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Oxford Then and Now

Vaughan Grylls



ISBN: 9781906388355

Price: £ 12.99

Publication date: 5 May 2009

Series: Then and Now

Category: Regional History

Poet Matthew Arnold christened Oxford ‘the city of dreaming spires’ and Oxford Then and Now looks at the range of inspirational buildings that have made it one of the most visited towns in Europe. Using archive photography dating back to the early 1860s, the book charts the evolution of the town through the Victorian and Edwardian eras, two World Wars and touches on the social and industrial upheavals of the 1960s. Some 70 historic photographs of Oxford’s past are paired with specially commissioned contemporary views taken from the same vantage point. You can see the same streets and buildings as they were ‘then’ and as they are ‘now’.

It includes the Oxford Town Hall, opened in 1897, the Sheldonian Theatre, the Ashmolean, the Bodleian Library, as well as the historic covered market, the open spaces of Christ Church Meadow, all rounded off with the changing face of the University celebrations on May Day when the tradition is to jump into the River Cherwell.

Part of the bestselling ‘Then and Now’ series, this charming contrast of old and new photographs highlights the stunning changes – and the equally amazing similarities – of one of the most loved cities in Britain, its well-known places but also some of its hidden gems.


Vaughan Grylls is a photographer, author and artist. His photography has been shown in the Photographers’ Gallery, Whitechapel Art Gallery and the Arnolfini. He is represented in several public collections, including the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, the Contemporary Art Society, Pfizer, Unilever and the Arts Council of Wales. From 1996 to 2005 Grylls was Chief Executive of the Kent Institute of Art and Design. In 2005 he founded the University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham and Rochester, and serves as Emeritus Professor. He is the author and photographer of Oxford Then and Now, Cambridge Then and Now, Hong Kong Then and Now and Singapore Then and Now