A Brief History of Oxford city
Oxford was founded in the 9th
century when Alfred the Great created a network of fortified towns called burhs
across his kingdom. One of them was at Oxford. Oxford is first mentioned in 911
in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
According to legend, Oxford
University was founded in 872 when Alfred the Great happened to meet some monks
there and had a scholarly debate that lasted several days. In reality, it grew
up in the 12th century when famous teachers began to lecture there and groups
of students came to live and study in the town.
But Oxford was a fortress as
well as a town. In the event of war with the Danes all the men from the area
were to gather inside the burgh. However this strategy was not entirely
successful. In 1009 the Danes burned Oxford. However Oxford was soon rebuilt.
In 1013 the Danish king claimed the throne of England. He invaded England and
went to Oxford. In 1018 a conference was held in Oxford to decide who would be
the king of England.
By the time of the Norman
Conquest, there were said to be about 1,000 houses rn Oxford, which meant it
probably had a population of around 5,000. By the standards of the time, it was
a large and important town (even London only had about 18,000 inhabitants).
Oxford was the 6th largest town in England. Oxford probably reached its zenith
at that time. About 1072 the Normans built a castle at Oxford.
In the 12th and 13th centuries
Oxford was a manufacturing town. It was noted for cloth and leather. But in the
14th and 15th centuries manufacturing declined. Oxford came to depend on the
students. It became a town of brewers, butchers, bakers, tailors, shoemakers,
coopers, carpenters and blacksmiths. In the later Middle Ages Oxford declined
In the 16th century Oxford declined
further in terms of national importance, though it remained a fairly large town
by the standards of the time. Oxford was economically dependent on the
university. The students provided a large market for beer, food, clothes and
From 1819 Oxford had gas
In the late 19th century a
marmalade making industry began in Oxford. There was also a publishing industry
and an iron foundry.
Oxford gained its first cinema
The fate of Oxford was changed
in 1913 when a man named Morris began making cars in the city. In 1919 a
radiator making company was formed. By the 1930s Oxford was an important
manufacturing centre. It was also a prosperous city., Furthermore it escaped
serious damage during World War II.
Oxford airport opened in 1938.
Today the main industries are
still car manufacturing and making vehicle parts and publishing. Today the population of Oxford is 121,000.