Museum of Oxford Walks: Oxford’s Rebels and Radicals

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Oxford University is well known as a bastion of tradition and training ground for future Prime Ministers, but how much do you know about the city’s radical past and present?

On this 90-minute circular walking tour, you will hear about epic ‘town vs gown’ riots, fiercely independent medieval women, cloak-and-dagger Catholics, determined but doomed Levellers, acid-sprinkling Suffragettes and the locals who kicked fascists out of the city for good.

From Oscar Wilde, through Oxfam, to Rhodes Must Fall, this tour tells the fascinating and inspiring stories of those who have pushed back against power, privilege, colonialism, discrimination and inequality throughout Oxford’s thousand-year history.

This tour aims to tell the forgotten stories of Oxford’s radicals, and to spark respectful debate and discussion. Please come prepared to listen and engage.

As part of the tour, you will see: Carfax Tower, the site of an infamous riot; St Giles, where Oliver Cromwell crushed Britain’s first great egalitarian movement; All Souls College, whose library is dedicated to a slave owner; University Church gardens and the bench dedicated to one of Oxford’s most dogged campaigners for women’s education – plus more locations from Oxford’s radical and rebellious history. Please note that this tour does not include entry into any buildings and stops may be subject to change.

Join a tour of Oxford’s Rebels and Radicals to see Oxford through the eyes of an expert and uncover the real history of a radical city.

Meeting point: Museum of Oxford Shop (located inside the Oxford Town Hall). Please arrive 5 minutes before the start of the walk and check in at the Museum Shop with our friendly front of house team.

Tickets cost £10 and are available to purchase online (booking fee applies) or at the Museum shop. Please note that this walk is suitable for ages 16+.

Meet your tour guide: Jess Worth

Tour guide Jess Worth stands in front of college buildings on a sunny day. She has light skin, long brown hair and is wearing a top hat and pink dress.

Jess Worth is a Green Badge tour guide and has lived in Oxford for over 25 years. She loves sharing her enthusiasm for our city’s history, culture, art and nature – and its many eccentric inhabitants. Before becoming a tour guide she was a campaigner, journalist, activist and performer working on social and climate justice issues. This experience, combined with her degree in History/English Literature and Masters in International Relations, has led to a fascination with the social, political and imaginative role that Oxford has played – both good and bad – in the wider history of Britain and the world.

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