Astoft

The architecture of 

All Souls College, Oxford


P8232378-transf-crop-varyr-u2-h540-u0.5t3-q60.jpg (71212 bytes)


Click on photos to enlarge.
Notes in italics from Oxfordshire by Jennifer Sherwood and Nikolaus Pevsner (1974)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London.



P8081672-transf-u1-720-u0.3t3-q40.jpg (81605 bytes)          P8081673-crop2-u1-h540-u0.5-q60.jpg (79588 bytes)          P8081673-crop1-u1-h540-u0.5-q80.jpg (78762 bytes)

All Souls was founded by Archbishop Chichele in 1438, with Henry VI as co-founder ... The front of All Souls to the High Street is two-storeyed, with dormers, long and asymmetrical. It was refaced in 1826-7 by D. Robertson and the oriels rebuilt in 1928-9. The windows are of two lights or one light. The gate tower is of four storeys, with a four-centred arch for the gateway and a stair-turret on the NW (first picture below). The two statues of the founders and the relief of the Resurrection are by W.C.H. King, 1940, the relief in the Gill style. ...



Front Quad
Dscn6644-transf-u2-h405-u0.5-q60.jpg (63452 bytes) Dscn6625-transf-u2-h405-u0.5t3-q60.jpg (77950 bytes) Dscn6624-transf-u2-h405-u0.5t3-q60 .jpg (75836 bytes)

South range East range North range

Front Quad was built in 1438-43 and is still essentially in its original state. ... The ranges are of two storeys, with windows of two lights or one light and battlements, added in 1510. In the E range the closely set Old Library windows are at once noticed. There are eight of them, and they are well-preserved. ... The N range is filled by the chapel ... (which) has to the quad five bays with buttresses, battlements and pinnacles. The windows are large, of three lights, with panel tracery under four-centred arches.


Dscn1973-persp-u1-540-u0.5-q50.jpg (60891 bytes)         Dscn6626-transf-u2-h560-u0.5-q50.jpg (74334 bytes)         Dscn6628-u2-540-u0.5-q40.jpg (75011 bytes)         Dscn6629-transf-u2-h405-u0.5-q60.jpg (59959 bytes)

The chapel W front has a seven-light and two three-light windows, transomed like the others, and a stair turret at the N end. (The North Quad to the left of the chapel in the picture above is described below.) Internally, between antechapel and chapel - The screen dates basically from 1664 but was remodelled in 1716 by Thornhill, with Corinthian pilasters and a broad arched centre crowned by a broken pediment. ... (In the chapel) nearly everything belongs to Scott's restoration of 1872-6. The roof, however, is original; it is of shallow pitch, with hammerbeams with angels. Original also, and marvellous, is the reredos ... It was restored by Scott. ... In the antechapel large figure fragments from the roof panels painted by Isaac Fuller c.1664 ... The antechapel is two bays deep from W to E with a slender pier for each arm. Their profile is the usual one of four shafts and four hollows. ...



North Quad
Dscn6642--rot-u2-540-u0.5-q60.jpg (71062 bytes) Dscn6631-rot-u2-540-u0.5-q60.jpg (78515 bytes) Dscn6632-crop-u2-h405-u0.5-q50.jpg (68728 bytes)

South range North range Sundial

Hawksmoor is the architect of North Quad. ... Many drawings of his exist for it, both classical and Gothic. He favoured Gothic, and there is a letter of his, dated 1715, advising the college to preserve 'ancient durable Publick Buildings ... instead of erecting new fantasticall, perishable trash'. What can he have been hitting out against? His own work on the quad which had started in 1716 is what we would call fantastical, and moreover ' perishable' is not the term one would use for English building under Queen Anne and George I. 
Hawksmoor allowed the C15 chapel to determine his design. His S range takes in antechapel and chapel and continues the new hall with the same tall windows, though without tracery and with Georgian glazing. ... The passage
(between chapel and hall, from Front Quad) comes out in a portal with an ogee gable ending in an over-sized finial. But the raised, square band instead of capitals betrays Hawksmoor. The N side, the side of the Codrington Library, repeats the same fenestration ... In the middle .. is a big sundial on a segment-headed erection with a putto head. The sundial was made for the Front Quad in 1658, and as Christopher Wren was Bursar that year, it is a reasonable assumption that he designed it. 


Dscn6638-transf-u2-h540-u0.5t5-q40.jpg (68936 bytes)          P8232383-crop-u2-h540-u0.5-q70.jpg (76097 bytes)          P8232380-transf-crop-u2-h540-u0.5-q60.jpg (67466 bytes)          P8232378-transf-u2-h540-u0.5t5-q60.jpg (68722 bytes)

The E range of the quad is the show side, with its two Hawksmoor-Gothic towers. The side is fifteen bays long, with the towers marking bays six and ten. They are square, with thin square buttressing, changing between stages one and two. The upper stage ends in a Gothic arched and cusped frieze. Then follow two recessed and canted stages starting behind angle pinnacles. The top stages are telescoped and again thinly buttressed. With archeology all this has nothing to do. Nor has the fenestration of the range. Between the towers is first a large ogee-headed Venetian window, then three four-centred arches, and then three with ogee-arches. The top cresting has Gothic pinnacles but a blunt, entirely un-gothic parapet. The parts of the front on either side of the towers are of three storeys too, but considerably lower. The first- and second-floor windows are set together in giant recesses ... The tops of the windows and recesses are again four-centred. 


Dscn6634-levmid-transf-u2-h405-u0.5-q60.jpg (60304 bytes)         Dscn6539-transf-crop-u2-h405-u0.5t2-q60.jpg (52976 bytes)         Dscn1973-persp-u1-540-u0.5-q50.jpg (60891 bytes)         Dscn2134-rot-u2-540-u0.5-q60.jpg (76748 bytes)

North Quad is closed to the W by a screen and a gatehouse ... (In the first picture the Radcliffe Camera rears up outside.) In this fourth side of his quad Hawksmoor somehow felt much freer. He no more than alluded here and there to the Gothic. His arcade has round arches and groin-vaults .. and they stand on Doric demi-columns. The parapet is again of the blunt un-Gothic pattern. The centre gatehouse is a domed octagon, the dome being pierced by small quatrefoiled windows. The outline of the cap is ogee, and its heavy ribs have crockets, but the crowning motif is a fantastic composite capital carrying an urn. This is Hawksmoor's finial. From Radcliffe Square the appearance is this (last two pictures). The screen is closed with thin semicircular shafts and battlements. The entry is flanked by two buttresses with pinnacles and has a round arch and blank Perp panelling over. ... But the  boldest Baroque-Gothic is the W front of the Codrington Library (last picture, which is out of view to the left in the previous picture). Here Hawksmoor repeated the composition of the C15 antechapel completely (on right in previous picture), but his side windows have no tracery and the centre window is an ingenious variation on the fabric of the Venetian window which backs it. The side parts have lancet arches, the middle a round arch with unprecedented panel tracery over.  


Dscn1959-levmid1.30-u1.5-540-u0.5-high.JPG (82076 bytes)                    Dscn1958-lmid1.20-u1.5-540-u0.3.JPG (58762 bytes)

Views of east face of North Quad from New College Lane. The second picture shows the east end of the Codrington Library and its Venetian window . (The chapel to the right belongs to Hertford College).


P8081676-transf-u2-h540-u0.5t3-q40.jpg (83308 bytes)

The Warden's Lodging with its six-bay facade to the High dates from 1704-6 and was designed by Dr George Clarke for himself. It is the first piece of Palladianism in Oxford and probably in England. The windows are placed close to one another. It has a rusticated ground floor and a first floor whose first and last windows are distinguished by straight entablatures. Originally it was embattled, and the entry was in the E bay. ...



All Souls Website

More Oxford at Astoft
 

 

Home Architecture Index Email:  Maps Link  (U.K.)
 

All photographic images in pages within the domains astoft.co.uk & astoft.com are Copyright the Website owner 2001 or later unless otherwise stated. Email contact above. Full size 3megapixel originals are available for approved purposes.