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Oxford, from the Old Magdalen Bridge

Oxford, from the Old Magdalen Bridge

Artist: Grimm, Samuel Hieronymus

Medium: Ink wash on paper

Date: 1773

Shelfmark: Additional MS 15546

Item number: f.18

Length: 18.5

Width: 27

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

The old bridge was designed by John Gwynn and was opened in 1771. In an unpublished letter to the Pall Mall Gazette dated 16 July 1881, William Morris defends the bridge when it is threatened with modernisation, "It may well be thought that the mere words, `the destruction of Magdalen Bridge' would go at once to the heart of any one who knows Oxford well; that any one who has lived there either as gownsman or townsman, & who does not want to be set down as dull to any impression of art or history, would be eager to protest against such a strange piece of barbarism: but it may not be altogether superfluous to remind those who know little of Oxford, or who have not seen it that Magdalen Bridge has a value quite apart from its own considerable architectural excellence, a value which it is hard to exaggerate: for it forms an essential part of a group of buildings quite unrivalled of its kind in the United Kingdom".

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