Christ Church

St. Aldate's 01865 276492
Open every day except Christmas. Admission £7/£5.50 when cathedral open, £5.50/£4.50 when closed.

The Hall IS OFTEN CLOSED BETWEEN 11:40 AM AND 2:30PM. The Cathedral closes for choir practice every day at 4:45 p.m. For more specific opening times, please check the website or contact Christ Church directly.

Also known as "The House", it was founded in 1525 by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, and was originally called Cardinal's College. In 1546 Henry VIII took it over and renamed it Christ Church. This college is the largest and most visited of all Oxford's Colleges. In the middle of the College lies Tom Quad, the largest quad in Oxford, and Tom Tower, which was dedicated to Thomas of Canterbury. The upper section of the tower was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1682. The 7-tonne bell in the tower chimes 101 times each night at 9:05pm, the time when the original 101 students were called back for curfew. Since Oxford is 5 minutes west of Greenwich, this is actually 9pm Oxford time.

Don't Miss:

  • The Great Hall (the dining hall) will look familiar to any fans of the Harry Potter films, which inspired the set of Hogwarts; dining hall. Actual scenes from the movie were filmed there, and on the grand stars leading to the Hall.

  • On your immediate right upon entering the Hall, is a portrait of Charles Dodgson (Lews Carroll - famed author of Alice in Wonderland). Look for the large stained glass window, featuring characters from Alice above the fireplace as well as brass characters in the fireplace itself. Upon exiting the Dining Hall, keep your eyes on the portrait of the man in the red robe - he'll surely be keeping his eyes on you!

  • The Christ Church Gallery contains a modest collection of Renaissance art, the most notable of which features the bibilical Judith holding the severed head of Holofernes.

  • The Cathedral of Christ Church is the official Cathedral for the diocese of Oxfordshire. It has been Oxford's Anglican Cathedral since the reign of Henry VIII.

Notable Facts:

  • Christ Church has produced 13 British Prime Ministers in the last 200 years. That's more prime ministers than were produced from any other college in Oxford, or of the whole of Cambridge University combined!

Famous Attendees:
John Locke - Philosopher
Charles Dodgson - a.k.a. Lewis Carroll - author
W.H. Auden - Poet
Albert Einstein - physicist
William Penn - founder of Pennsylvania
Sir Christopher Wren - architect
John Ruskin - critic, poet and artist

What is Oxford Time?

Before the coming of the railways (railroad) every town had its local time. With the introduction of Railway Time, time zones and Standard Time became the norm.

Local time is calculated by the line of longitude at which a town is placed. Longitude Zero (0° 0' 0") is the Greenwich Meridian and the line from which all lines of longitude are based.

The day is divided into 24 hours; If you measure local time each hour is 15° of longitude East or West of Greenwich (24 * 15° = 360°). Every 1° is 4 minutes of time (60 minutes of time / 15° of longitude) or 1 minute of time is 15' (minutes of longitude).

The co-ordinates at Oxford, England are: 51° 44' 60" North (of the Equator), 1° 15' 24" West (of Greenwich). So Oxford Time is 5 minutes and 2 seconds behind Greenwich Time.

At 9.05pm (9pm "Oxford Time") every evening Great Tom, Christ Church College's famous bell, rings out 101 times. This dates from the foundation of the college when the bell rang once for each of the college's original 101 students, in order to tell them to return to the college before the gates were locked. The bell then remains silent until 8am the next morning when it returns to striking every hour, on the hour (Greenwich Time) until 9pm in the evening.