It is rare that a bookstore becomes a tourist attraction, but Blackwell's is not just any bookstore. For one thing, it lays claim to the largest single room devoted to book sales in Europe, the enormous Norrington Room 10000sq.ft.
How, in cramped-for-space Oxford, did Blackwell's manage to create enough space for the Norrington Room? They excavated under neighbouring Trinity College Gardens, that's how! So while students walk and - hopefully - study above, shoppers peruse endless shelves of books 250000 well underground.
Benjamin Blackwell founded his store in 1879 in a tiny building at 50 Broad Street, which is now the main store. That first store measured only 12 feet square, and held just 700 used books!