Alright people, lets get this straight, Yes they did base the Hogwart’s dining room off of the one at Christ Church, but No they didn’t actually spend years here filming the entire movie. If you come to visit, please note the beauty and the history of church and Alice in Wonderland (who was in fact a real girl).
Now that that is taken care of…let me tell you…I LOVE OXFORD!!! It is beautiful! Yesterday we drove from London to Oxford where we each have our own rooms. Some of us, myself included have our own living rooms as well :) it is wonderful! Once we got settled in, we were given a special private tour of the Christ Church University and Cathedral grounds. Here we learned the story of the real Alice. She was the daughter of Dean Liddell, the dean of Christ Church. We saw the tiny door into the forbidden garden that Alice would look through the keyhole as a child. One of the windows in the Great Hall has the Alice in Wonderland characters. Some possible inspirations for the stories come from all over the church. There is a spiral staircase (mentioned in the book) that only the deans would use, Oxford time is 5 minutes later than the rest of the country (the rabbit is always late, late for a very important date), Alice had a cat (Dinah in the book), King Henry VIII liked to cut off heads and founded Christ Church Cathedral School (the Queen of hearts says often “Off with their heads!!”), there is a HUGE tree in the garden that is vaguely reminiscent of a Jabberwocky (Through the Looking Glass), to name a few :)
We had our first dinner in the Great Hall tonight. It is very fun as we get to dress up every night and eat in a formal setting and generally all be on our best “Emily Post” etiquette!