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Explore - Strange History

A map to The Plain

A roundabout above a graveyard

The Plain, St. Clement's, Oxford

Travellers across the Plain may not be aware that they are crossing the site of a disused graveyard.

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Grove Street, Oxford

Magpie Lane or Grope Lane?

Magpie Lane, Oxford

This Oxford street once went by a considerably cruder name than it does today!

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John Haydock

Richard Haydock, fraudulent sleeping preacher of New College

New College, Holywell Street, Oxford

Richard Haydock became famous for his apparent ability to preach sermons in his sleep, sermons that he claimed to have no memory of when waking.

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Littlemore Lunatic Asylum

Littlemore Lunatic Asylum

Sandford Road, Littlemore

In 1884 a misunderstanding between staff at Littlemore Asylum saw a confused visitor being stripped, bathed and confined to bed as a patient.

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Gargoyles on the tower of University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford

Jacob Barnet Flees his Own Baptism

University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, High Street, Oxford

In 1612 Jewish scholar Jacob Barnet was thrown into prison for fleeing Oxford on the day of his planned Baptism ceremony.

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Edward II

The Hanging of a Royal Pretender and his Cat

Beaumont Street, Oxford

In 1318 John Deydras made an extraordinary claim: he had been swapped with Edward II as a baby and was the true heir to the English throne!

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St Mary's Church, Witney

A Monkey at St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's Church, The Green, Witney

An escaped monkey during a fair inspired this unusual addition to the spire at St. Mary's Church, Witney.

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Clattercote Priory

The Leper Hospital at Clattercote Priory

Clattercote Priory Farm, Claydon, Banbury

The Gilbertine Order at Clattercote provided shelter and treatment for those suffering from leprosy.

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