Merton Street, with its historic college buildings and original cobbled road surface, offers a glimpse of quintessential Oxford; even the cobbles are Grade II listed. The street runs parallel to the High Street, and was originally known as St John the Baptist’s Street after the church that is now Merton College Chapel.
Merton and Corpus Christi colleges are separated by Merton Grove, which leads to Christ Church Meadow and the River Thames with its boats and grassy picnic area.
Corpus Christi was founded in 1517 as a place of ‘Renaissance learning for the education of young men in the humanities and sciences’. Queen Catherine of Aragon was a friend of the first President of Corpus Christi, and would visit him in college while her husband, King Henry VIII, went hunting in Woodstock.
Merton College was founded in 1264 and was the first self-governing Oxford college, courtesy of its founder Walter de Merton, who gave the college total control of its own assets and administration (only the Archbishop of Canterbury had the right of intervention).
Services in Merton College Chapel are open to the public daily during term-time.
050 Merton Street, Oxford in snow