31/52 – Oxford (2) Dreaming Spires, Sighing Bridges

Everyone knows the famous quote about Oxford’s “dreaming spires”, but I’d never really understood it before I went up to the cupola on top of the Sheldonian theatre and looked down on the rooftops of the college buildings surrounding it. When I think of spires, I think of churches, of which Oxford has the usual sort of number for an old city, but of course the quote refers to the myriad mini spires of the likes of All Souls College. When you gaze down on the city, there are spires thrusting their way skyward everywhere you look. Sadly, it was near the middle of the day when we went up there so the light was harsh and bright and these two are no more than snaps really.

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Dreaming spires, Oxford. Copyright Fiona Michie.
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Dome of the Radcliffe Camera and a sea of spires, Oxford. Copyright Fiona Michie.

This is the rather forbidding gateway to fortress-like All Souls College, with some very ominous looking clouds gathering over Christopher Wren’s sundial on the left.

 

All Souls with gathering storm, Oxford. Copyright Fiona Michie.
All Souls with gathering storm, Oxford. Copyright Fiona Michie.

Two other famous Oxford landmarks are the stunning Radcliffe Camera, a reading room of the Bodleian Library, and the Hertford Bridge, known as the Bridge of Sighs. Both have been much photographed, so there’s nothing new here, however they are both beautiful pieces of architecture, so I couldn’t leave them out.

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Radcliffe Camera, Oxford. Copyright Fiona Michie.
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Bridge of Sighs, or Hertford Bridge, Oxford. Copyright Fiona Michie.

 

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