ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting St Antony's College, Oxford, England: modern instance of an ecclesiastical building adapted for scholarly use

Updated on July 10, 2014
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
Map location of Oxford, in Oxfordshire
Map location of Oxford, in Oxfordshire | Source

Gothic Revival appropriated

The history of many of the older Oxford Colleges and their buildings shows how what originally began as ecclesiastical foundations developed in time, either institutionally or through use of real estate put to different use, into scholarly institutions. The modern history of the University of Oxford also provides examples of this. Linacre College, for one, is housed in a building once used as a convent. A similar instance has occurred in the history of St Antony's College.

A Gothic Revival architect (and his dog)

Situated at 62 Woodstock Road, the main building in stone at St Antony's, in Gothic Revival style, dates from 1866-68. This building was originally for Holy Trinity Convent. Its architect was Charles Buckeridge (1832/3-1873), known for his work on many 19th century churches; he also supervised the building of Exeter College Chapel under the direction of Giles Gilbert Scott. At the former convent, the stonework is characterized by simple window tracery and walls with rugged hammer dressing.

Interestingly, on completion of the building of Holy Trinity Convent, the architect felt concern for the personal safety of the Mother Superior, who had started sleeping in the building, and offered her his dog for protection. It is recorded that the Mother Superior declined this extra service offered by the architect, but whether the Mother Superior was surprised by this instance of proposed munificence is less easy to ascertain.

Foundation of St Antony's College and some features

The convent survived until World War Two, when its members migrated elsewhere. Following an endowment by Antonin Besse (for whom a later building was named), St Antony's College was founded in 1950, and was housed in the former convent building. The study of international relations, economics, politics, history and area studies are the main strengths of the College, and staff and students specializing in these fields are principally recruited.

Distinguished scholars and alumni have been associated with St Antony's College. These include the following, former heads of the College (in the case of St Antony's, known as Warden): Sir William Deakin, historian and literary assistant to Sir Winston Churchill; historian Sir Raymond Carr; former European Commissioner Ralf, Lord Dahrendorf; former Ambassador Sir Marrack Goulding. Canadians will note that former Toronto history Professor Margaret MacMillan was appointed Warden of the College in 2007. Faculty has included historian Albert Hourani, former director of the College's Middle East Centre and historian Timothy Garton Ash. Alumni include: former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Beni-Ami; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Appelbaum; economist Dambisa Moyo; former minister John Redwood; and many other distinguished figures.

Also worth seeing

A few of Oxford 's many sights include: the Bridge of Sighs at Hartford College; the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Camera; Oxford Castle.


How to get there : United Airlines flies from New York Newark to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. Distance from Heathrow Airport to Oxford : 77 kilometres. Oxford links by rail with London Paddington station. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)