City of Oxford 1850-1914

Oxford Town Hall (1897) radiator cover

Oxford University Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE):
10 weekly classes, probably next running 13 January to 24 March 2021, at Rewley House on Wellington Square, on Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:30pm, depending on the Covid-19 situation. Further information here.

In 1850 Oxford was a fairly small, inward-looking city, still largely contained within its medieval boundaries; by the eve of the First World War it had quadrupled in size and was poised to become one of the major manufacturing centres in southern England. We will examine the social, cultural and economic changes that the city underwent in this 65-year period and set them in the context of national developments. How did the coming of the railway, university reforms, religious upheaval, a rise in real wages and increasing concern for public health and sanitation affect the provision of education, leisure and public services, employment opportunities and the rapid development of Oxford’s suburbs? The history of the city itself is still often neglected, even by its own citizens, and our main focus will be on the “town”, rather than the “gown”.

Contact me on 01865 242760 or for further information.

Please note that this is a repeat of the course which has run annually since 2011, at Rewley House or at Ewert House.

“A very informative course which exceeded my expectations and has given me a good understanding of this period in Oxford’s history. Your passion for the subject was clear and your knowledge seemed encyclopaedic! Your handouts were very comprehensive and included lots of potential sources of information.” Julian Lawton Smith, March 2016

“A really interesting course which I thoroughly enjoyed; I hope to continue my interest in local history”. Trevor Watkins, March 2016

“This is the fourth OUDCE course I’ve done, and it was the best!”  Brian Lowe, Oxford Blue Badge Guide, March 2012.

“Thank you for an excellent series of lectures, well prepared and delivered, and fascinating.”  Mike Buckner, March 2011.

“This is the ninth course I’ve done with OUDCE and I’m so impressed by the content you’ve prepared and by your thoroughly hands-on lecturing approach. Great stuff!”  Barbara Thomas, March 2011.

“Thanks again for such an interesting and varied course, very much appreciated by everyone.”  Holly Kilpatrick, April 2011.


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