St Hugh's College: The Alternative View


Welcome to the St Hugh's College Alternative Prospectus! My name is Jessy and I am a 2nd year Music student here. I am also the current Access and Academic Affairs Rep for the Junior Common Room. Basically, my job is to help make sure that prospective students have all the information they need to decide whether they think university, Oxford, or St Hugh's might be for them.

On this site you will find endless information about St Hugh's, broken into 4 sections:
1. Hugh We Are is a general overview of St Hugh's. This covers our history, location and provides lots of photos of the college today.
2. Hughmans of Oxford brings together the minds of some current St Hugh's students. They will speak of their experiences in college as well as what to expect at Oxford.
3. Hughniversity Life runs through some of the things you can get up to at St Hugh's.
4. Knowing Me, Knowing Hugh's finishes it all off, outlining some of the facilities available at St Hugh's. 

A History of St Hugh's

Founded 1886

St Hugh’s was founded in 1886 by Elizabeth Wordsworth to help the growing number of women ‘who find the charges of the present Halls at Oxford and Cambridge (even the most moderate) beyond their means’. Using money left to her, she established the College in North Oxford. She named the College after St Hugh of Lincoln.

The Current Site

St Hugh's started to move onto
the current site in 1913. At first just one house was purchased, but over time Hugh's has expanded onto a site which stretches across 14.5 acres. 

World War Two

At the outbreak of the Second World War the college site was requisitioned by the military for use as a Hospital for Head Injuries under the directorship of Hugh Cairns, a Professor of Surgery at the University. Brick huts were constructed in the grounds with space for 300 beds. It is recorded that the hospital at Hugh's managed to reduce head injury casuality deaths from around 60% to 9%.

Extensive Expansion

More Building

In the sixties St Hugh's started to expand rapidly. Kenyon Building was constructed to house 47 undergraduates and Wolfson building was opened in 1967 housing nearly 80 students. The college accommodation today is made up of 7 large buildings and a number of houses on the outskirts of the college site.
In 2000, Maplethorpe building was finished adding 90 en-suite rooms to the accommodation at Hugh's. The Howard Piper library was also refurbished at this time. 


Present Day

Having been exclusively for women for 100 years, in 1986 St Hugh's let in male students. This was a rather radical change for Oxford, but has certainly been successful with all but one college now being co-educational! There is roughly a 50-50 split of the sexes now at Hugh's.
Recent developments on-site include the £21,000,000
Dickson Poon, University Of Oxford, China Centre Building (DPB). DPB houses the University's China Centre and has a number of graduate rooms within it. DPB is also home to a Bodleian Library - few colleges can claim to have one on-site! The college has also just announced plans to redevelop one of the older buildings on-site, which will include building a new JCR and bar. 
  1. The View Across Site
    The View Across Site
    In the backdrop you can see Main Building once more, set near the JCR's croquet lawn. Taken by Savannah Lord.
  2. The Howard Piper Library
    The Howard Piper Library
    In the background is the College Library, named after alumnus Howard Piper. Taken by Savannah Lord.
  3. Main Building
    Main Building
    This was the first building constructed on site between 1914 and 1916. Taken by Savannah Lord.
  4. Main, Howard Piper and Gardens
    Main, Howard Piper and Gardens
    One view from near Maplethorpe Building. Taken by Savannah Lord.
  5. A Tree Seat in the Summer Sun
    A Tree Seat in the Summer Sun
    Taken by Savannah Lord.
  6. A Picture of the Gardens at St. Hugh's
    A Picture of the Gardens at St. Hugh's
    Picture by Leon Heng.
  7. Green Space at Hugh's
    Green Space at Hugh's
    Picture by Leon Heng.

Visiting St Hugh's

Upcoming Events

The next Open Days will be hosted on 27th-28th June and 14th September 2018.

Other projects that would bring you to visit Oxford are listed on  Hughmans of Oxford.

If you are looking to visit St Hugh's outside of Open Days or have any questions, contact the Admissions and Outreach Officer Luke Jackson-Ross by emailing