Trinity College, Oxford

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Trinity College

The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in the University of Oxford, of the foundation of Sir Thomas Pope (Knight),[1] or Trinity College for short, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. It stands on Broad Street, next door to Balliol College and Blackwells bookshop, and opposite Turl Street. It is enclosed by an iron palisade, rather than a wall, giving the college a more open and accessible appearance than many others in Oxford. The college has four major quadrangles, as well as a large lawn and gardens, which include a small area of woodland. Despite its size, the college is relatively small in terms of student numbers, with about 400 students. As of 2006, Trinity had an estimated financial endowment of £68 million.[2]


Durham College

The site where Trinity College now stands was originally occupied by Durham College. This college had been founded in 1286, at around the same time as the oldest colleges that survive until today. Durham College was built for Benedictine monks from Durham Cathedral, and was built around a single quadrangle, now known as the Durham Quadrangle. The only major surviving building from the Durham College foundation is the east range of Durham Quad, containing the Old Library, which dates from 1421, although elements of the pre-Reformation fabric also survive on the opposite side of the quad, at either end of the 17th-century hall. Durham College was originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary, St Cuthbert, and the Trinity, and it is thought that Trinity College took its name from the last element of this dedication.


Trinity College was founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas Pope, on land bought following the abolition of Durham College during the period of Protestant Reformation, whose buildings housed the original foundation. Pope was a Catholic who had no surviving children, and he hoped that by founding a college he would be remembered in the prayers of its students. His remains are still encased beside the chapel altar. The original foundation provided for a president, 12 fellows, and 12 scholars, and for up to 20 undergraduates. The fellows were required to take Holy Orders and to remain unmarried.

Sir Ivor Roberts, formerly HM Ambassador to Italy, succeeded The Hon. Michael Beloff QC as President on 26 September 2006. Peter Brown, Tutor in Classics, assumed the position of Pro-President during the interregnum, as he had during Hilary Term 2006 when the ex-president was on sabbatical.

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