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It was here that Lewis spent his first night in Oxford in December 1916. I had made no arrangements about quarters and, having no more luggage than I could carry in my hand, I sallied out of the railway station on foot to find either a lodging-house or a cheap hotel; all agog for “dreaming spires” and “last enchantments.” My first disappointment at what I saw could be dealt with. But as I walked on and on I became more bewildered.Could this succession of mean shops really be Oxford?
I merely walked back to the station, somewhat footsore, took a hansom, and asked to be driven to “some place where I can get rooms for a week, please.” The method, which I should now think hazardous, was a complete success, and I was soon at tea in comfortable surroundings.
Built in the 1740’s, it is the oldest surviving building in Europe designed exclusively for concerts. Continue walking down Holywell Street until you come to the corner of Mansfield Road.
Turn into Mansfield and stop by the first house on your right.
A short distance to your right, beyond the traffic lights and on the corner, you’ll see The King’s Arms pub. Tolkien] at the Mitre, with much glee at “clearing one’s throat of varnish with good honest beer” as Charles used to say.
, reports that Lewis and his friends used to meet in these two pubs during the war (and at the Mitre on the High Street) because of a beer shortage “caused largely by thirsty American troops waiting for D-Day.” The shortage meant that the Inklings could not always rely on their favourite haunt, The Eagle and Child (also known as “The Bird and Baby”) to provide refreshment.“I felt dazed and restless [at the news of Williams’ death], and went out to get a drink: choosing unfortunately the King’s Arms, where during the winter Charles and I more than once drank a pint after leaving Tollers [J. There will be no more pints with Charles: no more “Bird and the Baby”: the blackout has fallen, and the Inklings can never be the same.” 3.
Here and in other venues, Lewis, Tolkien and Williams presented their lectures to Oxford students. Simply as criticism it was superb-because here was a man who really cared with every fibre of his being about “The sage and the serious doctrine of virginity” which it would never occur to the ordinary modern reader to take seriously.” 18. Lewis arrived on April 26, 1917 to begin his academic studies as an undergraduate. Carry on up the High Street until you reach a cross-roads. In front of you is Carfax Tower, so-called from the French “carrefour,” meaning crossroads. “[Ransom, after arriving back on earth,] contrived to get into a lane, then a road, then into a village street. There were voices from within and they were speaking English. He pushed his way in, regardless of the surprise he was creating in the bar. This seems like a good place to end the Lewis tour, unless, of course, you have the time and energy for one of Jack’s favorite walks.
Carry on along the High Street, passing Logic Lane on your left, and you come to University College. His rooms were on staircase XII, Room 5 of the Radcliffe Quad. In contrast with the quiet Queen’s Lane, this area is one of the busiest places in Oxford. Turn right into Cornmarket Street and walk past all the shops until you come to Broad Street. A late afternoon walk to The Perch (a quaint, thatch-roofed pub on Binsey Lane across the Port Meadow) for a pint and conversation, followed by a stroll along the Isis River to The Trout (the most glorious of pubs) for dinner. If you can’t take the walk from The Perch to The Trout, do go directly to The Trout via taxi or auto. If you wish to take a short detour, stroll down this lane to the renowned and ancient pub, The Turf Tavern.It is one of the few places where you can order the old English drink, Mead. Back on Holywell Street, notice the Holywell Music Room across the street.If you do, be sure to come back to this point to resume your tour. As you return to the High, turn left and continue along the High. Walk alongside the church (known as “Mary Mag”) and you will come upon the Martyrs’ Memorial, built in remembrance of the 16th century martyrs, Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley, who were burned at the stake nearby. On your left you will see the Randolph Hotel, a wonderful place for high tea (reservations recommended). Continue to your right past the famed Ashmolean museum, down the wide, tree-lined road called St. It was here that the Inklings met informally every Tuesday morning to drink and to discuss the books they were reading (and writing).You will immediately find the Examination Schools on your left. Lewis in a letter of February 1940: “On Monday Charles Williams lectured, nominally on [Milton’s] Comus but really on Chastity. In 1962, after a remodeling of the Bird and Baby (one of many), they moved across the street to The Lamb and Flag. Note: This guide does not include information on a visit to The Kilns (Lewis’ long time home in nearby Headington) or to his parish church and grave site at Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry.When the young Lewis interrupted his studies to join the army, he had the good fortune to stay in Oxford and train at Keble College. Lewis in a letter of July, 1917: “You can’t imagine how I have come to love Univ., especially since I left. through the Porter’s Lodge, cross over the High Street, walk back towards Magdalen for a short way and you will come to Queen’s Lane. Edmund Hall (“Teddy Hall”) on your right, notice the church of St. Now converted into the Teddy Hall Library, this church was attended often by Lewis (on Wednesdays) for Holy Communion. Continue along Queen’s Lane, noticing how quiet it becomes. On your left is The Queen’s College and then All Soul’s College.