One of the most intriguing colleges which was built around a section of the old city walls, giving it a castle-like appearance.
Despite its name, New College is one of the oldest of the Oxford colleges founded in 1379 by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, and the full name of the college is “The College of St Mary of Winchester in Oxford” (the second college in Oxford to be dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary). The name “New College”, however, soon came to be used following its completion in 1386 to distinguish it from the older existing college of St. Mary, now known as Oriel College.
New College was founded in conjunction with Winchester College (opened in 1394), which was envisaged as a feeder to the Oxford college, and the two institutions have striking architectural similarities: both were the work of master mason William Wynford.
The New College’s motto created by William of Wykeham.
Image credits: New College Cathedral by David Iliff, source Wikimedia.
Make sure you allow some time to walk in the garden which boasts the longest herbaceous border in the country to admire the colourful flower beds along the city wall. At the far end of the grounds is a large mound found in formal gardens during the Tudor period. Contrary to belief, the mound was not a burial ground and is purely decorative, intended as a viewing platform above the city wall.
Want to see more? Visit the full gallery and get to know New College better.
New College is considered to be one of the wealthiest colleges in Oxford University and the college’s grounds are among the largest of the Oxford University colleges. Like other colleges it has an impressive dining hall with huge oak beams across the top, as large as two feet square and forty-five feet long each.
The Hall is the oldest dining hall in either Oxford or Cambridge which also remains in daily use for student meals. It is also the tallest College Hall and normally seats 200.
The chapel is quite beautiful with a number of windows designed by the 18th-century portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds and contains works by Sir Jacob Epstein and El Greco.
The bell tower contains one of the oldest rings of ten bells, which is rung by the Oxford Society of Change Ringers and the Oxford University Society of Change Ringers.
The beautiful cloister and the famous 400 year old Holm Oak tree were featured in one of the Harry Potter films, quite spectacular regardless of whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not.
The cloister is oblong, having eight windows on its east and west sides and twelve on its north and south, which you can enter by a short passage from the chapel vestibule.
Oct-Easter 14.00-16.00 (via Holywell Street gates)
Easter-Oct 11.00-17.00 (via New College Lane gates)
Tickets and Prices:
Adults and seniors – £4
Under 16s and full time students – £3
Residents of Oxford (OX1-4) are permitted free entry during visitor hours.
Evensong at the New College Chapel:
Sundays – 18:00 Choral Evensong – Boys and Men
Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays – 18:15 Choral Evensong – Boys & Men Thursdays – 18:15 Sung Eucharist – Boys and Men