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Oriel College, Oxford

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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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Oriel College was founded  in 1326 by royal statute under Edward II. Almost nothing medieval survives. The Front Quad is of 1620-42 ... The exterior to Oriel Square and Merton Street is even, of three storeys, the windows still with arched lights. The top cresting is little shaped gables. The gate tower has a Perp portal and canted Gothic oriel window ... 


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The interior facades of Front Quad are all the same - the same as the exterior one - except for the E range. The entrances to the staircases have shaped gables like those of the cresting. The E range is a symmetrical composition dominated by the hall. Its porch is in the centre (rebuilt in 1897). It is low and shallow and has a pierced cresting with the inscription Regnante Carolo and strapwork. ... Above it are two niches with bad statues of Edward II and Charles I(?) and one niche over with a statue of the Virgin. The very top is remarkable in that it breaks the Jacobean tradition of the cresting motifs and goes classical, with pilasters, a shield with garlands, and a segmental pediment. On the range are two louvres. The hall is l. of the porch. Its windows are like those of the chapel (not shown), and are repeated for symmetry's sake r. of the porch, where there is no functional reason for them. ... The hall dais end has a canted bay-window, transomed and entirely Gothic, except for the strapwork cresting. The bay-window is also repeated at the r. end, where it belongs awkwardly to the antechapel. ...


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