19 Facts About Merton College


Merton College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,510

Mob Quad, one of Merton's quadrangles, was constructed between 1288 and 1378, and is claimed to be the oldest quadrangle in Oxford, while Merton College Library, located in Mob Quad and dating from 1373, is the oldest continuously functioning library for university academics and students in the world.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,511

Merton College has a strong reputation for academic success, having regularly ranked first in the Norrington Table.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,512

Merton College was founded in 1264 by Walter de Merton, Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Rochester.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,513

Merton College has an unbroken line of wardens dating back to 1264.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,514

In 1333, masters from Merton College were among those who left Oxford in an attempt to found a new university at Stamford.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,515

Visitors to Merton are often told that Mob Quad is the oldest quadrangle of any Oxford or Cambridge college and set the pattern for future collegiate architecture.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,516

Grandest quadrangle in Merton College is the Fellows' Quadrangle, immediately south of the hall.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,517

Merton College viewed from across the Christ Church Meadow to the south.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,518

Merton College has traditionally had single-sex accommodation for first-year undergraduates, with female students going into the Rose Lane buildings and most male students going into three houses on Merton College Street.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,519

In 2010, it was reported that Merton College had not admitted a black student in the previous five years.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,520

The university reported that Merton College had admitted at least one black undergraduate since 2005.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,521

Since the introduction of an official Norrington Table published by the university in 2004, Merton College occupied one of the top three positions every year, until 2012 when it dropped to 14th.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,522

In 2021, Merton was ranked Oxford's top college in the Norrington Table, with a score of 82.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,523

Merton College is host to a number of subject-specific societies, the most notable being the Halsbury Society and the Chalcenterics.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,524

Merton College's women have done better in recent years, gaining the headship in Torpids in 2003 and rowing over to defend the title in 2004.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,525

Merton College has produced notable alumni and fellows in more recent times.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,526

In science, Merton College is associated with four Nobel prize winners: chemist Frederick Soddy, zoologist Nikolaas Tinbergen, physicist Sir Anthony Leggett and physicist Anton Zeilinger.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,527

Alumnae of Merton College include the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Liz Truss and Princess Akiko of Mikasa.

FactSnippet No. 2,435,528