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Latitude: 51.7671 / 51°46'1"N
Longitude: -1.2628 / 1°15'46"W
OS Eastings: 450969
OS Northings: 207860
OS Grid: SP509078
Mapcode National: GBR 7XL.5KD
Mapcode Global: VHCXN.2V86
Entry Name: St Hugh's College Main Building Including Library
Listing Date: 7 October 2008
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1392938
English Heritage Legacy ID: 493659
Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX2
Electoral Ward/Division: St Margaret's
Built-Up Area: Oxford
Traditional County: Oxfordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire
Church of England Parish: Oxford St Philip and St James with St Margaret
Church of England Diocese: Oxford
612/0/10118 St Hugh's College Main building includ
07-OCT-08 ing library
College buildings. Architect: H.T. Buckland and W. Haywood. 1914-16, with minor alterations and extensions to initial build, and new range added in matching style 1928. Library added 1936.
Red brick, with ashlar cornice all round and ashlar dressings to entrance block; tiled roofs; cast iron hoppers with heraldic badges. Neo-Georgian. H-plan, with dining hall below former library in east wing, chapel over entrance projecting to centre front, and central imperial staircase serving ranges of studies/bedrooms. 2 storeys and attic. Sash windows, those to attic in flat-roofed lead dormers behind parapet.
Entrance block is cruciform in plan and Baroque in style, with rusticated brick quoins, pedimented gables broken by radiating arched windows, and domed wooden lantern. Projecting gable to front has ashlar doorcase with panelled pilasters and carved heraldic cartouche breaking into swan-neck pediment. Plainer accommodation wings to either side, with paired and single sashes, and canted stair towers in far angles, rising to balustraded stone parapets. Single-storey extension to front left.
Garden front has similar pedimented gable projecting to centre, with arched stair window in ashlar panel, and Tuscan porch with balustraded parapet. Side ranges have ground-floor bow windows. Projecting end wings have been extended one bay.
Interior: entrance hall with Tuscan columns; staircases with twisted balusters; corridors with 6-panel doors in architrave frames with frieze and cornice. Chapel on shallow cruciform plan with plaster groin and barrel vaults, enriched guilloche arches, raised and fielded panelling, and colour scheme by Laurence Whistler. Original fittings, including organ, with splat stick balustrading to pews, chairs and altar rails. Dining hall with wall pilasters, panelled fireplace and arched serving hatches. Arched doors to adjacent common room with Jacobean-style panelled fireplace. Former library above with arched trusses, wooden wall pilasters, and end gallery.
Mary Gray Allen Wing of c.1928 is in matching style, but with segment-headed dormers breaking through parapet, and 2 full-height bow windows. Interior with reeded doorcases and interlace pattern to ceiling coves. Included for group value.
Library of 1936 is of paler red brick with ashlar dressings and hipped pantile roof. In modern Baroque style, with massive entablature on 5-bay giant order of deeply chamfered brick pilasters. 2 storeys. Tall sash windows to ground floor, in stone architrave surrounds with segmental pediments; square windows to upper storey. 3-bay end to garden with canted ashlar bay to centre. Similar ashlar bay in staircase link to main building, with horizontal glazing to door.
Interior: curving stair with continuously ribbed plaster soffit, horizontal balustrading, and dark-stained veneer panelling with 2 niches for statues of founder and St Hugh. Upper library has deeply coved oval ceiling rising to central light with patterned glazing bars; end gallery with ramped horizontal balustrading, and flush veneer panelling with inlaid shaped panels and zig-zag patterns to frieze. Original wooden shelving and fittings. A complete specialist interior of the 1930s with high quality detailing.
Dedication to Howard Piper, including inscription on entablature, is of recent date.
HISTORY: St Hugh's was founded as St Hugh's Hall in 1886 for female students and was the third such foundation at Oxford. In 1911 it became a college by name, and in 1959 a full college.
SOURCES: J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (1974), 247-8.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: Original college building for St. Hugh's, of 1914-16 by Buckland and Haywood, incorporating entrance, chapel, dining hall, library and corridors of studies/bedrooms into single H-plan. Plan is of interest for variance from standard Oxford staircase system, reflecting new foundation for ladies only. Simple Neo-Georgian style is enlivened by Baroque entrance/chapel block, with rusticated quoins, pediments, carved doorcase and lantern, and enhanced by grouping with ashlar lodges (also recommended for listing at grade II). Garden front is consciously more gracious, with pedimented centrepiece and bow windows to ground floor. Good ashlar details and consistent original interior. Minor alterations include small extension to entrance front, and matching extension of wings to garden. These are not detrimental to overall character.
1928 extension is attached by a single-storey link and is matching in style. Included for group value.
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