Monday, 4 October 2010

Second Year at New College

...or to give it its proper title 'The College of St Mary' - (this "official" name - is the same as that of Oriel College. Hence "the new college of St Mary" which is shortened to New College. It was founded in in 1379 by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester.)

And here we see a second year student making her way to her new room with rather a lot of luggage.

The stunning herbaceous border (said to be the largest in th UK according to Wikipedia) in front of part of the Oxford City Wall. One-twelfth of the whole wall was incorporated into New College, and it has survived virtually intact. The picture shows the inside of the North wall and one of the five bastions within the New College Grounds. When William of Wykeham founded the College, he formally agreed to maintain the City Wall when he acquired the land on which to build the College. Every three years the Lord Mayor and Corporation of the City of Oxford take a walk along the Wall to make sure that the obligation is being fulfilled

The Chapel, home to the famous New College Choir.

Entrance to rather a lot of stairs which lead to second year accomodation.

The view from the doorway above across the front quadrangle to the Muniment Tower where the College records are kept. On the side of the tower is a sundial which was made in the summer of 1999 by the noted stonecarver and diallist Harriet James. It measures 15 by 17 feet, and is carved directly into the stone of the tower. (MM for 2000 and WW for William of Wyckham)

This view shows the approach to the College down New College Lane with the outer wall of the Cloisters on the left and the Wardens Lodgings on the left. Above the Front gate is a statue of the Virgin Mary recalling the college's proper name. The gate leads into the front quadrangle. The small open window high and to the right belongs to the second year student who arrived today.

At the beginning of New College Lane is the famous 'Bridge of Sighs' (so called as it supposedly is similar to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice). The bridge links together the Old and New Quadrangles of Hertford College.

The Sheldonian Theatre viewed from under the bridge - the theatre was erected in 1664-8 to a design by Sir Christopher Wren.

Did you know (I didn't) that William Spooner was warden of New College from 1903 to 1924. In all he spent 62 years of his life here, and became one of Oxford's best loved characters. He was an albino, with poor eyesight, famously remembered for "spoonerisms" - accidently transposing the inital letters of words. (

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