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Balliol College, Oxford

Stay in one of the oldest colleges of Oxford University, founded in 1263 and situated in the heart of Oxford.

Customer rating: Average: 3.9 (394 ratings)
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Main Entrance Balliol College

Summary

  • 17th century buildings
  • Breakfast included
  • Public car parking for a charge (nearby)
  • No smoking
  • Historic Property

Facilities

  • Free broadband access (wired)
  • Shared gardens

Food and Drinks

  • Cooked breakfast (included)
  • Bar

Nearby recreations

  • Pub (walking distance)
  • Museums (walking distance)
  • Recommended restaurants (walking distance)
  • Theatre (walking distance)

As one of the oldest colleges of Oxford University founded in 1263, we are situated in the heart of Oxford, in Broad Street, ideally located for visiting the University, its Colleges, Museums, Theatres, or just for shopping.

Standard Bedrooms are available on the main College site, in buildings ranging in age from the 1720  to 1968, having been built by Henry Keene (1759) Basevi (1826) Warren (1915) Salvin (1853)  and Beard (1968).

The ensuite rooms at Jowett Walk, a 5 minute walk from the main College site, were built between 1996 and 2005 on the Master's Field (Sports ground). The architect was Sir Richard MacCormac.

All the rooms that we have to offer are used during term by students. They are not equipped to a five star standard but are provided with bed linen, towels, a welcome hospitality pack, and tea and coffee making facilities.

The accommodation offers the opportunity to experience a stay in one of Oxford's oldest colleges in rooms that are  full of history built around the Garden Quad, or sports field. These rooms have been occupied by famous Old Members including Prime Ministers Harold Macmillan, Herbert Asquith, and Edward Heath. Poet Matthew Arnold, writer Graham Greene.

Your Scout (Housekeeping) will service your room on a daily basis, The accommodation is centrally heated and most radiators can be controlled individually using the thermostat control.

A guide to the College is available from the Porters' Lodge.

History to the present day

Balliol College is one of the oldest Colleges in Oxford. About 1260, or perhaps a few years before, John de Balliol, the powerful Lord of Barnard Castle, was involved in a territorial dispute with Walter Kirkham, Bishop of Durham. Balliol, impatient, insulted the Bishop, who imposed a penance on him.

According to the Chroniclers, he had to submit to a public whipping at Durham Cathedral door, and he was also required to carry out a substantial act of charity. This he did by renting a house just outside the Oxford town wall, and maintain in it some poor scholars to whom he paid a dole of a few pence a week.

The House stood roughly where the present Master's Lodgings are, looking across Horsemonger Street, now Broad Street, and the ditch or moat to the city wall. The date of this is traditionally reckoned as 1263.

When John Balliol died in 1269, his widow Dervorguilla took on the role of Patroness with enthusiasm and generosity. She continued to give financial support, put the arrangements on a permanent basis by the formulation of statutes (1282) and gave the Scholars a house "New Balliol Hall" sited near where the present Chapel is. In 1284 there were sixteen Scholars or Fellows.

It was during the 19th Century that Balliol rose to prominence by vigorously promoting university reform and above all by pursuing academic excellence in a liberal environment at the instigation of John Parsons who was Master from 1798 - 1819. Successive Masters continued this pursuit of excellence including the charismatic Benjamin Jowett, after whom our newest accommodation is named.

Food and Drinks

Full English Breakfast is available in the Hall, on the Broad Street site, between 8am and 9am daily.  The College Hall was built in 1877 by Waterhouse. This magnificent building with its organ loft and Willis Organ, 1885, is used daily by the students and seats up to 220 for feasts and banquets.

Guests are welcome to use our informal College Buttery Bar, which is situated to the right of the steps to the Hall.  The Buttery Bar offers a wide range of beers, spirits, and wines as well as soft drinks.  Normal Hours of opening are:  Monday to Saturday 12noon to 2pm; Monday to Friday 6pm to 8pm. 

Other facilities

Internet access is available in college bedrooms. Guests should bring their own Ethernet cables to access this.

Arrival information and how to find us

Address: Balliol College, Oxford, OX1 3BJ, United Kingdom

Check In: From 2pm - 12am Check Out: By 10am

On arrival report to the Porters' Lodge (located at the main entrance to the college) you will be given a key and directed to your room(s). It is generally possible to leave some bags at the Porters' Lodge if your arrival time is before 2pm and your room isn't ready.

The College's Main Porters' Lodge and entrance is situated on Broad Street, opposite the Tourist Information Office. It is about a 10 minute walk from the railway station (taxis are available outside) and 5 minutes from the Gloucester Green bus and coach station.

We regret that car parking is not available at Balliol College.

For information on getting to Oxford, see the Visitor Information section of the website.

All guests are asked to treat college staff and property with respect, and conduct themselves in a manner befitting an historic academic institution, bearing in mind students and tutors may be working and living on site. If, having read the information below, you are unsure about arrival or travel recommendations, see the visitor information section of our website.

More photos of Balliol College, Oxford

Front Quad Main Entrance The Oriel Window of the Master's Lodgings The Great Hall Old Common Room Library above Fellows Garden Entrance to the Fellows Garden Chapel Passage The Jowett Walk Building The Buttery Bar

Customer reviews

We guarantee that all our feedback is genuine and can only be submitted by people who have booked through our websites.

Really enjoyable stay. Staff extremely helpful. I would definitely recommend staying at Balliol and would stay again on future visits to Oxford.
Miss Laura T

I really enjoyed staying in Oxford. The buildings were much more beautiful than I expected.
Ms Sayaka Y

This was absolutely perfact! I'll certainly be using your website again!
Miss Lissa S

I loved my stay at Balliol College. It gave me a real feel of Oxford that I wouldn't have got staying in a hotel. The gardens are beautiful and it was like being in an oasis in the middle of town.
Ms Coral A

Service in Balliol College is very good and staff is courteous and pleasant. Thank you for nice stay at Oxford.
Prof Jan Michal B

Exellent experience, I will do this again and promote it to others.
Dr Minna K

Had a wonderful experience and a thrill to stay at Bailliol. Everyone most helpful.
Prof Michael D

I have stayed at Balliol College numerous times during my post graduate studies at Oxford and I was never disappointed. The college atmosphere was magnificent, the meals were outstanding, and the room was completely satisfactory.
Mr Daren P

I had an ensuite room on Jowett walk, which is some minutes to walk from the main building. I enjoyed staying there very much; the room was very clean and quiet and had a lot of space to store things. Unexpected plus: A fully equipped kitchen to use in the floor. Breakfast was early in the morning, but very opulent - wonderful! I would stay again at the Balliol.
Mr Martin V

I had a very pleasant experience. My room was spacious and very comfortable. It was great to have my own bathroom. I also appreciated the kitchen area where I could heat up water for coffee or tea. I loved the opportunity to stay on or near the "Oxford" campus. Thank you.
Mrs Meryl S

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