Thursday, 22 October 2009

Tom Tower, Oxford

Postmarked Wokingham which is really nowhere near Oxford, dated 28 April 1983.
Tom Tower, Christ Church, Oxford

It was posted by my sister who had spent some time in Oxford (I have several of her postcards from that trip) so I assume this was sent on her way home.  However the message reads, "I'm beginning to find my way round at last!"  A little late.

Christ Church is one of the largest Oxford colleges and was founded in 1525 by Cardinal Wolsley.  It was at that time called Cardinal College, but was refounded in 1532 as King Henry VIII's College, and then again in 1546 when its name became Christ Church.

The gatehouse was left unfinished by Wolsey when he fell from power and it wasn't until 1681 that the tower was designed and built.  It houses a bell called Great Tom, the loudest bell in Oxford.  It has sounded every night since the end of the Second World War.  At 21:05 it rings 101 times to represent the original scholars.  It used to be the signal for all the colleges to lock their gates.
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  1. Such an interesting history about the bell! 101 times it rings...guess folks wouldn't sleep through that.

  2. It's also the loudest bell in Oxford, so they say!


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