If you find yourself at Christ Church, walk up its 16th century staircase and go into the Grand Hall. On the walls are many portraits, the one directly to your right is Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll who wrote Alice in Wonderland, he was an Oxford Mathematician Don. A statue of Mercury stands in the pond of Tom Quad. He holds in his hand, a staff known as a caduceus, a symbol of commerce. He is magnificent.
Corpus Christi is situated on Merton Street, a cobble stoned nightmare if you're on your bike. However, a delight if you're creating pictures. The college is flanked by Oriel and shares composition space with Christ Church. Look up at the oriel window above and notice the beautiful detail of the stonework of the battlements overhead and wait for the delightful surprise when you go into the quad.
Exeter College stands on Turl Street in Oxford. It is the fourth oldest college in Oxford. It was founded in 1314 by Walter de Stapledon who became treasurer to Edward II. Exeter College gardens are renowned for their beauty and for the views they give of Radcliffe square. JRR Tolkien was a former student. "Floreat Exon.", meaning "Let Exeter Flourish", is the College motto.
Harris Manchester: beautiful. Thomas Worthington, 19th century architect, designed the building. Because of his socialist and Unitarian views he was often asked to design public buildings such as libraries, work houses and baths. Harris Manchester chapel is alsol worth visiting. The chapel windows are by the firm Morris & Co and the window cartoons are designed by Edward Burne-Jones.
Hertford College can be found on Catte Street in Oxford opposite the Bodlein Library. It is renowned for the Bridge of Sighs, a skywalk joining two Hertford College buildings together over New College Lane. Jonathon Swift, Evelyn Waugh and Fiona Bruce are former students. It's not generally mentioned but it has fabulous chimneys tops.
Jesus College was founded by Elizabeth I in 1571. The coat of arms features three white stags against a primary green background. It is situated right in the middle of the city, and stands on Turl Street, Cornmarket Street, Ship Street and Market Street. Wander down Turl Street and view it from Exeter College, the building has an understated beauty.
Lady Margaret Hall was the first all woman college in Oxford. It admitted men in 1979. The college grounds sit on the River Cherwell. The Talbot Building stands out strong. The magnificent structure was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield in the French Renaissance style. Quirky and grand, the building stands out for its lovely red brick colouring.
Basil Champney designed the main building of the college, which houses the main library, law library and theology library. The Victorian architecture is very distinctive. In the middle of the first quad, an Anthony Gormely sculpture stands. It is called 'Present Time' and if seen when the sun is shining, casts the shape of the cross on the quad.
Lincoln College has a fabulously long name, 'The College of the Blessed Mary and All Saints, Lincoln. Lincoln has strong ties with All Saints Church of St Michael of the Northgate and houses its library there . The creeper which covers most of the front quad walls is the Virginia Creeper. Lincoln college facade looks onto Turl Street. Most of the properties on Turl Street are owned by the college.
Merton College was established in 1264 by Walter de Merton, Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Rochester. One of the most unusual and striking visual aspects of Merton is the sculpure over the gatehouse. The artist is unknown. It's not quite clear what the sculpure symoblises but there are obvious biblical as well as mystical references. Try and spot the unicorn and the jumping rabbit in the foreground.
Established in 1379
New College is situated right in the heart of the city. The college looks onto Holywell Street. The chapel is magnificent. A sculpure by Jacob Epstein stands at the opening. Works by Sir Joshua Reynolds and El Greco are on show and the reredos provided by Sir Gilbert Scott are populated with statues. Go to evensong, the New College choir is purported to be one of the best in the world.
Founded in 1326
Oriel College is the 'oldest royal foundation' in Oxford. The present Queen Elizabeth II is the royal visitor to Oriel. Hugh Grant's first film, 'Privileged' was filmed at Oriel as well as many Inspector Morse episodes. The arms on the college are based on the arms of its founder Edward II, this consists of three white lions against a red background. Oriel Square is actually recognised as part of the A420.