An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Oxford. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1939.
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(16) Merton College stands on the S. side of Merton Street. The walls are of local Oxfordshire stone and the roofs are slate-covered. The college was first founded by Walter de Merton, later Bishop of Rochester, in 1264 and moved to Oxford in 1274. To about this date probably belongs the Hall; the pre-existing church of St. John the Baptist served as a chapel and three houses on the street front no doubt accommodated the scholars. The accounts of the college begin in 1287. The choir of the new Chapel was begun in 1289–90 and appears to have been completed in 1294 when the accounts refer to its roofing and glazing. In 1299–1300 there are various references to the building of the Warden's Lodging which is probably to be identified with the building in the N.E. angle of the Front Quadrangle. In 1307 the old chapel was converted into chambers; it is possible that the N. range of Mob Quadrangle represents the position of this building, but if so it was entirely re-built at a slightly later date. Though there is little direct evidence, it appears probable that the Treasury and the adjoining range of Mob Quadrangle were built in 1308–9. In 1309–10 the Sacristy was begun and in 1312 the high altar of the chapel was dedicated. In 1330 the crossing of the chapel was begun, though it is possible that some part of the E. arch was constructed when the choir was built. The building of the S. Transept of the chapel may be equated with the works in progress in 1367–8. The Library was built by William Rede, Bishop of Chichester, between the years 1371–9, the vaulting in the passage on the N.W. being perhaps referred to in 1378. The N. Transept of the chapel seems to have been built in 1416–24 though there is no explicit reference to this part of the structure. Some time in the 15th century the windows in the S. transept were altered, and in 1451 the upper part of the Tower was built; the W. window is probably of late 15th-century date. The license to build the Gate-tower was granted in 1418 and perhaps the adjoining parts of the N. range of the Front Quadrangle were built about the same time. Under Richard Fitzjames, Warden (1483–1507) the archway, E. of the Hall, was erected and the existing roof put on the library (in 1502–3); the archway at the W. end of the Hall is said to have been built under Richard Rawlyns, Warden (1508–21). In 1579 a porch was added to the Hall and the N. side of the Front Quadrangle was remodelled between 1589 and 1591. Under Sir Henry Savile, Warden (1586–1622) the kitchen was re-built and the Fellows' Quadrangle was erected, the foundation-stone being laid in September 1608; it was completed in 1610; the battlements were added in 1622. In the following year the dormer-windows were added to the S. library and those of the W. library are probably of the same date. In 1631 the range W. of the entrancetower was built or re-built. The roof of the S. transept of the chapel fell in 1655, and in 1671 the room over the kitchen was converted into a Senior Common Room. In 1790–4 the Hall was remodelled and largely re-built by Wyatt. The range towards the street was refaced by Blore in 1836–8 and in 1842 the restoration of the Chapel was begun; in 1864 a new block of rooms was built on the S.W. angle of the site; it has been remodelled in recent years; the Hall was restored in 1872–4 by Sir Gilbert Scott, and other minor restorations were made. The E. range of the Front Quadrangle was re-built in 1904–5, when St. Alban's Hall, immediately to the E. was also re-built, except the N. front, a building of 1599. Other minor restorations have taken place in recent years.
The buildings form the earliest example of collegiate planning in Oxford. The chapel with its glass, brasses and monuments, the ironwork on the hall-door, the bosses of the Fitzjames gateway and the fittings of the library are all noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Front Quadrangle is entered by the Gatehouse of 1418 with a short range on the W. built in 1631 and a range on the E., re-built in 1589–91; the N. and W. fronts were entirely refaced in 1837–8 and the S. front has recently been stripped of cement. The Gatehouse is of three storeys with an embattled parapet and a stair-turret at the S.W. angle; above the modern outer archway are modern copies of the former statues of the founder and a king; the central stone panel was inserted by Richard Fitzjames, Warden (1483–1507) and re-set at the restoration; it represents a book with the Agnus Dei on one side and St. John the Baptist and the founder on the other side set in a landscape background with various animals. The 15th-century doors are of two leaves each with five cinquefoil-headed panels with vertical tracery in the four-centred head; there is a wicket in the E. leaf. The S. face of the gate-house is of rubble with an ashlar-faced turret; the inner archway has a segmental-pointed head of two orders; the upper floors have each a partly restored 17th-century window of two four-centred lights in a square head. The gate-hall has a stone vault of two bays with ridge, diagonal and intermediate ribs, springing from head-corbels; the bosses, some of which are of doubtful antiquity, are carved with foliage, roses, a goat's head with a sickle, a padlock and, in the middle, a half-figure of the Virgin with the Child and the initials T.B. The roof of the top storey of the tower has original curved and moulded braces resting on wood corbels. The 17th-century wing on the W. is of two storeys with attics; the S. face has a doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head; the windows are of 17th-century type but completely restored externally. The S. front of the range E. of the gatehouse is of two storeys with attics and is of rubble; the stone dressings have been mostly renewed; the two doorways have moulded jambs and four-centred arches in square heads with labels; the windows have four-centred heads to the lights. Inside the range are some 16th-century moulded ceiling-beams and a little early 17th-century panelling, made up into a dado, on the first floor. The E. end of the range is presumably part of the Warden's Lodging built in 1299–1300; it consisted of a small hall (28½ ft. by 21 ft.) with a cross-wing at the E. end; the latter has been largely re-built but the form of the original window in the N. gable-wall has been retained. The small hall is now of two, but was originally of one storey; all the dressings have been renewed but the doorway and two windows in the S. wall appear to retain their original form. The interior retains its original roof of two bays with three trusses; the tiebeams support queen-posts with moulded capitals and bases and curved braces to the main collar-beams; these in turn support king-posts with moulded capitals and rounded bases with curved braces to the upper collar-beams and central purlin.
The Hall (78 ft. by 27 ft.) on the S. side of the Front Quadrangle, was built in the second half of the 13th century, largely re-built in 1790–4 and again drastically restored or re-built in 1872–4. It is of four bays with buttresses and a N. porch and stands upon a low undercroft. All the existing features are completely restored or modern, except at the W. end; here the wall is of rubble and at the base of the gable are four old corbels, perhaps part of a former corbel-table and parapet within which rose the original gable-wall; at the basement level are a partly restored doorway with a two-centred head and a 16th-century window of three four-centred lights; above the latter is a three-light 17th-century window, with elliptical heads to the lights. The N. doorway of the Hall has been restored or re-cut but retains the original oak door (Plate 27) with elaborate scrolled ironwork; this has three straps, two main and one subsidiary, with foliage and stamped rosette-ends to the scrolls. The basement has an 18th or early 19th-century system of vaulting, but the side walls retain the splays of former windows, now blocked. Part of the walling of the porch appears to be old.
The Fitziames Gateway, on the E. of the hall, was built c. 1500 and restored in 1905; it is of two storeys, ashlar-faced and finished with a modern embattled parapet. The N. archway has moulded jambs, four-centred arch and modern label with restored stops; above it is a shield-of-arms of the see of Rochester impaling Fitzjames quartering Draycot, with angels, mitre and canopy; the windows on the upper floor have been restored and are of two four-centred and transomed lights. The return wall to the E. is of the same date and the restored features include two shields of the arms of Fitzjames and Draycot; two windows, each of a single cinque-foiled light, are partly old. The S. archway is similar to that on the N. and above it are two restored windows each of two cinque-foiled lights; the bay to the E. has a much restored bay-window, of two storeys, each with two four-centred and transomed lights on the front and one on each canted side. The gate-hall has an original stone vault (Plate 3) of one bay with hollow-chamfered diagonal, subsidiary, lierne, ridge and wall ribs springing from modern shafts; the bosses (Plate 139) are carved in very high relief, partly in the round, with the signs of the zodiac and a central achievement of the Tudor royal arms, with dragon and greyhound supporters. Inside the building, the lower stage of the bay-window has a stone ceiling with cusped panels. The rooms on the first floor form Common Rooms. Adjoining this range on the N.E. is part of a 15th-century building of three storeys, formerly part of the Warden's Lodging. The external features have been almost entirely restored but, inside the building, the porch has an original vault, with hollow-chamfered ridge, diagonal and wall ribs, springing from head-corbels and with foliated or rose-bosses at the intersections. Further E. is a fine oak staircase (Plate 168) inserted by Nathaniel Brent, Warden (1622–51); it is of well-type, with turned balusters, moulded ribs and strings and enriched newels finished with tall moulded terminals and pendants; the newel on the top landing has cartouches-of-arms of the college and Brent.
The Archway or bridge (Plate 142) on the W. of the Hall was built by Richard Rawlyns, Warden (1508–21). It is ashlar-faced and finished with a moulded coping. The two archways both have moulded jambs, four-centred arches and labels; on each face is a window of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a label; the stops are carved with a monogram, rose and portcullis, of doubtful antiquity. The archway has a segmental-pointed stone vault with cinque-foiled panels, partly restored. The passage above has a modern panelled ceiling incorporating an original foliated boss; the passage communicates with the S.E. stair-turret of the Sacristy.
The Chapel (Plate 140) consists of a Choir, Crossing and Tower, and Transepts forming an Ante-chapel, and stands to the N.W. of the Front Quadrangle. The Choir (102 ft. by 28 ft.) was built during the years 1289– 94 and is a building of seven bays with a moulded plinth and parapet. The partly restored E. window is of seven cinque-foiled and sub-cusped lights each with a crocketted gable, set within the tracery, in a two-centred main head, with moulded and shafted splays and moulded labels; the internal label-stops are carved with the heads of a bishop and a king. The side-walls have two-stage buttresses with panelled upper parts and finished with water-spouts and gables; the parapet-string, on the N., has a series of carvings, probably restored. Each bay has a partly restored window of three trefoiled or cinque-foiled lights with varying tracery in a two-centred head with moulded labels; the splays are moulded and shafted and the rear-arches moulded; between the heads of the windows are grouped wall-shafts with moulded capitals and bases, standing on corbels carved with foliage, heads, a monster and a swine-herd with swine; within the modern piscina-recess is a small restored quatre-foiled squint, opening into the sacristy, and in the next bay is a doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch in cinque-foiled, gabled and crocketted head with side pinnacles and head-stops; it and a similar blind bay to the E. form a range with the modern sedilia and piscina and are themselves partly restored. The Crossing (Plate 141) (26 ft. by 24 ft.) was built c. 1330–4 with the possible exception of some part of the E. arch which may be of the date of the choir. In each wall is a two-centred arch of six moulded orders with labels; the outer labels of the E., N. and S. arches have stops carved with foliage and heads including a king and a bishop; the responds have each eleven attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the W. arch has a late 15th-century blocking in which is a window of six cinque-foiled ogee and transomed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head, with moulded reveals; above the arch in this wall is the gabled weathering of the projected nave which was never built. The Tower has a plain stage rising to the level of the ridges of the adjoining roofs; in the W. wall is a window of two pointed lights in a two-centred head; a modern gallery runs round the stage but the roof may be, in part, old; it has curved braces springing from carved corbels some of which may be of the 15th century. The bell-chamber, added in 1451, has buttressed pilasters at each angle and in the middle of each face; it is finished with a frieze of quatrefoils, a pierced embattled parapet and eight crocketted pinnacles, restored in 1822; each face of the bell-chamber has two windows of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label; the windows are blocked below a transom. The N. Transept (34 ft. by 29 ft.) was built in 1416–24 with the exception of the arch into the projected N. aisle of the nave, which is of the same date as the crossing. The walls are ashlar-faced, with a moulded plinth, plain parapet and square pinnacles at the N. angles; the parapet string-course has grotesque and other carvings. In the E. wall are two partly restored windows of three cinque-foiled and sub-cusped lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals, rear-arch and label, and shafted splays; the internal labels have head-stops of kings and bishops; below the N.E. window is a modern doorway. In the N. wall is a similar window but of seven lights with a brattished transom; flanking the windows are niches with moulded pedestals, ogee crocketted canopies and side-buttresses with pinnacles; they contain decayed images of the Virgin and St. John the Baptist; on the E. pedestal is a shield of the arms of the college; below the window is a doorway with moulded and shafted jambs and moulded two-centred arch in a square head with traceried spandrels and a label; the splays are shafted and the rear-arch is four-centred; it is set in a range of cinquefoil-headed panels, below the window-sill; in the gable is a completely restored triangular window. In the W. wall is a window similar to those in the E. wall; in the S. bay is an early 14th-century arch, two-centred and of three moulded orders with a label; the shafted responds have moulded capitals and restored bases; the arch has a 15th-century blocking. The S. Transept (35 ft. by 29 ft.) was built probably in 1367–8 except for the arch into the projected nave-aisle which corresponds to that in the N. transept; probably in the second half of the 15th century the transept was remodelled, and all the windows altered. In the E. wall are two windows of which the internal labels and adjoining string-course are of the 14th century and the tracery of the 15th century; they are of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head, with moulded reveals; the external labels have decayed head-stops. In the S. wall is a 15th-century window of six cinque-foiled ogee and transomed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and labels; the transom and cross-bars of the tracery are embattled; the inner label has head-stops of a king and a bishop and the outer label has a stop carved with an angel holding a shield apparently of the arms of the college; at the W. end of the wall is a late 14th-century doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label and shafted splays; in the gable is a window of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a triangular head. In the W. wall is a window similar to those in the E. wall and in the N. bay is a blocked arch similar to that in the N. transept; the wall has no parapet but is finished with a string-course having grotesque and other carvings at intervals. The projected aisled Nave was never erected and the idea was evidently abandoned by the later part of the 15th century. The two W. buttresses of the crossing incorporate the rough responds of the nave arcade and the springers of the arches above; over the arch into the N. transept is the weathering of the projected pent-roof of the N. aisle. The Roof of the choir is perhaps original and has trussed rafters of scissorform; it is ceiled with modern boarding. The 15th-century roof of the tower has tie-beams with curved braces.
Fittings—Bells: eight, all by Christopher Hodson, 1630. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In choir—(1) of John Bloxham, S.T.B., Warden,  and John Whytton, Rector of Wodeton (Wood Eaton), figure of former in gown and hood and of latter in cassock and hood, under small double canopy supported on a bracket and shaft with the Agnus Dei at the base and a scroll below, early 15th-century, re-set, original indent in N. transept; (2) of Henry Sever, S.T.P., Warden, 1471, large figure of priest in cope with figures of a bishop, St. James the Great, St. James the Less, St. Paul, St. John the Baptist, St. John the Evangelist, St. Bartholomew and St. Thomas, two shields-of-arms of Sever and a triple canopy with pinnacles and the word mercy, side-shafts missing, re-set, original indent in N. transept. In N. transept—(3) of [Richard de Hakeborne], Rector of W[o]lfo[rd], c. 1311, half-figure of priest in mass-vestments against remains of a floriated cross, branches and stem missing, indents of marginal inscription in single capitals; (4) figure of a priest, apparently in civilian dress, in head of mutilated floriated cross, stem and marginal inscription missing, c. 1370, cut on same slab, initials and date R.W. 1686; (5) to Robert Beseley, M.A., 1623, two inscription-plates; (6) to Nicholas Marshe, M.A., 1612, two inscription-plates; on W. wall; (7) to Francis Yarnold, M.A., 1587, inscription in Latin, Hebrew and Greek. In crossing—(8) to William Bysse, 1510–11, inscription only. In S. transept—(9) of [John Bowke, M.A., 1519], half-figure of priest in gown and hood with chalice and wafer, indent of inscription-plate; (10) of John Kyllyngworth, M.A., 1445, half-figure of priest in gown and hood, indent of shield. Indents: in N. transept—(1) of figure in head of foliated cross and marginal inscription; (2) fragment with indent of shaft of cross. In crossing—(3) of priest, inscription-plate and four roundels; (4) of figure in head of floriated cross and marginal inscription; (5) of inscription-plate; (6) of half-figure of priest and inscription-plate. In S. transept—(7) fragment with indent of shaft of cross; (8) of inscription-plate and scroll; (9) of inscription-plate and perhaps figure; (10) of two figures under canopy with marginal inscription; (11) of figure of priest and inscription-plate; (12) of figure in head of floriated cross with marginal inscription and scrolls; (13) of half-figure. Cupboard: In N. transept—with panelled doors and moulded cornice, early 18th-century. Doors: In N. transept—in N. doorway, of two leaves with applied ribs forming panels, late 16th or early 17th-century; in S. transept—in S. doorway, of one leaf, but otherwise similar to above. Funeral Helm: In library, but said to have been formerly over monument of Sir Thomas Bodley—helm with comb, ridged visor, mezail with decoration including crest, decoration also on chin-piece, c. 1580. Glass: In choir—in E. window, tracery filled with glass of c. 1300 (Plate 146) in situ and including foliage, shields-of-arms of England, England with a label and Clare and small figures of the Virgin and St. Gabriel with a scroll inscribed "Ave Maria"; in main lights seven shields-of-arms, seven panels and fourteen roundels with shields-of-arms; shields-of-arms as follows—(a) the College, (b) France and England quarterly, (c) composite coat for Walter de Merton, (d) Clare, (e) see of Winchester impaling Beaufort, (f) Beaufort, (g) see of Rochester impaling Fitzjames quartering Draycot; panels as follows—(a) two seraphim, (b) the Crucifixion (Plate 147) with the Virgin and St. John, (c) half-length figure (Plate 149) of abbess with nimbus, (d) half-length figure (Plate 149) of the Virgin and Child (e) half-length figure of abbess with nimbus, (f) head of St. John the Evangelist with fragments, (g) seraph and a male saint kneeling; roundels as follows— (a) Fitzjames, (b) Ponthieu (?), (c) Kemp, (d) France ancient quartering England, (e) Draycot, (f) Fitzjames, (g) Beaufort, (h) France quartering England, (i) Rochester impaling Fitzjames quartering Draycot, (j) Draycot, (k) Merton (reversed) impaling Beckingham (?), (1) the College, (m) Kemp and (n) Ponthieu, 14th to 16th-century, not in situ. In fourteen sidewindows of choir—glass of c. 1300 and in situ with groundwork of grisaille of vine, oak and maple-leaves, borders of either vine or ivy-leaves or an alternation of castles and fleurs-de-lis, in middle of main lights, a series of panels containing figures under crocketted and pinnacled canopies, in upper and lower parts of main lights, a series of roundels with various leaves or heads, including one of Christ and various kings and queens and a pelican in her piety; in main lights, central figure in panels, flanked in each window (except two on the S.E.) by kneeling figures (Plate 148) of the donor in gown, hood and cap with the inscription "Magister Henricus de Mamesfeld me fecit"; central figures in each window, starting on N. side, as follows—(a) St. Peter (Plate 145), (b) St. Andrew (Plate 148), (c) St. Simon, (d) St. Philip (?), (e) St. Bartholomew, (f) St. James the Less, (g) saint with book, St. John (?); S. side, first two windows each with three standing figures, rest with one figure and two figures of donor as on N., (a) an archbishop, (b) St. Paul, (c) St. Nicholas (Plate 145); (d) St. Lawrence, (e) St. Jude (?), (f) St. Stephen (Plate 148), (g) St. Thomas, (h) St. Mark, (i) St. James the Great (Plate 148), (j) St. Luke (?), (k) St. Matthew. In crossing—in W. window, in heads of main lights, tabernacle-work, in tracery-lights small figures (Plate 147) as follows—(a) made-up figure, (b) and (e) Coronation of the Virgin (?), (c and d) the Annunciation, (f) figure with psaltery; in second row, (a) figure in habit, (b) St. Thomas of Hereford, (c) St. James the Less, (d) St. Thomas, (e) St. John the Evangelist (?), (f) St. James the Great, (g) St. Andrew, (h) St. Peter, (i) St. Paul, (j) small figure; in third row, (a) made-up figure, (b) St. George, (c) St. Ethelbert, (d) St. Matthew, (e) made up figure, (f) St. Simon, (g) St. Bartholomew, (h) St. Philip, (i) St. John the Baptist, (j) made-up figure, (k) St. Christopher, (l) small figure, 15th-century not in situ. In N. transept—in tracery of N. window, conventional foliage in situ and jumble of fragments, including parts of inscriptions, 15th and 16th-century. In S. transept—in S. window, in spandrels of lower lights, conventional leaves, 15th-century in situ. Now in store—glass formerly in E. window, executed by William Price sen. in 1700. Lectern (Plate 24): of brass and of double-desk form, with fleur-de-lis cresting and pinnacle on each gable-head, each desk with pierced central panel enclosing a shield-of-arms of Fitzjames and, at sides, the inscription, "Orate pro ai~a. Mri~. Johi~s Martok", moulded stem and base on four lions, c. 1500, two added candle-branches, probably 18th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In N. transept—on E. wall, (1) to Anthony Wood, antiquary, 1695, white marble cartouche in draped frame with achievement-of-arms; (2) to Robert, 1644–5, and Joan, 1643–4, infant children of Richard Spencer, stone and black marble tablet with side-pilasters, broken pediment and cartouche-of-arms; on W. wall, (3) of Sir Thomas Bodley, founder of the public library, 1612–3, alabaster and black marble monument (Plate 143), by Nicholas Stone, with central oval recess containing bust of man and surrounded by figures representing Music, Arithmetic, Grammar and Rhetoric, side-pilasters, composed of books, supporting an entablature and pediment, with cartouche, achievement-of-arms and three allegorical figures, two further figures flanking monument and a third on apron. In S. transept—on E. wall, (4) to John Whitfield, A.M., 1694, white marble tablet with curved pediment, lamp and achievement-of-arms; (5) to Nathaniel Wight, 1682, painted and gilt stone tablet (Plate 29) with oval panel, broken pediment, figures of children and achievement-of-arms; on S. wall, (6) to John Earle, Bishop of Salisbury, 1665, alabaster and black marble wall-monument with Doric side-pilasters, entablature, broken pediment and two cartouches-of-arms; (7) to Alexander Fisher, 1671, alabaster and black marble wall-monument with Corinthian side-columns, entablature, broken pediment and cartouche-of-arms; on W. wall, (8) of Sir Henry Savile, Warden, formerly Provost of Eton, 1621–2, painted marble wall-monument (Plate 143) with bust of man in middle flanked by standing figures of St. John Chrysostom, Ptolemy, Euclid and Tacitus, Doric side-columns supporting an entablature and curved pediment with cherubs and a figure of Fame, achievement and two painted shields-of-arms, on base two paintings of Merton College and Eton (Plate 36); (9) to Richard Lydall, M.D., Warden, 1703–4, white and grey marble tablet, with cornice, pediment and cartouche-of-arms; (10) to John Bainbridge, M.D., 1643, black marble slab, with inset panels and achievement-of-arms in white marble. Floor-slabs: In N. transept—(1) to A.W. (Anthony Wood), 1695; (2) to Mary, wife of John Garland, 1670; (3) to Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Gr......, late 17th-century; (4) to Anne, daughter of James Clayton, 1680; (5) to Henry Briggs, 17th-century; (6) to Parnel, wife of Ellis Roberts, 1644; (7) to Mary Babington, 1632, with shield-of-arms; (8) to Benjamin, infant son of Adrian Roberts, 1702–3; (9) to William Martin, 1669; (10) to John Price, 1690; (11) to ........ Roberts, 1644; (12) to Elizabeth (Howe) wife of James Clayton, 1681, with achievement-of-arms; (13) to Anne, daughter of Robert Woode, 1666; (14) to John Luffe, Regius Professor of Medicine, 1698; (15) to Thomas Silly, 1643; (16) to William Martin, 1665–6; (17) to Martha, daughter of John Beckford, 1692; (18) to Joan Burnuam, 1654–5; in crossing, (19) to E.G. 1696; (20) to Benjamin Burnuam, 1656; (21) to John Beckford, 1691–2; (22) to Anne, daughter of Christopher Woode, 1664; (23) to Thomas Cobham, 1659; (24) to John Prince, 1673; (25) to Jane Blizard, 1691; (26) to H.D., 1667; (27) to P.B., 1699; (28) to S.I., 1661; (29) to John Lydall, M.B., 1711. In S. transept— (30) to R.K., 167.; (31) toC.W., 1684; (32) to T.M., 1691; (33) to I.W., 1629; (34) to Elizabeth Badcock, 1701; (35) to John Badcock, 1707; (36) to .. C., 88; (37) to Mary, wife of William Booden, 1630–1; (38) to I.W., 1668; (39) to Na[thaniel] Wight, ; (40) to William Cunninggam, 1642; (41) to ..... Cunninggam, 45. Set on fourth buttress on N. of choir—(41) to George Guy, 1652. Picture: Crucifixion, school of Tintoretto. Piscina: In S. transept— in S. wall, of two bays with moulded and shafted jambs and central free shaft, cinque-foiled arches with tracery in gabled crocketted and finialed head, side-buttresses with pinnacles, two cinque-foiled drains, c. 1300, probably re-set and restored. Pulpit (Plate 44): In N. transept—of oak, hexagonal with enriched panelled sides and enriched cornice, moulded base on six twisted posts with rails, early 18th-century. Stoup: In S. transept— in S. wall, recess with chamfered jambs and four-centred head, restored round bowl, 15th-century.
The Sacristy, S. of the choir, was built in 1309–11 and was restored and re-roofed in 1886. The walls are of rubble with a low-pitched gable to the E. and W. In the E. wall are two, and in the W. wall one, partly restored windows, each of three trefoiled ogee lights with net-tracery in a two-centred head with moulded splays and labels; at the N. end of the W. wall is a blocked doorway with rounded jambs, set inside the wall, and a two-centred head; at the S. end is a similar doorway, also blocked; between them is a fireplace with a segmental head. The roof is modern but incorporates some old timber. The stair-turret, at the S.E. angle, is entered by a pointed doorway and has, at the foot of the stairs, a recess with a pointed head and a shelf; the doorway to the bridge, communicating with the hall, has moulded jambs and four-centred head.
The Mob Quadrangle (Plate 142) (65½ ft. by 66 ft.) has an E. Range including the Treasury built probably in 1308–9, a N. Range perhaps built in 1335–6 and two Library ranges on the S. and W. built in 1371–8. The Treasury is a rubble building of two storeys with a N.W. stair-turret and a steep-pitched gabled roof of stone; the S. side of the ground-floor forms the entrance to the Quadrangle and has a room to the N. of it; both these are roofed with quadripartite stone vaults in two bays, springing from attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the entrance-passage is entered by two doorways each with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch with a label; the adjoining room is lit by a restored window of two lights and in the N. wall are the jambs of a former arched recess. The treasury, on the first floor, is lit by single-light windows with shouldered heads; the roof of stone slabs is carried on three two-centred and chamfered arches, dying on to the sidewalls; the room is paved with old tiles, formerly glazed. The rest of the E. Range is of two storeys with attics. The W. face has, on the ground floor, a much restored 14th-century doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label; N. of it are two restored 15th-century windows, each of two square-headed lights with a label; the cusping of the heads has been cut away; S. of the doorway are two completely restored windows of 14th-century character. The windows on the first floor are of the 16th or 17th century with square heads, except for two completely restored windows of 14th-century type; the window over the doorway has been entirely restored. On the E. face the single-light upper windows are probably of the 14th century with the cusping cut away. Inside the range, the ground-floor appears to retain its original main timber ceiling-beams; on the first floor are some late mediæval moulded ceiling-beams. The N. Range of the quadrangle is thought to occupy the site of the old chapel, turned into rooms in 1307; if so it was subsequently entirely re-built, perhaps in 1335–6. It is of two storeys with attics and has on the S. side a central 14th-century doorway with chamfered jambs, two-centred arch and moulded label; the two-light windows on the ground floor are of the 15th century and have moulded reveals and square heads with the cusping cut away; the single-light windows are 17th-century insertions and below the easternmost are the jambs of an original 14th-century window; two of the windows on the first floor are probably of the 14th century restored; they are of a single cinque-foiled light; the other windows have four-centred heads and are of the 16th century. In the E. end is a blocked 14th-century window of one restored cinque-foiled light; the doorway adjoining the S.E. angle of the building is of 14th-century character, much restored. The N. face of the range retains, on the ground-floor, three original windows, two similar to that in the E. end and the third with an altered head; the first floor has a range of five square-headed windows, probably original, but altered and with the cusping cut away. In the W. wall is an original doorway with chamfered jambs and a trefoiled ogee head; it is now blocked. Inside the range is a 17th-century staircase with turned balusters, square newels and close strings; across the E. part of the range is a ceiling-beam with heavy curved braces, perhaps of the 15th century; at the head of the stairs on the first floor are two door-heads with sunk cutting on the face, perhaps of the 17th century. Extending at an angle S. from this range, under the quadrangle, are the foundations of a narrow chamber or building presumably of earlier date and of uncertain purpose. The Library building forms the S. and W. Ranges of the Quadrangle and was built in 1371–8; the dormer-windows were added in and about 1623; the ranges are of two storeys and ashlar-faced towards the quadrangle; the ashlar alters in character above the ground-floor windows, possibly indicating an intention to erect a pentice along the front. The ground-floor, towards the quadrangle, has in each range two 15th-century two-light windows with moulded reveals and the cusping cut away; the other windows are of a single four-centred light and of late 16th or early 17th-century date; one partly restored doorway in the S. and two in the W. range are original and have moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label; the western doorway in the S. range is of the 15th century, with moulded and shafted jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with traceried spandrels and a label; in it is hung a nail-studded door with strap-hinges. The upper floor has in each range a series of partly restored original windows, lighting the library; they are each of a single cinque-foiled light; at the E. end of the S. range is a window of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head and at the N. end of the W. range is a 16th-century window of four four-centred lights. Each range has two added dormer-windows of stone, partly restored, and of c. 1623; they are in the form of bay-windows with four four-centred and transomed lights on the face and one on each splayed return; they are finished with ornamented parapets and below the sills are cartouches of the arms of the college. The S. face of the S. range has a series of windows and doors on the ground floor, largely modern, except for one early 17th-century window of three four-centred lights with a moulded label. On the first floor is a range of original windows each of one trefoiled ogee light; further E. is a much restored two-light window. The gabled end of the W. range has an original window of two cinque-foiled and transomed lights, with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a label. In the E. wall is a modern oriel-window. The W. face of the W. range has, at the N. end of the ground-floor, a doorway opening into a passage and similar to the E. doorway of the same passage; further S. is a series of windows, some modern, some of the 16th century and some of the 17th or 18th century. The first floor has a series of original single-light windows similar to those on the S. of the S. range; further N. is a 17th-century three-light window and a blocked 15th-century window. Inside the S. range, on the ground floor are two screens incorporating much woodwork from the screen of 1671 formerly in the chapel and removed in 1851; they include Corinthian pilasters and columns, carved archspandrels, cornices, architraves, etc.; other woodwork from the chapel is also re-set in this range. At the N. end of the W. range is an original passage with a quadripartite stone vault of two bays; the ribs spring from shafts with moulded capitals and bases; in the S. wall is a 17th-century doorway. A room further S. (the Bradley Library) has an open timbered ceiling. The Library forms the greater part of the first floor of the W. and the whole of the S. range and is approached by a late 16th or early 17th-century staircase in the S.W. angle of the quadrangle; it has a balustrade at the top with turned balusters, tall turned posts with finials and heavy upper and lower rails. The W. wing of the library (Plate 144) was fitted up temp. Archbishop Whitgift (1583–1604) and the S. wing in 1623. The Library has a trussed-rafter roof, ceiled with boarding on the soffit and divided into panels by moulded ribs; the bosses are carved with leopards' heads, roses, badge of three interlaced fishes and shields-of-arms of Henry VII, the college and Fitzjames; it was erected in 1502–3. The N. wall of the W. range has panelling of c. 1600 extending rather above the level of the roof-plates; it is divided into bays by enriched Ionic pilasters and finished with an enriched entablature; the panels are also enriched and the lower range is arcaded; the central panel has a cartouche with a lion's mask; the central doorway has flanking pilasters and an enriched panelled door; it is approached by a staircase of 1760; the wall above the panelling has modelled plaster strapwork decoration enclosing two roundels and a lozenge; the lozenge has the arms of the college with the initials W.M. and the roundels the arms of Archbishop Whitgift and Sir Henry Savile, Warden (1586–1622). The central corridor is paved with mediæval tiles, but the slip-designs have been mostly worn away; on either side are ranges of book-cases with moulded cornices, fluted pediments and vases at the ends; the bookcases were formerly fitted with rods and chains; the benches have moulded edges and plain ends. Level with the N. wall of the S. wing is an oak screen, with a central archway and one bay on each side; the archway has Doric side-columns supporting entablatures and an elliptical arch with foliated spandrels and flanking pilasters; above is a centre-piece of three graduated bays with Doric columns, arcaded panels, entablatures, pediments and ball-finials; the side bays of the screen are panelled and finished with an enriched entablature and simple pediment. The gabled S. wall of this range has, flanking the window, painted strapwork cartouches with defaced arms; the walls of the anglebay, between the wings, are lined with panelling finished with a cornice. The S. wing was refitted in 1623 to match the W. wing; it is entered by a screen similar to that in the W. range and the bookcases also are of similar design; the N.W. case contains a few chained books and retains the original lock and fitting at the S. end. The E. end of this range is lined with panelling and above the modern E. window is a plaster strapwork enrichment with shields-of-arms of the college with the initials W.M., Archbishop Abbot (1610–33) and Nathaniel Brent, Warden (1622–51). In the E. window are twelve panels of German glass placed here in 1840; the panels have each a figure-subject from the Passion, various allegorical figures, devices with merchants' marks and a shield-of-arms and a series of names with the date 1598, the names are as follows—Johan Sonnborn, Johan von Bebber, Christian Marll, Woltter van Engers, Christian Suderman, Johan van Hon, Heinrich Dunwaldt, Anna Hagenns, Johan Nummard, German Fritzen, Paul Wimmer and Hauppertt Feirssen (?). The seven E. windows of the W. wing are filled with grisaille, with borders and an Agnus Dei in a roundel in the head of each, except two which have a dragon with a sword and the letter M respectively; the glass is of early 15th-century date. The sixth window from the N. in the W. wall has various 15th and 16th-century fragments including a shield-of-arms of Beauchamp (?) and various badges; the seventh window has 14th to 16th-century fragments including the initials Ihc, an archer and a leopard's head jessant-de-lis. In the quatrefoil of the S. window is a 14th-century shield-of-arms of Clare, with foliage and a border. In the library is a late 13th or 14th-century chest (Plate 27) of hutch-type, with scrolled ends to the straps and three locks; one foot has a small pierced arch on the inner side.
The Fellows' Quadrangle (102 ft. by 108 ft.) was built in 1608–10, John Acroyd of Halifax and his partners being the masons; the kitchen, however, seems to have been re-built in 1606. The embattled parapet was added to the quadrangle in 1622 and in 1680 the rooms over the kitchen were converted into the Senior Common Room. The building has been extensively restored in recent years. The ranges are ashlar-faced and of three storeys with attics and with a restored embattled parapet towards the quadrangle; the doorways have four-centred arches in square heads and the windows generally have moulded jambs, elliptical heads to the lights and moulded labels. The E. Range has a central stepped gable on the W. front and at the N. end is a straight joint marking the junction with the earlier work of Fitzjames. The E. front has a series of seven gables to the attics; the chimney-stacks have been restored or re-built. Inside the range the ground-floor retains two original moulded beams. There are also some 18th-century panelling, doors and architraves. The S. Range has a central feature (Plate 194) in the middle of the N. front; it consists of four stages flanked by superimposed coupled columns of the Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite orders with enriched pedestals and entablatures; in the ground stage is a doorway with moulded imposts and four-centred head; the second stage has two panels with shields-of-arms of the college and Savile; they are surmounted by cusped panelling and flanked by empty niches of Gothic form; the third stage has a large empty niche with a Renaissance canopy and flanked by pairs of trefoil-headed panels; the top stage has the royal arms and initials of James I, flanked by panels as in the stage below; the main cornice of the feature is surmounted by a small central pediment with the date 1610. The S. front of the range has six gables and the chimneystacks have been re-built; the central doorway has a four-centred arch in a square head with panelled spandrels. Inside the range, there are some original moulded ceiling-beams and some 18th-century panelling; on the upper floors are two oak vases and cartouches-of-arms of the college and Alexander Fisher, from the former screen of the chapel; on the second floor are two panels, perhaps of early 16th-century date, with the Tudor royal arms and those of the college. The W. Range has a front to the quadrangle, generally similar to that of the E. range opposite. The W. face has three gables, where it stands free of the adjoining buildings. Inside the range, the passage at the N. end retains a 17th-century nail-studded door with strap-hinges and in the S. wall is a doorway with a four-centred head and serving-hatch from the kitchen. The Kitchen is two storeys high and has moulded ceiling-beams; the fireplaces have been altered. The Buttery at the N. end of the first floor has a 17th-century moulded ceiling-beam; the doorway to the Hall has a two-centred head and is fitted with a 17th-century door, with moulded ribs forming vertical panels; a room, towards the S. end, has some 18th-century fittings. The Senior Common Room, on the second floor, was fitted up in 1680. The walls are lined with bolection-moulded panelling with a dado-rail and an entablature; the N. doorway has an enriched architrave and above it is a cartouche of the arms of the college; the fireplace (Plate 23) has an enriched panelled overmantel with drapery swags above and pendants of fruit and flowers at the sides; on the middle of the entablature of the S. wall is a wreath enclosing a pheon for Nicholl, with acanthus-scrolls. Rooms at the S. end have 18th-century panelling. The common-room is approached by a late 17th-century staircase, with twisted balusters. At the head of the attic-staircase is an early 17th-century newel with a turned terminal.
St. Alban's Hall stood immediately to the E. of the Front Quadrangle. The front range was built in 1599 from the legacy of Benedict Barnham. St. Alban's Hall was incorporated with Merton College in 1881 and a communicating corridor was formed between the two buildings in 1883. The whole building, except the N. range, was re-built in 1904–5 and a storey was added to the old range at the same time. The N. Range, formerly of two, is now of three storeys; the walls are ashlar-faced. The much restored windows have moulded jambs, elliptical heads to the lights and moulded labels; the doorway has moulded imposts and a semi-circular arch in a square head with rosettes and leaves in the spandrels; flanking it are coupled Doric columns supporting an entablature and segmental pediment with an achievement-of-arms of Barnham.
The Summer House stands in the N.E. angle of the gardens. It is a square stone building of two storeys, erected in 1706–7 and the upper floor is approached on the S. side by a flight of steps and a terrace. The doorway has moulded jambs and square head and is fitted with a panelled door; it is flanked by windows and the wall is finished with a cornice and parapet. Inside the building, the upper floor is lined with bolection-moulded panelling with a cornice and dado-rail.