Oxford High Street

There are several University of Oxford colleges on and around Oxford's High Street (or 'the High' as it is often affectionately known). Queen's College (tel 01865 279120) is named after Edward III's Queen Philippa and was founded in 1340. The present buildings, including the cupola over the High Street entrance, date back to the early 18th century, and are an unrivalled example of the Palladian architectural style (based on ancient Greek and Roman temple design). The college has historically been associated with the North of England and is generally thought of as being "sporty", a reputation it shares with neighbour St. Edmund ('Teddy') Hall (tel 01865 279000) on Queen's Lane (a college-walled, car-free backstreet which links the High to Catte Street).

Opposite Queen's is University College, which was traditionally believed to have been founded by King Alfred but which was actually founded in about 1280. The present buildings are largely 17th century. On the right as you enter the main gate of the college is a passage which leads to the Shelley Memorial, presented to the college by Lady Shelley. Whether the college actually wanted it could be disputed, since Shelley marked his stay by charging the door handle of his room with electricity, spilling acid on the carpets of his tutors and snatching babies out of prams in the High Street.

West of Queen's along the High is All Souls College (tel 01865 279379), full title 'The College of All the Souls of the Faithful Departed', which was built in 1483 as a memorial to all those who died in Henry V's wars in France. Only the most brilliant scholars with the highest Firsts at undergraduate level are invited to sit the All Souls entrance examination; the college consists entirely of Fellows, who traditionally have no teaching responsibilities and receive a salary which funds their own research.

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