Astoft

The architecture of

Magdalen College, Oxford

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



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Spelt Maudelayne in the founding charter and still pronounced Maudlin.
Magdalen College was founded by Bishop Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, in 1458 ... by about 1510 all the main buildings, including the high bell tower (begun in 1492), were complete. ... 
The front range is of the earliest build, though much restored (the parapet string course and dormers e.g.) ...
The bell tower is 144ft high, in four stages, with big polygonal buttresses, paired three-light bell-openings, a rich parapet, partly pierced, and eight pinnacles.



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In St John's Quad The W front of the chapel with the muniment tower l. ... William Orchard was the master-mason for chapel and cloister ... The chapel was built in 1474-80  and restored by Cottingham in 1829-34. ... To the W it has a large doorway with (decorated) battlements ...Three windows over, the tracery of the middle one C17 in date. ... The entry to the chapel is inside the muniment tower, complete by 1485. This adjoins the W front of the chapel immediately and, though called a tower is no higher than the chapel. ... 
To the left of the muniment tower is the Founder's Tower. This was the original entrance to the college. (It is) four storeys high and connects St John's Quad with the cloister. It has two-storeyed oriels to the W and E, with nice frilly details and two tiers of statues to the W. A higher stair-turret with crocketed spirelet is on the cloister side ...



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Also in St John's Quad, on the N side are the President's Lodgings, a considerable extension NW of where they originally were. They are by Bodley & Garner and date from 1886-8. The S facade is quiet, though asymmetrical ... Gothic windows and gables. ... W of St John's Quad is St Swithun's Buildings. The architects were again Bodley & Garner, and building took from 1880 to 1884. The style is Gothic again, with gables. The quality is high. Even Morris liked them. The start from the E is another four-stage gate tower ... To the High it has a series of very ornate oriels.



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E and S range N and E range E side of E range South cloister

Cloister dating from 1475-90. The cloister has three-light openings. The ranges around were of two storeys, and the doorways and windows of two lights or one mark the cloister as a college quad. A third storey was added in the C16. Buttresses with supporters of c.1509 (mostly renewed) between the cloister openings. ... The N range of the cloister was rebuilt in 1824, and the E side in 1825-7. Until then the cloister was much less regular ... E of the E range is the garden. 



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New Buildings of 1733 ... An absolutely even range, twenty-seven bays long, just with a five-bay pediment. The ground floor is arcaded to the S and has to the N Gibbs surrounds to the ground-floor windows; that is all. ...



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The Grove Buildings, 1994-99. These are faced with Ketton stone from Lincolnshire, similar to the local Headington stone. The auditorium, seen in the middle two pictures, has its entrance through the open octagon.



Magdalen College Website including college map

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