Magdalen College

  • 276000
  • 276103
  • High Street (map of this place)
  • OX1 4AU
  • 1 Oct-24 Jun: 1pm-6pm or dusk (whichever is the earlier); 25 June-30 Sept: 12pm-6pm

Magdalen is one of the largest colleges in Oxford, housing around 400 undergraduates and 250 graduates. It was founded in 1448 by William of Waynflete. It is also the only Oxford College to have its own herd of deer within the College's grounds.


For the visitor it offers some beautiful buildings and expansive quads, as well as extensive grounds and walks. The grounds are at their best in the Spring and Summer, but the buildings do look good all year round!

The Grove (Deer Park)

This large meadow occupies most of the north west of the college's grounds, from the New Buildings and the Grove Quad up to Hollywell Ford. During the winter and spring, it is the home the herd of deer. It is possible to view the meadow (and also the deer) from the path between New Buildings and Grove Quad, and also from the archway in New Buildings.

The Meadow (bounded by Addison's Walk)

This triangular meadow lies to the east of the college, bounded on all sides by the River Cherwell. In the spring, it is filled with the flower Fritillaria Meleagris (commonly known as Snakeshead Fritillary), which gives it an attractive green-purple colour. These flowers grow in very few places, and have been recorded growing in the meadow since around 1785. Once the flowering has finished, the deer are moved in for the Summer and Autumn (so if you can't see them in The Grove, they'll be here!). In wet winters, some or all of the meadow may flood, as the meadow is lower lying than the surrounding path. All around the edge of the meadow is a tree-lined path, Addison's Walk. It is a beautiful and tranquil walk, favoured by students, dons, and visitors alike. It also links the college with Hollywell Ford, and the Fellows' Garden. No visit to the college is complete without a walk around Addison's Walk.

The Fellows' Garden

Located to the north east of the Meadow, this long and (fairly) narrow garden follows the River Cherwell to the edge of the University Parks. In spring, the ground is covered with flowers. In summer, there are some flowers, many different shrubs, and the varied trees provide dappled cover from the sun. It is linked to Addison's Walk by a bridge.

The Great Tower

The Great Tower was built between 1492 and 1509, and is an imposing landmark on the easter approaches to the city centre. It provides stunning views of the city, but alas only College members and their guests are allowed up it. Good views of it can be had from Magdalen Bridge, and from the Chaplins Quad. It is illuminated at night, which can provide a very nice photo op.

The Cloisters and New Building

The Cloisters was originally built in the fifteenth century, and despite been altered several times since then, still has much of its medeaval character. To the north of it is the New Building, built in 1733.


The entrance charges are as follows: Adults £3; seniors, children, students £2. No charge for residents of Oxford. Price includes leaflet, available in English, French, German, Spanish & Japanese.

Famous Alumni

Some of its more famous alumni are C.S. Lewis, Oscar Wilde, Dr. Erwin Schrödinger, and Dudley Moore. The Wikipedia entry for the college has a larger list.

OS X co-ord: 452060     OS Y co-ord: 206213     (Latitude: 51.751734 Longitude: -1.245754)
Last edited 2013-11-28 11:01:31 (version 48; diff). List all versions.