With an estimated population of 160,000 people, Oxford City is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. But the City of Dreaming Spires is best known as home to the world-famous University of Oxford – the oldest university in the English-speaking world, which for over 800 years has been home to royalty and scholars alike.
Oxford had been an established town in the 9th century before it became home to the fledgling university in the late 12th century. However, by the middle of the 14th century, the university had risen to dominate the town entirely. And the town’s history became effectively no more than a side story to that of the university.
Nowadays, the city is pretty cosmopolitan, with a healthy mix of ancient and modern. Whether you’re going out for a drink or a meal, taking in a show, or shopping till you drop – the city has it all. There’s indeed an excellent choice of museums, libraries, galleries and places of interest to take in on a visit to the city. Be sure to check out our invaluable guide to visiting Oxford City.
Oxford is also home to a growing community of life science and technology businesses that draw on the university’s intellectual capabilities. A few are located in and around the city – tucked away in residential areas. But other operate from the Science and Business Parks on the city’s outskirts.