The town had a bad experience during the Norman Invasion 1066, when it was taken over by the Normans, who built a castle in the town, remains of which still survive. A monastic community was established within the castle, and through the learningís and teachings of the monks Oxford started along its journey as being a centre of learning.
Oxford was first settled in Saxon times and was initially known as "Oxenaforda", meaning "Ford of the Oxen"; fords were more common than bridges at that time. It began with the establishment of a river crossing for oxen around AD 900. In the 10th century, Oxford became an important military frontier town between the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex and was on several occasions raided by Danes.