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Pocket Guide: Bodleian Library Bodleian Library Hotels

Oxfordshire is a county full of hidden cultural gems, most of them sequestered away in cities like Oxford. The rolling landscapes too are popular with enthusiasts of the great outdoors, and whatever your predilections you're sure to find somewhere suitable to stay during a short or long break in this fascinating county. From guesthouses to B&Bs and plush hotels, Oxfordshire has all sorts of accommodation options, and if you're staying near Oxford itself one of the top attractions must surely be the magnificent Bodleian Library

Oxfordshire Hotels for the Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library was, like so many learned institutions in this great university city, founded many centuries ago, in this case back in 1320. Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester and brother to Henry VI, extended the library in 1426 when he found that he no longer had room in the original building for his collection of manuscripts. Later, in 1602 a wealthy scholar called Thomas Bodley, re-founded the library and introduced a few strict rules, which included the keeper being forbidden to marry. There are only six copyright deposit libraries in the country and the Bodleian Library is one of them: it receives a copy of every single book published in Britain.

Bodleian Library Treasures from Oxfordshire Hotels

The complex that makes up the Bodleian Library includes some interesting buildings. The Radcliffe Camera was built in 1748, for instance, and has a domed rotunda in the baroque style designed by James Gibbs, as a memorial to John Radcliffe. One of the extensions to the library was built in 1638 and used for university exams until 1880. The adjoining Divinity School was constructed in 1488 and has a unique vaulted ceiling featuring 455 carved bosses. These all represent scenes from the Bible, along with real and mythical beasts, and the interior Gothic space is one of the finest in the country.

From local guesthouses, B&Bs or smart hotels such as The Tower House on the High Street or the Macdonald Randolph Hotel on Beaumont Street visitors can easily get along to the Bodleian Library and see its unique historic treasures for themselves.