Home ‘Three Shires day in Oxford' Saturday 29 September  Tour of the Divinity School and Duke Humfrey’s Library A talk by Nicholas Barber CBE and guided tour of the Ashmolean Museum

Look out for a review by art lover Linnet Schreiber, but here are a few views, from the alumni tour party:

"What a privilege to be able to do this with someone of the stature of Nicholas Barber. It was absolutely brilliant" (Veronica)

"I loved the layout of the museum and the way that the galleries linked together and the trade route themes, that showed the links between civilisations. It was an excellent guided tour from Nicholas Barber. It was a real privilege. It was so nice to finish the day with a lovely cream tea." (Nigel)

Next stop was the Ashmolean Museum for a very special private tour with Nicholas Barber CBE. The tour started with a private talk by Nicholas in the Museum's Board Room, overlooking the "dreaming spires". Nicholas explained how the renovation process had begun and what some of the key highlights of this truly spectacular renovation had been. He then took us through each floor providing vignettes and a detailed insight into some of the best parts of the collections.

Nicholas greets us at the door Bowl with unorthodox foot

Visit the Ashmolean website

Visit the Bodleian website

The Bodleian tour encompassed the Divinity School and Duke Humfrey's Library. The guide entertained us with a tale of how the school came about and some of the key building milestones. The School, our guide said, owed its survival mainly to its status as a School of Divinity. So whilst the rest of the library was stripped of any form of iconography during the Reformation, the school was spared this excess. Here is an example of the carving on the ceiling.

Duke Humfrey's Library was equally fascinating. Only moderately modernised, the Library also dating to the 16th Century houses many old tomes and still retains all its original architectural features.

As this is a working library visitors are not allowed to take photographs, however you might have seen it featured as Hogwarts library in the Harry Potter films.