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west, are about a mile in extent; beyond which are hills of a moderate height, bounding the prospect.
The eastern prospect has likewise some hills at a little distance, the valley growing considerably narrower towards the south ; but the north is open to corn-fields and inclosures for a considerable extent, without any hill to intercept the air. It is washed by a number of streams : on the east, by the different branches of the Cherwell; on the south and west, by those of the Thames : all which meet, and join a little below the city, forming one beautiful river. The soil is dry, being on a fine gravel, which renders it less healthful than pleasant.
From Botley hill, the second hill in Bagley wood, Headington hill, Ifey, and Nuneham, are views of Oxford of uncommon variety and beauty, presenting scenery combined of objects of nature and art, such as cannot be paralleled in any part of Great Britain, and have not many rivals on the continent.
Before the Colleges were erected, the Students were instructed in the houses of citizens, or in inns or halls, supported by benefactions from rich persons, or their own patrimony.
The town, including the suburbs, is a mile in length from east to west, and almost as inuch in breadth from north to south, being three miles in circumference; but it is of an irregular figures and several airy spaces are comprehended within these limits, besides the many courts and gardens belonging to the respective Colleges.
The city, properly so called, formerly surrounded by a wall, with bastions at about 150 feet distance from each other, is of an oblong form, and about two miles in circumference. Magdalen College, with the eastern as well as the northern suburbs, which contain the parishes of Holywell, Magdalen, and St. Giles, with Balliol, Trinity, St. John's, and Wadham Colleges, are without the old walls; of which some part remaids as a boundary to Merton College on the south and east and to New College, beginning near the east end of the High-Street, and continuing almost to the Clarendon Printing House, where there was a Portal and a Chapel, called in the old maps, The Ladies' Chapel, some remains of which are still visible.
The principal street of the city runs from east to west, the entire length of the town, but under different names; the High-Street, beginning at Magdalen Bridge, includes at least two thirds of that length; the remainder is to the end of Castle-Street. The High-Street is perhaps without a rival, being of a spacious width and length, adorned with the fronts of three Colleges, St. Mary's and All Saints' Churches, terminated at
the east end with a view of Magdalen College • Tower, and a beautiful Bridge. Every turn of this street presents a new object, and a different view, each of which would make an agreeable picture in perspective; whereas, had it been straight, every object would have been seen at one and the same instant, but more foreshort. ened than at present.
The second street is that which runs from south to north, crossing the street already described. The south side is called Fish-Street, and the other the Corn-Market; from whence we pass into Magdalen-parish and St. Giles's, which form a very spacious street, and in some respects is preferable to either of the former, it having the pleasure and advantage of the country, though connected with the town. One end of this street is terminated by St. Giles's Church, and adorned with the front of St. John's Col. lege.
On the east side of Fish-Street (commonly called St. Old's, by corruption from St. Aldate’s) stands Christ Church College, the magnificent front whereof is extended to 382 feet in length. On the same side is the Town Hall, where the Town and County Sessions, and the Assizes, are held; which was rebuilt at the expence of Thomas Rowney, Esq. late Representative in Parliament, and High Steward of the City.
The principal Bridges are, 1. Magdalen-Bridge, built by Mr. Gwynn, over the Cherwell, being
526 feet in length, by which we enter the town from London. 2. High-Bridge, in the western suburb, over the Isis, consisting of three arches. 3. Folly-Bridge, as it is commonly called, in the southern suburb, on the same river, where for. merly stood an arched entrance, over which was the celebrated Friar Bacon's Study; it consists of three arches, and is, like the rest, entirely built with stone. This is the entrance from Abingdon and various parts of Berkshire.
We můst not here omit the many elegant and useful improvements that have taken place, in pursuance of an Act of Parliament obtained in the 11th year of his present Majesty.-The narrow and incommodious passage at East Gate has been opened, which renders this part equal to the magnificence of the High-Street; and in the year 1779 a new stone Bridge, at this entrance of the town, was erected at the expence of upwards of Eight Thousand Pounds.
Agreeably to the same act the North Gate, commonly called the Bocardo, and used for a prison, was taken down in 1771. This prison was memorable for a dungeon, called the Bishops' Hole, in which Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley were confined in the reign of Mary, previously to their martyrdom before Balliol College. The door of this dungeon was purchased by Mr. Alderman Fletcher, who pre