Even though I use my bus pass frequently (it's only been less than 48 hours since I've had it), my Literature of Oxford class requires a lot of walking about town. Today, we went to Binsey, the more rural part of Oxford. When the class approached the town, it was popping out from the lush fields spotted with horses, sheep, goats, and yellow buttercups. Think of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, dancing on the hills, swaying in the gentle breeze. It looked something like that.
The village consists of eleven (?) buildings there registered as historical landmarks. One of the buildings, St. Margaret of Antioch, is an 11th century chapel that still holds services today. It also home to St. Margaret's Well, which is also referred to in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
In fact, there are several connections between Alice in Wonderland and the village of Binsey.
- Alice Liddell's governess, Mary Prickett, lived in Binsey. The Prickett family owned the village, along with,
- Christ Church College, located in the city's center. Alice's father was the dean at Christ Church and Lewis Carroll taught there.
- Lewis Carroll would take Alice and her two sisters down the river and tell stories at Port Meadow, Binsey.
|Crossing the river canal on the way to Binsey|
|Buttercup fields forever|
|St. Margaret of Antioch church|
|St. Margaret's Well aka the "Treacle Well"|
|The most beautiful (and expensive) countryside restaurant|
|Additional outdoor dining on the back lawn|
The weather has been getting on quite well still, a humid 75 degrees today. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, but we shall see.