OXFORDSHIRE has been put on the map for a lot of reasons – it’s home to one of the best universities in the world, it’s got one of the poshest palaces and it boasts a bargain designer outlet.

But there are some things that make the county a special place to live that only people from Oxfordshire will truly understand.

From catching buns to games of Aunt Sally – we’ve previously listed five bizarre Oxfordshire traditions, but there are plenty more.

Here are five more unusual things that only people from Oxfordshire will understand: 

Saying the word 'Magdalen'

Though spelt ‘Mag-da-len’, the word is actually pronounced ‘Maude-lyn’.

Videos on YouTube titled ‘how to say Magdalen College’ have had thousands of views online and according to the University it is one of the most asked questions.

Rounding up of the animals on Port Meadow

Oxford Mail:

This ancient custom usually sees animals driven off Port Meadow into a pound in the early hours of the morning. 

As only Freemen of Oxford and the Wolvercote Commoners are allowed to graze livestock on the meadow for free, the traditional medieval ceremony aims to track down animals that should not be there. 

The date of the round-up is kept a secret, so that owners without grazing rights cannot remove their animals at the last minute and escape a fine. 

Sheriffs of Oxford have used a variety of transport methods when conducting the annual round-up in the past - some have ridden horses, others have walked or driven in vehicles.

Corpus Tortoise

Oxford Mail:

The Corpus Tortoise Fair is described by students on the college’s website as ‘unique to Oxford and undoubtedly the best tradition ever, in the whole world’.

Each Oxford University College keeps tortoises - a fine tradition that dates back hundreds of years.

Every year, the colleges bring them together for a spectacular race - starting them in a circle and racing them towards a large ring of lettuce surrounding them.

Oxford Mail:

The first to reach the food is the winner.

One tortoise can only be entered per college - so if a college owns more than one pet then trials have to be held to decide which one has the honour of representing the college. 

Inspection of the city wall in New College

Oxford Mail:

The historic city walls are checked over in an inspection ceremony every three years that dates back to the Middle Ages. 

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

Oxford Mail:

After giving Oxford University permission to build the college on June 30, 1379, King Richard II made it a condition that the college keep the City Walls in good repair and make two entrances which the Lord Mayor can pass through in order to inspect them every three years.

Headington's Shark House

Oxford Mail:

The Headington Shark might be an Instagram hotspot for visitors coming to Oxford - but people from the city know and love the iconic house which has become a vital part of the skyline since it crashed through the roof of an ordinary terraced house in New High Street 30 years ago. 

The 25ft fiberglass sculpture was commissioned by the late Bill Heine, a former Oxford Mail journalist, who had been reported saying he came up with the idea while sitting on the doorstep of his newly purchased house, chatting with his sculptor friend John Buckey over a glass of wine. 


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