Health & Care

The Dean and Junior Deans

The Dean, Professor Richard Bailey, has several key responsibilities in College, overseeing student welfare and discipline. The Dean is also Senior Treasurer of Clubs, advising on sporting and other clubs in College and custodian of the clubs finances, in consultation with student captains and club organisers.

In dealing with welfare and disciplinary matters, the Dean is assisted by resident Junior Deans, who can also often act as a first line of communication between the students and the Dean, and who are fully qualified to advise on personal welfare matters.

The Dean can also be contacted (to make an appointment, for example) through his PA, Mrs Lizzie Andrews Tel: +44 1865 271701
The Junior Deans are:

For further details please see the Junior Deans Poster displayed on each staircase in the College.

Welfare Reps

In addition to the Junior Deans, our JCR has Female and Male Welfare Reps:


and our MCR also has Female and Male Welfare Reps:

Medical Staff

The College Nurse, Marie Szewczyk, is the initial contact in cases of minor illness or accidents. Her hours are listed below, and she can be found in Room 1 of Staircase 1. She can be contacted via email or Tel: 01865 271719

College Nurse Hours:

Monday 10:45 – 14:30
Wednesday 10:45 – 14:30
Friday 8:00-12:30

She acts in consultation with the College Doctors, Dr Naomi Drury and Dr Mary-Kate Kirkaldy, who have a surgery in the centre of Oxford (and see below for details).

Dr Naomi Drury & Dr MaryKate Kirkaldy

College Doctors
King Edward Street Medical Practice
9 King Edward Street, Oriel Square
Tel: 01865 242657
Monday to Friday 8:30 – 18:00



Dental provision for the University of Oxford is undertaken by Studental (Tel: 01865 689997). A full range of NHS treatments is available at Studental (with the exception of Orthodontics), and student members are charged NHS rates. Further details are available from the College Nurse’s surgery.

Emergency out-of-hours dental treatment

In addition, emergency out-of-hours dental treatment is available at the East Oxford Dental Clinic, Manzil Way, Cowley, Oxfordshire, OX4 1XD by telephoning 111 for urgent dental advice or treatment during the following times:
Monday - Thursday 18:30 - 21:30
Friday 18:30 - 22:00
Saturday - Sunday 9:00 -13:00 / 14:00 - 18:00
Bank Holidays & Bank Holiday Weekends 9:00 - 17:00 / 18:00 - 21:00


When students seek advice about personal problems, they can also approach one of the panel of College Advisors, who include both a male and a female Fellow who are also Harassment Advisors. For other matters, students can contact the University Student Counselling Service which is staffed by qualified counsellors.

The student welfare services are explained in detail in the Medical and Personal section of the Information and Regulations for Members of College which is issued to all students.

The College Advisors are:

For information about University services please see the Health and Welfare section of the Student Gateway.


St Catherine’s is committed to providing effective support so all our students may achieve their academic potential. As such, we are signed up to the principles of the University’s Common Framework for Supporting Disabled Students, and we work closely with the University's Disability Advisory Service (DAS) to offer information, assistance and support to students with any disability that may impact on their academic, social or residential experience at Oxford.

Overseeing St Catherine’s provision is the Academic Registrar, Cressida Chappell, who acts as Disability Lead and Co-ordinator.

In our experience, support can be most effective if we are provided with the details of any disability or chronic condition as soon as possible. If you are coming to study at St Catherine’s and have not yet disclosed a disability or chronic condition, we encourage you to get in touch with Georgina Heywood (Email:, the Disability Officer at the DAS who is linked to St Catherine’s, and also to complete the DAS Registration & Study Support Form as soon as possible. All disclosures are treated confidentially. Prospective applicants and current students are encouraged to contact the St Catherine’s Disability Lead and Co-ordinator, Cressida Chappell (Email:, or take a look at the Disability Advisory Service website for further information.

Printing - IT

Connecting To Networked Printers From Personal Computers and other Devices.

College members may print to networked printers via either document submission by e-mail or uploading to a web portal. Accepted formats include Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG, TIF, and TXT . Users wishing to print other file formats should either convert the document to PDF format prior to submission, or print locally in one of the College's computer rooms.

Printing documents submitted by e-mail:

Send an e-mail with the documents attached that you would like to print, to , submitted jobs will then be queued until released. Please note that print jobs may only be submitted from your primary University account.

After submitting your print job go to , login (using your College network credentials), select the 'My Print Jobs' tab where you will be able to select your desired destination printer and available (advanced) options such specifying pages, duplexing, or forced monochrome printing.

Printing documents via upload to a web portal:

Using your preferred web browser go to , login (using your College network credentials), and select the 'Web Print' tab.

Select whether you wish to print a particular web page (in which case enter the appropriate URL in the field provided), or a specific file. In the latter case 'Browse' for the desired file and once selected click on the 'Next' button after which you will be able to select your desired destination printer and available (advanced) options such specifying pages, duplexing, or forced monochrome printing.

In case of difficulties please contact the College's I.T. staff by e-mailing


Computing - IT

More information can be found by clicking here .

All students at St Catherine's College are provided with an account on the college NetWare servers, this username and password combination allows access to the computers in the Library, JCR and Staircase 18 computer rooms mentioned below.

Student Computer Rooms:

There are three rooms in college equipped for computers for use by students:

  • Library computer room; this contains 20 PCs, a colour laser printer, and an A4 flatbed colour scanner.
  • Staircase 18 computer room; this consists of three PCs, a black and white laser printer, and a single A4 flatbed colour scanner.
  • JCR computer room; located next to the JCR this facility is open to all college members and contains 10 machines, a black and white A4 laser printer, and a colour A3 printer.

Opening Hours:

Library Computer Room | 08:30 - 23:55*
Staircase 18 | 24 hours
JCR Email room | 08:00-24:00

The opening hours of the library and JCR, when different, supersede those given here.

The Library Computer Room.

A small charge is levied for printing to cover the cost of consumables and is paid for in advance via the Upay system. Students will be advised of the current charging scheme on arrival. This is currently 4 pence per sheet of A4 black-and-white printing and 10 pence per sheet for colour printing, also A4.

Common software packages that are available to students include Microsoft and Corel Office suites for general word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation preparation; eXceed for running X-windows, and SPSS for statistics. Each user is allocated 10GB of disk space on a central fileserver; this is quite generous and extensions will only rarely be considered and then only if sufficient resources are available. Files stored on local disks should not be considered secure nor safe from deletion.

All students are given a username and password for access to networked computers. Without the correct combination it is impossible to log on to any computer and use your home directory. Students wishing to make use of the College email facilities must first register individually for an email account with Oxford University Computing Services, email account details are generally provided on arrival for those starting a course at Catz. Once these details are obtained, a variety of email packages are available for use on personally owned computers; instructions for configuring popular email packages is provided by OUCS With regard to PCs found in computer rooms, email should only be used on the machines set aside for that purpose within the email room. Internet access is also available from machines within the student computer rooms.

All student rooms have data-points for connection to the Internet. These are standard RJ-45 sockets operating at either 100Mb/s or 1Gb/s. Students wishing to connect their machines to the data network must register their machines - this process can be conducted online via web-form and does not require a prior visit to the IT office.

Student views on matters of college computing are aired to the IT Committee by two representatives, one from the JCR and another from the MCR. Matters that require prompt resolution should be directed to the appropriate student representative, or, when necessary, the College IT Officer. General information regarding computing issues specific to the college network may be found on posters distributed in the student computing rooms. For additional IT information, please contact: For news about changes in how IT is provided at St Catherine's please follow our Catz IT twitterfeed.


Opening hours:

Christmas Vacation

The Library will be open with term time opening hours until Saturday 15th December. Sunday 16th will be closed. Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th  the opening hours will be: 8am-5pm. Wednesday 19th: 9.30am-5pm; Thursday 20th: 9.30am-12.30pm.
The College, and the Library will be closed between the 21st of December and the 1st of January (included). The 2nd and the 3rd of January, the opening hours will be: 9.30am-5pm. The 4th of January: 8am-5pm. Saturday 5th January it will be closed.
Hilary term will start regularly from Sunday 6th January, with term time opening hours.

Term time:

Monday-Friday 8am-midnight
Saturday-Sunday 9am-midnight


The library maintains term-time hours from 0th week in Michaelmas Term through 10th week in Trinity Term, with the exception of Christmas and Easter closure periods. Any changes to this will be posted on the library door, website, and social media pages.

Graduate after-hours study room:

Graduates may also use the After-Hours Study Room in Room B in the Bernard Sunley Building, between 8pm and 8am everyday in weeks 1- 8. The key can be collected from the Lodge.

Please note only members of the College may use the library. External readers may be admitted under certain circumstances, but only if an appointment is made in advance. Please call us on 01865 281582 or email if you would like to arrange a visit.

Using the library

St Catherine’s College Library is housed in a unique setting, light and elegant, designed by Arne Jacobsen. The library is maintained for the primary use of the undergraduates of the College. As a recent foundation, St Catherine’s has a very modern library with excellent resources for undergraduates in all the disciplines taught in the College. It houses approximately 60,000 volumes, and is used intensively by the students, as it is one of the best working college libraries in Oxford.

This is a significant advantage when pressure on faculty and departmental libraries at particular times makes access to important texts difficult. All books in the library are included in the electronic catalogue, which in turn forms part of the wider Oxford University libraries network. New books are constantly being added to the College library, at the recommendation either of Tutors or students. Among particular strengths is a fine collection of books on modern European history from the library of the distinguished historian and Founding Master, Lord Bullock; copies of his own works are displayed as a special collection. A separate College Law library houses law reports and journals.

Undergraduates find stimulus in the range of fields covered, not only in their own particular disciplines, but in other areas of literature, philosophy, or the visual arts. The library is wired for access to electronic library resources and to the Internet. There are 14 computer terminals, a high-quality printer available in the library for students’ use and wireless connectivity for laptop users. In combination with lots of student work space this makes the library not simply a repository for books, but a central hub for a good deal of the academic activity in the College.

Find out how to use the library in the Library Guide or see where each subject is shelved using the Library map.



Financial Aid

The University and its colleges offer an impressive range of scholarships, bursaries and other support to students. This makes a college like Catz a very affordable place to study.

There are several schemes in place to help students financially:

Oxford Bursaries

Oxford Bursaries scheme offers non-repayable support to UK/EU Oxford undergraduates from lower income households, to assist with the cost of attending Oxford. There is no separate application process for Oxford’s bursaries as these are based on the household income assessment carried out by your regional funding agency. When you apply for UK government funding you should simply ensure you have given consent for the University to access your household income figure so that Oxford can consider you for this funding.

St Catherine’s College Student Support Scheme

The College offers financial support to students if, for example, their financial circumstances have changed and they have already applied for other public funds. The funds available under this scheme are open to all students – undergraduate/graduate, UK, EU and non-EU. To apply please complete this form.

Completed forms should be sent to in Word format - with a title Family Name, First Name – St Catherine’s Student Support Scheme. The page containing signature should be scanned into the application.

Access to Learning Fund and University Hardship Fund

The Access to Learning Fund is provided by the government to assist UK undergraduates and postgraduates, and some other classes of students (please see guidance notes), who experience financial difficulty. The University Hardship Fund is provided by the University to assist all students who experience unexpected financial difficulties. The guidance notes and application form for both schemes have now been combined.

Please read the guidance notes here and complete an application form here.
Completed forms should be sent to in Word format – with a title Family Name, First Name – Hardship  Application. Pages containing signatures should be scanned into the application

Graduate Academic Absence Scheme

The College will consider applications for a rebate of the nightly charge for graduates resident either in College or St Catherine’s House for periods spent attending conferences or on field research during the Christmas and Easter vacations.A form can be obtained here. It should be returned to

Other options to consider

A vacation job: visit the Careers Service and find employment in the long summer vacation. This makes a difference to your term time finances and earns valuable experience for your CV. There may also be jobs advertised by the College connected with the conference business (vacation time) or working in Hall (term). Keep a look out for emails advertising job opportunities.

Fees and Charges

Course Fees

For detailed information from the University about course fees and funding, click here.

College Living Charges

Charges (or “Domestic Charges”) are what are due to the College for accommodation, meals, and other services. A table of charges is available here. All charges are reviewed each year in discussion with student representatives. Our charges include provision for the targeted support of students whose household income is such that they receive some assistance with the payment of tuition fees.

Continuation Charges

Postgraduate research students who are still under active supervision beyond their maximum period of fee liability are liable to pay a College continuation charge which is £117 per term for the 2018/19 academic year (there are three terms in each academic year).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there anything else I need to think about?

If you live in College, the College will supply a mattress, mattress cover, duvet, pillows, duvet covers, sheets and pillowslips. All students are required to provide their own towels. There is a self-service launderette in the College, and ironing facilities are also available.

Junior members of the College are invited to pay £25.70 per year for the Junior Common Room Overseas Scholarships and MCR members £15.00 per year for the MCR Graduate Scholar Fund.

What are battels?

Students' charges for rooms and other services are recorded in an account called your “battels”. Students are billed at the beginning of term and this is payable by the Friday of the first week of each term. Failure to pay on time, without having made alternative arrangements for payment with the College Accountant, will result in a penalty interest charge.

You can pay by the following methods:
1) Via Upay 2) Bank transfer: please contact Jane Holmes ( for information. 3) Debit card payment in the Accounts Office. 4) Cheque payable to ‘St Catherine’s College, Oxford’.

Do I need a bank account?

It is essential that you open a student bank account when you arrive in Oxford. You will find that banks require several types of documentary evidence proving your identity and your correspondence address before and after admission to the College, and confirming your status as a student.

I’ve still got questions. Who can I contact?

Please contact either the College Accountant, Carey Forster ( / 01865 271802), or one of her assistants.
Jane Holmes ( / 01865 271747) deals with battels.
Cathy Steiner ( / 01865 281566) deals with fees.


Term Dates

Academic Year 2018/19

Michaelmas 2018: Thursday 4 October to Saturday 1 December
(Tuesday 2 October for new students)
Hilary 2019: Thursday 10 January to Saturday 9 March
Trinity 2019: Thursday 25 April to Saturday 22 June

Academic Year 2019/20

Michaelmas 2019: Thursday 10 October to Saturday 7 December
(Tuesday 8 October for new students)
Hilary 2020: Thursday 16 January to Saturday 14 March
Trinity 2020: Thursday 23 April to Saturday 20 June

Provisional Dates:

Academic Year 2020/21

Michaelmas 2020: Thursday 8 October to Saturday 5 December
(Tuesday 6 October for new students)
Hilary 2021: Thursday 14 January to Saturday 13 March
Trinity 2021: Thursday 22 April to Saturday 19 June

Academic Year 2021/22

Michaelmas 2021: Thursday 7 October to Saturday 4 December
(Tuesday 5 October for new students)
Hilary 2022: Thursday 13 January to Saturday 12 March
Trinity 2022: Thursday 21 April to Saturday 18 June

Academic Year 2022/23

Michaelmas 2022: Thursday 6 October to Saturday 3 December
(Tuesday 4 October for new students)
Hilary 2023: Thursday 12 January to Saturday 11 March
Trinity 2023: Thursday 20 April to Saturday 17 June

Academic Year 2023/24

Michaelmas 2023: Thursday 5 October to Saturday 2 December
(Tuesday 3 October for new students)
Hilary 2024: Thursday 11 January to Saturday 9 March
Trinity 2024: Thursday 18 April to Saturday 15 June


Maps & Directions

Postal Address

St. Catherine's College
Manor Road
United Kingdom

Email us

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 271700

Map of the College site 

Rail services

Trains run at least once an hour between Oxford and London, and twice an hour during peak times. Oxford is also on the main cross-country routes.



There are frequent buses, 24 hours a day, between London (Victoria Bus Station) and Oxford, run by the Oxford Bus Company and the Oxford Tube. There are also direct and regular services to Oxford from Heathrow and Gatwick airports operated by the Oxford Bus Company. Coach services from other parts of the country are available with National Express and other providers.


On foot

St Catherine's is on the edge of the City Centre and we recommend that visitors arriving at the bus or train station take a taxi to the College, especially if they are bringing luggage. Walking from the City Centre to St Catherine's will take between 15 and 20 minutes or from the train station around 25-30 minutes.


By bike

Catz has ample parking for bicycles and the bike shed is a listed building. Cycling is probably the best way to get around central Oxford.

Directions for drivers

Postcode for Sat Nav: OX1 3UJ


Take the 360 degree tour of St Catherine's.

St Catherine's, Oxford: A Pen Portrait

We are delighted to announce the publication of St Catherine's, Oxford: A Pen Portrait, a dynamic and lively compilation: a memorable tribute to St Catherine’s past and present.

The book starts with the beginnings of the Society in the nineteenth century, and depicts the College – the result of Alan Bullock’s vision and embodied in Arne Jacobsen’s architectural masterpiece – from its foundation in 1962 to its current role as a prominent and distinguished part of Oxford University. The book also includes insightful overviews of student life across the years, academic activities, music and the arts, drama, the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professorship, and sport. A major part of the book also describes the origins of Jacobsen’s design for the college, its subsequent execution, and the interplay between the characters who helped bring it to fruition.

St Catherine’s is, as ever, a busy and thriving community and our hope is that its distinctive ethos and spirit, created by junior and senior members all those years ago, inspiring succeeding generations of students and dons alike, has been captured vividly in this book.

To order your copy, please complete this form.

Buildings and Grounds

The architect of St. Catherine's, Arne Jacobsen, designed the college both to reflect elements of a traditional Oxford college and to be an entirely modern solution to the challenge of creating an integrated environment which would be both practical and aesthetically pleasing. At the heart of the College lies a rectangular quad, its sides formed by student rooms built in the conventional Oxford 'staircase' format, its ends consisting of the Dining Hall and Library.

Unlike most quads, however, St. Catherine's is not closed off; instead hedge-lined walks lead to other buildings, and to garden areas which are planted with a fascinating variety of trees, shrubs and flowers. The whole is flanked on one side by the river Cherwell, and on the other by Merton College's playing fields which themselves border the University Parks, giving St. Catherine's an apparently rural setting which is yet only minutes away from the centre of Oxford.

Since the completion of the original buildings, a number of additions have been made. The College now has three blocks of student accommodation; a Dining Hall which can seat 350; a library; the Bernard Sunley Building which includes a large lecture theatre and a number of meeting rooms; the Mary Sunley Building, a purpose-built conference centre with lecture theatre and meeting room; spacious Junior and Senior Common Room areas; a Music House; squash courts and gymnasium; a punt house; car park.


Arne Jacobsen, the architect of St Catherine’s College, considered the garden as an integral part of his design. As such it is now a Registered Garden to accompany the Grade 1 Listing of the buildings (1994). Unlike historic buildings, however, a garden cannot be conserved in every aspect; it  must undergo constant change under the influence of the weather, the health and longevity of individual plants, new botanic introductions and (not least) the sensibility of those who care for it.
The College’s policy has been to work with the language of Jacobsen’s design, but to complement its classical austerities with a softer and more ‘romantic’ English style which has become more obvious as the trees and shrubs have matured. However, the garden retains the strong personal imprint of its designer particularly in the carefully thought through physical linking of built forms with garden spaces.
The skeleton of Arne Jacobsen’s original garden design is largely unaltered. It is dictated by the three metre grid which unifies the entire site, and is set out as a series of spaces or rooms defined by yew hedges, brick walls and covered walk ways which connect the strong lines of the buildings. Many of the original trees and shrubs have had to be replaced, and there have been significant changes to the entrance (where Sir Philip Dowson opened up in 1968 the splendid vista looking down the water garden) and in the form of the new (Stephen Hodder) buildings at the north end of the College. Some of the Jacobsen courtyards and the configuration of and balance between grass and paving have also undergone evolutionary rearrangements over the years. The garden’s abiding strengths are in its architectural qualities set against simple plantings of carefully chosen trees and shrubs. There are no extensive bedding schemes but many choice plants. It is planned to be at its best in June and October to coincide with the climacterics of the academic year.

History of the Site

The St. Catherine’s site lies on part of an island between the Cherwell to the east and an early 17th century ‘Mill Cut’ to the west.  Until just before the Second World War this whole area was still original Thames valley flood meadow. The only man-made feature intruding into this scene would have been the outline of a huge ‘V’-shaped defensive earthwork, a ravelin, each side of which was about 90 yards long, built by the Royalist garrison in 1642. The city was besieged from 1642-1645, but never suffered a major assault. The ravelin was built to defend the flour mill (now Holywell Mill and part of Magdalen College) and the ford of the river. The ravelin’s line can now be traced by following the fence boundary at the southern end of the college. No picture exists of any part of these defences, although there is a plan of 1644, but from excavations in the Science Area the ditch in front of the ramparts appears to have been about ten feet wide by eight feet deep. The ‘St. Catherine’s’ stretch of the defences was the responsibility of the scholars and it is not surprising in view of their size to read in a diary of the time that this was 'where the scholars do night and day gall their hands with mattocks and shovels'. In 1650 all the other ramparts around the city were levelled and only this section remained visible. Before the Second World War the meadow was used as a  rubbish tip, thus smothering the original Thames alluvium and obscuring the line of the ravelin. Subsequent planting operations have revealed the buried Marmite pots and sauce bottles of an earlier generation. Towards the end of the war, and for some years after, the area was used for allotments. More tipping during the building programme has raised the soil level about five feet above the flood plain; only the area around the Music House still floods and is planted accordingly.

Detailed Description

As you enter the College over Napper’s Bridge (a corruption of ‘Napier’, the name of the Catholic family that held Holywell Manor) with the mill stream running beneath, you can see on your left new buildings designed by Stephen Hodder, built in two phases between 1994 and 2005 and forming a significant new development to the north. This area contains the car park which is formally planted with Ligustrum lucidum (Chinese privet) and newly planted Betula papyrifera (paper bark birch) replacing a previous planting of Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ that succumbed to disease in 2012. The car park is surrounded by beech hedging and decorative blocks of lavender and Sarcococca. Its western edge is punctuated by specimens of Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Sunburst’ and three Gingko biloba. In the northwest corner is a small grassed quadrangle. In its centre is a newly planted Catalpa bignonioides ‘Aurea’ and to the west at the foot of the Punthouse (Jacobsen) two Magnolia x soulangeana. Turning right beyond Staircase 20, you pass Eucryphia x intermedia ‘Rostrevor’ . To the north east is a grassy area looking over Music Meadow with specimens of Pterocarya macroptera and three Tilia x europaea. Now turn right again towards the new porters’ lodge sited in the Arumugam building (Stephen Hodder, 2005), along the lawn designed by Hodder to pull together the old and new parts of the college by the simple expedient of extending the line of the main lawn and water garden.  Ahead of you is  ‘Unbroken Tai Chi’ by Ju Ming and to your right a line of Arbutus x andrachnoides  alternating with  Prunus x amygdalopersica 'Pollardii' ,the hybrid between the peach and almond, planted along the back wall to the car park. Looking south from the Porters’ Lodge on your right  is a Tilia ‘Petiolaris’ (weeping lime) two Robinia pseudoacacia (false acacia)and recently planted specimens of Sophora japonica (Japanese pagoda tree) and Sorbus aria (whitebeam) along with a large specimen of Garrya elliptica (silk tassel bush).

Straight ahead are the lawn and water garden in front of the original Jacobsen buildings. On your left is the Mary Sunley Building (Knud Holscher, 1982) with Rosa × odorata 'Mutabilis' trained up its west wall. On its south front is trained a fine Cercis siliquastrum (Judas tree) under planted with Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, Cistus ladanifer, Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile'.

Looking ahead down the long lawns between the Master’s Lodgings (to the right) and the Senior Common Room block (on the left) there are specimens of Tamarix pentandra (tamarisk), Cotinus coggygria (smoke bush), Ficus carica (fig) and Indigofera heterantha beside the left hand wall that runs the length of the moat.  Underneath the fig tree is a newly planted herb garden (2012), which is regularly used by the kitchens.  

The moat is nearly 190m long and when full holds up to 240,000 gallons of water. It is also home to many koi & fresh water carp that have been generously donated to the College over the years although some have fallen victim to a predatory heron. The tree by the Master’s Lodgings is an unusually large Salix babylonica ‘Tortuosa’ (corkscrew willow).  Immediately to the right of this  located in the Master’s Garden is a Davidia involucrata festooned in late May by pure white bracts like paper handkerchiefs.

Turning right towards the mill stream, you glimpse on your right, the three courtyards of the Alan Bullock Building (Holscher, 1982). In the first (eastern) court is a Eucryphia x nymansensis, and in the northern bed Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’. In the centre courtyard is another Robinia pseudoacacia and an Acer palmatum. In the western courtyard is a thirty year old specimen of the Metasequoia glyptostroboides (dawn redwood). On the south walls is Pyracantha coccinea (firethorn) up the front of the buildings, with beds of Euonymus fortunei   ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’ below. You now pass beneath a Platanus x hispanica (London plane). This hybrid between Platanus occidentalis and P. orientalis was first observed in the Botanic Gardens, Oxford, in the second half of the 17th century, by the then superintendent Jacob Bobart. It has no ‘London’ connection at all. On your left is the circular bicycle shed, with a specimen of Rosa banksiae under planted with Pachysandra terminalis. In the far right hand corner by the wicket gate is Acer platanoides ‘Drummondii’ (variegated Norway maple).

Following the road around, by the west wall to the Master’s garden, on your right is the man-made mill stream, now a tributary of the Cherwell,  that used to serve the mill house which is now within the walls of Magdalen College.

Walking south down the roadway, a beech hedge protects the path from the stream, along the bank of which are various Corylus avellana (hazel). On the opposite side against the wall of the Master’s garden are, running from north to south, Sorbus aucuparia ‘Fructoluteo’, Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Ruby lace’, and  Malus baccata (Siberian Crabapple). Further on at the roundabout island, there is a fine specimen of Acer sacharinum (Silver maple).

Turning left you now face the main front to the College and the old porters’ lodge now converted into seminar rooms. The bronze on the right is ‘Achaean’ by Dame Barbara Hepworth. Beside it are examples of Cornus controversa (wedding cake tree) with its elegant ‘pagoda’ habit and the yellow-leaved Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Sunburst’ (honey locust). Beyond are four specimens of the upright beech Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck' (the so-called ‘Dawyck’ beech and not the misapplied Fagus sylvatica 'Fastigiata'), behind that a handsome planting of Quercus ilex (evergreen oak) & Gingko biloba (maidenhair tree).

Crossing the bridge through the old lodge you are arrive at the main quadrangle with its large circular lawn. To your left is the dining hall and to your right the library and Bernard Sunley Building. After some false starts, the tree currently situated in the lawn is Cedrus libani (Cedar of Lebanon) planted as Jacobsen specified. The other trees offsetting the quad are to the immediate left, Morus nigra (mulberry tree), to the far left is Liriodendron tulipifera ‘Fastigiatum’ (tulip tree) and  to the far right  Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura tree) providing autumn colour and the scent of treacle.  Turning left you approach the Senior Common Room (SCR) garden. On your left is a good specimen of Magnolia kobus (Kobushi magnolia), on your right Paulownia tomentosa (foxglove tree), underplanted with Helleborus x hybridus. Below the west wall of the dining hall an herbaceous border with amongst other plantings, fine tree peonies and Abutilon. Near the doorway to the SCR is Chimonanthus praecox (winter sweet). On the sundial wall at the top of the garden you can see a large specimen of Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ (Nepalese paper plant).  The two examples beside it were seedlings  from the original plant. Planting between the SCR windows includes: Carpenteria californica (tree anemone), Itea illicifolia (holly-leaved sweet spire) and Acca sellowiana (pineapple guava), formerly known as Feijoa sellowiana,  and Romneya coulteri . In the SCR garden are another Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura tree), Acer palmatum ‘Senkaki’, and (recently planted, 2013) Melia azederach (bead tree).Beyond the yew hedge is Exochorda x macrantha  'The Bride' and, on the gable end of the River Block,  Rosa ‘Madame Alfred Carrièrre’

Returning to the central quadrangle turn left past the mulberry.  On the south wall of the Hall is an enormous expanse of Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Virginia creeper) with its brilliant summer green and red autumn foliage. Turn left into the Junior Common Room (JCR) garden. Like the SCR garden, this also contains an herbaceous border, at the southern end of which is a Koelreuteria paniculata (golden rain tree) with attractive bronze young foliage and yellow flowers in summer. Alongside is the red Acer capillipes (snake-bark maple) the four young trees are Robinia x ambigua, a pink flowered false acacia. Also in this area are two specimen trees of Acer griseum (paperbark maple), Prunus maackii (Manchurian cherry), and another Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree). Planted in the beds besides the JCR windows are Exochorda × macrantha 'The Bride' (pearl bush)’ Melianthus major (giant honey flower), Abutilon vitifolium and a form of Clematis texensis

Retrace your steps and walk south, past the central lawn to the south-western corner of the quadrangle. Between the Meadow Block on your left and the Library on your right is a bed with Eucryphia x nymansensis planted among Paeonia lutea ludlowii . Beyond to the left are specimens of Mespilus germanica (medlar) and Fatsia japonica. To the right Magnolia and beneath another (unidentified) form of yellow tree peony. Next to this a fine Magnolia obovata with fragrant white flowers, sometimes followed by colourful cone-like fruit. Beyond it are specimen beds containing lavenders, bearded irises, evening primrose, hellebores and a shifting population of other interesting plants. On the lawn stand a rare specimen of Cladrastris lutea (yellow wood), Ptelea trifoliata (common hop tree) and a recently planted (2009) specimen of Halesia monticola. This vista ends with a mature Prunus serrula.

You have now reached the southern end of the Jacobsen ‘plinth’ on which are set all his buildings save the squash court, music house and punt house. At the end of staircase eight on your left is a magnificent Magnolia grandiflora  (probably ‘Ferruginia’). Beyond it is Arbutus unedo. This was cut to the ground by frost in the early 80’s but luckily regenerated. To the south east is Amelanchier canadensis with a Gingko biloba at the top of the slope to the path to the squash courts to the south. A companion Gingko was planted in 2011. Heading down the path to your left is Sorbus hybrida ‘Gibbsii’ (Swedish whitebeam), and two Liquidamber styraciflua. To the east of the squash courts are two conifers Calocedrus decurrens (incense cedar). Across the lawn looking west is Tilia tomentosa 'Petiolaris'  (weeping silver lime); the narcotic scent of its yellow/green flowers in summer attracts bees in abundance. Behind the Tilia there is a group of trees, four Metasequoia glyptostroboides (dawn redwood) handsome deciduous trees that had been thought to be extinct before being rediscovered in 1944. In the centre of these is a Taxodium distichum (swamp cypress) most famously associated with the swamps of the Florida Everglades.

Returning  to the terrace, there is a grape, Vitis ‘Brandt’ on the south wall of the Bernard Sunley Building is  This variety has both decorative foliage and edible grapes, though the fruit is full of pips. The striking red foliage of the leaves in the autumn contrasts well with the yellow brick of the building. To your left are two more Taxodium distichum (swamp cypress) and mature Fraxinus excelsior (common ash) planted along the boundary line where the ravelin once was. At the end of the terrace is a specimen of the  Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’ Group, with its glaucous blue foliage.

Turning north again by the west wall of the Bernard Sunley building, to your right is Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii and to your left a young specimen of Drimys winteri and a group of Hamamelis;  further on   Parrotia persica (Persian ironwood), underplanted with Magnolia sinensis and (recently planted, 2009) Styrax hemsleyana.  Climbing up the wall of the MCR (middle common room) is Hydrangea anomela (ssp petiolaris). Going through a door to the walled MCR garden you face a bed of Rosa ‘Old Blush China’. To your right is Hydrangea villosa and Acer Palmatum ‘Sango-Kaku’.  At the top of the lawn in front of the MCR stands a large Eucryphia x nymansensis.

Emerging from  the MCR garden you face another group of trees growing in grass, Ptelea trifoliata ‘Aurea’, Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’,  Acer capillipes, Malus tschonoskii  (Chonosuki crab )for its coloured fruits,  and Morus nigra (black mulberry).  Turning south and heading back to towards the end of the building, is a paved area with Fraxinus ornus (Manna ash).  At the end of the moat is another specimen of Koelreuteria paniculata (golden rain tree). Go down the steps taking in the great vista down the length of the moat to your right and you pass two good forms of Gingko biloba (maiden’s hair tree) and in front of them the Quercus ilex that you saw earlier. Bear right at the music house over which climbs the rambling rose, Rosa ‘Bobbie James’.  The lower lawn behind the music house floods regularly through the winter months. Standing here with the ‘Dawyck’ beeches behind you, you will now see a form of Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ (Nookta cypress) and to the right more Taxodium distichum and then newly planted Populus balsamifera (Balsam poplar) plus two Prunus padus ‘Wateri’ (bird cherry). To the far end of the lawn is a newly planted (2013) Cornus ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ and Juglans regia (common walnut). Head up the steps behind the tree and this concludes your tour.

About Us

St Catherine's College is the University of Oxford’s newest college and also one of the largest. It developed out of the St Catherine's Society, and was founded in 1962.

The College admits both undergraduates and graduates, and offers a wide range of subjects with a roughly even split between science and arts. Its modern buildings and restful, open spaces give the College a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Situated at the end of Manor Road off St Cross Road, and surrounded by parks and water, St Catherine's College is close to University faculties and libraries.

St Catherine's traces its descent from the Scholares Non Ascripti, or Delegacy of Non-Collegiate Students, founded by Statute on 11th June, 1868. This was established as part of an expansion of the University so that students would be able to gain an Oxford education without the costs of college membership. During the academic year 2018/2019, the College will therefore be celebrating its 150th Anniversary, in recognition of these origins.

Here you will find information about the College's history, buildings and gardens.


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