Magdalen College Oxford
A Brief History and Guide
- Includes new research and will enrich any visit to the College
- Beautifully illustrated, with some newly-commissioned photographs of the College and the grounds
Magdalen College is one of the most beautiful of the Oxford colleges. Founded in 1458, it was built in the extensive grounds of the suppressed Hospital of St John the Baptist (an institution dating from at least 1180), outside the east gate of the medieval city walls. Over the centuries the College has built and rebuilt itself, developing an impressive physical presence, from the Old Kitchen – a remnant of the Hospital – to its late medieval Cloister, Chapel and Hall, the Great Tower, the beautiful eighteenth-century New Building, St Swithun’s Quad, up to the new Library in Longwall Quad, finished in 2016. It is unique in possessing a College Deer Park, and its Muniment Room is a very rare example of a late fifteenth-century space still furnished with its original oak furniture and fittings. Magdalen has a rich and complicated academic, architectural and personal history, which is presented here, along with notes on what visitors can see today.
Christine Ferdinand is Fellow Librarian of Magdalen College, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and past President of the Bibliographical Society. She has written two other books, Benjamin Collins and the Provincial Newspaper Trade in the Eighteenth Century (1997) and An Accidental Masterpiece: Magdalen Colleges New Building and The People Who Built It (2010), as well as many articles on Magdalen College and on the history of the book.