(12) Hertford College stands on the E. side of Catte
Street and on both sides of New College Lane. The
walls are of local Oxfordshire stone and the roofs are
slate-covered. Hart Hall was in existence in 1282; Black
Hall, the property of the University, was next to it on
the W., and these two halls occupied the N. side of the
present quadrangle. Hart Hall was re-built in the second
half of the 16th century by Philip Randall, Principal (1549–
99), and apparently consisted of a Hall and Buttery with
rooms over. The E. Range is of two builds, the southern
being probably the earlier, but both are of c. 1600 or early
17th-century date. The building further S. was erected
early in the 18th century either by William Thornton,
Principal (1688–1707), or Dr. Richard Newton, Principal
(1710–53). The latter built the Old Chapel, now a
library, on the S. side of the quadrangle; it was consecrated in 1716. In 1740 Hart Hall became Hertford
College and so continued till 1805–10. It had by then
so declined that the buildings were taken over by the
members of Magdalen Hall who moved there in 1822.
At this time the two blocks at the N. and S. ends of the
W. range were built. Magdalen Hall became Hertford
College in 1874 and much building has been done
subsequent to this date. The middle block on the W.
was built in 1887–9, the W. block on the N. in 1890
and the new Chapel in 1908. The extension to the N.
of New College Lane, with the bridge, was built at
various dates between 1903 and 1931. Incorporated in
this extension is the early 16th-century octagonal chapel
of St. Mary the Virgin.
Hertford College Arms
Architectural Description—The late 16th-century
building of Hart Hall forms the E. part of the N. range
and was originally of one storey with attics. The
existing upper storey was added probably late in the
17th or early in the 18th century. The W. part formed
the old Hall and has in the S. wall two partly restored
windows of three round-headed lights in square heads;
the corresponding windows on the N. are modern.
The room has a coved ceiling and panelling of the 18th
century. In the passage at the E. end is a re-set 16th-century doorway with hollow-chamfered jambs and
four-centred head. The Buttery, originally of two storeys,
is now of three with attics; the line of the original
roof can be seen on the E. wall. The first floor retains
some single-light 16th-century windows and inside the
building the doorway leading to the cellar is similar to
that described above.
The E. Range, as shown in Loggan's view, was
formed of two buildings, not very different in date.
The range was much altered in the 18th century and
the top storey is a 19th-century addition. The
windows on the W. front are of 18th-century or modern
date, but two early 17th-century windows remain on
the E. side. At the S. end is an original two-storeyed
bay-window, with all the lights blocked. Inside the
building, the Senior Common Room, on the ground-floor, is lined with 18th-century panelling, finished with
a cornice. The early 18th-century building, to the S.,
is of two storeys with cellars and attics and pedimented
dormer-windows; the walls are, at any rate partly, of
brick. The windows are square-headed and there is a
band between the storeys and an eaves-cornice.
The modern Chapel, built in 1908, contains two 18th-century brass candelabra, each with twelve branches. The
Old Chapel, now a library, stands to the W. and was
consecrated in 1716. The walls are cement-rendered
and each side has three round-headed windows, with
moulded architraves, imposts and key-blocks; the N.
doorway has a moulded architrave and cornice. The
interior retains its original cornice. Rehung in the
modern entrance in the W. range are a pair of 17th-century doors with bolection-moulded panels and
carved scrolls, fruit and flowers in the top panels; one
leaf has a wicket.
The Chapel of St. Mary at Smith's Gate stood immediately N.E. of the town-gate of that name. It was
built or re-built c. 1520–1 and is an octagonal building
now incorporated in the modern extension of Hertford
college. At the building of this extension it was
largely restored, particularly towards the W, the
missing portions were replaced, a floor was inserted and
the pyramidal roof erected. It now serves as a Junior
Common Room with a kitchen below. The walls
are ashlar-faced and stand on a moulded plinth; at
each external angle is an almost detached octagonal shaft
finished with a modern pinnacle. The original doorway
(Plate 129) in the S. wall has moulded and shafted jambs
and four-centred arch in a square head with foliated
spandrels; the outer order of the jambs is carried up
to a higher square head under which is a range of three
canopied niches and two panels with traceried heads,
and containing a representation of the Annunciation
with the lily-pot in the middle. The lower windows
are all modern but the upper windows are partly original
with modern tracery inserted; they have four-centred
heads with moulded labels; there appears to have been
a window in each wall except the S. but only those on
the N.E., E., W. and S.W. are now open; a doorway
has been formed in the N. window and a fireplace in
that on the N.W. In the internal angle between the E.
and N.E. walls is a niche with side-shafts, crocketted
pinnacles and a canopy carved with vaulting and a
central boss; immediately below is a moulded corbel.
Loose in the building is part of a carved angel and re-set
in an adjoining building is a head-corbel.