Three statues above the gate:
1. Saint Bernard
2. Henry Chichele
3. Sir Thomas White
- (top) Saint Bernard
Until 1554, when they were taken over by St. John's College, the buildings belonged to the St. Bernard's College. This statue is the original statue. On this statue is written in A History of the County of Oxford:
By means of the Survey of 1546 we are able to discover some of the alterations in the buildings which the founder made in 1555 and 1556. On the south side of the quadrangle he did nothing, and on the west side the only alteration that we can discover is that a statue of St. John the Baptist with beard and flowing hair was set up in the tower on its west side above the front gate. In 1915, when the statue was taken down, it was found that the hair was not of stone but was an addition of cement, and that the beard, though it was of stone, was separate from the head, and attached by lead. The architect who was in charge was of the opinion that the original figure represented St. Bernard, clean-shaven and with a tonsure, and that it had been altered, by the addition of a beard and hair, to serve for John the Baptist.
- (left) Henry Chichele (also Checheley) (c. 1364 - 1443), Archbishop of Canterbury, 1414-1443, founder of St. Bernard's College in 1437, and All Souls College in 1438 (Wikipedia).
- (right) Sir Thomas White (1492-1567), cloth merchant, Lord Mayor of London and the founder of St John's College, Oxford in 1555
Colleges in Oxford
Most of the university colleges in Oxford occupy large areas with several buildings and courts ('quads' in Oxford). There are numerous statues, mostly in the façades of the various buildings. The statues with ☒ are not visible from the public road. Most of the colleges are accessible for visitors during certain times of the day, some for free, others for a small (or not so small) fee.
Sources & Information
- Philip Opher, Oxford Sculpture (Heritage Tours Publications, 2009).
- H E Salter and Mary D Lobel (ed.), A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3, the University of Oxford (1954). At: British History Online.
- Britiain Express, St John's College.
Location (N 51°45'21" - W 1°15'32")
Item Code: gbse129; Photograph: 18 October 2015
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt
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