Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Brasenose College (Oxford)

Brasenose is one of the old colleges which together make up the University at Oxford.

The college was founded in 1509, on the site of an old house named Brase Nose Hall.

The name derives from the "brazen nose" on the knocker which was formerly on the door. This was taken to Stamford when some of the students and tutors seceded there temporarily after riots in 1334. It was brought back to Oxford in the 19th century, and is now sited in the dining hall. A replica, however, still graces the Brasenose Gateway at Stamford.

The college's main entrance faces the Radcliffe Camera, while Brasenose Lane beside the college retains its mediaeval central gutter.

Those who studied at Brasenose have included Elias Ashmole; R. H. Barham; John Buchan; Robert Burton; and John Foxe.

The origin of the "brazen nose" comes from a connection with the great medieval scholar and scientist Roger Bacon, who came to be regarded as an alchemist and wizard. Bacon lived at Folly Bridge, and is said to have constructed a prophetic head of brass, to advise on how best to defend England. Unfortunately, it self-destructed when Bacon's assistant did not understand its words.

Bookmark this page

Bookmark this page with

What is

Places in Oxford...

Events in Oxford...