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Christ Church College
University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
associated engineer
Not known
date  circa 1200, 1525 onwards
era  Medieval  |  category  Building  |  reference  SP513060
Part of the University of Oxford, Christ Church College is the largest college in England and the thirteenth of the Oxford colleges to be founded. It is built on the site of the 7th century Augustinian priory of St Frideswide and incorporates the 12th century cathedral. The college Dean is always a clergyman.
The cathedral is the oldest of the existing college buildings and is in the Romanesque style.
Christ Church was known originally as Cardinal's College, as it was founded by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in 1524 after the dissolution of the priory by papal bull. Work on the new college began in 1525 and King Henry VIII re-dedicated the college as Aedes Christi (Latin for Christ Church) in 1546.
The main quadrangle (Tom Quad), Gothic in style, is the largest in Oxford at 80.5m by 79.6m. It was begun under Wolsey’s tenure but not completed until the 1660s.
Sir Christopher Wren, a former student, designed a new bell tower in 1682 to house the college bell (Great Tom). It sits atop the gateway into the quad.
Women were first allowed to study at Christ Church in 1980.
Architect (bell tower 1682): Sir Christopher Wren
Research: ECPK
"A Brief History of Christ Church"
document in PDF available on www.chch.ox.ac.uk

Christ Church College