Moving Monument


Before leaving Oxford Botanic Garden I read an inscription reads at the entrance of the Rose Garden that links Oxford’s High Street to Rose Lane


‘Beneath this garden lies a medieval cemetery. Around 1190 the Jews of Oxford purchased a water meadow outside the city walls to establish a burial ground   In 1231 that land now occupied by Magdalen College was appropriated by the hospital of St John and a small section of wasteland , where this memorial lies was given to the Jews for a new cemetery.


An ancient footpath linked this cemetery with the mediev Jewish quarter along Great Jewry Street, now St Aldates. For over 800 years this path has been called ‘Deadmans Walk’ a name that bears silent witness to a community that contributed to the growth of this city and early University throughout the 12th and 13th centuries.


In 1290 all the Jews were expelled from England by King Edward I .  They were not permitted to return for over 350 years.


May their memory be blessed.’


The Rockery inside the Garden is dedicated to an undergraduate.