Oxford University - St Anne's College. Image courtesy of Steve Cadman.

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St Anne’s College

Founded in 1879 and granted college status in 1959, St Anne’s College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Originally a women’s college, it has accepted male students since 1979.

It has approximately 450 undergraduates and 200 graduate students and maintains its original aim of allowing women from all backgrounds to study at Oxford. St Anne’s accepts the highest proportion of female students (55 per cent) of any Oxford college.

The college stands between Woodstock and Banbury roads, next to the University Parks. Former members include Amanda Pritchard, Danny Alexander, Ruth Deech, Helen Fielding, Martha Kearney, Simon Rattle, Tina Brown, Mr Hudson, and Victor Ubogu.

What's the History of St Anne's College?

St Anne’s College began as part of the Association for the Education of Women, the first institution in Oxford with that aim. The Society had no fixed site, but offered lodgings in houses spread across the town to allow students from various financial backgrounds to study at Oxford.

In the early 20th century, St Mary was managed by Anglican nuns in houses in Banbury Road (these hostels remained part of the college until the 1960s). In 1912, the society acquired its first tutors, in German, History and English Literature and, in the 1920s, the principals of the Women’s societies became the first women to receive degrees from the university.

The current location for St Anne’s was chosen in 1937, when construction of Hartland House was already underway. In 1942, the Society of Oxford Home-Students was renamed the St Anne’s Society and given its coat of arms. 

The St Anne’s Society acquired a royal charter as St Anne’s College in 1952, and in 1959 full college status along with the other women’s colleges. Meanwhile student numbers grew to nearly 300, which called for more accommodation and led to the construction of the Wolfson and Rayne buildings in 1964 and 1968.

The Buildings of St Anne's College

The Grounds

The college grounds extend as far south as 48 Woodstock Road, and 27 Banbury Road and house all of the college’s administrative and academic buildings, undergraduate accommodation, and the hall. 

The Dining Hall

The Dining Hall was built in 1959 and is among the largest in Oxford, with a capacity of 300. On weekdays, three meals are served daily (at weekends it only serves brunch). The hall is also used for college collections (internal college exams) and on occasion college ‘bops’ (costume parties). 

The Library

The college library has over 100,000 volumes, which makes it one of the largest in Oxford. The original college library in Hartland House now houses the law, arts, and humanities collections. The new library is on the site of the former Founders’ Gatehouse, built in 1966, and provides various study and seminar spaces and 1,500 metres of bookshelves for the college’s growing book collection.

The Accommodation

St Anne’s accommodates undergraduates on the college site for three years. Undergraduates are housed in 14 Victorian houses owned by the college and four purpose-built accommodation blocks. The college also provides accommodation for some of its graduate students. 

What is it Like to Study at St Anne's College, Oxford?

The college has relatively few traditions and, due to its secular outlook, doesn’t have a chapel. The formal hall is typically held fortnightly. 

The college has teams for all major sports and competes in inter-collegiate “Cuppers” tournaments. St Anne’s College Boat Club (SABC) organises the college’s involvement in inter-college rowing events. The college also has a joint rugby team with St John’s College and two football teams.

Where is St Anne’s College?

St Anne’s College is located on Woodstock Road (OX2 6HS), Oxford. Tel 01865 274800.

St Anne's College Coat of Arms
Arms: Gules, on a chevron between in chief two lions heads erased argent, and in base a sword of the second pummelled and hilt or and enfiled with a wreath of laurel, three ravens, all proper.

Can you Visit St Anne’s College?

Yes, St Anne’s College is open to the public. 

  • Open: Daily 9.00-17.00.
  • Charge: Free, donations welcome.
  • Groups: Large groups must book in advance.

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