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One day, I was sitting in my college rooms at Oxford when my dad arrived
to visit. Dad was one of the British staff at the American Embassy in
London, and he had said that a couple of American girls who were over from
the States had asked if they could come too, because they had never seen
Oxford. Would I mind? Sounded good: Were there any more who wanted to
come? As they came through the door, one of the girls gasped and said, with
a sort of breathless awe, ‘Gee, I can’t believe I’m in one of these old buildings!’ Quite without thinking I said ‘Oh, they’re not that old. They’re only seventeenth century.’ You should have seen their faces.
But I was right. Just round the block from where I was sitting were other students sitting in rooms nearly four hundred years older than the ones I was in.
(We reckoned our college food was even older than that.) And those rooms
are still ‘onlythirteenth century’. The Crown Jewels are in a tower that was
built by William the Conqueror almost a thousan

English history

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