Below is a list of Oxford colleges and their details. Why not generate your own personalised itinerary using our Oxford University College Planning Tool by clicking the link.
Worcester College Worcester College was founded in 1714, but it was preceded by a learning institution in the late thirteenth century that was a college for Benedictine monks. The college buildings are a clever mixture of modern and old, and in fact there is a row of mediaevil cottages that are amongsth the oldest residential buildings in Oxford today. While Worcester is in the centre of Oxford today, it used to be on the edge of the city in tghe eighteenth century. As a result the college has been able to retain 26 acres of gardens, boasting a lovely duck pond and playing fields for all sports within college grounds - certainly a rarity in Oxford today.
Magdalen College Magdalen College is one of the more beautiful University colleges, boasting a stunning deer park and extensive grounds. The college was founded in 1458, and is currently one of the wealthiest of the Oxford colleges, boasting a financial endowment of about £ 115 million. Standing next to the river Cherwell and containing a deer park, the college is one of the most visited. The large, square Magdalen Tower is a famous Oxford Landmark from the top of which the college choir traditionally sings early on May Morning. While the choir sing, students will often be seen launching themselves off the Magdalen Bridge into the river Cherwell in drunken celebration of May Day.
Balliol College Balliol College has a strong academic reputation and has a legitimate claim to being the oldest college at Oxford University, founded in 1263. Balliol is a college in high demand, receiving the most applications by undergraduate and graduate students alike, as well as a higher than average mix of international students. Traditionally, the undergraduates are the most politically active of all the colleges. Perhaps the most endearing aspect of the Balliol was its devotion to the college tortoise, called Rosa, after the German Marxist Rosa Luxembourg. Sadly Rosa has not been seen for about 2 years, and it looks like her long life may have come to a peaceful end.
Trinity College Trinity College is one of the smaller Oxford colleges in terms of student numbers, but it occupies an exceptionally spacious site with some of the most beautiful gardens and buildings in Oxford. Trinitys buildings also have many notable features. On the top of the West Tower sit four female statues, which represent Astronomy, Geometry, Medicine, and Theology. The Chapel, though relatively modest in size compared to some of its Oxford counterparts, is also of particular note, being the first College chapel to be designed entirely in the neoclassical style. The noted architect Sir Christopher Wren is said to have assisted in its design.
New College New College was founded in 1379, about 200 years after the University came into existence. It is one of the largest and best-known colleges, and undeniably one of the most beautiful. Interestingly, the true name of the college is College of St. Mary. New College was founded by the Bishop of Winchester, William of Wykeham, in conjunction with the equally famous school for boys, Winchester College. The college benefits from some of the most stunning grounds and buildings, with the Cloisters and Chapel of particular beauty. However, New College is also known internationally for its chapel choir.
Lincoln College Lincoln is one of the oldest academic institutions in the world, founded in 1427 by the Bishop of Lincoln, Richard Fleming. As one would expect, it has a rich architectural heritage as a result. Its Front Quadrangle is one of the least altered of all such structures and remains for many of the college?s sons and daughters the most evocative of images, with its fifteenth-century facade, its unvaryingly verdant lawn and its rich shroud of Virginia creeper turning from green to scarlet every autumn. Its medieval hall, its seventeenth-century chapel, and its baroque library are all buildings of exceptional importance and visual appeal.
Brasenose College One of the more attractive Oxford colleges, based at the heart of the University, Brasenose was founded in 1509 by Sir Richard Sutton, a lawyer, and William Smyth, a Bishop of Licoln. Brasenose was built on the site of Brasenose Hall, a medaevil lodging house that grew into a seat of learning. Brasenose features as Lonsdale College in the Inspector Morse novels and TV adaptations, as well as Brazenface College in the Cuthbert Bede comic novel of the 19th century, Verdant Green, an Oxford Freshman.
St. Hilda's College St. Hildas was founded as an Oxford hall for women in 1893 by Dorothea Beale, Principal of the Cheltenham Ladies' College. It is the only remaining college today that admits only female students, although proposals have been made to admit male students in 2009. St. Hildas students were the subject of a Channel 4 documentary, College Girls.
Lady Margaret Hall Lady Margaret Hall admitted its first seven students in October 1879 as the first college only for women. They pioneered women's higher education in Oxford, entering a world of learning that had for centuries been a male monopoly. When the college celebrated its centenary, the foundation seven had increased to four hundred, including postgraduate as well as undergraduate students. The college was named after Lady Margaret Beaufort, a medaevil noblewoman and mother of King Henry VII, known for her exceptional learning. The original house of the college, The Old Hall, is still in use. Lady Margaret Hall decided to admit male students for the first time in 1979.
Keble College Keble College was founded in 1870 by Edward Pusey and named after his colleague John Keble, who actually died 4 years before the foundation of the college. The buildings were designed by architect, William Butterfield, who produced a masterpiece in Victorian gothic with quite distinctive design - red, blue and white bricks. Keble houses the original William Hunt painting, The Light of the World, in a side room off the chapel. The version of this painting in St. Pauls Cathedral in London is, in fact, a copy.
Christ Church One of the more attractive Oxford colleges, boasting some truly stunning works of architecture. The college was also the location for the Harry Potter films, a must see for all Harry Potter fans, and home to author Lewis Caroll in his student days. Christ Church, founded in 1546, appears to be one of the more aristocratic colleges, producing thirteen British Prime Ministers, more than any other college in Oxford or Cambridge college. Christ Church is also the only college in England that is also a cathedral, which also boasts the world famous Christ Church choir.
All Souls All Souls was founded in 1438 by Henry VI and Henry Chichele. The Statutes provided for the Warden and forty fellows - all to take Holy Orders, twenty-four to study arts, philosophy and theology, and sixteen to study civil or canon law. Today the College is primarily an academic research institution. The college is a bit of an oddity in Oxford as its members automatically become fellows, full members of the college governing body.
Merton College Merton College was founded in 1264. It is one of three ancient Oxford colleges founded in the thirteenth century. The College buildings, set in extensive gardens and grounds, are of exceptional historical and aesthetic interest. The Library is probably the oldest surviving working library in the United Kingdom, and the Hall, Chapel, Lodge and Mob Quadrangle also date from the Colleges early years.
Pembroke College Founded in 1624, Pembroke College is concentrated in its traditional site in the centre of Oxford but it has a fine new building on the Thames, as well as its own renovated graduate facilities close by the College. The main site is particularly attractive, being primarily built between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries with Cotswold stone.
Corpus Christi Corpus Christi was founded in 1517 by Richard Fox, the Bishop of Winchester. Although intended as a traditional training college for secular clergy, under the influence of Hugh Oldham it became the foremost humanist enterprise in Oxford, the model for many subsequent foundations. Its 16th and 18th century buildings are some of the most beautiful in Oxford, and it enjoys an unrivalled position, overlooking gardens and meadows yet within five minutes walk of the city centre and the Bodleian Library. ' - @ &
Exeter College Still situated in its original location on Turl Street, Exeter College was founded in 1314 by Walter de Stapeldon of Devon, Bishop of Exeter and later treasurer to Edward III, who intended it as a school to educate clergy. During its first century, it was known as Stapeldon Hall and was significantly smaller, with just twelve to fourteen students. The college grew significantly from the 15th century onward, and began offering rooms to its students. It was at this time that the Chapel ? a small-scale replica of the Sainte Chappelle in Paris ? was built. The present Hall was built in the year 1618 with the rest of the college completed by 1710.
St. Johns College St. Johns was founded by Sir Thomas White, a merchant, in 1555 and is now the wealthiest of Oxford colleges with an estimated fortune of £220 million. As a measure of his devotion to the college, his heart is buried in the chapel! The college comprises seven quadrangles, including the former St. Bernards monastery that is now the Front Quad, adn the Dolphin Quad that was built on the site of the Dolphin Inn. Interestingly, St. Johns owns a number of properties outside its walls, including The Eagle and Child pub that was the frequent watering hole for authors J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.
Oriel College Fifth oldest of the Oxford colleges, Oriel can at least claim to be the oldest royal foundation in Oxford, a title formerly claimed by University College. The full name of the college is The House of Blessed Mary the Virgin in Oxford, but most would consider this a bit of a mouthful. Oriel was founded in 1324, but the name Oriel was not used until 1349, probably referring to a balcony windown, known as an oriel window. Nothing survives of the original buildings, but what has been built in its place deserves to be seen, particularly the three quadrangles.
Somerville College Somerville was one of the first colleges for women to be founded, but started to admit male students in 1994. The college started in 1878 as The Association for the Higher Education of Women, but the society broke into two factions that founded Somerville and Lady Margaret Hall. The college was named after Mary Somerville, one of the greatest mathematicians in the 19th century.
Jesus College Jesus College was founded in 1571, occupying in part the site of the earlier White Hall, which had existed for several hundred years from the 13th century up until 1570, just before Jesus began. Jesus was founded by eight commissioners, of whom Hugh Price is often credited as the main force, and received its Royal Charter from Elizabeth I. Jesus has a particular association with Wales and is often referred to as the Welsh college. The college is also home to the university's Professor of Celtic, and a specialist Celtic library in addition to the college's normal library. To reflect this connection, the college's undergraduate gossip sheet is entitled The Sheepshagger in allusion to a racist joke about Welsh people's penchant for sheep. Furthermore, the Welshness of the College is self-perpetuating, as Welsh students will often apply to Jesus because it is seen as the Welsh college. To this day there is a larger proportion of Welsh undergraduates than in other colleges.
Wadham College Wadham College was founded by Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham, wealthy Somerset landowners, during the reign of King James I in 1610. Although it is one of the youngest of the historic colleges, Wadham has some of the oldest and best preserved buildings, a result of the rash of rebuilding that occurred throughout Oxford during the 17th century. Wadhams front quad, which served as almost the entire college until the mid 20th century, is the first example of the Jacobean Gothic style that was adopted for many of the Universitys buildings. A dramatic expansion since 1952 has made use of a range of 17th and 18th century houses, a converted warehouse originally built to store bibles, and several modern buildings designed by Gillespie, Kidd and Coia and McCormac Jamieson Prichard. It also includes the Holywell Music Room, the oldest such building in Europe. Under the original statutes, women were forbidden from entering the college, with the exception of a laundress who was to be of such age, condition, and reputation as to be above suspicion. These rules were relaxed over the years, and in 1974 they were altered to allow for the admission of women as full members of college at all levels. In fact, Wadham was the first historically all male college to have a female student.
St. Catherines College Commonly known as St Catz, St Catherines College is one of the largest university colleges in Oxford. Founded in 1962, the college exhibits a innovative and modern architecture, designed by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen. The combination of glass and concrete form a striking, if not unconventional vision.
St. Edmund Hall Better known to the locals as Teddy Hall, St. Edmund Hall is estimated to have been founded in 1225 and was named after St Edmund of Abingdon, the first known Oxford Master of Arts and the first Oxford educated Archbishop of Canterbury. St Edmund Hall began life as one of the ancient Aularian houses, the mediaeval halls that laid the foundation of the University, preceding the creation of the first colleges. As the only surviving mediaeval hall, its members are known as Aularians. St. Edmund Hall took on the status of a college in 1957, though retaining the historical moniker of Hall. The student body has long been known for prowess in sport, especially rugby. More recently, it has also demonstrated strengths in journalism, drama, and student politics. If there is one thing for certain, you are likely to find more Oxford Blues in Teddy Hall than in other colleges of Oxford!