Oxford Inscriptions: Laboratories in South Parks Road

Two inscriptions and a Royal Society of Chemistry plaque on the former Dyson Perrins Laboratory

Waterhouse inscription


[I, Waterhouse, a Balliol man. made this. O if only it were better!]

The Dyson Perrins Laboratory opened in 1915, and If you extract all the large letters (LLI L I CI D CV I M LIV) and reorder them from the largest in value to the smallest, they give the year the building was opened (but are not a proper roman numeral):

M (1000) + D (500) = 1500 + CC (100 twice) = 1700, + LLLL (50 four times) = 1900 + V V (5 twice) = 1910 + IIIII (1 five times) = 1915

It was designed by Paul Waterhouse. HYDATOECUS is a Latinized Greek word meaning waterhouse and has been used to fit the chronogram: but should probably be HYDRATOECUS

Wikipedia: Dyson Perrins Laboratory

Dyson Perrins

P    R
R   S

with duplicated letters omitted]

Charles William Dyson Perrins, the heir to the Lea & Perrins Worcester sauce company, endowed this laboratory. To find his surname in this inscription you have to read the PER down the left-hand side, and then the RINS down the right-hand side.

William Henry Perkin was the Waynflete Professor of Chemistry from 1912 to 1929. To find his surname, you have to read the PER down the left-hand side as before, then go horizontally across the middle to find the KIN.

This building ceased to be the organic chemistry laboratory in 2003 and is now the Oxford University Centre for the Environment.

Dyson Perrins Laboratory


Royal Society of Chemistry
National Historical Chemical Landmark

Dyson Perrins Laboratory
University of Oxford

This laboratory was a major centre for Organic Chemistry from 1916–2003

It had only four Heads in that time, the Waynflete Professors W H Perkin Jnr, Sir Robert Robinson OM, Sir Ewart Jones, and Sir Jack Baldwin

Sir Robert was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1947 for work done here
on natural products

24 September 2004

Three Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) plaques on the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory

Glucose sensor




RSC | Advancing the Chemical Sciences
National Chemical Landmark

Glucose sensor

In this laboratory on 20th July 1982,
Allen Hill, Tony Cass and Graham Davis
made the crucial discovery which led to
the development of a unique electronic
blood glucose sensor now used by
millions of diabetics worldwide.

16 July 2012





National Chemical Landmark

Dorothy Crowfood Hodgkin
Led pioneering work in this building from 1956–1972 and elsewhere in Oxford on the structures of antibiotics, vitamins and proteins including penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin, using X-ray diffraction techniques for which she received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964

6 May 2014





RSC | Advancing the Chemical Sciences
National Chemical Landmark

Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory

where in 1980, John B. Goodenough with
Koichi Mizushima, Philip C. Jones and
Philip J. Wiseman identified the cathode material that enabled
development of the rechargeable
lithium-ion battery.
This breakthrough ushered
in the age of portable
electronic devices.

30 November 2010

Inorganic Chemistry Laborator

The middle plaque above appears to have replaced the 2001 plaque shown below

Dorothy Hodgkin

National Historic Chemical Landmark

The work of Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin
at the University of Oxford

In this building from 1956–1972 and at other
times elsewhere in the Oxford Science Area,
Professor Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin,
(1910–1994) OM, FRS, Nobel Laureate, led pioneering work on the structures of antibiotics, vitamins and proteins, including penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin, using X-ray diffraction techniques. Many methods for solving crystal structures were developed taking advantage of digital computers from the very earliest days. The work provided a basis for much of present day molecular structure driven molecular biology and medicinal chemistry.

                14 May 2001               RS•C

Stephanie Jenkins, 2013