Oxford University - Mansfield College. Image courtesy of Marcin Pieluzek.

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Mansfield College

Oxford’s Mansfield College was founded in Birmingham in 1838 as a nonconformist college for university students. The college moved to Oxford in 1886 and was renamed Mansfield College after George Mansfield and his sister Elizabeth. A royal charter in 1995 gave the college full college status.

Currently, the college has 231 undergraduates, 158 graduates, 34 visiting students, and 67 fellows and academics. Helen Mountfield, a barrister and legal scholar, is the principal.

The college grounds are located near the centre of Oxford on Mansfield Road.

What's the History of Mansfield College?

Mansfield College was founded in 1838 under the patronage of George Storer Mansfield and his two sisters Sarah and Elizabeth. It was initially named Spring Hill, a college for nonconformist students, and was located in Birmingham. 

After 1871, when the Universities Tests Act abolished all religious tests for non-theological degrees at the University, Spring Hill College was moved to Oxford and renamed. The buildings were designed by English architect and author Basil Champneys on a site bought from Merton College.

Mansfield was the first Nonconformist college to open in the city. As of 2018, Mansfield College Oxford has 231 undergraduates, 158 graduates, 67 academics and fellows, and 34 visiting students. 

Mansfield College, Oxford - The college entrance. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Mansfield College, Oxford - The college entrance. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Buildings of Mansfield College

The main building of Mansfield College was designed by architect Basil Champneys, and built between 1887 and 1889. Today, it houses three libraries, the college’s Junior Common Room, Middle Common Room, and Senior Common Room. The building encloses three sides of a large quadrangle with a circular lawn. There are also several other buildings opposite the main one used for student accommodation. 

What is it Like to Study at Mansfield College, Oxford?

Mansfield College has a Boat Club and a number of organisations. Many sports teams are combined with Merton College. Over 90% of students of Mansfield College come from a state school background.

Mansfield holds a ball once every three years and regular formal dinners on Wednesdays and Fridays in the Chapel Hall. 

Where is Mansfield College?

Mansfield College is located on Mansfield Road (OX1 3TF), Oxford. Tel 01865 270999.

Mansfield College Coat of Arms
Arms: Gules an open book proper inscribed DEUS LOCUTUS EST NOBIS IN FILIO in letters sable bound argent edged and clasped or between three cross crosslets.

Can you Visit Mansfield College?

Yes, Mansfield College is open to the public. 

  • Open: Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00.
  • Charge: Free, donations welcome.
  • Groups: Groups (maximum 12 people) must be accompanied by a guide.

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