Founded by William of Durham in 1249, this is the oldest of the Oxford Colleges. Legend says it is even older than this, and was founded by King Alfred the Great in 872 AD (but there is no hard evidence for this). From the outside, however, you would never guess that, as no trace of the original medieval buildings remains.
The college has one of only two surviving statues of the unpopular Catholic King James II, who was forced to abdicate in 1688 during the so-called ‘Glorious Revolution’.
The most popular part of this College for many tourists is the Shelley Memorial, commemorating the tragic young poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The memorial was originally intended to stand in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome, but was too large and had to be erected here instead. Shelley was a student at the College, although he never actually finished his degree. Ironically, considering the number of people who visit University College to pay homage to him, Shelley was thrown out of the college due to his Atheism.
University College in Oxford has an incredible list of academics who once studied here, including Stephen Hawking, Bill Clinton, C.S. Lewis and two British Prime Ministers.
Address: University College Oxford OX1 4BH
Tel: +44 (0)1865 276 602