministers was born here back in 1874 and even opened up the palace as a home for evacuee children during World War II. The palace has long been a home for the elite of the country, often being described as a British Versailles, owing to the mirrored hallways, landscaped gardens, and intricate water features. History buffs can easily spend an entire day immersed in the fascinating and often scandalous history of this elegant country pile, dating from the completion of the home back in 1722 up to its modern day usage as a contemporary arts venue.
Any true Oxfordshire history buff should come here to explore the very first roots of civilisation in the region. This genuine Roman villa is located in the Evenlode Valley and is believed to have been constructed back in the first century AD. The villa obviously belonged to a member of the Roman administrative elite, as it contained an elegant courtyard, sixty rooms, underfloor heating, and a bathhouse. Although it’s all ruins now, a day at North Leigh truly feels like a step back in time. While this list may barely scratch the surface of the wealth of historical sites in Oxfordshire, they’re definitely great places to get started on your odyssey through time.