Oriel College was founded
in 1326 by royal statute under Edward II. Almost nothing medieval
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 ...
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. ...