'This man in his coat tails was hurrying to get to the Christ Church Summer Ball. There was something timeless about the scene which captured the 'otherness' of university life.' J J Marshall
Christ Church Meadow is the private property of Christ Church College, but public access is allowed from early morning until dusk. The Meadow has changed little since medieval times. It remains an important flood meadow and continues to be a popular walking and picnic spot in the heart of the city. Cattle and deer graze here and herons and pheasants can also be seen. People stroll along Broad Walk towards the Botanic Gardens, or down the tree-lined avenue of New Walk that takes you from the Meadow Buildings to the River Isis; whilst on the wall alongside Dead Man’s Walk there is a plaque commemorating James Sadler’s balloon ascent in 1784.
There are several entrances to the Meadow: through the iron gates in St Aldates, via Merton Grove in Merton St, via Rose Lane off the High and through the gate by The Head of the River pub. The Meadow can also be accessed via a punt on the rivers Isis and Cherwell that border the Meadow.
Oxford University is synonymous with rowing, and College boathouses can be found on the island at the confluence of the rivers Isis and Cherwell. Whilst many people enjoy the summer rowing spectacle of Eights Week, fewer witness the impressive sight of rowers training on the cold, dark, foggy winter mornings with only the headlights on their boats announcing their presence.