St John's College was founded in 1555 by Thomas White, the Master of the Merchant Taylors' Company in London. Initially it was to a place of support for Roman Catholic clerics. It has been said that you can walk all the way from Oxford to Cambridge without ever having to take your foot off land owned by St John's College.
The Lamb & Flag is owned by St John's College, it has been a pub since 1566. Recent lock downs have had a devastating affect on footfall and as a result it ceased trading 31st January 2021.
St Giles Church was included in an endowment to the college by it's founder Thomas White. Previously the minister for St Giles had to be either a fellow or an ex-fellow of the college. Today the college still holds the right to present clergy for the position of bishop. The Oxford Playhouse was also included in the endowment.
The Oxford Playhouse is home to the Oxford University Dramatic Society.
Across from St John's College at the bottom of St Giles is the Taylorian Institute, a neoclassical building designed by Charles Cockerell. It is used by the faculty of medieval and modern languages.