Saturday 27 July 2019

Colouring in Oxford by Janie Hampton

The tower of Magdalen College was built in 1492 beside the River Cherwell
Copyright Janie Hampton, 2019.
The River Cherwell (pronounced ‘Charwell’) flows into the River Thames- but where it flows through Oxford, the Thames is called the Isis! It then goes back to being the Thames until London and then the English Channel. On May Morning, Magdalen choir sing from the top of the tower at dawn. Then drunk students leap off Magdalen Bridge into the River Cherwell. It is shallow enough to punt, so a dangerous pastime. On the left are the Oxford Botanical Gardens, home to many exotic and wonderful plants.
It is far too hot here in Southern England to read much. So here are some drawings of the history of Oxford you may print out. Then go and sit under a tree, or any shadey, cool place, and colour them in. Choose your favourite. Or print out several and offer them to friends, or neighbours. But don't sell them or use them for commercial gain. You can use paint, coloured pencils or felt pens, or a combination of all three. There are no rules for colouring. Use any colour you like, stay in the lines, go over the lines, add your own flowers, leaves and people. The only rule is that you should enjoy doing it. This is not work, or school prep, it is for fun!
Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) visited Oxford once, in 1566.
The castle mound in the background is still there. Copyright Janie Hampton, 2019.
In 1566 Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) visited Oxford during her annual ‘Royal Progress’ around England. The Queen and her courtiers were entertained by university students with debates, plays and music. She attended discussions at the Church of St Mary the Virgin and closed the final debate herself with a speech in Latin. Five years later in 1571, she founded Jesus College, the first Protestant college. Her father, Henry VIII, had ensured she was well-educated and although she had no children of her own, she paid for the education of many of her 100 godchildren.
Alice Lidell (left) and her sisters Lorina and Edith with ukuleles in 1848.
From a photograph by Lewis Carroll, author of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
Copyright Janie Hampton, 2019.
The drawing above of Alice Lidell (1852-1934) and her sisters is possibly the first ever photo of anyone playing a ukelele. Though some people dispute these were exactly like ukeleles that we play today. Can you spot the characters from ‘Alice in Wonderland’? 
Stained glass window in Christ Church Cathedral, designed by Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) . Copyright Janie Hampton, 2019.
Christ Church cathedral was built on the site of St Frideswide's monastery, which dates back to the 12th Century. Christ Church College, where many British Prime Ministers were educated, was built in 1525, funded by Henry VIII as part of his dissolution of Roman Catholic monasteries and establishment of the Church of England.
Oxford, originally called Oxnaforda, (the place where Oxen could cross the river without a bridge) has been here for over a thousand years. I have lived in Oxford thirty four years this week, and little has changed, apart from more traffic, more visitors and more cafés with wi-fi. It is not often I really look at this beautiful, old city. Doing these drawings made me look, and think, and appreciate. One day I may have enough to make a whole book. But for now, I share a few of them with you, gentle readers. If you like them I shall do some more.

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