Oxford Stone Heritage Audio Tour
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From the cobbles beneath your feet to the very top of its Dreaming Spires, Oxford’s heritage is set in stone. Yet the very fabric of the city – its stonework – and the intriguing tales it tells us are often overlooked. Conserving Oxford’s built heritage isn’t an easy task either, as stone isn’t as indestructible as you might think!
Using this audio tour you will see and hear about some of the lesser-known aspects of the city’s stone heritage, the conservation challenges it presents us, and the research being done to conserve it for future generations. You can follow the route and listen to the audio clips directly from GoogleMaps using a tablet or Smartphone, or download the audio clips before you set off.
Introduction and instructions for the walking tour. (Speaker: Martin Coombes)
STOP A Sheldonian Theatre: Talking Heads
The origins and history of these intriguing carved stone figures, one of the iconic landmarks of the city. (Speaker: Katrin Wilhelm)
STOP B New College Lane: Black and dirty, or rich in history?
The blackened crusts on these walls hold a clue to the environmental history of Oxford city centre. (Speaker: Heather Viles)
STOP C Queen’s Lane: Living walls
Oxford’s walls aren’t sterile lumps of stone – hear about some of the life they support. (Speaker: Martin Coombes)
STOP D Church of St. Mary the Virgin: Scarred Stone
This church holds an intriguing clue of turbulent times in Oxford’s past. (Speaker: Lisa Mol)
STOP E Radcliffe Camera: A patchwork in stone
This is probably the most famous landmark in Oxford, and the stone it’s built from tells its own tale. (Speaker: Katrin Wilhelm)
STOP F Parks Road: Climbing the walls
Is ivy good or bad for historic walls? Hear about some of the research being done to address this question. (Speaker: Troy Sternberg)
STOP G Lamb and Flag Passage (1): A sheltered life
This relatively modern building (part of St. John’s College) shows the importance of shelter on stone decay. (Speaker: Cristina Cabello-Briones)
STOP H Lamb and Flag Passage (2): Green walls
As well as plants walls harbour life less visible to the naked eye, given away by the green colour they give to the stone. (Speaker: Martin Coombes)
STOP I Ashmolean Museum: Modernising heritage
This historic building has undergone major recent redevelopment to ensure it can be enjoyed by the public for centuries to come. (Speaker: Shuaishuai He)
STOP J St. Mary Magdalen Church: Sensitive souls
Lichens don’t just make buildings look old, they have many uses to science. (Speaker: Vanessa Winchester)
FINISH: End and further information.
(Speaker: Martin Coombes)
For further details or to report any problems please contact Martin Coombes