Oxford, county town of Oxfordshire, is a city in central southern England and most famous as the home of the world-renowned Oxford University. Around 50 miles (80km) northwest of London, the city was settled in Saxon times and gained importance under the reign of Henry II when it and its inhabitants were granted the same privileges as the city of London - due to its proximity to the capital, some parliament sessions were even held here. The collegiate university was established in the 12th century, making it the oldest in the English-speaking world, and its beautiful buildings have made Oxford come to be known as ‘the city of dreaming spires’. In the twentieth century car-manufacturing came to Oxford and since then it has been a city of two halves: the industrial to the east and the university to the west. As well as the university college buildings, other attractions in Oxford include the Bodleian Library, Carfax Tower and Oxford Castle: the city plays host to many tourists all year round.