About Magdalen College - Magdalen College

About Magdalen College


Magdalen College was founded in 1458 by William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, and Lord Chancellor. It is one of the oldest, largest, and most beautiful colleges in Oxford.

The Great Tower: an Oxford icon.

Alongside a tradition of academic excellence, Magdalen is best known for its architecture including the iconic Great Tower, its warm and welcoming community, and its extensive grounds which include a deer park, a Water Meadow, and Addison’s Walk.

Magdalen is open to visitors for most of the year.

The New Building from the Water Meadow.

Visiting Magdalen College

As a busy and lively working academic community we like to ensure you will enjoy your visit whether it is as a potential student here, an alumnus, an academic visitor, or as a tourist.


College founded


Number of alumni


Number of students


Number of deer

History of Magdalen College

Learn about the often turbulent history of Magdalen, including the time James II had the Fellows expelled for not allowing him to chose a College President.

The bridge into the Fellows’ Garden.

I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear: This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.

C.S. Lewis, Fellow 1925-1954, honorary fellow 1955

Joseph Addison
Lord Richard Atkin
Julian Barnes, writer
John Betjeman, poet
Caroline Bird, writer
Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court (external links)
Prince Chichibu of Japan
General Wesley Clark
Lord Alfred Denning
Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas
Sir John Eccles 1963 Nobel Laureate  in Medicine
King Edward VIII
Malcolm Fraser, Former Prime Minister of Australia
Professor Howard (later Lord) Florey 1945 Nobel Laureate  in Medicine
Martha Lane Fox, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, businesswoman & philanthropist
Alan Garner, writer
Edward Gibbon
Omar Hassan
Seamus Heaney 1995 Nobel Laureate  in Literature
Rt. Hon. William Hague MP, former Leader of the Conservative Party
Dido Harding, Baroness Harding of Winscombe, businesswoman
Robert Hardy, actor
Ian Hislop, journalist
Alan Hollinghurst, writer
Rt. Hon. The Lord Keith of Kinkel GBE PC, Law Lord
Nicholas Kristof, Pullitzer prize winner
T. E. Lawrence of Arabia
C.S. Lewis
Terrence Malick, Film Director
Sir Peter Medawar 1960 Nobel Laureate  in Medicine
Katie Mitchell, director
Dudley Moore
George Osborne, politician
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Elsa Punset Bannel, writer
Dan Quillen, Mathematician, 1978 Fields Medalist
Sir Robert Robinson 1947 Nobel Laureate  in Chemistry
Dr Erwin Schrödinger 1933 Nobel Laureate in Physics
Sir Charles Sherrington 1932 Nobel Laureate  in Medicine
David Souter, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court
John Turner, former Prime Minister of Canada
King Jigme Wangchuck of Bhutan
Oscar Wilde
Wilde’s Poems
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey

Ten individuals associated with Magdalen have been awarded Nobel prizes, eight of them for their work in science and medicine, one for literature, and one for economics.

The ten Magdalen Nobel Laureates are:

Sir Charles Sherrington – 1932 – Medicine
Dr Erwin Schrödinger – 1933 – Physics
Professor Howard (later Lord) Florey – 1945 – Medicine
Sir Robert Robinson – 1947 – Chemistry
Sir Peter Medawar – 1960 – Medicine
Sir John Eccles – 1963 – Medicine
Professor Seamus Heaney – 1995 – Literature
Professor A. Michael Spence – 2001 – Economics
Professor Sir Anthony Leggett – 2003 – Physics
Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe – 2019 – Medicine