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A weekend in Oxford: ‘enjoy the amenities of this charming town’

September 6 - September 8

Christ Church

“ (…) enjoy the amenities of this charming town” Sherlock Holmes tells Dr. Watson in The Creeping Man, a story published in The Strand Magazine 101 years ago, as they set out to solve the mystery surrounding the strange habits of Professor Presbury. The charming town, of course, is Oxford, where we look forward to welcoming members of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London for this year’s autumn weekend.

Our Oxford weekend is very popular and is close to being sold out. Before you book and pay, please consult Marcus Geisser – marcusgeisser@gmail.com – Thank you!

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Oxford is fertile ground for Sherlockians. In 2011, the Society visited Oxford to commemorate the centenary of the presentation of Father Ronald Knox’s seminal contribution to Sherlockiana, Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes. In 1988, members tackled one of the biggest canonical controversies, “the controversity”, in an attempt to identify the university/college that Sherlock Holmes might have attended.

This year’s autumn weekend will pay particular attention to The Creeping Man, examining some of the “singular facts connected with Professor Presbury”, from monkey glands to (we hope!) dogs. We will visit the eclectic collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum, where we gain some insights into Sherlock Holmes, the master collector. We enjoy an Oxford River cruise and finish our weekend with lunch at what was arguably Holmes’ favourite pub, The Chequers. where he famously dined with Watson. En route we may encounter one of Holmes most celebrated admirers, Lord Peter Wimsey, created by that doyenne of early Sherlockians, Dorothy L. Sayers. Most importantly, we will spend our weekend in the splendid surroundings of the magnificent Christ Church college founded in 1546 and incorporating England’s smallest Cathedral – there will be an opportunity to explore! Knowing how popular Oxford is, the programme is designed so that members will have some time to “enjoy the amenities of this charming town” at their own leisure & pleasure.

In short, as Holmes urged Watson at the start of the adventure of The Creeping Man – their Oxford adventure:

“Come at once if convenient—if inconvenient come all the same.”

Programme as per April 2024

Please note that exact timings for some events will be available in due course – please check out the website. Confirmed participants will receive a final programme ahead of the weekend. As always, the programme may be subject to change.

Friday, 6 September 2024

Mid to late afternoon Arrival and individual check in at Christ Church, St Aldate’s,

Oxford OX1 1DP

 

18.00 Welcome drinks and brief overview of Sherlock Holmes and Oxford

 

Apéro keynote – Ape-Skit Crazy: Inside the Twisted Mind of Professor Presbury by Mark Jones, BSI – Mark is a Sherlockian and Doylean based in York. He has written widely on Conan Doyle and is a frequent contributor to The Sherlock Holmes Journal, The Baker Street Journal and Canadian Holmes. He is co-host of Doings of Doyle – The Arthur Conan Doyle Podcast (www.doingsofdoyle.com), with Paul M. Chapman.

 

19.30 Dinner in the magnificent Tudor Great Hall under the watchful gaze of King Henry VIII

 

Overnight at Christ Church

 

Saturday, 7 September 2024

07.30 – 9.00 Breakfast served in the Great Hall

 

Mid-morning “A dog reflects the family life”- an encounter with a certain dog on Christ Church Meadow

 

We plan to combine this with a tour of Christ Church and its Cathedral.

 

Late morning We meet at the Folly Restaurant on Folly Bridge, a few minutes’ walk from Christ Church, to embark on a cruise on the Thames/Isis Rivers (for approximately one hour – returning to Folly Bridge)

 

 

Lunch and afternoon Members can explore Oxford at their own leisure and pleasure (please note that lunch is not included although members may wish to consider reserving at the Folly)

 

There will be an optional Lord Peter Wimsey & Dorothy L. Sayers walking tour through Oxford conducted by Catherine Cooke and Marcus Geisser – timing to be confirmed at a later stage.

 

18.00 “The man’s known to be a perfect Sherlock.” – Drinks at Christ Church followed by some reflections about the connections between the universes of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle and those of Lord Peter Wimsey and Dorothy L. Sayers presented by Catherine Cooke and Marcus Geisser
19.30 Dinner in the magnificent Tudor Great Hall under the watchful gaze of King Henry VIII

 

Overnight at Christ Church

 

 Sunday, 8 September 2024

08.00 – 09.00 Breakfast served in the Great Hall

 

 

Check out by 10.00 – luggage may be left securely at the Porter’s Lodge

 

10.30 – 11.30 Reflections on “‘just filling that gap on that second shelfHolmes, a master collector?” by Helen Dorey and Marcus Geisser – followed by a self-guided visit of the Pitt Rivers Museum, one of the most eclectic archaeological and anthropological collections of the University of Oxford, founded in 1884 when General Pitt Rivers gave his collection to the University.

 

Lunchtime Members can examine whether the “port used (is) above mediocritywe have lunch at The Chequers, arguably one of Holmes’ favourite pubs!

 

The weekend concludes with Sunday lunch.

 

We hope you will join us

 

Price per person, what is included, what is not included:

Per person in a double, twin or single en suite bedroom (as usual there is no single supplement):  £392 including: Half board stay at Christ Church (breakfast & dinner), the Oxford River cruise, visit at the Pitt Rivers Museum, activities as listed in the programme, Sunday lunch at The Chequers

What is not included: Any insurance for cancellation fees, accident etc. – insurance is every participant’s own responsibility. Any drinks, tea/coffee are not included and must be paid separately. Lunch on Saturday is not included.

We may be required to order drinks in advance for our two dinners – to be fair to those who don’t want wine we will contact booked participants closer to the time to take orders if that proves necessary.   

Further important information

Parking & Travel – Please note that if you come by car, Christ Church does not offer parking (we are seeking clarification about Blue Badge holders). We are sorry but you will need to find alternative solutions. E.g., please consult Parking in Oxford – Oxford City Council. There are multi-storey carparks nearby and Oxford has a well-established “park and ride” scheme. Oxford traffic is notorious and you may wish to come by train / coach.  Taxis from Oxford Railway Station can drop off directly at the Christ Church main entrance St. Aldate’s. If you are coming by train ensure you travel from Paddington to Oxford main station (do not be seduced by the lure of ‘Oxford Parkway’ – from London Marylebone – it is some miles north of Oxford serving the Biscester Village retail outlet!). Coaches (The Tube from London Victoria and the Airline from Heathrow) are very regular and stop right outside Christ Church (St Aldate’s stop)

Reservations

We have secured rooms for 40 participants. We strongly recommend you book as early as possible in order to avoid disappointment.

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If you have any dietary restrictions, mobility issues or anything else that we need to be aware of to make your stay more pleasant, please mention it clearly when you make your reservation.

The Great Hall, Christ Church

Photographs: By permission of the Governing Body, Christ Church, Oxford

Details

Start:
September 6
End:
September 8
Event Category:
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