OXFORD opened its 'doors' over the weekend with a host of events giving people an insight into the city's culture and heritage.

On both Saturday and Sunday, special places, gardens, colleges and historical sites invited people to learn more.

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Hosted by Oxford Preservation Trust and its partners, it was the 15th year that the Oxford Open Doors event took place.

People went on self-guided walks and there was also a full range of virtual events for those who wanted to visit from home.

Debbie Dance, who has been the director of Oxford Preservation Trust since 1999, said: "Oxford Open Doors is all about being a tourist in your own home. We feel it’s important to have a celebration of Oxford. In 2019 it was quite a large event, but obviously last year we did it on a smaller scale.

"There's lots of interesting tales and we decided to do a mix of in-person events and virtual ones so that people can feel comfortable. We have been doing lots of tours but recorded them so we have got a whole bank of things that we can share with people.

"Some of that, of course, is our own projects. We have been busy behind the scenes including restoring the Rewley Road swing bridge. Lots of people remember the Rewley Road station and the bridge had been falling into disrepair for years and years.

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"Hopefully we will be able to do something for the station. There's lots of things still to come really."

Conservationists raised £900,000 to bring the Rewley Road swing bridge back to life.

Oxford Preservation Trust has been working with Railway Heritage Trust, Historic England, Network Rail, Chiltern Railways and others this year as part of the huge restoration project.

Over the past few weeks, repair work and cleaning of the bridge deck took place as well as painting - which was a hands-on job as over 80 per cent of the painting had to be done by hand.

The bridge, built in 1851 to a design by the engineer Robert Stephenson, the man behind the pioneering locomotive Rocket, started to deteriorate in the 1950s and was last used by a freight train in 1985.

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Some of the other places in Oxford that were open to visitors included Christ Church cathedral, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, Oxford Printmakers Co-operative, Wolvercote Community Orchard, Boundary Brook Nature Reserve and people could enjoy a vintage bus ride in central Oxford.

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