Situated in a little alleyway just off Broad Street, the Turf Tavern is one of the big tourist sights in Oxford. Over the years Bill Clinton has “not inhaled” there, the Australian PM Bob Hawke has set an ale-drinking world record, and Inspector Morse has visited more than once. With its unique, and occasionally odd, history, handy city-centre location and large beer gardens it has become a draw for anyone visiting Oxford and many of the residents. You may be pleased to hear that it does not disappoint (unlike The Eagle in the other place, from one of my previous posts).
I was walking through Headington in the north east of Oxford the other day, passing some time before the time came for my reservation at the Black Boy gastropub (that makes me sound terribly posh), and came across an old church – St Andrews. The graveyard in front was a bit of a mix of stones, some newer ones from the early twentieth or late nineteenth century at the end and older, lichen covered, barely legible ones closer to the church. One of the gravestones stood out as being a clean, clear carving. Looking at the epitaph, it had the riddle-like one below.
Who to ye king did belong
He lived to be old
And yet dyed young