The Bridge of Sighs in Oxford

There are so many beautiful sights to see in Oxford, the famous old university city known as the City of Dreaming Spires due to the wonderful architecture of Oxford which is prone to take the breath away of even the most seasoned traveller.

So beautiful in fact that Hitler deemed it to be his future British capital after his invasion and so the beautiful city centre was never bombed.

One of the highlights is Hertford Bridge which is better known as the Bridge of Sighs due to the mistaken belief it is based on a bridge of the same name in Venice.


Bridge of sighs, photo by Prosthetic Head

Completed in 1914 and designed by Sir Thomas Jackson, it connected two quadrangles of Hertford College and if you visit in term-time then you won’t have to wait long to see students passing through it.

There is an old urban legend that decades ago a survey of the health of students was taken at Oxford and it revealed that those at Hertford College were the heaviest and so  the college closed off the bridge to force them to take the stairs to give them extra exercise.


The Bridge of Sighs in Oxford

Bizarrely though due to the internal design of the college buildings, if students don’t use the bridge to cross between buildings then they actually climb fewer stairs!


A close-up of the Bridge of Sighs in Oxford.

If you think you may have seen this bridge lots of times before, it is one of the iconic structures of Oxford which has been featured many times in British shows such as Inspector Morse and Endeavour.

Of course I do day tours to all the big sights in Oxford with Ye Olde England Tours.




About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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2 Responses to The Bridge of Sighs in Oxford

  1. Pingback: The Bridge of Sighs in Oxford | Stephen Liddell –

  2. Pingback: You shall not pass! (on London Bridge) | Stephen Liddell

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