Brasenose College, Oxford
Radcliffe Square frontage

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

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The college was founded in 1509 ... The name comes from Brasenose Hall (and probably its door-knocker) which stood on part of the site of the college. Old Quad was begun in 1509 and shows one characteristic of a C16 date at once: the typical college windows, mostly of two lights or one, have uncusped round-arched heads (best seen in last picture, round the corner). The quad is of two storeys with a third added c.1605-35 and battlements. To Radcliffe Square the front has the distinction of three pretty oriels.

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The gate tower of 1512 is panelled all the way up and has an oriel high up flanked by two statue niches. ... The gateway has a four-centred entrance arch with quatrefoiled spandrels ... 

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To the l. of the front is the library range (over the cloister) and then the E end of the chapel ... The cloister was built in 1657-9, and the library on the first floor seems to have followed immediately. The chapel was built in 1656-66 ... The cloister has to Radcliffe Square windows like the adjoining parts, whereas the library has nine closely set transomed two-light windows, with aprons. This incorrect motif shows that we are dealing here with the re-management done by Wyatt in 1779-80 ... How the fenestration might have been if it were still of c.1660 is evident from the southernmost window ... It has a Venetian oriel window with thick garlands and other decorative motifs accompanying those of the chapel ... The chapel E front adds an accent to the whole of the square without which it would be much the poorer. The E window ... is pure Gothic Revival indeed and incorrect only in so far as the top of the tracery with radiating arched panels is not a circle but a horizontally placed oval. Also the angles are pilasters, and above the window is a big wilfully in-curved open pediment, and above that again a crocketed parapet with urns. ... 

More about the college at
Brasenose College Website
Virtual Tour

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