- Walton Street, Oxford (map of this place)
- OX1 2HB
- Gardens open to the public free of charge between 2 and 5 p.m.
Founded in 1714 on the site of the 13th-century Gloucester Hall, Worcester College is one of the largest and prettiest Oxford Colleges, but one of the least well known.
Situated at the junction of Beaumont Street, Walton Street and Worcester Street, it is off the main tourist trails of the 'Central Block' colleges but easily compares to them in terms of grandeur and beauty. One of the most striking features of the college is its unusual main quad. In 1736 a happy financial accident left the college unable to complete its building plans, leaving the quad with a classical range to the north and the original 15th-century monks' cottages to the south. The quad is also open to the west, allowing views over the gardens.
The college is also home to some lovely modern architecture by some of the best architects of the 20th century due to a number of generous benefactions. These buildings include the acclaimed Sainsbury Building and the brand-new Ruskin Lane Building and Staircase 24.
The gardens are also of considerable note, and are the main attraction for students, locals and tourists alike, and on any sunny day many people of all ages can be see walking, relaxing and even occasionally working on the Nuffield Lawn or by the lake. Worcester is also one of very few Oxford Colleges to have its playing fields onsite.