Welcome to Civil War Oxford, a history of Oxford and Oxfordshire during the English Civil War!
Please use the menus at the top of the screen to navigate the site and find out more.
The site contains quite a lot of maps which can be best viewed in full-screen mode. To reach full-screen click on the icon in the top left-hand corner of the map. To zoom in, double-click on the map. To zoom out again, click on the icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the map. If the page includes two maps, to move between the maps use the mini menu in the top right-hand corner of the map. Maps used are John Speed’s Oxfordshire map of 1605 and Wenceslaus Hollar’s Oxford map of 1643. Both are in the public domain.
The site and contents are in an early stage and are currently very reliant on certain sources, and definitely over-reliant on secondary rather than primary sources. I am currently adding all of my current research to the site before doing more primary research.
Within the site you will hear a lot from somebody called Anthony Wood. A ten-year-old schoolboy in Oxford at the start of the Civil War, he and his family were caught up in the events that followed, and he later published a detailed account of the time in his memoirs, that has ever since been very useful to Oxford historians. However, the most detailed passages, covering from summer 1642 to summer 1643 were actually recorded by Brian Twyne, the university archivist and rather unceremoniously ‘borrowed’ by Wood later on. Reputedly he was rather unpopular during his lifetime, and this is possibly why!
For a comprehensive overview of the period 1638-1660 throughout the British Isles, a good place to start is the British Civil Wars Project at http://bcw-project.org/.
About the author
Vanessa Moir read History at the University of St Andrews and then completed a Masters in International Relations at King’s College London. Both of her dissertations were partly based on the Civil War and Protectorate era. She lives in Oxford where she previously worked as a tour guide working for Footprints Tours, for which she researched and wrote new tours of the City and University. However, she is now seeking to work in historical publishing.
The photo at the top is of the English Civil War Society re-enacting the siege of Wallingford Castle in June 2015.