History of Oxford

This part of the website provides resources relating to the recent history of Oxford (and the surrounding area). Whilst the majority of academic research has been on the famous university, the focus here is predominantly on the ‘town’ side of the city.

There was an old adage that things move slowly in Oxford. Even by the beginning of the twentieth century, the city was largely unaffected by the industrialisation that had transformed much of the nation. This all changed when William Morris relocated his car factory to Cowley in 1912, which led to Oxford becoming one of the country’s fastest growing cities in the interwar period. The impact of the motor industry on the local area is one of the key themes that historians have studied, but there are many other interesting areas that have also been explored.