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Fourth Form History Trip to Oxford and London

Yesterday, our Fourth Form historians went on a fascinating trip in order to expand their knowledge of the 'Crime and Punishment' element of their GCSE course.

First the group visited Oxford Castle, built by the Normans in 1071 and used as a prison until 1996, before moving into the Saxon St George's Tower, where prisoners were kept during the Civil War, and saw the cells where the Victorians incarcerated convicts, some as young as seven years of age. The students had the chance to study artefacts from the time and learn about the fate of prisoners such as Mary Blandy, hanged for murdering her father in 1752. They were even able to stand in the spot where the last hanging (of a Banbury man) in Oxford took place in 1952.

The group then headed down to the East End of London for a walking tour of Whitechapel, related to the GCSE depth study of the area in the late nineteenth century, and were fortunate to have an expert guide, John Bennett, to take them around the narrow passages, tenements and lanes of the area, the scene of the infamous Whitechapel murders of 1888. This was a highly atmospheric tour which really helped students to imagine how life might have been in the slum conditions of the East End 130 years ago.

Thank you to Mr Batten for this report and to everyone who made the trip a success.