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Seven Ages of Architecture - Part 1

In our library at school we have seven pictures on the wall entitled, 'Seven Ages of Architecture in Oxford'. Seven is a tidy number, but it's hard to put every building into one of those categories. So I've made a series of eight videos about the buildings showing how their style varies depending on their age.


In this first video, looking at the Anglo Saxon and Norman ages (11th and 12th century) you will see an overview of the city from Boars Hill. It was from somewhere around this point that the poet Matthew Arnold described Oxford as the city of dreaming spires. I often think that Oxford is like a large museum, full of so many awesome objects that we only take in a few of them. In a sleepier city, it's been wonderful to capture some of the majesty of these buildings and appreciate the artistry which went into making them.

In the second video, you can learn about some buildings built between the 13th and 15th century and the Gothic style:

In the third video, you can see my favourite style, Classical. These ones were built in the 17th and 18th century. There are many buildings I could have chosen but I picked the Sheldonian, the Clarendon Building and the Radcliffe Observatory. On the day I went to the observatory, the sky was almost a sapphire blue.

In the last video, you can see some buildings which are almost like a picture, with bricks which are like shades from a painter's palette. I think this video contains my favourite building in Oxford.

There are many other questions you can consider from these videos including:


  • Can you describe how the type of stone that the buildings are made from changes depending on when the building was made?


  • From the buildings which you have seen, can you tell me which is your favourite and why?


  • Can you find out five more details about it?

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All artwork  © Tim Steward. 

Other images Creative Commons.