St Peter's College, Oxford

Coordinates: 51°45′10″N 1°15′39″W / 51.752762°N 1.260721°W / 51.752762; -1.260721
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St Peter's College
St Peter's from New Inn Hall Street.jpg
St Peter's College from New Inn Hall Street
St-Peters College Oxford Coat Of Arms.svg
Arms: Per pale vert and argent, to the dexter two keys in saltire or surmounted by a triple towered castle argent masoned sable and on the sinister a cross gules surmounted by a mitre or between four martlets sable, the whole within a bordure or.
LocationNew Inn Hall Street
Coordinates51°45′10″N 1°15′39″W / 51.752762°N 1.260721°W / 51.752762; -1.260721
Full nameThe Master, Fellows and Scholars of the College of St. Peter le Bailey in the University of Oxford
Latin nameCollegium Sancti Petri Juxta Ballium
Established1929 (attained full college status in 1961)
Named forSaint Peter
Church of St Peter-le-Bailey
Previous namesSt Peter's Hall (1929–1961)
Sister collegeNone
MasterJudith Buchanan
Undergraduates342[1] (2011/2012)
Boat clubBoatclub
St Peter's College, Oxford is located in Oxford city centre
St Peter's College, Oxford
Location in Oxford city centre

St Peter's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. Located on New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, United Kingdom, it occupies the site of two of the university's medieval halls dating back to at least the 14th century. The modern college was founded by Francis James Chavasse, former Bishop of Liverpool, opened as St Peter's Hall in 1929, and achieved full collegiate status as St Peter's College in 1961. Founded as a men's college, it has been coeducational since 1979.[2]

As of 2022, the college had an estimated financial endowment of £53.9 million.[3]


Medieval halls[edit]

Although founded in its current form in the 20th century, St Peter's occupies a central Oxford location on the site of two of the university's medieval halls. The first Master of St Peter's called the acquisition of the site "a chance of ages".[4]

The site was originally the location of Trilleck's Inn, later known as New Inn Hall, and Rose Hall. Trillecks' Inn was founded in the 14th century by Bishop Trilleck and, as New Inn Hall, merged into Balliol College in 1887. Rose Hall was given to New College by William of Wykeham. New College finally sold the site to the rector of St Peter-le-Bailey in 1859 and 1868 as a site for a new church, now the college chapel.[5]

St Peter's Hall[edit]

The history of the college in its present form began in 1923 when Francis James Chavasse, former Bishop of Liverpool, returned to Oxford. He was concerned at the rising cost of education in the older universities in Britain, and projected St Peter's as a college where promising students, who might otherwise be deterred by the costs of college life, could obtain an Oxford education.[6] After Francis James died in 1928, his son Christopher Chavasse launched a memorial appeal in his father's name to fund the project, raising £150,000 from donors including Ella Rowcroft to convert and build new buildings on the site.[4] St Peter's was licensed by the university as a hostel that year and opened with 13 residents.[6] The following year, 1929, it was recognised as a permanent private hall and grew to 40 students. A later significant benefactor was William Morris, 1st Viscount Nuffield, who would also found Nuffield College.[4]

During the Second World War, St Peter's Hall became home to evacuated students from Westfield College, a women's college of the University of London, and its students were boarded out to other colleges.[4]

St Peter's College[edit]

In 1947, St Peter's was reclassified as a 'new foundation', and was finally recognised as a full college in 1961 with the granting of a royal charter. In 1979, St Peter's started admitting women and became co-educational.[4]


St Peter's has a varied set of buildings, many of them much older than the college itself. The college has, in effect, adapted existing buildings to provide the collective facilities needed for college life, and built new ones to provide student accommodation.[citation needed]

Linton Quad[edit]

Linton House, the entrance to St Peter's, from New Inn Hall Street.
View of Linton House from Linton Quad.

Linton House, a Georgian rectory dating from 1797, stands on the east side of Linton Quad along New Inn Hall Street. It was originally built as the offices for the Oxford Canal Company and called Wyaston House. It was bought in 1878 by Canon Henry Linton who converted it to a rectory for the Church of St Peter-le-Bailey. Now known as Linton House, it serves as the porter's lodge (the entrance to the college) and is also home to the college library.[5][7]

On the south side of the quad stands the college chapel, the Church of St Peter-le-Bailey. Built in 1874 and incorporating some of the stone of an earlier church, it is the third church of that name on or close to the site since the 12th century.[8][9] Memorials to members of the Chavasse family in the chapel include Captain Noel Chavasse's original grave cross, a large bas-relief of Bishop Francis Chavasse at prayer and the Chavasse memorial window.[10]

The quad also includes the Latner building.[citation needed]

Hannington Quad[edit]

Hannington Hall, here viewed from New Inn Hall Street, is a surviving part of the New Inn Hall buildings.

In the Hannington Quad stands Hannington Hall. It dates from 1832 and is the only surviving part of New Inn Hall. The building was originally commissioned by John Cramer, principal of New Inn Hall, as student accommodation and was designed by architect Thomas Greenshields. When New Inn Hall was absorbed by Balliol in 1887 and most of New Inn Hall's buildings were demolished to make room for the Central Girls School building (now part of St Peter's Chavasse Quad), the Cramer building survived. It was bought by Reverend Talbot Rice, rector of St-Peter-le-Bailey, in 1897 and renamed after the Victorian missionary Bishop James Hannington. After the founding of St Peter's it was remodelled to function as the dining hall. [5]

The quad was formed by the construction of an accommodation block designed by Sir Herbert Baker and Fielding Dodd behind the older buildings.[11]

Chavasse Quad[edit]

Architect's drawing of the New Inn Hall Street schools by Leonard Stoke. The schools are now the Chavasse Building.

The Central Girls' School to the South of the original site of the college was designed by Leonard Stokes and completed in 1901.[12] It was converted into the college's Chavasse Building between 1984 and 1986[13] and provides living accommodation for students and seminar rooms. In 2018 the new Hubert Perrodo Building was completed offering further on-site accommodation and conference spaces.[citation needed] The Middle Common Room (MCR) for postgraduates, and a music room are also located in the Pastry School in the quad's southwest corner.

Mulberry Quad[edit]

Morris building.

The Mulberry Quad lies to the northwest of the Linton and provides for the direct access to the JCR. The Morris Building, currently student accommodation, was given by Lord Nuffield in memory of his mother, Emily Morris.[5] The Matthews block houses the JCR as well as the student-run bar. The Dorfman Centre lies in the northwest corner of the quad. Mulberry Quad also provides access to Bulwarks Lane.

Canal House[edit]

Canal House, the master's lodge, dates from the early 19th century.[citation needed]


St Peter's also has a few off-site accommodation blocks for students, a few minutes away from the main college site. St Thomas' Street and St George's Gate house undergraduates, while Paradise Street (which was officially opened in June 2008) houses postgraduates and fourth-year undergraduates.[citation needed]

Student life[edit]

The on-site student accommodation includes these Neo-Georgian rooms, known as Besse Staircase after Antonin Besse.

The student-run Junior Common Room organises a wide variety of social events throughout the academic year, ranging from formal events to celebrate such things as Burns Night (complete with haggis and poetry) to creatively themed parties that run into the early hours of the morning. The college is one of the few to feature its own student-edited arts magazine, Misc, which is published termly. The college also has a student-run college bar, which serves the Cross Keys cocktail.[14][15]


The college has sports teams competing in rowing, cricket, football, hockey, rugby, and pool. It shares with Exeter and Hertford Colleges a sports field which has two cricket pitches and pavilions, two rugby and football pitches, a hockey pitch, tennis courts and a squash court.[16]

The college boat club, St Peter's College Boat Club, competes regularly. The club shares a boathouse with Somerville College Boat Club, University College Boat Club and Wolfson College Boat Club.[citation needed]


Taking the original name of the college, GWR 6959 Class steam locomotive no. 7900 was built in 1949 for British Railways and named "Saint Peter's Hall" (no abbreviation). One of the brass nameplates from the now-scrapped locomotive survives in the college.[citation needed]

People associated with the college[edit]



Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Undergraduate numbers by college 2011–12". University of Oxford.
  2. ^ "College History |". Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  3. ^ "St Peter's College, University of Oxford : Annual Report & Financial Statements : For the year ended 31 July 2022" (PDF). p. 12. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e "College History". St Peter's College, Oxford. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d H E Salter and Mary D Lobel, ed. (1954). St Peter's Hall. A History of the County of Oxford. Vol. 3. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b Chavasse, Christopher (8 November 1930). "St Peter's Hall, Oxford". The Times: 8. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  7. ^ Historic England. "ST PETER'S COLLEGE, LINTON HOUSE (1046616)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  8. ^ Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, Janet Cooper, C J Day, T G Hassall, Mary Jessup and Nesta Selwyn. (1954). "Churches". St Peter-le-Bailey. A History of the County of Oxford. Vol. 4. Retrieved 18 July 2021.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. ^ Historic England. "ST PETERS COLLEGE, CHAPEL (CHURCH OF ST PETER LE BAILEY) (1369709)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Chavasse Family Papers". St Peters College, Oxford. Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  11. ^ Tyack, Geoffrey (1998). Oxford: An Architectural Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 284. ISBN 978-0198174233.
  12. ^ Whiting, R. C. (1993). Oxford: Studies in the History of a University Town Since 1800. Manchester University Press. p. 74. ISBN 9780719030574.
  13. ^ "90 Years of St Peter's College". Cross Keys. St Peter's College, Oxford. 2019. pp. 11–12. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  14. ^ "Undergraduate Study". St. Peter’s College, Oxford. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  15. ^ Marin, Matei (31 January 2017). "The St. Peter's College bar is the best in Oxford". The Tab. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  16. ^ Sports – St Peter's College, University of Oxford Archived 9 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Obituary". The Times. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  18. ^ "Professor Judith Buchanan elected next Master of St Peter's College". St Peter’s College, Oxford. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  19. ^ Profile – Robert Hanson in The Yorkshire Post dated 29 March 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2017
  20. ^ "Trustees and Other Fellowships | St Peter's College Oxford". Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  21. ^ "George Whipple – Society Reporter". Retrieved 6 June 2022.

External links[edit]