quarta-feira, 21 de fevereiro de 2024

Oxford UK, século XI

PARKER James, On the history of Oxford during the tenth and eleventh centuries, (912-1100): the material of a lecture delivered before the Oxford architectural and historical society, Feb. 28, 1871. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1871 

Author: Either James Parker (1834-1912), or unknown.
The book makes no reference to an artist involved in the making of the map.

Clique na imagem para ampliar 


The Streets, and the Parish Boundaries.

It is reasonable to suppose that before the close of the eleventh century, the city was divided into parishes. It is implied by the distinct mention of the "Parish Churches" in the Abingdon Abbey Chronicles, and further it may be inferred from the circumstance that the twelve churches of which we find mention as being within the walls, if taken as centres of small districts, occupy the whole of the space included within the wall with the exception of a small space at the south-eastern corner. Further consideration will confirm this view, for it will be seen by a reference to a plan of Oxford which I have appended, with the present boundaries of parishes marked upon it, that there is a certain system observable — partly depending on the churches, partly upon the streets, but also what appears to me to be of importance, partly upon the boundary of the city. I venture to infer from this, as we have certain knowledge of the names of the churches and of their actual sites, and a presumed knowledge of the general line of the city wall, that (a) we must fix the division of the city into parishes within the date of which I am writing; that (b) the subdivision was not a matter of chance, depending upon the gradual growth of the place, as new districts were added, but a systematic division of a definite space; and also that (e) with some exceptions the boundaries of the parishes have little changed. 

It will be observed that the general plan of the city is a rough parallelogram, with the sides converging somewhat as they tend to the west, in order to meet a circular outlier occupied by the Castle. From about the centre of the space so enclosed four chief streets diverge, running almost according to the points of the compass, due N., S., E. and W. That centre still bears the name of Carfax, corrupted from the Norman-French of Quatre-voies, i.e. where four ways meet. 

Of the four streets, the largest and most important, stretches eastward but bends a little to the south as it approaches the site of East-gate, and seems to have been called the High-street for a very long period of time. The names of North-street and South-street appear as late as Agas, in the former the Cornmarket stands, and the latter leads to S. Aldate's Church, whence now their respective names. The Western-street seems to have been called in part "The Baillie" and in part "Castle-street," but, so far as I have observed, no documents give us the names of any of the streets so early as the eleventh century.

At one of the corners where the four principal streets so meet stands S. Martin's Church.


The Map of Oxford.

In attempting to illustrate the probable remains of the eleventh century on a map, I have mainly kept in view the identification of the sites named or referred to : I have therefore drawn Oxford as it is in brown lines. At the same time, I have brought out rather more clearly than is shewn in ordinary maps the line of the medieval city wall. There is no doubt of its exact course throughout.

On the map I have first of all added in black all the churches and chapels mentioned. I have also marked the Castle mound, and one or two other points. The black shading, which is supposed to represent the original ditch, must be taken only as approximately accurate, and as giving rather a general idea of the enceinte of the town, than a representation of actual remains. Along the north and eastern side I have little doubt the medieval ditch followed very nearly the line of the old one. On the south side, I confess I doubt if there was ever much of a ditch, — indeed there may have been none at all, and the stream may have been considered a sufficient defence.

I have coloured the streams blue, and it will be observed that there is a small one on the north side of the Broad Walk : it is shewn in all old maps. This stream, I believe, was once of much greater importance. It provided a communication from the Cherwell with the Trill p Mill-stream, — a little to the east of where it passes beneath S. Aldate's-street, and it was found to have existed beneath the site of the new buildings at Christ Church when they were digging the foundation. It passed along this north side of the Broad Walk, and joined the Cherwell just at its bend.

The light blue dotted line represents the modern parish boundaries, and is intended to illustrate what has been said on p. 66. The square form of the central parish is very apparent, others more or less retain the form of a square or a parallelogram. As already said, the parishes of S. Peter, S. Ebbe, and S. Aldate, seem to have been somewhat extended in later times.

The object of the map being to illustrate especially the remarks in the lecture, it is of course imperfect in many details which a full historical map of Oxford should give ; but as far as details are given, I think they may be relied on, as I have inserted nothing for which the authority has not been given already in these pages ; and the lines of streets, &c, have been taken from recent surveys.