Explore Oxford - Museum of Oxford
The Museum of Oxford situated adjacent to the Oxford Town Hall closed last year with the promise to rebrand itself and reopen in a new modern format within the main Town Hall building in 2012. During the planning work the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee was pleased to be invited to participate, both in the design and in the financing of sections of the exhibition. We were directly involved in the planning and development of part of the new "Explore Oxford" Gallery the first of the two new galleries which opened officially to a specially invited audience on Thursday 21st June. Oxford Jewish Heritage is grateful to the Henry Posner Fund which supported its work in this area, and this work is continuing.
Jewish visitors to the new Museum will have the opportunity to view several exhibits of specific interest to the part played by the Jewish community in Oxford's heritage.
Tony Joyce of the Oxford Preservation
Trust reminds us of the history
of the Museum of Oxford
Colin Dexter - Morse author
remembers his Oxford
From the Oxford City Council Website:
"The exciting project to relocate the Museum of Oxford into new galleries within the Town Hall is progressing. Join us for a celebration opening on Saturday 23 June 2012, 10am - 5pm.
OPENING this June, Explore Oxford is the only museum exhibition, in a city of world-class museums and heritage offers, telling the story of Oxford and its people.
Easily accessed from the Town Hall's main entrance in St Aldate’s (just down from Carfax Tower), Explore Oxford presents our city’s past and present in two dramatically different spaces.
Past - Walk into City Engineer, William White's office and step back into 1897 when the current Town Hall was first opened. Rummage through William White's desk drawers to find out what the City Engineer at Oxford Council was working on, check out his drawing table and get an insight into how much Oxford has changed since it was founded around 810.
Present - Continue into the modern Oxford Gallery and take a virtual high-speed bike ride. The four bike rides take you north, south, east and west from the Town Hall taking in the city's highlights as well as to places you don't normally get to see, including BMW's MINI plant.
A wealth of characters associated with Oxford will help tell the story of the city including:
• Tamesibugus (150 AD) a Roman Potter who worked near modern Headington,
• David and Licoricia (1200s) Jewish residents of Oxford whose house almost certainly stood on the site of the Town Hall,
• John Davenant (1570-1622), Mayor of Oxford and master vintner who ran the Crown Inn on Cornmarket Street,
• Sarah Jane Cooper (1848- 1932), wife and business partner of Frank Cooper – makers of the world-famous Cooper's Oxford Marmalade.
Explore Oxford is open seven days a week, Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm and Sunday 11am - 3pm. Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
Admission to the museum galleries is FREE.
A small charge may apply to some activities, special events and guided tours. Organised groups are very welcome to visit but we ask that all groups contact the museum to book in advance."
One of the long-term aims of the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee is to establish a permanent museum display telling the fascinating story of the Medieval Jewish Oxford community. Although we have had interesting initial discussions with several of Oxford's museums, there is not as yet a clear plan to take this forward.
If you have any suggestions or ideas to help with this project please contact us on: