Rating: 8,8/10 (6738 votes)Oxford Castle is a large, dilapidated medieval Norman castle in Oxford. According to the Abingdon Chronicle, the castle was built by Robert d'Auilly, a Norman knight and companion of William the Conqueror. The castle is located in the western part of the city, on the banks of the Thames. The castle was originally built of wood and was of the mott-and-bailey type. It was practically a copy of the castle built in Wallingford by Robert d'Oyly. In the 12th century, Oxford Castle was rebuilt in stone. This rebuilding affected, first of all, the tower of St. George - the highest and most powerful tower of the castle, which housed the crypt and the chapel. Empress Matilda took refuge in the castle during the baronial wars. For three months she was under siege, and then escaped. Dressed in a white dress to blend in with the snow, she, accompanied by several knights, went down the castle wall, crossed the frozen Isis River and arrived in Abingdon. A day after her daring escape, the castle surrendered. Gradually, the castle loses its military significance and is destroyed. During the Civil War, however, the castle was used by the Royalists as a fortress. However, it soon fell into disrepair, being used only as a prison. Formally, then, the castle belonged to Christ Church College. Renowned humanist and philanthropist John Howard often visited him. As a result of his visits, reconstruction work began in the castle. The prison was closed in 1996, and today there is a shopping, business and museum center on its territory. The main part of the prison cells has been converted into hotel rooms, retail premises and restaurants.
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Topic: Oxford Castle in the UK, Oxford Resort.