Museum of Oxford Walks: Troublesome Oxford

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Riots, roads and a whole lot of trouble: on this 90-minute circular walking tour of Oxford, you’ll see the turbulent, tumultuous and riotous side of Oxford’s past come to life. Led by Maurice East, local Oxford resident and historian, you’ll experience stories of town and gown, industry and modernity and students behaving badly right where they happened.

Discover the site where an argument over wine led to the deaths of at least 60 people, the road that was almost built through a meadow, why Oxford University feared mass car production would destroy academic idyll – and a whole lot more across both famous and hidden sites in the city centre.

As part of the tour, you will see: Carfax and the site of Oxford’s most famous riot, Wheatsheaf Yard and the history of the University’s private police force, the Morris Motor showroom turned Crown Court, the aptly named ‘Dead Man’s Walk’ – plus more historic Oxford locations.

Join a Troublesome Oxford walk to see Oxford through the eyes of an expert and uncover the hidden history resting right in the heart of the city.

Please note that this tour was previously run under the name ‘Vex and the 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: Maurice East

Maurice East stands in front of a view of Oxford's skyline on a cloudy day, looking off to the left. He has light-toned skin and dark, salt-and-pepper hair. He is wearing a dark plaid shirt over a tshirt.

Maurice East is a local historian who was born and raised in Oxford. He interprets the social history of the city through the lens of growing up as a ‘townie’ and shines a spotlight on stories far off the usual tourist trail. His main area of research is the history of car making at Cowley and how the arrival of industry, cars and blue collar workers changed Oxford forever in the early twentieth century.

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