Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England,
with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). It is home to the
University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking
world. It is known as the “city of dreaming spires”, a term coined by
Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of the
university buildings. The Oxford suburb of Cowley has a long history of
carmaking, and still produces BMW MINIs.
Oxford was first occupied in Saxon times, and was initially known as
“Oxenaforda”. It began with the foundations of St Frideswide’s nunnery
in the 8th century. The University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th
century records. Oxford’s earliest colleges were University College
(1249), Balliol (1263) and Merton (1264).
During the English Civil War, Oxford housed the court of Charles I in
1642, after the