Founded in 1263, Balliol claims to be The University of Oxford’s most ancient college (though this claim is hotly disputed by both Merton and University Colleges). John de Balliol, the founder of the college, was a nobleman of French and Scottish origin. Following a territorial dispute with the powerful Bishop of Durham, de Balliol decided to fund a number of religious scholars through their studies. Following the death of de Balliol in 1268, his wife Dervorguillla ensured the permanence of the college by assigning funds, and in 1282 formulated the college statues.
Balliol has produced a number of important figures including:
Balliol Colleges boasts a stunning dining hall and one of the oldest libraries in the city. Indeed, even Balliol’s second library predates the publication of printed books in Europe.
Check out more about this College on our Oxford University & City Tour!
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Oxford Train Station
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You can find out more information of this site, and some of the most iconic sites in the city, on our Oxford University Walking Tour!
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