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Founded 1624


Pembroke College was founded by King James I in 1624. A footbridge was recently introduced to connect the existing college to its new buildings. One of the features of the walkway which is particularly elegant, is the single sheet used as a balustrade. This gives the footbridge a very airy, light look. 


Founded 1341


Queen’s College was founded in 1341 by Robert Eglesfield in honour of Edward III’s wife, Queen Philippa of Hainault. Interestingly enough, the statue under the cupola is not of Queen Philippa but Queen Caroline. The front of the building was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor. According to The Univeral British Directory of 1791, the frontage was designed in the ‘style of the Luxembourg Palace’.


Founded 1879


St Anne’s College was originally founded in 1879 as The Society of Oxford Home-Students. The clean lines and simple block structures of the 1964 Wolfson and Rayne Building is very distinctive. Modern architectural buildings tend to make good use of glass and this building does not disappoint. The boxlike windows are a key focal point of the design. 




Founded 1963


St Catherine’s was founded in 1963 by the British Historian Alan Bullock. The distinctive architectural design of the college and its interior are down to Arne Jacobsen. He retained the traditional quadrangle layout while sourcing modern materials to do it. An example of this is the dining room which has a Cumberland slate floor. 


Founded 1886


Elizabeth Wordsworth, the great niece of William Wordsworth founded St Hugh’s in 1886 in order to help women afford the education available without having to live beyond their means; a hundred years later in 1986 St Hugh’s also admitted male students. Former students include Aung San Suu Kyi, Barbara Castle and Theresa May. 


Brian Ferry March 2012


It has been said, that St John's owns the whole of one side of St Giles. It is a striking row of buildings which can be best viewed from the Randolph Hotel window. St John's is the wealthiest college in Oxford. The College was founded in 1555 ostensibly for Roman Catholics to study as clerics.  Thomas Hardy allegedly wrote most of Jude the Obscure here. 


Founded 1929


St Peter's College in Oxford is

based on New Inn Hall Street.

It was founded in 1929 by

Francis mes Chavasse, Bishop

of Liverpool. The Bishop wanted

to provide a place in Oxford

where promising students could

obtain a degree without incurring huge debts brought about by

daily living costs. Yellow and

green are the colours of the

College.  Reverand Awdry,

creator of Thomas the Tank Engine attended St Peters.


Founded 1249


University College was founded in 1249. In my mind, it will always be associated  the famous William Turner painting of the Oxford High Street currently hanging in the Ashmolean. Look across those beautiful stone steps, raise your head up, and look squarely at the niche above. The portly Mary is standing in all her glory; if you look further along the building  you can see her sister Anne.


Founded 1714


Worcester college was founded in 1714 by Sir Thomas Cookes. It was named after the county of Worcestershire. The architectural styles are diverse. In the first quad, an imposing neoclassical building faces a row of residential cottages called, 'The Cottages', said to be the oldest in Oxford. The College holds a commemoration ball every three years in June. Former students include Russel T. Davis and Emma Watson.


Founded 1879


Somerville Hall was founded in 1879 by social liberals who wanted to give women a chance of an Oxford Education. The college was named after the Scottish mathematician and scientist Mary Somerville. Despite Margaret Thatcher being  it’s most famous alumna, the college  is regarded as one of the most liberal of the University. 


Founded 1610


Wadham College was founded by Dorothy Wadham in 1610. Despite overseeing the purchase of the land and the employment of the architect and College staff, Dorothy Wadham never actually visited Oxford. Nevertheless she was a great supporter. The architect was William Arnold and the building is an example of Oxford Gothic. The Holywell Music Hall is contained within the College grounds.

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