The Meadow Building

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The Meadow Building, Christ Church.

The Meadow Building (known as "Meadows" to students, aka Meadow Buildings[1]) is part of Christ Church, Oxford, England, one of the Oxford colleges, looking out south onto Christ Church Meadow on Broad Walk and then along the straight tree-lined Poplar Walk to the River Thames.

The building is used as the public entrance for paying visitors to Christ Church instead of the main entrance under Tom Tower in St Aldate's.[2]

History and description

Christ Church building, Oxford.jpg

The building was constructed in 1862–66 to the designs of Sir Thomas Deane of Dublin in the Venetian style (favoured by the famous Christ Church art historian John Ruskin).[1] Single rooms in the Meadow Building look out over either the college or the Christ Church Meadow, although originally, college undergraduates would be given a suite of rooms with views overlooking both sides. Recent building work has converted most of these rooms to ensuite while leaving one staircase, which is primarily non-residential, as was.[citation needed]

When it was first built, the relative distance of the Meadow Building from the more fashionable Peckwater and Canterbury Quads meant that it was considered the least desirable accommodation in college.[citation needed]

Pevsner described it is a "joyless building".[1]

Literary references

The building has featured in a number of books:

"So I found myself installed in delightfully spacious rooms within the Victorian wing of an elegant Tudor college, with the beauty of the Christ Church Meadow spread panoramically on the other side of my window panes. The Meadows block was more tranquil in spirit than the rowdier atmosphere of Peckwater."[3]

"I discovered the huge and ungainly pile of Ruskinian Gothic known as Meadow Building, where I would be spending the next two years. […] Blissfully ignorant of the social geography of the House, I did not realize that I had been relegated to the furthest outpost of the college demesne. From the lofty vantage point of the Old Etonians and Old Harrovians who lived in Peckwater and Canterbury I might just as well have been relegated to Siberia. My sitting room lay on the top floor of the last entry in Meadow Building."[4]

"Sebastian lived at Christ Church, high in Meadow Buildings. He was alone when I came, peeling a plover's egg taken from the large nest of moss in the centre of the table."[5][6]


See also


  1. ^ a b c Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). "Meadow Buildings". The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Penguin Books. p. 124. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
  2. ^ Jebb, Miles (1992). "Christ Church". The Colleges of Oxford. A Constable guide. London: Constable. p. 59. ISBN 0 09 469180 0.
  3. ^ The Marquess of Bath refers to the college in 1953, Strictly Private (2001).
  4. ^ L. Perry Curtis refers to the college in 1955, Christ Church Matters (2005).
  5. ^ Waugh, Evelyn (1945). Brideshead Revisited.
  6. ^ Hood, Nancy (1999). Literary Oxford. Sutton Publishing. p. 76. ISBN 978-0750921152.

Coordinates: 51°44′58″N 1°15′16″W / 51.74944°N 1.25444°W / 51.74944; -1.25444

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