THE historic city walls of Oxford have been given a clean bill of health after an inspection ceremony that dates back to the Middle Ages.

Lord Mayor Jean Fooks climbed a 15-foot-high section, with the help of scaffolding, at New College in Holywell Street on Thursday to examine the large remaining portion of the old city walls in the college grounds.

She said: "I'd been up once before when I was a councillor and back then it was quite scary as there was no barrier and it is fairly high.

"This time we had the scaffolding and it was lovely to be part of such a historic event."

After giving Oxford University permission to build the college in 1379, King Richard II decreed that the city wall should be inspected every three years.

The Lord Mayor added: "Officially, the walls have been pronounced to be in very good order and we are very grateful to New College for looking after them."