All Souls College
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All Souls College information
One of the wealthiest of Oxford’s colleges and one of several graduate colleges, though it doesn’t accept just any old Oxford graduate. Each year, the university’s top finalists sit a fellowship exam, with an average of only two making the grade annually. All Souls was founded in 1438 as a centre of prayer and learning, and today fellowship of the college is one of the highest academic honours in the country.
Much of the college facade dates from the 1440s and, unlike other older colleges, the front quad is largely unchanged in five centuries. It also contains a beautiful 17th-century sundial designed by Christopher Wren. Most obvious, though, are the twin mock-Gothic towers on the north quad. Designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor in 1710, they were lambasted for ruining the Oxford skyline when first erected.