Conservation, heritage and education. Unlocking Oxford Castle’s past.

Conservation, heritage and education objectives were key to the success of the development and were agreed at the outset by the County Council and Oxford Preservation Trust, with the developer, as a critical part of the development.

As the freehold of the site is owned by Oxfordshire County Council, it was important that the development could contribute to the Council's strategic priorities, creating new jobs, leisure services and new homes. The new hotel, restaurants, apartments and pedestrian through routes have ensured that the site is integrated into the city, creating a commercially viable place which is lived in and well used by residents and visitors. The history of the castle and the prison has been used to the full in the OPT heritage visitor attraction and Key Learning (education) centre. Oxford Castle Unlocked gives everyone the chance to learn more about the city, outside the university. Together we have created a new cultural and commercial quarter for Oxford, opening the site for the first time in its history, and adding to the offer in a County with a strong reputation as an exceptional place to live, work, learn and visit.

Oxford Castle Key Learning - building pride in our city, and unlocking town history for everyone.

Unlocking the City’s past history for residents, old and young, lies at the heart of OPTs involvement in Oxford Castle redevelopment, and with a vision that every schoolchild in Oxford will visit the Castle at least once in their school life there is a big job to do. Today the education programme for young people, run from the Key Learning Centre in the Castleyard, is well on the way to our achieving this aim. Each year Lisa Price, the Learning and Access Officer, who works in partnership with OPR, Continuum and the County Council’s Museums Service, oversees over 5,000 school visits and a range of family events. OPT and Continuum run a range of lectures and talks on an Oxford theme and never miss a chance to share new knowledge and OPT has helped to arrange archaeology days, medieval fairs and family fun days. Look out in our events to see what’s coming next.

And remember OPT members get free access to the Mound and Oxford Castle Unlocked and get a 10% in the Shop and in the newly refurbished Castleyard Cafe.