St Peter's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, located in New Inn Hall Street. It occupies the site of two of the University's oldest Inns, or medieval hostels - Bishop Trellick's, later New Inn Hall, and Rose Hall - both of which were founded in the 13th century and were part of the University in their own right. During the First English Civil War, the University's college plate was requisitioned by the King's Oxford Parliament and taken to New Inn Hall to be melted down into "Oxford Crowns". In the 18th century, William Blackstone became the Principal of New Inn Hall after being appointed the Vinerian Professor of English Law at Oxford. New Inn Hall and Rose Hall later became part of Balliol College.

The modern history of the college in its present form began in 1929 when St Peter's Hall was founded by Francis James Chavasse, Bishop of Liverpool, who was concerned at the rising cost of education in the older universities in Britain, and projected St Peter's as a College where promising students, who might otherwise be deterred by the costs of College life elsewhere, could obtain an Oxford education. The commitment to make Oxford accessible to any student of ability, irrespective of means, remains a feature of St Peter's today.

In 1961, the University approved a statute giving St Peter's Hall full collegiate status. With the granting of its Royal Charter in the same year, it took the name St Peter's College. As of 2006, the college has an estimated financial endowment of £34 million.


St Peter's has an interesting and varied set of buildings, many of them much older than the College itself. The College has, in effect, adapted existing buildings to provide the collective facilities needed for College life, and built new ones to provide for student accommodation. Linton House, a handsome Georgian rectory, dating from 1797, is the entrance to the College, and houses the Porters' Lodge and College library. Canal House, the Master's Lodge, dates from the early 19th century.

The College Dining Hall, known as Hannington Hall after the Victorian missionary, Bishop James Hannington, dates from 1832 and is the only surviving part of New Inn Hall. The College chapel was originally the Church of St Peter-le-Bailey, built in 1874, and the third church of that name on this site. The buildings of the former Oxford Girls' School, which adjoin the original site of the College, have been acquired more recently and provide living accommodation for students, seminar rooms, a Middle Common Room (for postgraduates) and a Music Room.

The college has four quads: Linton Quad (the main quad), Mulberry Quad, Hannington Quad and Chavasse Quad. On-site, students are housed in the modern New Block, in the spacious Chavasse building, in Staircase IV and in the Matthews block (this latter building also housing a spacious JCR and student run bar). The senior executive of the MCR are generally provided with housing in the Morris Building. Fellows and college staff occupy rooms mostly in Staircases I-III, the Latner building and Staircase IV.

St Peter's also has a few off-site accommodation blocks for students, all just a few minutes away from the main college site. St Thomas Street, and St George's Gate house undergraduates, while Paradise Street (which was only officially opened in June 2008) houses postgraduates and fourth-year undergraduates.

Student life

The student-run Junior Common Room organises a wide variety of social events throughout the academic year, ranging from formal events to celebrate such things as Burns Night (complete with Haggis and poetry) to creatively-themed parties that run into the early hours of the morning. The college is one of the few to feature its own student-edited arts magazine, "Misc", which is published termly.

The college's sports teams have been very successful in recent years, with the college's boat club being a particular source of pride. In Torpids 2009, no fewer than five boats competed, winning two "blades" and +15 "bumps", a result only bettered by two other colleges. In Torpids 2010 the boat club bettered this achievement and were the most successful college on the river, achieving the equal most bumps as a college in total, and the most bumps per boat on average.

Succession of Masters
  • The Reverend Christopher Maude Chavasse, M.C. (1929)
  • Julian Thornton-Duesbery
  • Robert Wilmot Howard
  • Julian Thornton-Duesbery
  • Sir Alec Cairncross
  • Gerald Aylmer
  • John Barron (1991-2003)
  • The Reverend Professor Bernard Silverman FRS (2003-2009)
  • Mark Damazer (2010-)
Notable alumni
  • Edward Akufo-Addo, former President of Ghana
  • Carl Albert, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
  • The Reverend Wilbert Vere Awdry, creator of Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Simon Beaufoy, writer of the screenplay for the films The Full Monty and Slumdog Millionaire
  • Graham Bell, Canadian academic, writer, and evolutionary biologist
  • Sir Paul Condon, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner
  • Jamie Dalrymple, Glamorgan and England cricketer
  • Hugh Dancy, actor
  • Peter Dale, poet
  • David Davies, Chief Executive of the Football Association
  • Jack Dormand, later Baron Dormand of Easington, Labour MP for Easington, 1970–87
  • David Eastwood, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England
  • Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef and owner of River Cottage
  • The Revd Prof Paul S. Fiddes, D.D., Principal, Regent's Park College, Oxford
  • Matt Frei, BBC Washington correspondent
  • Geordie Greig, editor of Evening Standard
  • Lieutenant General Nick Houghton CBE, current Chief of Joint Operations, British Armed Forces
  • Sir Rex Hunt, Governor of the Falkland Islands
  • Kurt Jackson, painter
  • Ken Loach, film director
  • Richard Lloyd Parry, Asia Editor, The Times of London
  • The Most Revd the Hon Sir Paul Reeves GCMG GCVO QSO, former Archbishop of New Zealand and Governor-General of New Zealand
  • Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, current heir to the throne of Bhutan
  • Daniel Woolf, Principal-Designate of Queen's University, Canada
  • Ben Wright - BBC Political Correspondent
  • Mike Carey, Author
Image gallery
  • The Chavasse Building

  • The Porter's Lodgel


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Building Activity

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