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Merton College, Oxford

Merton College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. The squat, square tower of its chapel is one of the city's landmarks. Mob Quad, built in the 14th century, is the oldest quadrangle (or court) of any Oxford or Cambridge college and set the pattern for collegiate architecture for future generations. Another remarkable, and little known, architectural feature is the tunnel, which has an opening in the old drying room, located in a subterranean realm of the college known as The Underworld, and which leads to a door to the stock room of the college bar. The door is locked and the whereabouts of the keys have been unknown for many years, since a former bar steward left the college.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Notable former students
3 Academics/Teachers
4 Grace
5 External links


The college was founded in 1264 by Walter de Merton, making it one of the earliest-established colleges of the University. (The title of earliest-established is disputed between Merton College, Balliol College and University College.) With the egregious interruption of the English Civil War it's been a fairly sleepy place ever since. In recent years, the college has achieved high placings in the Norrington Table, confirming its reputation as a haven for some of the swottiest swots of Oxenford.

Notable former students



The college preprandial grace, always recited before formal dinners and usually by one of the aforementioned swots, is based on verses 15 and 16 of Psalm 145. The precise words of the Latin elude the memory of the present contributor, but it starts something like:

Oculi omnium in te respiciunt, Domine. Tu das escam illorum in tempore opportuno. Aperis manum tuam, et imples omne animal benedictione.

This is standard fare, and ends with a conventional doxology. The words of the postprandium, if one exists, are not known.

External links