Twenty Wolfson Gems

A tour of Wolfson College celebrating fifty years on the Cherwell.

Wolfson College moved into its permanent home in 1974. Designed by architects Powell & Moya, the College buildings nestle on the banks of the River Cherwell, discreet and unimposing when seen from Linton Road, but opening out onto the lush landscapes of the Oxfordshire countryside to the east. The College is rightly described as a hidden gem. Half a century on, thousands of graduate students and researchers have passed through its doors – strolling through the quads, lounging in the punts, raising families, and even working in the library. Each generation of Wolfsonians has made its mark, leaving behind a College richer in history, community and spirit.

As new arrivals soon discover, Wolfson rewards time spent at the College by gradually unfolding its secrets. Some are well-known to Wolfsonians, who keep them closely guarded from the rest of Oxford: secret joys like the Wolfson fireworks, Burns Night, and Harbour Quad in summer. But some of the College’s secrets are better kept than others. Not everyone knows the story of the Missing Tree, or the dragon hiding in the gardens, or the 340-million-year-old creatures beneath our feet. This tour is designed to guide you through a selection of twenty of these Wolfson Gems. We hope you enjoy this journey celebrating Wolfson’s fiftieth year on the River Cherwell, taking in at least some of its secrets – but by no means all!