Nicholson moved to Woodstock, Oxfordshire in 1898. After this time he became increasingly interested in historic architecture and, in 1902, began to make watercolour drawings of colleges and other buildings in nearby Oxford. The series was completed in 1903 and published the following year as a facsimile of 24 finely printed facsimiles, by the Stafford Gallery. "Unlike the artists who had worked on the many successors to Ackermann's 'History of Oxford', Nicholson was as interested in the effects of light and shade on the fabric of the city's architecture as he was in the buildings themselves." (C. Cambell - William Nicholson, The Graphic Work).