List of fictional Oxford colleges
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Fictional colleges are found in many modern novels, films, and other works of fiction, probably because they allow the author greater licence for invention and a reduced risk of being accused of libel or slander, as might happen if the author depicted unsavory events as occurring at a real-life institution. Below is a list of some of the fictional colleges of the University of Oxford.
His Dark Materials
- Cardinal's College
- Foxe College
- Gabriel College
- Jordan College
- Queen Philippa's College
- St Michael's College –
- St Scholastica's College
- St Sophia's College
- Wordsworth College
- Wykeham College
The Inspector Morse series of books by Colin Dexter is predominantly set within Oxford and its environs, including the University. Consequently, many fictional colleges are named. The derived television series, Inspector Morse, Lewis and Endeavour, continue this practice.
|Alfreda's College||Endeavour T: "Fugue"||Trinity|
|Arnold College||Inspector Morse T|
|Baidley College||Endeavour T: "Home"||Last episode of Season 1||Keble|
|Beaufort College||Inspector Morse T||Named after Henry Beaufort, a Plantagenet royal and Chancellor of the University of Oxford from 1397 to 1399|
|Beaumont College||Inspector Morse novels||Beaumont Street is a short street in central Oxford. One end emerges opposite Balliol's side entrance, and it extends to the front of Worcester. Beaumont Street was formerly the site of Beaumont Palace, perhaps the "location" of the college.|
|Benison College||Lewis, episode "Intelligent Design" Series 7 episodes 5/6|
|Carlyle College||Lewis, episode "The Soul of Genius"||Exeter|
|Chaucer College||Lewis||Based on Merton College. Named after Geoffrey Chaucer, whose son Thomas also managed the affairs of Henry Beaufort, Oxford's Chancellor.|
|Courtenay College||Inspector Morse T||Based on Oriel. Nuneham Courtenay is a village 5 miles south-east of Oxford; in the 14th century, the village belonged to the influential Courtenay family. Nuneham House now belongs to the University.|
|Gresham College||Lewis, episode "Dark Matter"||Stand-in for Lincoln. The "Invisible College" was a group of Oxford scientists (including Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren) who went on to establish the Royal Society. The group met at Gresham College in London.|
|Lady Matilda's College||Lewis episode "Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things"; Endeavour episode "Home"||Amalgamation of Lady Margaret Hall and St Hilda's||Lady Margaret Hall|
|Lonsdale College||Inspector Morse novels and subsequent Lewis T||College attended by Endeavour Morse.||Brasenose.|
|Lovelace College||Endeavour TV series; "Game", the first episode of Season 4||St Catherine's.|
|Mayfield College||Lewis episode "Life Born of Fire"||Mayfield Press is based in Cowley Road; the nearest college would be Greyfriars on Iffley Road.||In and around Brasenose|
|Penville||Lewis episode "Old School Ties"||The leader of the Oxford Union says she usually lives here; this is presumably a reference to her fictional college.|
|St Gerard's Hall||Lewis episode "Wild Justice"||Fictional Permanent Private Hall||St Edmund Hall and Christ Church; exterior of college filmed at New College, with a barn entrance in New College Lane.|
|St Jude's College||Lewis|
|St Saviour's College||Inspector Morse, episode "Fat Chance"||New College|
|St Sebastian's College||Lewis episode "Lions of Nemea"||St Edmund Hall|
|Savile College||Lewis||In and around Trinity|
|Wolsey College||Inspector Morse
novels and Endeavour
|Based on Christ Church: Cardinal Wolsey founded Christ Church.|
Jude the Obscure
- Biblioll College
- Cardinal College
- Crozier College
- Oldgate College
- Rubric College
- Sarcophagus College
- Sepulchre College
- Tudor College
Loss and Gain
- Saint Saviour's (the college of the main character, Charles Reding)
- All Saints
- Leicester College
- Nun's Hall
- All Saints College – North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Stand-in for All Souls College.
- Baillie College – Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, attended by successive Cabinet Secretaries, Sir Arnold Robinson and Sir Humphrey Appleby. A very thinly veiled stand-in for Balliol; in several episodes Sir Humphrey Appleby is seen wearing a Balliol tie, and in the 2011 stage play version, Appleby is stated as having gone to Balliol, not "Baillie."
- Bartlemas College – Kate Ivory detective novels by Veronica Stallwood. Takes its name from St Bartholomew's Chapel, part of Oriel College.
- Bede College – Operation Pax by Michael Innes (pseudonym of J. I. M. Stewart). Allusion to the Old English polymath Bede, whose histories give us the account of St Hilda, from whom St Hilda's College, Oxford takes its name
- Brazenface College – Verdant Green by Cuthbert Bede. Very thinly veiled reference to Brasenose College.
- Cape College – A notoriously political college, which was once located to the east of Magdalen Bridge.
- Cardinal College – A Yank at Oxford. Based on Christ Church: Christ Church was founded by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey as "Cardinal College" in 1525.
- Charsley College – The Casual Ward by A. D. Godley
- Clapperton College – The Oxford Virus by Adam Kolczynski. Based on Christ Church.
- Episcopus College – Where the Rivers Meet and Comedies by John Wain
- Hacker College – The Complete Yes Minister
- Judas College – Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm. Based on Merton College.
- The King's College (known as "Dick's" after its founder Richard II) – Colonel Butler's Wolf and Our Man in Camelot by Anthony Price. "The King's College" is another name for Oriel College; Richard II has no historically significant involvement with Oxford.
- Kingsbridge College – World Without End and A Column of Fire by Ken Follett
- Lancaster College – Incense for the Damned, a Peter Cushing horror film set partially in Oxford, based on Doctors Wear Scarlet by Simon Raven
- Lazarus College – Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope; several novels by Angela Thirkell, beginning with Summer Half (1937); and The Secret World massively multiplayer online role-playing game
- Magog College – A Study in Sorcery by Michael Kurland/Randall Garrett
- Mandeville College – The Crime of the Communist, a Father Brown story by G. K. Chesterton
- Old College – Lot No. 249 by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Pentecost College – Montague Egg short story "Murder at Pentecost", Hangman's Holiday by Dorothy L. Sayers
- Persephone College – Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay. Women's college based on St Hilda's, Hay's old college.
- Plymouth College – North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Alludes to Exeter College.
- Raleigh College – The Oxford Inheritance by Ann A. McDonald
- St Ambrose's College – Tom Brown at Oxford by Thomas Hughes. Probably based on Oriel College); filmed at Oriel.
- St Bride's College – Michaelmas Term at St Bride's, by Brunette Coleman (Philip Larkin), St Bride's is recognisably based on Somerville College.
- St Christopher's College – The Case of the Gilded Fly and The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin. Located on the north side of St John's (Crispin's old college) at the junction of St Giles' and Banbury Road.
- St Clements College – An elusive college housing Law and Politics students
- St David's College – A Study in Sorcery by Michael Kurland/Randall Garrett
- St George's College – Yes Minister TV series – This college existed according to this British History Page
- St Jerome's College – Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton: on St Giles', with echoes of Somerville College (Skelton's alma mater); also, The Reluctant Cannibals by Ian Flitcroft (south of High Street)
- St Joseph's College – Rumpole series by John Mortimer
- St Jude's College – Formosa by Dion Boucicault; August Folly by Angela Thirkell (also in Lewis; see above)
- St Matthew's College – The Dimension Riders by Daniel Blythe
- St Margaret's College – Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. Probably based on Lady Margaret Hall.
- St Mark's College – The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford; Patrick Grant crime novels by Margaret Yorke; The Stars' Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry
- St Mary's College – Sinister Street by Compton Mackenzie (based closely on Magdalen College, MacKenzie's old college); and The Poison Tree by Tony Strong (based on St Peter's College)
- St Paul's College – Ravenshoe by Henry Kingsley; August Folly by Angela Thirkell
- St Severin's College – The Late Scholar by Jill Paton Walsh using Dorothy L. Sayers' characters
- St Sexburga's College – Horace Sippog and the siren's song by Su Walton
- St Simeon's College – Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay. Located approximately on the site of Lady Margaret Hall
- St Thomas' College – An Oxford Tragedy and The Case of the Four Friends by John Cecil Masterman. St Thomas the Martyr's Church is located near Osney, and belongs to Christ Church.
- Scone College – Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh; Something Nasty in the Woodshed and The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery by Kyril Bonfiglioli, in whose novels Scone College represents Balliol College. King John de Balliol was crowned king at Scone, Scotland in 1292.
- Shrewsbury College – Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. Women's college, based on Somerville College, Sayers' old college, but located on the site of Balliol's cricket ground’ in Jowett Walk.
- Simon Magus College – Let Dons Delight by Ronald Knox.
- Tresingham College – The Oxford Virus by Adam Kolczynski. Based on Keble College.
- Warlock College – Landscape with Dead Dons by Robert Robinson
- An unnamed college in A Staircase in Surrey, a quintet of novels by J. I. M. Stewart, based on Christ Church, but never named; Surrey is the name of a quadrangle within the college.
- In Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series, Oxford's Bodleian Library has a secret part, known and accessible only to practitioners of Magic and containing among other things the secret writings of Isaac Newton on this subject.
- Colleges of the University of Oxford
- List of fictional Cambridge colleges
- List of fictional Oxbridge colleges
- School and university in literature
- St Hilda's College History Archived 2010-10-31 at the Wayback Machine., st-hildas.ox.ac.uk
- Motion, Andrew: Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life (London: Faber and Faber, 1993), pp. 93–96
- Somerville Stories – Dorothy L Sayers Archived 5 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine., Somerville College, University of Oxford, UK.