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Radcliffe Camera, Oxford

4.5
#29 of 239 in Things to do in Oxford
The Radcliffe Camera is a building of Oxford University, England, designed by James Gibbs in neo-classical style and built in 1737–49 to house the Radcliffe Science Library. It is sited to the south of the Old Bodleian, north of St. Mary's Church, and between Brasenose College to the west and All Souls College to the east.The Library's construction and maintenance was funded from the estate of John Radcliffe, a notable doctor, who left £40,000 upon his death in 1714. According to the terms of his will, construction only began in 1737, although the intervening period saw the complex purchase of the site. The exterior was complete in 1747 and the interior finished by 1748, although the Library's opening was delayed until 13 April 1749.Upon completion, Francis Wise was appointed as its first librarian. Until 1810, the Library housed books covering a wide range of subjects, but under Dr George Williams it narrowed its focus to the sciences. Williams brought the Library from a state of neglect up to date, although by 1850 the Radcliffe Library still lagged behind the Bodleian. It was at this point that Henry Wentworth Acland, then librarian, laid out plans for the Radcliffe Library building to merge with the University and the Library's collection of books to be moved to the newly constructed Radcliffe Science Library, which were accepted by the Library's trustees and the University. It was at this point that the building became known as the Radcliffe Camera, serving as a reading room for the Bodleian.
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  • The building was built in Tower and today serves as a library (complement of the Bodleian Library) and has reading rooms which students use. Outside you can see the walled windows seen in buildings oldest in the United Kingdom to reduce the entry of light and pay less taxes.
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  • Enjoyed this area , lots of sightings and landmarks to see and walk through for free can easily kill some time walking through this area. Guided tour does make it nice for getting some background  more »
  • One of the most famous building in Oxford is Radcliffe Camera . Camera means a room . The Radcliffe Camera is part of bodleian library . The best view of the Radcliffe Camera is from University Church...  more »
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  • Although it's not open to public, but the view and the story behind this library where mr Radcliffe himself didn't have the chance to see the building is just inspiring.
  • Oxford is fabulous for a day trip - there's something about the golden stone, the winding cobbled streets, punting and the architecture that is great to visit. Radcliffe Camera is iconic, though if anything the tourists wading through in large groups, all each asking you in turn to take their photo, that makes it a little claustrophobic dependent on what time you go. Worth a trip in the sun of the early morning.
  • Beautiful for either the interior or the exterior space. Make a RESERVATION at least 2 weeks ahead on the website or go to the ticket office at the earliest time for the ticket for the guided tour, which is the only way to visit inside.
  • Landmark of Oxford. It is a library, actually! So grateful to have access to the building. It is easy to be captivated by the ambience of the place; makes you feel smarter just to be there! A place you must visit in Oxford.
  • A nice building to look at.

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An inexpensive alternative to Oxford's pricey hotels, historical college room lodgings provide visitors with an opportunity to experience the city's old-world academic atmosphere without having to pass exams. Offering more than just comfortable beds and warm meals, centrally located college B&Bs provide visitors with a glimpse into the ancient world of Oxford academia. These rooms are mainly available during school vacations, when students clear out of their dormitories. At other times of year, explore the varied world of Oxford's elegant hotels and private guesthouses.
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