ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting The Queen's College, Oxford, England: nearly seven centuries of scholarship

Updated on November 15, 2011
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
The front quad of The Queen's College, Oxford, under the snow
The front quad of The Queen's College, Oxford, under the snow | Source
Philippa of Hainault
Philippa of Hainault | Source
Map location of Oxford, in Oxfordshire
Map location of Oxford, in Oxfordshire | Source

Founded in honour of Queen Philippa of Hainault

First of all, do bear in mind that the official title of the College has the definite article: The Queen's College. This is significant for more than one reason. In the first place, the College was founded in 1341 in honour of a specific Queen Consort, Philippa of Hainaut (1314-1369); the College founder was Robert de Eglesfield (c. 1295-1349), who took his name from a village in the North of England. Also, it is useful to remember that there is indeed a College at Cambridge University with a very similar name, but the Cambridge foundation is properly Queens' College, that is, in the plural, without the definite article, and with an obligatory apostrophe at the end of the word!

Most of the College's buildings date from well after the 14th century. The Library dates from 1693-96. The Chapel, dating from 1719, is the home of the choir, which contributes greatly to the College's strong, musical tradition.

At the beginning of the 18th century, the College authorities started to pull down many existing buildings, largely Medieval, and thus The Queen's College began to acquire fine, Baroque-style architecture. The Front Quad's lines follow designs by Nicholas Hawksmoor. Thus, by the middle of the 18th century, the College's architecture stood out markedly from that of other Oxford Colleges. The cupola over the main entrance is something of a landmark.

Among traditions of the College is the singing of the Boar's Head Carol at what is known as the Boar's Head Gaudy, held on the last Saturday before Christmas, to which, in rotation by year of matriculation, Old Members of the College are invited. Continuing this theme, the College has sometimes issued Boar's Head Christmas cards (1).

Interestingly, some Oxford Colleges have traditionally had particularly strong associations with certain geographical areas of Great Britain: for example, Jesus College has maintained strong links with Wales; and, for its part, The Queen's College has had a high proportion of members from the North of England.

Regarding the local geography of Oxford, however, The Queen's College is situated on the High Street, opposite University College, and adjacent to All Souls College; in the other direction, St. Edmund Hall is also in close proximity.

Famous people associated over the centuries with the College include: Medieval theologian John Wycliffe (1328-1384); English King Henry V (1386-1482); Utilitarian philosopher and reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832); British Astronomer Royal Edmund Halley (1656-1742), American Astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953); MIT professor and developer of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (1955-) and many others.


(1) Nearby Shotover Forest was formerly a habitat for wild boar, in centuries past. It is said that this tradition at The Queen's College is derived from an incident when a student of the College was studying Aristotle in Shotover Forest when he was suddenly attacked by a wild boar. Showing some presence of mind, and exercising the limits of his available defences, the student is said to have successfully overcome the boar by thrusting his multipurpose volume of Aristotle down the fierce animal's throat.

Also worth seeing

In Oxford , numerous visitor attractions include the Bridge of Sighs at Hertford College, Oxford Castle, the enormous Chapel at Keble College, the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Camera, and numerous others.


How to get there : Continental 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. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

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)