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St Hilda's College

St Hilda's College


St Hilda's was the fourth of Oxford's women's colleges to be founded, and the last to admit men as undergraduates in 2009. It is named after St Hilda who founded a 'double house' of monks and nuns at Whitby in 657. St Hilda's College was set up in 1893 by Miss Dorothea Beale, Principal of Cheltenham Ladies' College, to allow her pupils access to University lectures.
The college has a delightful situation on the banks of the Cherwell, overlooking playing fields.
The oldest building, known as South, dates back to 1775, and was built for Dr Sibthorpe, Professor of Botany, later purchased by Miss Beale. Near to Milham Ford builidng, the closest to the river, you can see the remains of the old ford across the Cherwell. Students attending tutorials or classes there could watch the punts drifting serenely by........
In the 1970s the glass and wood fronted Garden Building and later the Jacqueline du Pre Music Room were added, the latter said to have the best acoustics in Oxford.
For some years St Hilda's was the only women's college to compete in the inter-collegiate rowing races, known as 'Eights', borrowing both boat and coach from the men's colleges. Now many women-only and mixed crews compete.
Fomer college members are known as 'alumnae', not 'alumni', be they male or female, acknowledging the college's original purpose to provide higher education for women.
Alumnae include: DK Broster, Dame Helen Gardner, Barbara Pym.

Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)

Opening details

By appointment only.


Free entry


The Bursar

01865 276884


Cowley Place,

  • Self-assessed Accessibility Information

University, free entry



See location of St Hilda's College on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SP 521057  Lat: 51.74757 Long: -1.24673

Cowley Place, OX4 1DY


  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)

Self-Assessed Accessibility Details


  • MAIN ENTRANCE - Level ; QUADS - Level to gardens