Lincoln College

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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'Lincoln College', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Oxford( London, 1939), British History Online [accessed 23 July 2024].

'Lincoln College', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Oxford( London, 1939), British History Online, accessed July 23, 2024,

"Lincoln College". An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Oxford. (London, 1939), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024.

Lincoln College

(14) Lincoln College stands on the E. side of Turl Street, between Brasenose Lane and All Saints Church. The walls are of local Oxfordshire stone and the roofs are slate-covered. The college of St. Mary and All Saints was founded by Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln in 1427. The S. part of the W. range with the Gatehouse may have been built before the founder's death in 1431. John Forest, Dean of Wells, contributed largely to the building and by 1437 it is stated that he had constructed the chapel, library, Hall, kitchen and upper and lower chambers; these occupied the N. and most of the E. and W. Ranges. The Old Rector's Lodging, S. of the hall, was built from a legacy of Thomas Beckington, Bishop of Bath and Wells, who died in 1465 and the S. Range was built, or at any rate completed, by Thomas Scott of Rotherham, then Bishop of Lincoln, in 1479; this bishop reconstituted and re-endowed the college in 1478. The college consisted only of the Front Quadrangle till 1608–9 when the W. Range of the Chapel Quadrangle was built largely from a gift by Thomas Rotherham, fellow; the Chapel and the E. Range were built in 1629–31, largely at the expense of John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln (1621–41). In 1640 a new Cellar was excavated under the hall and c. 1655 the original chapel, on the first floor of the N. range, was transformed into a library. In 1686 repairs were done to the chapel and S. buttresses were added probably at this date. A new range was added on the E. side of the hall in 1739 but this was replaced in 1880–2 by the existing range. In 1824 the front to Turl Street was refaced and the battlements added; similar battlements were added to the quadrangle from a bequest of John Radford, Rector, 1851; in 1884–5 a new wing was added to the Rector's Lodging (now chambers) and in 1889 and 1891 the hall was restored and the former plaster ceiling removed. The new Library was built in 1906 and in 1929–30 the new Rector's Lodging was built facing Turl Street. A considerable amount of restoration of decayed masonry was done in 1927.

Lincoln College Arms

The Hall retains some interesting mediæval features including the roof, and the 17th-century chapel has remarkable glass and woodwork.

Architectural Description—The Front Quadrangle (Plate 121) (76 ft. by 72 ft.) is entered by the Gatehouse in the middle of the W. Range. The whole W. front of this range was refaced and largely remodelled in 1824 and the parapet and windows are modern; the gatehouse is of three storeys and the rest of the range of two with attics. The outer archway of the gatehouse has been re-built as has the window above, but the small window flanked by modern niches on the second floor represents the original arrangement. On the E. or court-yard side of the range, the inner archway has moulded jambs and four-centred arch; above it is a window fitted with modern sashes; the second floor of the gate-tower has been largely refaced and has a window of one cinque-foiled light in a square head. The other windows of this front have hollow-chamfered or moulded reveals, but have been fitted with sashes; the two restored doorways have moulded jambs and four-centred arches in square heads with traceried spandrels and labels. The gate-hall has two bays of ribbed vaulting, probably of the 19th century, with the possible exception of the shafts. The room above is entered by a doorway in the N.W. angle with a four-centred head and across this angle of the room is a 15th-century segmental-pointed arch carrying the inner side of the turret-staircase above. In the rest of the range, the S. staircase retains its original timber-framed enclosing walls. On the first floor, the room N. of the tower is lined with 18th-century panelling and that S. of the tower, for part of its height, with late 16th or early 17th-century panelling; in the room S. of the staircase is one of the original tie-beams of the roof, with curved brackets. As seen in the attics, the trusses have collar-beams and curved wind-braces.

The N. Range is of two storeys with attics. The N. front, to Brasenose Lane, has a gabled return to the W. front, refaced in 1824 and again partly in 1925. On the rest of the front the windows on the ground floor are modern externally except the westernmost which is partly of the 15th century and of two foiled lights in a square head. On the first floor the four large windows with sashes are probably of the 18th century and there are the blockings of two further windows of similar form; further W. and lighting the former chapel-staircase is a 15th-century window of one cinque-foiled light, but the head has been blocked and is not visible externally; further W. again are the labels of three blocked windows. The S. front of this range, towards the quadrangle has a modern parapet and two ranges of restored square-headed windows with labels and fitted with sashes; the doorway to the former chapel-staircase has been partly renewed externally; it has moulded jambs, four-centred arch and label and retains its 15th-century rear-arch with a double band of trefoil-headed panels. The bell-turret on the roof is a mid 19th-century addition. Inside the range, the bursary at the W. end of the ground floor is lined with 18th-century panelling. In the W. wall of the vestibule is a doorway with restored jambs and a square head, from which the four-centred arch has been cut away; in the E. wall is a doorway with restored jambs and 15th or early 16th-century four-centred head with a moulded label; it opens into the Senior Common Room which is lined with panelling executed by Arthur Frogley in 1684; it has a moulded dado-rail and entablature; the fireplace has a moulded black marble surround and, above the shelf, is an overmantel with an enriched central panel, flanked by drops of flowers and foliage and surmounted by drapery-swags replacing the frieze of the main entablature; fixed on the shelf are three modern cartouches-of-arms; on the E. wall is a central feature with carved drapery-swags; over the W. doorway is a cartouche-of-arms of the college, flanked by cornucopiæ. The Smoking-Room, to the E., has some late 16th or early 17th-century panelling (brought from a room adjoining the Buttery) incorporated in modern work and including an enriched arcaded panel over the fireplace; the E. ceiling-beam rests on a 12th-century voussoir, re-used as a corbel; a similar voussoir is re-set in the vestibule and both may have come from the former church of St. Mildred which stood on the N.W. part of the site; they, with other fragments in the Library, were found under the staircase. The staircase has early 18th-century twisted balusters and on the first floor is a late 16th-century partition; the upper part forms an open arcade with round arches and symmetrically turned balusters. The E. part of the first floor formed the old chapel and has now no ancient features; the W. part formed the old library and is now the Subrector's Lodging; one room is lined with early 17th-century panelling with an entablature; the fireplace (Plate 22) is flanked by pilasters supporting an entablature and overmantel; the latter has enriched diminishing pilasters and a raised panel; the fireplace itself has an early 18th-century moulded surround of stone.

Lincoln College

The S. Range was built in the second half of the 15th century and is of two storeys with attics; it has a modern parapet on both faces. On the N. front most of the windows have been fitted with modern sashes; they have moulded reveals and labels and seem to have had the cusped heads of the lights removed when the sashes were inserted; two windows at the W. end are of original form and are each of one cinque-foiled light. The central and western doorways have each moulded jambs and four-centred arches in square heads with labels and traceried spandrels. Between the upper windows are two panels with the rebus of Bishop Beckington and further W. are three half-angels holding shields of the arms of Bishop Rotherham. The S. front of the range has a completely restored doorway from the central passage, set in the blocking of a 15th-century opening; the windows are either modern or of the 17th century and have square heads; on the upper floor, towards the E. is a restored panel with the Beckington rebus. Inside the range the entrance-hall at the N. end has two refixed 18th-century cartouches-of-arms of Robert Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln and John Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury and a carved swag. The middle room on the first floor, called the Wesley Room, has been lined with early 16th-century linen-fold panelling, brought from elsewhere; the adjoining room is lined with refixed late 16th-century panelling.

The E. Range consists of the Hall (Plate 119) (49¾ ft. by 25¾ ft.) with the Buttery to the N. and the original Rector's Lodging to the S. The first two are c. 1436–7 and the last an addition of c. 1465–70. The front (Plate 121) to the quadrangle is of five bays divided by restored buttresses and finished with a modern parapet; the four N. bays belong to the hall and the northernmost has an original doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label; the other bays of the hall have each a partly restored window of two cinque-foiled and transomed lights with tracery in a square head with a moulded label; the traceried heads have been restored to accord with an original head remaining in the E. wall. The E. wall of the hall is partly covered by a modern range; the 15th-century doorway to the screens has moulded and shafted jambs and two-centred arch with a label; the fourth bay of the hall has a window similar to those in the W. wall; in the second and third bays there were similar windows, now blocked but visible internally and that over the modern fireplace retaining its original traceried head. The 15th-century roof is of four bays with double collar-beam trusses, plain braces forming four-centred arches under the upper collar-beams and moulded braces, with traceried spandrels, forming arches of similar form under the lower collar-beams; the wall-posts have moulded bases and stand on moulded corbels; the purlins have curved wind-braces, Over the S. end of the roof is an original octagonal louvre, with a trefoiled ogee and traceried light in each face and an ogee-shaped capping. The walls up to the top of the windows are lined with panelling of 1699–1700, with bolection-mouldings and an entablature; at the S. end there is a central feature with a curved pediment and a cartouche of the arms of the college. The screen, at the N. end, is of five bays and of similar panelling with an entablature and two doorways; the central bay has two fluted Ionic columns and a curved pediment, with a cartouche-of-arms of Nathaniel Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham (1674–1721); the N. face of the screen has pilasters in place of columns. In the N. wall, at the back of the screens, are two 15th-century doorways, with moulded jambs and four-centred heads; one is fitted with a panelled door of c. 1700. The cellar, below the hall, was formed in 1640–1, when the floor was raised. It was formerly of six bays with pilasters against the side walls and a row of columns, with moulded capitals and bases, down the middle. The cellar has been much restored and partitions inserted, but three of the responds and two of the columns remain in situ; a third column has been re-erected near the E. wall. The Buttery, at the N. end of the hall, has a three-light window in the E. wall, probably partly of the 15th century but with one modern mullion. The storey above seems to have once been open to the roof; this roof is of the 15th century and of three bays with curved braces under the tie-beams and collar-beams above; it is only partly visible and the upper part now forms attics. The Old Rector's Lodging was built by Bishop Beckington and forms the S. end of the range, to the S. of the hall; it is of two storeys with attics and basement and has, on the W. face, a much restored 15th-century doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with traceried spandrels and a moulded label; the two windows above replace a former oriel-window; between them is a panel with the Beckington rebus, presumably re-set or modern. On the E. face, the two bays of this building retain some original windows with square heads and labels but with the mullions etc. replaced with sashes; on the two southern buttresses are panels with carvings of the Beckington rebus—the initial T and a beacon on a tun; in the S. bay is a shield-of-arms of Beckington. Inside the building, the Dining Room on the ground floor is lined with late 17th-century panelling, with dado-rail and cornice; the fireplace has an enriched and moulded surround and above it is an enriched panel with an architectural painting on canvas and carved swags and festoons of leaves and flowers; the ceiling is divided into six panels by panelled trabeations, with rosettes; the doorways have enriched architraves. The lobby, immediately to the N., has some re-set 18th-century woodwork including two late 18th-century cartouches-of-arms of Edmund Audley, Bishop of Salisbury, and Geoffrey Plantagenet, Bishop-elect of Lincoln; the ceiling has 15th-century moulded beams. At the top of the staircase is a cartouche-of-arms of Nathaniel Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, and various fragments of carved woodwork; forming a frieze are other fragments and four shields-of-arms. The room on the first floor is lined with late 17th or early 18th-century panelling, with dado-rail and entablature; flanking the fireplace are carved pendants of oak-leaves and the overmantel has an enriched panel and carved pendants of fruit and flowers. The cellar below this end of the range has a central stone pier, of octagonal form with a chamfered capping and base and probably of the 17th century.

The Kitchen, to the N.E. of the hall, was built c. 1436–7; the short range connecting it with the buttery was built probably in the 17th century. The kitchen is a square ashlar-faced building, gabled towards the E. and W. In the W. wall are two original doorways with four-centred heads and in this and the N. and S. walls are square-headed windows, some of which are probably original but altered in the 17th century. Against the W. wall is a short pentise probably of the 17th century. The roof of the kitchen is original and of three bays with curved wind-braces and collar-beam trusses; the curved braces below the collar-beams form four-centred arches. The original fireplaces have all three been altered but that in the E. wall retains its segmental-pointed arch; it is now pierced by a doorway. The connecting range W. of the kitchen is of two storeys and has modern additions on the S. side. The range retains some square-headed 17th-century windows and some 17th-century panelling in a room on the first floor.

The Chapel Quadrangle (66½ ft. by 64½ ft.) has W. and E. ranges of two storeys with attics, the former was built in 1608–9 and the latter in 1629–31. The W. Range has been entirely refaced on the W. front and at the S. end. The E. front is largely original and is finished with a double cornice; it has square-headed windows of one, two or four lights with moulded labels; the archway from the street at the N. end has chamfered jambs and four-centred arch, with moulded imposts and a square moulded label; the two doorways have chamfered jambs and four-centred heads. At the S. end of the range is a modern bay-window. Inside the range, the greater part of the ground floor now forms the Junior Common Room. The S. room on the first floor is lined with 18th-century panelling with a cornice; this is perhaps the room recorded to have been panelled in 1705. Two other rooms have remains of painted wall-decoration. The E. Range has a modern addition on the N.E. The W. front is generally similar to the E. face of the W. range; the windows are of one, two, three, four and seven lights, the last being a modern alteration. An original two-light window remains in the S. end of the range. The E. front is generally similar to the W. front, but the windows are of one, two and three lights. Inside the range, the N. room on the ground floor has three shields-of-arms in painted glass, one of Fleming of the 17th and two of the 16th century of Wyborn and Audley (?) and a re-set 18th-century wood-carving. Further S. in the range are some 17th-century moulded ceiling-beams. A room on the first floor is lined with panelling with a dado-rail and cornice, put in in 1706. Under the range is a basement of five bays.

The Chapel (Plates 121, 125) (57¼ ft. by 22¼ ft.) was built in 1629–31 and forms the S. range of the Chapel quadrangle. The walls are ashlar-faced and finished with a plain parapet. The partly restored E. window is of six cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a label. The N. and S. walls have each four windows, each of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label; the S. windows have been largely restored; below the W. window on the N. is a doorway with moulded jambs and three-centred arch in a square head with a label. To the W. of the chapel is a passage entered by a restored N. doorway with a four-centred head and by a S. doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with traceried spandrels and a label; above the N. doorway is a square-headed window and above the S. doorway a window with a cinque-foiled head. The Roof of the chapel is ceiled in wood, carved, painted and gilt; the ceiling is canted and divided by double ribs into nine panels from N. to S. and twelve from E. to W.; each panel, except the vertical panels against the walls, has a carved enrichment including palms, swags, cherub-heads, cartouches-of-arms of Bishops Rotherham, Fleming, Williams, Beaufort, Corbet, Lord Crewe, Smith, Beckington and Audley, of Francis Babington, Rector (1560–63) and others and the Beckington rebus; below the ceiling and carried across the W. wall is an enriched cornice. There is a central feature with swags and pendant on both side-walls and scrolled ends with cherub-heads and pendants, flanking the E. window.

Fittings—All of c. 1630 unless otherwise described. Communion Rails (Plate 18): Of five bays and of cedar with panelled and carved standards with moulded top and enriched bottom rails, each bay with one large panel filled with carved and pierced scroll-work, late 17th-century. Communion Table: Of cedar, with square enriched legs on pedestals with stretchers, on each face a rusticated arch, flat-topped on the long sides, and springing from pilasters. Door: In N. doorway, of oak with moulded styles and rails forming five rows of vertical panelling. Glass: In E. window (Plate 124) —simple architectural motives in tracery; in main lights a series of figure-subjects from the New and Old Testaments of types and anti-types with appropriate texts beneath each; they represent (a) the creation of Adam and Eve and the Nativity, (b) the crossing of the Red Sea and the Baptism, (c) the feast of the Passover and the Last Supper, (d) the brazen serpent and the Crucifixion, (e) Jonah and the whale and the Resurrection, (f) the ascent of Elijah in a chariot of fire and the Ascension; glass probably of Flemish or at any rate foreign origin. In side windows a series of Prophets on the N. and Apostles on the S. each standing under an elaborate Gothic canopy, with panels below bearing the names and appropriate verses relating to the prophets and the passages from the Creed ascribed to the individual apostles, all as follows, N. side—first window (Plate 122), David, Daniel and Elijah; second window, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel; third window, Amos, Zachariah and Malachi; fourth window (Plate 122), Elisha, Jonah and Obadiah; S. side, first window, St. Peter, St. Andrew and St. James the Great; second window (Plate 123), St. John, St. Philip and St. Bartholomew; third window (Plate 123), St. Matthew, St. Thomas and St. James the Less; fourth window, St. Jude, St. Simon and St. Matthias; in tracery of each window on both sides, four seated angels holding shields-of-arms of John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, (a) Williams, (b) Lincoln impaling the quartered arms of Williams, (c) tierced in pale Lincoln, Williams and the College of Westminster, (d) fully quartered arms of Williams; in first S. window is the date 1629 and in the other three S. windows the date 1630; glass, undoubtedly by Bernard van Linge as some of the prophets are identical in design with similar figures, by that artist, in Lincoln's Inn Chapel, London. Organ-case: Modern but incorporating two carved figures of St. Luke and St. Matthew and two late 17th-century fluted Corinthian columns, brought from elsewhere. Panelling (Plate 47): Round E. end of chapel, oak panelling divided into bays by fluted Ionic pilasters standing on arcaded pedestals and supporting an entablature, in bays, two ranges of panels, the lower with simple enrichment, the upper with applied scrolled tablets with cornices and pediments; middle bay on E. wall with curved pediment with acanthus-brackets and swags of grapes, corn and flowers, and forming reredos. In ante-chapel—on N., S. and W. walls, below window-sills, bolection-moulded panelling with cornice and benches along S. and W. walls, late 17th-century. Paving: of black and white marble squares, set diagonally with borders. Pulpit (Plate 44): In antechapel—of cedar, four-sided with moulded base and cornice, Ionic pilasters at angles, three sides panelled with applied tablets similar to upper panels at E. end of chapel, plain legs with claw-feet. Screen (Plate 125): Between chapel and ante-chapel—of cedar and of three bays, divided and flanked by fluted Corinthian pilasters, supporting an entablature with a broken pediment over the middle bay with swags and a large standing figure, in middle bay panelled doors of two leaves with carved and pierced fanlight, round arch with cherub-heads and cartouche-of-arms of Lincoln See, Williams and Westminster College, tierced in pale, side-bays each with square-headed opening with pediment and cartouche-of-arms of Lincoln See and Westminster College, opening filled in upper and lower part with pierced arabesque work and having a central strapped oval panel with pierced spandrels; W. face of screen similar to E. face but with free Corinthian columns, the same arms in the middle and two variations of the arms of Williams in the side bays. Stalls: of oak, fifteen on each side and two on each return, set against a panelled backing continued from the upper part of the panelling round the E. end, stalls divided by shaped arms and fronts panelled similarly to the lower panels round the E. end, desk-ends (Plate 43) and doors with shaped tops carved with cartouches, misericordes (Plate 138) carved with simple foliage. Added row of late 17th-century stalls on each side with seats fixed on fronts of earlier stalls, later fronts in cedar with bolection-moulded panels, inlay-work and carved pendants, desk-ends each with shaped top supporting a carved figure—Aaron, Moses, the four Evangelists, St. Peter and St. Paul (Plate 126).