Pembroke College, Oxford

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Pembroke College

Pembroke College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England, located in Pembroke Square. As of 2009, Pembroke had an estimated financial endowment of £44.9 million.[1]



In the early seventeenth century, the endowment of Thomas Tesdale—a merchant from nearby Abingdon—and Richard Wightwick—a clergyman from Berkshire—enabled the conversion of the Broadgates Hall, which had been a University hostel for law students since its construction in the fifteenth century, to form the basis of a fully fledged college. The letters patent to found the college were signed by King James I in 1624, with the college being named after William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, Lord Chamberlain and then-Chancellor of the University.[2]

Following its foundation, the college proceeded to expand around Broadgates, building what is now known as "Old Quad" in the 1600s. Built in stages through the seventeenth century out of the local Cotswold limestone, space restrictions saw the south-side of the Quad built directly on top of the old City Wall. A Chapel was built in 1732, and the introduction of further accommodation in 1846, and the Hall in 1848 to designs by Exeter based architect John Hayward[3] created "Chapel Quad"—widely considered one of the most beautiful Quads in the University.[4] The Chapel was designed and built by William Townsend, although the interior was dramatically redesigned by Charles Kempe—a Pembroke graduate—in 1884. Pembroke alumnus Dr. Damon Wells is a significant benefactor of the College over many years; he enabled the restoration of the Chapel in 1972, and continues to support the Chaplaincy and History Fellowship. The Chapel which is still used for regular worship bears his name.[5]

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