First let me say that the picture above is GORGEOUS and as a photographer I desperately want to visit there just to take some pictures! lol Anywho...
Oxford Castle was founded in 1071 by lord Robert D'Oily, The castle is huge and extremely fortified, practically impenetrable. Just look at the pictures - it's huge! Could you imagine trying to take that thing down with medieval weapons?
It wasn't until the 11th or 12th century that Oxford Castle became a training center. Later in the 13th century it was finally known as an academic centre, and had students coming from all over Europe. It was slowly becoming one of the world's largest schools. But not all was smooth sailing and in 1138 a fire destroyed the entire town. Naturally, the castle sustained through the fire in town, but the flames did a lasting damage on the people of Oxford.
But still, Oxford continued becoming increasingly large as scholars moved to the small town to study at the college. It was 200 more years before serious damage hit Oxford - The Black Plague, which lasted for two years. While the college did supply country houses for the scholars to reside in during the epidemics, many were unable to escape the deadly sickness. The city's population dropped dramatically.
Oxford continues to thrive today and is known world wide. Many of the world's greatest scholars went there. The history is really cool to learn about and it's setting is gorgeous. I hope to be able to visit Oxford someday and am now happy to know some of the history behind the grand city and castle.