Oriel College, Oxford

From Academic Kids

Oriel College
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Established 1324
Sister CollegeClare College
Provost Sir Derek Morris
Graduates 105
Undergraduates 298


Oriel College (in full: The House of Blessed Mary the Virgin in Oxford commonly called Oriel College, of the Foundation of Edward the Second of famous memory, sometime King of England) is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.



Founded in 1324 by Adam de Brome and given its charter in 1326 by Edward II, Oriel is the fifth oldest of Oxford's colleges, and the oldest college that doesn't habitually claim it is the oldest college. The full official name of the College is ‘the House of Blessed Mary the Virgin in Oxford commonly called Oriel College', the name Oriel being used from about 1349 which probably originated from a tenement known as Seneschal Hall or La Oriole granted to the college in 1327. The word oriel probably referred to either a balcony or oriel window forming a feature of the earlier property. The building pictured right is the Rhodes Building (http://www.headington.org.uk/oxon/high/tour/south/095_101.htm) designed by Basil Champneys.

In the 19th century Oriel was at the centre of the Oxford Movement. In 1902, Oriel incorporated nearby St Mary Hall, which until then had been a separate institution. Nowadays Oriel is known as the last all-male college to admit women in 1985.

Oriel has a reputation for its success in rowing and quiz, in particular the two college rowing events Torpids and Eights Week. In 2005 they kept 'Head of the River' in Torpids and rowed over second in Eights Week

Since 2001, Oriel College students have chosen not to be affiliated to the University-wide Students' Union, OUSU.

The College Arms

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Image:Oriel Arms.gif

gules three lions passant guardant or within a bordure engrailed argent

The arms of the College are basically those of the founder Edward II, the three gold lions of England. However, as no-one can bear another's arms unaltered, a silver border was added 'for difference'.

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The badge of the Prince of Wales

The 'three feathers', often adopted by members of the College, can be found in decorations around college and is the motif on the college crested tie. It probably represents the founder, Edward II, who was the first Prince of Wales in the present line. However, it has been suggested that it stands for Charles I, who was Prince of Wales when the College was rebuilt in the seventeenth century.

College colours are two white stripes on navy.

The College Grace

Benedicte Deus, qui pascis nos a iuventute nostra et praebes cibum omni carni, reple gaudio et laetitia corda nostra, ut nos, affatim quod satis est habentes, abundemus in omne opus bonum. Per Jesum Christum Dominum Nostrum, cui Tecum et Spiritu Sancto sit omnis honos, laus et imperium in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Blessed God, who feeds us from our youth and provides food for all flesh, fill our hearts with joy and gladness, that we, having enough to satisfy us, may abound in every good work. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with You and the Holy Spirit, be all honour, praise and power for all ages. Amen.

Student Life

As well as rooms for accommodation, the buildings of Oriel include the Chapel (http://www.oriel.ox.ac.uk/chapel/history.htm), Hall, two libraries (http://www.oriel.ox.ac.uk/library/history.htm), a bar, and common rooms for dons, graduates and undergraduates. There are also sportsground and boat-house facilities.

Accommodation is provided for all undergraduates, and for some graduates, though some accommodation is off-site. Members are generally expected to dine in hall, where there are two sittings every evening, one informal and one formal (where jackets, ties and gowns are worn). The Bar next to the Hall serves food and drinks around dinner time. There is both a Junior Common Room (JCR) and a Middle Common Room (MCR).

The college lending library supplements the university libraries (many of which are non-lending). Most undergraduate tutorials are carried out in the college, though for some specialist papers undergraduates may be sent to tutors in other colleges.

Croquet may be played in the St. Mary Quad in the summer as can bowls in the Front Quad. The sportsground is mainly used for cricket, tennis, rugby and soccer. Rowing is carried out by the boat-house across Christ Church Meadow.

Notable Former Students

Notable Former Academics/Teachers


External links

  • Oriel College (http://www.oriel.ox.ac.uk/) - official page
  • Oriel JCR (http://www.orieljcr.org/) - the undergraduate body of the college
  • Oriel MCR (http://www.orielmcr.org/) - the graduate body of the college
  • Virtual Tour (http://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/oxfordtour/orielcollege/) Explore the buildings in and around Oriel
  • Alumni (http://www.oriel.ox.ac.uk/alumni/) - Contact List of Oriel Alumni

Colleges of the University of Oxford

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Arms of the University

All Souls | Balliol | Brasenose | Christ Church | Corpus Christi | Exeter | Green | Harris Manchester | Hertford | Jesus | Keble | Kellogg | Lady Margaret Hall | Linacre | Lincoln | Magdalen | Mansfield | Merton | New College | Nuffield | Oriel | Pembroke | Queen's | St Anne's | St Antony's | St Catherine's | St Cross | St Edmund Hall | St Hilda's | St Hugh's | St John's | St Peter's | Somerville | Templeton | Trinity | University | Wadham | Wolfson | Worcester

Permanent Private Halls at the University of Oxford

Blackfriars | Campion Hall | Greyfriars | Regent's Park College | St Benet's Hall | St Stephen's House | Wycliffe Hall

de:Oriel College

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