New College has one of the largest sites in central Oxford, but part of its charm is that it is essentially hidden. Our Founder, William of Wykeham, assembled a whole series of parcels of land within the medieval city wall, but from the outside the College is difficult to penetrate.
The original entrance was in New College Lane. This gatehouse carries the statues of the Founder, together with the Virgin Mary, to whom the College is dedicated, and the Archangel Gabriel. Above are the Warden's Lodgings, still today in their original position.
Wykeham was a prolific and passionate builder. His vision for the College was of an integrated complex: Chapel, Hall, Muniment Tower, Library and a range for tutors and students to live and work in, all built around a quadrangle. This was the first time a college had been set in this way, and it became a model for colleges in the future and around the world.
The Cloisters are a special haven of peace, and abut the western wall of the Chapel. They are famous now for a holm oak which featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where Draco Malfoy is turned into a white ferret.
The Chapel and Ante-Chapel
The soaring Ante-Chapel gives access to the Chapel itself, forming a 'T'-shape which subsequently became familiar in Oxford and Cambridge colleges. The spectacular reredos is a very successful recreation of the original; and the medieval stained glass is some of the finest surviving anywhere. The Founder's Crozier is displayed in a case - a masterpiece of medieval silver gilt, enamel and jewels. Jacob Epstein's moving statue of Lazarus stands in the Ante-Chapel.
The Dining Hall
The Hall, magnificently restored in 2003 and 2015, is the oldest and tallest in Oxford or Cambridge. Its Tudor linenfold panelling was given by our Old Members, Archbishop Warham, in the early 16th century.
The Garden Quadrangle
By the late 17th century, the College was growing. A new quadrangle, the Garden Quadrangle, was constructed, leading to the gardens, with their famous ornamental mound.
The 13th century City Walls enclose the garden and are in immaculate condition. Wykeham's original deal for the land with the City of Oxford has obliged us to maintain them ever since; and the walls are subject to a regular inspection by the Lord Mayor and Councillors. You can see the 2017 inspection here.
The Holywell Quadrangle
By the 19th century, the College was expanding again, and a major programme of development by two architects, George Gilbert Scott and Basil Champneys, created a large set of buildings along Holywell Street. They are dominated by Champney's Robinson Tower (named after a great 19th century Bursar), which now is the main entrance to the College, housing the Porters' Lodge.
Modernism - the Sacher Building
The College's foray into modernism can be seen in David Robert's 1960s Sacher Building, designed as the first purpose-built graduate accommodation in Oxford. It is splendidly approached through a hole in the City Wall, which frames a fine Barbara Hepworth work.
The College has recently completed a major refurbishment and extension of its premises in Longwall Street. These comprise a series of Grade II listed houses and the Morris Garages - the historic site where William Morris pioneered the manufacture of his motor cars. The Morris building had been converted to student accommodation some decades ago, but this had become degraded.
The Kimber Wing is a highly specified, fully accessible suite for two disabled students, and a carer. The rooms were designed by David Bonnett Associates, a leading specialist in accessible design.
The wing is named after Cecil Kimber, the brilliant collaborator of Lord Nuffield, because of its site next to the refurbished Morris Garages, where Kimber pioneered the MG motor car.
Clore Music Studios
The Clore Music Studios offer fantastic, dedicated music practice facilities, just two minutes' walk from the main College site.
The top floor contains two chamber studios; the first floor, four practice rooms; and the ground floor, a large rehearsal room for opera and drama. Designed by John McAslan and Partners, they were completed in January 2019.
New College is embarking on the fourth big expansion in its history.
To be named after Chris Gradel, an Old Member who has generously provided the core funding for the project, the Gradel Quadrangles are currently under construction. They will provide 99 student rooms (and another for a Junior Dean), as well as a flexible learning hub, and a performance hall.
We aim to make New College your home away from home.
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