Macdonald Randolph Hotel

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For other places with the same name, see Randolph Hotel (disambiguation).
General view of the Randolph Hotel, looking southwest from the southern end of St Giles' Street, with the Martyrs' Memorial on the left.
View of the hotel from the east, again with the Martyr's Memorial on the left and Beaumont Street on the right.
A close up of the exterior of the hotel facing Magdalen Street.

Macdonald Randolph Hotel ("The Randolph") is a hotel in Oxford, England. It is in central Oxford on the south side of Beaumont Street, at the corner with Magdalen Street, opposite the Ashmolean Museum and close to the Oxford Playhouse. The hotel's architecture is Victorian Gothic in style.

The hotel featured in the Inspector Morse television series several times, in particular in the episode entitled "The Wolvercote Tongue". The cast stayed at the hotel during filming in 1987 and there is now a Morse Bar.[1]

It is only relatively recently[when?] that Macdonald Hotels Ltd officially renamed the Randolph Hotel as the "Macdonald Randolph Hotel".


The Randolph Hotel was built in 1864 by William Wilkinson,[2][3] an architect who also designed many houses in North Oxford.[citation needed] There was debate about the building's design.[citation needed] John Ruskin favoured Gothic revival like the nearby Martyrs' Memorial. The City Council wanted a classical style since the rest of Beaumont Street was early 19th century Regency. A compromise was attained with a simplified Gothic façade, similar to the Oxford University Museum and the Oxford Union buildings, but in brick.

The hotel was named not after Lord Randolph Churchill, who was connected with Blenheim Palace to the north of Oxford, but because it was near the Randolph Gallery in the new Ashmolean Museum opposite.[citation needed] The gallery was built as a result of a thousand pound gift left by Dr Francis Randolph, a former Principal of St Alban Hall (now part of Merton College), who died in 1796.

The hotel was opened in 1866.[4] Major refurbishments of the hotel were undertaken in 1952, 1978, 1988 and 2000. During the 1952 renovations, an extension was added to the west, designed by J. Hopgood.[3] The building is Grade II listed.[4]


  1. ^ Food and Drink at the Macdonald Randolph Hotel, Oxford.
  2. ^ Tyack, Geoffrey (1998). Oxford An Architectural Guide. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. p. 243. ISBN 0-19-817423-3. 
  3. ^ a b Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Penguin Books. pp. 324–325. ISBN 0-14-071045-0. 
  4. ^ a b "Macdonald Randolph Hotel". Yahoo! Travel: UK & Ireland. Yahoo!. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
The Randolph is located in Oxford city centre
The Randolph
The Randolph
Location of The Randolph within central Oxford

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°45′18″N 1°15′35″W / 51.7550°N 1.2596°W / 51.7550; -1.2596