The North Quad

The North Quad began to be formed when a road, Beef Lane (originally Beef Hall Lane between St. Ebbe’s and St. Aldate’s), was closed in 1960. The buildings along this road were demolished to form the open space of the quad and the private houses in Pembroke Street on the north side were gradually acquired by the College, refurbished as student accommodation and teaching rooms and altered so that access was only possible from within the Quad. North Quad was formally opened in 1962 and the former houses now form staircases 13-18.

The architectural styles from across several centuries sit together with surprising harmony.  In 2007 the repair and restoration  of the former nos 16-21 Pembroke St was recognised by an award from the Oxford Preservation Trust for the "contribution made to the preservation and enhancement of Oxford's heritage."

On the eastern side of North Quad, bordering Pembroke Square, stands the Samuel Johnson building. This was once the Master's Lodgings, where Johnson often visited his friend and one-time fellow undergraduate William Adams, who was Master from 1775 - 1789.  The building was named in Johnson's honour in September 2009 to mark the tercentenary of his birth.

North Quad also includes the Macmillan Building, a more modern provision of student accommodation, opened in 1977.  It was named after the former Prime Minster, then Chancellor of the University and College Visitor, Harold MacMillan, who appreciated having “so handsome a building being named after me…Gladstone only managed a suitcase.”