Magdalen College, Oxford

Magdalen College
Magdalen College Tower
Magdalen College Oxford Coat Of Arms (Motto).svg
Blazon: Lozengy ermine and sable, on a chief of the second three lilies argent slipped and seeded or
LocationLongwall Street and High Street
Coordinates51°45′09″N 1°14′49″W / 51°45′09″N 1°14′49″W / Boatclub website
Magdalen College, Oxford is located in Oxford city centre
Magdalen College, Oxford
Location in Oxford city centre

Magdalen College (n/ MAWD-lin)[2] is one of the wealthiest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, with an estimated financial endowment of £273 million as of 2018.[3]Magdalen stands next to the River Cherwell and has within its grounds a deer park and Addison's Walk. The large, square Magdalen Tower is an Oxford landmark, and it is a tradition, dating to the days of Henry VII, that the college choir sings from the top of it at 6 a.m. on May Morning.[4]


Magdalen College was founded in 1458 by William of Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor.[5] Wayneflete had previously founded a university hall named Magdalen Hall in 1448.[6] The founder's statutes included provision for a choral foundation of men and boys (a tradition that has continued to the present day) and made reference to the pronunciation of the name of the college in English. The college received another substantial endowment from the estate of Sir John Fastolf of Caister Castle in Norfolk (1380–1459). A second university hall named Magdalen Hall emerged on a site adjacent to Magdalen College, moved to Catte Street in 1822 and became Hertford College in 1874.[6]

Magdalen's prominence since the mid-20th century owes much to such famous fellows as C. S. Lewis and A. J. P. Taylor, and its academic success to the work of such dons as Thomas Dewar Weldon.[7] Like many of Oxford's colleges, Magdalen admitted its first mixed-sex cohort in 1979, after more than half a millennium as a men-only institution.[5] In 2015, Magdalen topped Oxford's Norrington Table of college undergraduate examination results, and its average score over the 2006–2016 period is the best among the colleges.