Oxford Colleges

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

Scroll down the page to access the buildings in alphabetical order, or click on the individual building:
All Souls     Balliol     Brasenose     Christ Church     Corpus Christi     Hertford     Jesus
Magdalen     Merton     New College     Oriel     Queen's     St John's     Trinity

Dscn1973-persp-u1-540-u0.5-q50.jpg (60891 bytes)

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

All Souls
, founded 1438.

All Souls was founded by Archbishop Chichele in 1438, with Henry VI as co-founder ... Front Quad was built in 1438-43 and is still essentially in its original state. ... Hawksmoor is the architect of North Quad (1716). ... The E side of the quad is the show side, with its two Hawksmoor-Gothic towers. ...

More pictures and information on separate page.

P8081745-transf-u2t5-720-u0.5t4-q40.jpg (80001 bytes) Balliol College, founded about 1263.
John of Balliol, of Barnard Castle in County Durham, in 1255 kidnapped the Bishop of Durham. As a penance he set aside payments for the support of sixteen poor scholars at Oxford. His widow in 1282 gave the foundation a charter. ...
Only a few surviving medieval parts (15th century), now mainly Victorian and Georgian.

More on a separate page

Dscn1949-transf-varyr-varlt-u2-720-u0.5t3-q40.jpg (86081 bytes)

Brasenose College, founded 1509.
The name comes from Brasenose Hall (and probably its door-knocker) which stood on part of the site of the college. ... Old 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 ...

More on separate page

Dscn1979-varyellred-transf-u1-h405-u0.5-q60.jpg (77334 bytes) Christ Church College  16-17th century
Originally founded as Cardinal College in 1525 by Cardinal Wolsey.
In 1546 Henry VIII created Christ Church as a union of the college and the cathedral church.
In the centre is Tom Tower, its lower part Wolsey's, its upper part Wren's work in 1681-2.
pictures and information on separate page.

Dscn1962-transf-varlt-u2-720-u0.3t3-q40.jpg (76084 bytes)

Corpus Christi College, founded 1517.
The facade to Merton Street is of three storeys, it is true, but the third is a heightening of 1737, and so the gate tower seems small again. ... the facade has the usual rhythm of two-light and one-light windows. However, one window is much bigger. It looks ecclesiastical but belongs to the hall. ...
More on separate page

P8162258-crop-u1-h540-u0.5t3-q40.jpg (79282 bytes)

Dscn6623-transf-u2-h540-u0.5t3-q30.jpg (79346 bytes)

Hertford College
Founded in 1282 as Hart Hall by Elias de Hertford. Name changed in 1740 to Hertford College. Refounded in 1874 and subsequently mostly rebuilt by Sir Thomas G. Jackson.
The main facade
(in Catte Street) is towards the Bodleian. It is long and Palladian, consisting of two plain side pieces of six bays each and an ornate centre of nine. The side pieces actually, three storeys high, are 1818-22, by E Garbett, built for Magdalen Hall. Jackson made them serve the glory of the newly-reinstated Hertford.  An archway with Tuscan columns and a pediment, four upper attached Corinthian columns and three Venetian windows, and to connect with 1820 two canted bay-windows (with by the way some minimum Elizabethan decoration). A festive display; no doubt about it, and in its Palladian style one that fits this demanding part of Oxford perfectly. Jackson began in 1887 and finished in 1889. ... 

Dscn1940-transf-levmid-u2-h405-u0.5-q50.jpg (74098 bytes) His was the brilliant idea of the Bridge of Sighs and its ornate centre with columns on decorated brackets and an open scrolly pediment. The bridge was built in 1913-14. It links Old and New Quads.
View through the bridge of the Sheldonian Theatre and Clarendon Building.

Dscn1958-crop-h540-u0.5t2-q40.jpg (66882 bytes)

Jackson's chapel of 1908. The E window, undeniably, is a splendid sight from New College Lane - of five lights with only the centre light arched, i.e. the Venetian window conception, and with columns and garlands. ...

Hertford College Website 

P8232314-transf-soft-u2-h540-u0.5-q60.jpg (72764 bytes)  P8232313-transf-u2-h540-u0.5-q60.jpg (70495 bytes)

P8232309-transf-cln-u2-h540-u0.5t3-q40.jpg (77544 bytes)

Jesus College, founded in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth.
Very little however, goes back to her reign. The range towards Turl Street, though structurally Elizabethan,was entirely refaced by J.C. & C.A. Buckler in 1854. It is of three storeys with regular three- and four-light windows and a gate tower entirely by Buckler, and the Gentleman's Magazine in 1856 commented that 'Messrs Buckler are entitled to credit for their courage in resisting the stream and following the style of the fifteenth century'. The stream of course is Second Pointed, i.e. the style of c.1300, and the later English Gothic was decried as decadent by Pugin, Scott, and the rest. At the N end of the facade is the E window of the chapel, part of a lengthening of 1636. The window, of seven lights, is of that date, though it is entirely Perp. ... The S range is partly Elizabethan, partly Jacobean. The joint is easily visible in Market Street. That facade is again entirely Buckler's  ...
More at Jesus College website

Dscn1960-transf-clon-u2-h560-u0.5-q60.jpg (71645 bytes)

Dscn1961-transf-levmid-u2-h405-u0.5-q60.jpg (71387 bytes)

Magdalen College  1474-1510

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. ... 

More pictures and information on separate page

Dscn2163-transf-varlt-varyr-u2-720-u0.5t5-q40.jpg (74570 bytes)

Merton College, founded by 1264.
Merton Chapel is only a fragment. Walter de Merton wanted it to have a nave and aisles. ... As it is, the nave and aisles were never built, and so, consisting of transepts, crossing and choir only, Merton established the type which other Oxford college chapels followed. Only the choir dates from C13. ... 
Much more on a separate page

Dscn6617--transf-u2-h405-u0.5t3-q50.jpg (69750 bytes)

New College, founded 1379
William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, founded Winchester College and New College at the same time, or to be precise, New College in 1379, Winchester College in 1382
(the feeder school). ...

More pictures and information on separate page

P8081897-transf-crop-u1-720-u0.5-q40.jpg (78690 bytes)

Oriel College, founded 1326.
The c
ollege was founded  in 1326 by royal statute under Edward II. Almost nothing medieval survives. The Front Quad is of 1620-42 ...

More on separate page

P8081677-transf-u2-h540-u0.5t3-q40.jpg (76500 bytes)

The Queen's College, founded in 1340 by the chaplain to Queen Philippa.
Whatever was built in the C14 and the later Middle Ages ... has been swept away, and Queen's is the only old foundation with no buildings at all prior to the Restoration. ... Front Quad (mainly 1709-34, possibly by Hawksmoor) is the grandest piece of classical architecture in Oxford, and it belongs to the short phase which one has a right to name English Baroque, i.e. Baroque with English reservations. ...
More on separate page

P8232433-rot-u2-720-u0.5t5-q30.jpg (68669 bytes) St John's College  15-17th century

More on separate page

Dscn6572-transf-crop-u1-h405-u0.5-q60.jpg (73977 bytes)

Trinity College.  Founded 1286 as Durham College, refounded 1555 as Trinity. The architecture is mostly 17th-20th centuries.

More ...

Dscn6582-u2-540-u0.5-q40.jpg (68985 bytes)

P8162126-transf-crop-u2-720-u0.5t3-q40.jpg (68134 bytes) Worcester College. Founded as the monastic Gloucester College in c.1283, became Gloucester Hall in 1541, and refounded as Worcester College in 1714. Substantial medieval parts remain but the main buildings are 18th century.

More ... 


of Oxford Colleges, with links to more information

More Oxford on Astoft  (university buildings, churches, houses and streets)

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

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