New College

New College information

Oxford , England
Holywell St
+44 1865 279500
More information
adult/child £4/3
Opening hours
11am-5pm Easter-Oct, 2-4pm Nov-Feb
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Established in 1379, New College was the first in Oxford for undergraduates and is a fine example of the glorious Perpendicular Gothic style. The chapel is full of treasures, including superb medieval stained glass (much of it original) and Sir Jacob Epstein's disturbing statue of Lazarus. The 15th-century cloisters and 19th-century evergreen oak featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire . During term time, visitors can attend the beautiful Evensong, a choral church service held nightly at 6.15pm.

The college's dining hall is the oldest in Oxbridge. William Spooner was once a college warden here, and his habit of transposing the first consonants of words gave rise to the term 'spoonerism'. Other high-profile alumni include actors Hugh Grant and Kate Beckinsale.

New College is also famous for a bizarre medieval ritual. Every three years, the Lord Mayor of Oxford has to walk along the ruins of the city wall, which is part of New College, to fulfill a medieval obligation that the wall would be repaired if necessary (the walk is merely symbolic).

Access for visitors is through the New College Lane gate from Easter to early October and through the Holywell St entrance the rest of the year.