St Edmund Hall is the sole survivor of the medieval halls that predated Oxford’s colleges. As such, it can claim to be the oldest academical society for the education of undergraduates in any University. The earliest written record of the Hall dates from 1317, but it may be considerably older. It takes its name from St Edmund of Abingdon, former Archbishop of Canterbury, who taught in a house on this site in the 1190s. From the sixteenth century neighbouring Queen’s College oversaw the running of St Edmund Hall, but in the early twentieth century there was a gradual transfer of powers to the Hall. This culminated in 1957 when it was granted its charter of incorporation as a College. From respect for a history extending over eight centuries, it has kept the name St Edmund Hall. The college’s old buildings are concentrated in the Front Quadrangle, which is one of the most attractive in Oxford. The Chapel and Old Library were built at the end of the seventeenth century. This was the first Oxford library to be built with shelves along the walls, and the last to be furnished with chains. The east window of the Chapel was reconstructed in 1865 with stained glass by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. The Hall now also incorporates the Church of St Peter-in-the-East, which has been the college’s library since 1970, and the graveyard surrounding it.
It is stressed that the paintings at St Edmund Hall are not in public ownership. In accordance with the charitable objectives of the College, which is a private institution, we are including our paintings on this website to widen public knowledge and for the benefit of scholarship. The paintings are hung in various locations throughout the College which are used in normal College life and are therefore not available to the public. Requests for access should be addressed to Jonathan Yates, St Edmund Hall, Queen's Lane Oxford OX1 4AR.
Queen's Lane, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AR England
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