The Inspector Morse Trivia Facts You Wish You knew!

We all have our favorite memories of the things we love the most. This is even more so when we know interesting things about our favorite book or TV series like Inspector Morse. We decided to round up a few quirky facts about places in Oxford used as the backdrop for the TV series and some other cool stuff too!

Radcliffe Square

Do you remember seeing the Radcliffe Square in the two episodes; The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn and The Daughters of Cain?

Well, we do and we’ll tell you why…

The square was named after a former student of the Oxford University. You’re probably wondering how smart this student was like we initially wondered too. Yet, it goes further than just ingeniousness. The student, John Radcliffe, became the King’s doctor and later left a handsome sum to the university itself. Ah, now that makes a bit more sense!

The Randolph Hotel

It is impossible not to know where and how this Oxford hotel fits into the Inspector Morse series. First of all, it’s Inspector Morse’s favorite watering hole. Secondly, this is where Colin Dexter, the author, got his storyline ideas from and where he chose to spend his free time in the hotel bar solving crossword puzzles.

Besides the appearance of the hotel in The Wolvercote Tongue, the history of the hotel dates back to the 19th-century. It was named after the Oxford University benefactor, Dr. Francis Randolph.

Little Did We Know…

Many movies or TV series based on the stories of books undergo production without the input of the author these days. This is not the case for Inspector Morse though.

His creator, Colin Dexter, was a part of the production process as a consultant from start to finish. He also appeared in several cameos throughout the TV series and was often spotted in scenes as a pub drinker at the Randolph Hotel.

As we know, most of the characters in the stories were named after the clever crossword puzzle solvers in Britain. However, some of the characters acquired their identities from Oxford street names. Yes, we’re talking about the streets in north Oxford where Colin Dexter lived.

John Thaw was more than the just the lead character in the Inspector Morse TV series. He managed to convince Colin to change the car model Morse used in his books. It comes as no surprise that Inspector Morse was known to drive a Lancia in the early publication of the books but that changed after Thaw reasoned with Colin. Later publications of the books and throughout the TV series, Morse is seen driving a Jaguar.

It would be a shame if we didn’t end this off with a twist. The theme music for the TV series has opening notes of the word ‘Morse’ in actual Morse code which has been changed accordingly so that we can enjoy it of course!


Colin Dexter – The Author Who Put Oxford on the Map

Born in the late months of 1930 in Lincolnshire, over 100 miles away from the city he made famous – Oxford. Colin Dexter graduated from university in the 50s with a master’s degree in the classics and went on to become a teacher of the literature itself. It was during this time where he wrote school textbooks.

It was in the late 60s that saw Colin go deaf which resulted in him having to leave the teaching profession. Even though the publications of his murder mysteries in the 70s welcomed much success, he continued to work throughout all of this until he retired in 1988.

The Man Behind The Mysteries

One drizzly day, while on a holiday vacation during the 70s, out of pure listlessness Colin began writing his first murder mystery. It was the first of several novels which featured the one and only Inspector Endeavor Morse.

The mysteries he created were so often complex and puzzling yet enthralling all at the same time. The complete series of books, 13 to be precise, eventually became a riveting TV series because of the success of the books.

Colin’s success in his crime literature written works saw him being awarded several times over by the Crime Writers’ Association of Britain. In 2000, he was chosen as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Plotting and Planning

The Randolph Hotel of Oxford featured throughout the book and TV series of Inspector Morse. This is the place where many people would catch a glimpse of the author sitting at the end of the hotel bar, enjoying a beer, solving crossword puzzles.

The Inspector Morse television series produced and aired 33 episodes beginning in the late 80s until the year 2000. Interestingly, Colin made several cameo appearances throughout the series.

As many Morse fanatics know, Inspector Morse had an assistant known as Lewis. In 2006, a television series featuring Lewis as the main character again produced 33 episodes aired until 2016. However, it was in 2012 where a prequel series was aired depicting the younger years of the Inspector and his assistant.

He became such an adored regular at the bar that the hotel eventually changed its name to the Morse Bar. A name which had become so well-known within the city and the rest of the world.

But that’s not all there is to know about the Randolph Hotel. Colin would often frequent the hotel rooms and soak up every detail he could about the rooms and hallways to evolve his ideas for his Inspector Morse storyline.

A Final Ending

It is without a doubt that Colin Dexter was a talented writer of literature. He was an ingenious man which reflected well throughout his Inspector Morse book series.

The literary world and fans mourned when news came from Colin’s publisher, Macmillan, in which they announced his passing in March in 2017. May his legacy continue to live on in all of us.

Take a Tour of a Lifetime with Inspector Morse

It would be a shame to visit the beautiful and historical city of Oxford without the chance of taking a guided tour of places in and around the city. There is a very well-known and reputable tour guide company, Walking Tours of Oxford, which offer several guided tours which cover sites used in Harry Potter, Downtown Abbey, and many more.

Below, we have highlighted two types of guided tours offered by Walking Tours of Oxford.

Oxford University Group Tour

This is strictly a group tour only. It has a 5-star rating and boasts very high reviews from fellow tourists. The tour extends over two hours and covers as much as one possibly can when touring the famous university.

You will be pleased to know that all the tour guides of Walking Tours of Oxford are qualified and accredited by The Institute of Tourist Guiding. Despite this tour only being available as a group tour, each tour of the university is different every day. This is due to the size of the Oxford University itself. After all, it does have at least 40 colleges.

The Guided Tour

You can expect to go into one of the many university colleges, Christ Church. It is a very historical and famous college which has also been used as a filming location in the Harry Potter movies.

Continue the mysterious sightseeing journey throughout the premises whilst learning everything there is to know about the University of Oxford.

Inspector Morse Private and Group Tour

These tours are also highly reviewed and have a 5-star rating. Both types of tours are two hours long and jam-packed just the way you would expect. The guides of the Inspector Morse tours are well experienced as they have been witness to a majority of the filming of the series which took place in Oxford.

The group and private tours cover the most famous filming locations of the Inspector Morse television series. As the filming of the series was well over 80 hours worth, it was a bit tricky to decide what should feature in the tour at first.

Group Tour

This tour happens at least twice a week all year round in the afternoons. However, it is best you book in advance as space is always limited. The company has stated that by offering the tour to smaller groups it enhances the individual experience of the tour itself.

Private Tour

The private tour on offer by Walking Tours of Oxford is a real favorite and we’ll tell you why. With this type of tour, your tour guide will meet you at a location in Oxford which suits you. If you prefer to meet your guide at your hotel or at the nearby train station then go for it.

The second factor which makes this tour so appealing is that you can book the tour according to a day and time which is suitable for you. These details can be discussed when you make your booking with the company.

Discover Four Filming Locations of Inspector Morse and Lewis!

Many of the attractions to Oxford today are due to the various filming locations of Inspector Morse scattered across the city. Every fan who has either read a book or watched a series or movie based on a book will take up the opportunity of a lifetime to see where all the action unfolded. In Oxford, there are many locations which were used to film the likes of Harry Potter, Downtown Abbey, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and several others.

Below, we have selected a few of our favorite Inspector Morse filming locations which you’d love to know about!

Rewley House

The name, Rewley House, originated from a 13th-century monastery in Oxford itself.

The Rewley House was initially a convent school known as St Anne’s Rewley which was built in1873. However, in 1903, the school had been shut down. The Oxford University bought the premises in 1927 to utilize it for adult education services.

The original Rewley building had a common room, lecture room facilities as well as a library. After the university bought it, they built on from the 60s onwards, adding accommodation and dining areas.

Rewley House was used as the filming location for the Inspector Morse TV series episode ‘Girl’.

The King’s Arms

One of the oldest pubs in Oxford, it traces as far back as 1607. The King’s Arms was originally built by Augustine Friars in the 13th-century. It was in the 16th-century in which the city of Oxford took over the land thanks to the Dissolution of Monasteries Act.

Over the years, the pub was used as a hotel, theatre, and coaching inn. In ‘The Dead of Jericho’, Inspector Morse is seen leaving the King’s Arms pub on numerous occasions.

The Sheldonian Quad

This filming location is often referred to as the Sheldonian Theatre which was built in the 17th-century. The University of Oxford sought out the architectural design services of Christopher Wren to recreate the theatre to use it for musical concerts and ceremonies.

In the Inspector Morse TV series, the Sheldonian Quad is often seen in the episode ‘Twilight of the Gods’.

Bodleian Library

This library is one of the oldest libraries throughout Europe and the second largest library in England. The building of the library is not certain.

However, there is suspicion it was built before the 17th-century thanks to Thomas Cobham, Bishop of Worcester. The Bodleian Library had over one million books in 1914. The new design of the library is attributed to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott where he placed 60% of the books underground.

As we can see, the city of Oxford is not just rich in history just because of its famous university. There are countless historical locations throughout the city which feature in the Morse TV series. We are lucky that Colin Dexter, author of the Morse books, made it known to the world just how valuable the city is.

Car Hire Companies in Oxford You Can Trust

Whether you’re traveling from afar or just from a neighboring county, rest assured when you’re in Oxford, there are companies you can call on to get you around the city. If you’re visiting family or simply just here to cruise through the countryside, reputable car hire companies are at your disposal.

As long as you’re over the age of 25 and have a valid driver’s license, you can hire a car no matter where you are in the country. Below, we have highlighted the top car hire companies you can use while visiting Oxford. Each is well-known for outstanding service and good value for money!

Avis Car Hire

Everybody knows who and what Avis is. They are known throughout the world as one of the leading car hire companies. Avis is open six days a week from 8am until 6pm but that certainly doesn’t stop them from providing you with the service you need.

Even if you need a car from the London Heathrow Airport to get yourself to Oxford, you can just hop on to the shuttle bus to the central Heathrow Avis car hire station nearby. Alternatively, they can also just pick you up from the airport!

What’s On Offer

Avis has super discounts for those in the United Kingdom who need a reliable ride for a few days. All customers in the UK have access to the Avis Select Series car range which differs depending on where exactly you are in the country. But, you can still get excited about possibly driving the latest BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, or even the Toyota C-HR Hybrid Dynamic!

Even after your booking is finalized and you decide you’re not happy with your car choice, you can switch cars at the nearest Avis car hire station. It is only an additional charge if you require a car with extra modifications.

Avis is known to upgrade their cars twice a year. This ensures every customer not only has everything of the best but their safety is the number one priority of Avis at all times. The same can be said about Apex Luxury Car Hire which covers all of the UK and especially London.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car

This car hire company has been around since the 50s. Its founder, Jack Taylor, named the company after the airplane carrier he worked on during World War II called USS Enterprise. Jack built Enterprise Rent-a-Car from the ground up. He had a dream and so he began his business with only seven cars at first.

What’s On Offer

It’s best you always book in advance and online in order to get the best deals. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a people-carrier, 4×4, hatchback, or something fancier. There is a bargain for everyone!

This is a company which is fervent in sustainability and finding innovative and research-driven solutions for car rental services in future years to come.

Two of the best car hire companies available for your traveling needs in Oxford! If you want to travel to a more exotic place like the United Arab Emirates, you should visit Dubai with a stylish Maserati!

How Inspector Morse Changed Oxford

Dating back thousands of years, the narrative mystery genre is one which has captivated book lovers worldwide. The stories within this genre are nothing short of the puzzling discoveries of clues, cliff-hanger chapters, suspense, horror, terror, and so much more.

Narrative Mystery Genre Breakdown

The genre has been categorized into two parts; ghostly tales and the stories of mystifying obscurity. The ghostly tales date back to the ancient times forming most of what we today refer to as folk literature.

One of the most famous writers whose work we frequently look to in the 21st-century is that of Edgar Allan Poe. He was one particular writer who was part of making mystery stories greater than ever in the 19th-century. His books, at the time, went further than the usual methodical madness and haunted houses.

Stories which only posed as obscure and complex riddles have been traced back to the biblical era. That’s not to say the Egyptians or Greeks didn’t take a bite from the mysterious and tantalizing apple from the fruit tree of this literary genre.

Most mystery novels present readers with an eerie situation, a handful of cryptic clues, and an ending to the story which clears everything up yet still remains baffling and brilliant. But, we can’t ignore all the other types of mysteries, namely; sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers, horrors, and the list goes on…

Introducing Inspector Morse to the City of Oxford

Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse book series, revolutionized Oxford in a way which people would never imagine. Since his passing in 2017, people have often referred to him as the man of the real city.

Much of the fictional character, Inspector Morse, pleasures in life was a reflection of Colin himself. Just like Morse, Colin loves a good beer, classical music, and reveled in perplexing crossword puzzles while sitting at a corner of the Randolph Hotel bar in Oxford.

The city has experienced a large and positive impact from the thrillingly successful written works of Colin Dexter. His fictional mysteries were strewn against the historical backdrop of Oxford which led thousands of people worldwide to the beautiful English city.

Who Inspector Morse Was Named After

The detective was named after Sir Jeremy Morse, the former chairman of Lloyds Bank and one of Britain’s ingenious crossword puzzle solvers. Colin could not think of anyone more enigmatic to inspire his chintzy main character. A vast majority of the mystery books characters were named after the crossword puzzle top dogs of the Observer, a British newspaper created in 1791.

Sir Jeremy’s sheer brainy brilliance was exactly what Colin needed to make his character one of the most intriguing detectives of all time. It is quite ironic that Inspector Morse’s love for good beer may have also been attributed to Sir Jeremy’s family owned brewery in his younger days before he became a banker.

Are you ready to find more clues yet?