London Day Three: Oxford And A Reflective Visit To J.R.R. Tolkien ‘s Grave
Well, it’s been a while since I did a blog on my trip to London. It’s been busy since my return but I finished this one, so back to my recent London adventure. My last post was my Saturday morning in Oxford. I left off at lunch. After my lunch at the Bear Tavern in Oxford Saturday afternoon I was off to try and find the grave of my favorite author J.R.R. Tolkien. I knew he was buried near Oxford where he was a professor for many years. But I had no idea where the cemetery was. I learned, from a security guard at Christ Church College, it was in the nearby town of Wolvercote and was told a local bus could take me there. So I left the Tavern and made my was to the bus terminal., walking through the now crowed streets of Oxford.
I made my was to Cornmarket Street, a pedestrian street lined with craft store shops and restaurants. It was bustling with students, locals and tourists. In addition to the noise from the crowds, street musicians provided all sorts of musical entertainment.
My walk took me past the shops and restaurants and I also discovered also more of the history Oxford when I walked past another stone tower, the Saxon Tower at St. Michael’s Church which was also over a 1000 years old.
At the end of the pedestrian street I came to to A4144, a major road exiting Oxford. By chance I found a bus and asked the bus driver if he was familiar with J. R.R. Tolkien ‘s grave and how to get there. He told me in was on his route!. I happily boarded the bus and enjoyed my luck and the 3 mile drive observing the suburbs of Oxford.
The bus dropped me off near the entrance to the cemetery. I was soon inside walking past the graves looking for the grave of J.R. R. Tolkien. I had some difficulty finding it, and met another young couple who were also searching for the grave site.
The young lady found it and I joined them as we stood in awe before the resting place of this man who created an imaginary and beautiful world now known and loved by billions of people all around our planet.
The young couple left after s few minutes and I stood alone next to the final resting place of his great author who I admired most of my life. I read, re-read and enjoyed his books since I was a young man. I am not ashamed to admit tears flowed when I reflected on the names Beren and Luthien etched on the stone above his and his beloved wife’s names. In my opinion, the tale of Beren and Luthien he wrote is one of the greatest love stories ever told.
I remained in the cemetery for a while reflecting on the first time I read the Hobbit, and then the Lord of the Rings when in high school. In college I read the Silmarillion and the amazing story of Creation it told. I recalled the many hours I roamed the woods of my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania reliving the adventures of the hobbits of the Shire . His writings had had a great influence on me and the adventures I would take during my life. I left the resting place of my favorite author and his beloved wife and walked back to the bus stop having crossed off another item on my bucket list. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my visit to Tolkien ‘s grave and Oxford. London Day Three Oxford, J.R.R. Tolkien grave September 17 2022.
It was around 2 pm. when I arrived on the outskirts of Oxford. I walked through the busy streets and back to Christ Church College for my 2;30 p.m. tour The brilliant Autumn sunshine was splendid. I enjoyed walking the famous old streets of the University town.
The tour was self-guided with a state of the art multimedia guide. I began my tour at the arched old entrance to the College, I learned a lot about the history of the college as I followed the guide’s instructions,
I left the dining hall and made my way to Tom Quad or the Great Quadrangle. A quadrangle is open space or enclosed courtyard surrounded by building and common in British colleges and universities. It is the largest quad in Oxford.
I ended my tour of Christ Church College through the ancient stone corridors. It was an informative tour and it was only one of the many colleges in the city I hope to return and visit more of this quaint university town and it’s long and famous history. Here is a link to some more photos from my visit to Christ Church College. London Day Three Oxford Christ Church September 17 2022.
After leaving the college I hurried back to the train station to catch the 3:30 train back to London .It was a nice reflective ride. I was thinking about how often J.R.R. Tolkien may have rode this train. When I arrived in London I took the “tubes” back the King’s Cross Station and made it back to my hotel shortly after 5 p.m.
This gave me just enough time to shower, change and make my 6 p.m. dinner reservation at the North Sea Fish restaurant. I enjoyed my meal here the previous night so I decided to return. I had another delicious meal of whole dover sole, boiled potatoes and broccoli.
And, since I had walked over 8 miles I had a warn apple crumble for dessert. It was also delicious. It was another pleasant evening walk back to my hotel. i was again exhausted . However, I again had trouble sleeping but still looked forward to the morning and crossing off another item on my bucket list.