Keble is one of the largest colleges in Oxford with over 400 undergraduate and about 250 graduate students. The College opened its doors in 1870. It was founded in memory of John Keble (1792–1866), an original member of the so-called Tractarian movement which sought to recover the Catholic heritage of the Church of England. It was the wish of its founders to make access to the University more widely available and that spirit of inclusiveness remains important to the College. Keble’s distinctive nineteenth-century buildings, including its magnificent chapel which is dominated by an Old and new Testament mosaic cycle, were designed by William Butterfield. The striking polychromatic brickwork has been the subject of much critical attention. Butterfield’s architecture has been supplemented in recent decades by equally bold new buildings by Ahrends, Burton and Koralek (1979) and Rick Mather (1995 and 2002).
Only the paintings in the Chapel are accessible to the public between 10am and 5pm in the winter, and until 7pm in the summer months, when it is not in use for services.