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|The King's Arms|
The King's Arms on the corner of Parks Road (left) and Holywell Street (right).
Location within Central Oxford
|Address||40 Holywell Street, Oxford, OX1 3SP, England|
|Opening||18 September 1607|
|Owner||Wadham College, Oxford / Young's Brewery|
The King's Arms public house is located in a prominent position on the corner of Parks Road and Holywell Street, opposite the New Bodleian Library building. Also nearby are Broad Street and the Clarendon Building, part of Oxford University. A popular local myth has it that the KA has the highest IQ per square foot of any pub or bar in the world. The pub is owned by Wadham College, which is located just to the north.
The lease book of Oxford Council in 1607 stated "Thomas Franklyn has licence to set up an inn with the sign of the King's Arms". Franklyn's choice of the name refers to King James I (reigned 1603–1625), who was involved with Wadham College, immediately to the north. It opened on 18 September 1607.
In the 17th century, the King's Arms was a popular location for plays. In the early 18th century, the south side and rear were rebuilt. The west frontage was added in the late 18th century. The King's Arms was variously a coaching inn (by 1771) and a hotel during its history.
It was said[according to whom?] that some dons held tutorials in the back bar as late as the 1960s. Before Wadham College reclaimed upper stories of the building in the 1960s, the Kings Arms had been a hotel, once popular with commercial travellers.
Until 1973, the pub's back bar, known as "The Office", was not open to women, the last such bar in Oxford. There was a fire in that year, rumoured to have been started by radical feminists. The bar was temporarily closed, but reopened to both sexes.
- "King's Arms". The Oxford Guide. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Kings Arms". Itchy Oxford. UK: Itchy. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "King's Arms". UK. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Hibbert, Christopher, ed. (1988). "King's Arms". The Encyclopaedia of Oxford. Macmillan. p. 210. ISBN 0-333-39917-X.
- "Kings Arms". UK: Young's Brewery. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
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