St John’s College
This is the oldest part of St John’s College, built in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It was originally St Bernard’s College, and an original statue of St Bernard stands in a niche on the tower (left)
It is Grade I listed (List Entry No. 1046647).
St John’s is one of the few colleges to have a front courtyard on the street. Gardner’s Oxfordshire Directory of 1852 is not impressed by its wall:
Before [the St John’s College] front is a terrace shaded with a row of lofty elms, enclosed by a wall and outer gateway about the year 1576. The gateway has long since been taken down, and an opening made at each end to admit of a continuation of the public footpath, but the removal also of the low unslightly wall would add much to the effect of the buildings, as well as to the general apperance of the street.
The outer gateway can be seen on the left in an engraving of 1779 (below).