Balliol College

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Oxford, England

Balliol College Oxford Reviews

king_golo king_golo
28 reviews
Beautiful Balliol College Jan 30, 2017
Founded in 1263, Balliol claims to be the oldest of all Oxford colleges. However, their claim is based on "longest in the same location", while other colleges apply different categories, such as oldest building still existant. So this question will never be answered conclusively. What is out of question, though, is that Balliol College may look a bit boring from the outside but has one of Oxford's nicest college gardens behind its high walls.

Furthermore, three later prime ministers are among its alumni, among them one who coined a sentence to describe Balliol style, Herbert Henry Asquith. Balliol students and alumni, he said, possess the "tranquil consciousness of an effortless superiority". You see how they are in Oxford...

Balliol also has a long-lasting rivalry with its direct neighbour Trinity College. Allegedly, offensive songs are sometimes chanted over the walls dividing the two colleges, a former Trinity president threw stones into the windows of Balliol and the rivalry continues in faraway Cambridge among their sister colleges.

To me, Balliol is the college with a lovely garden (in particular in spring) which doesn't see too many tourists and the college with the best food of all of the colleges I've eaten at. Which reminds me that it's nearly dinner time!
Balliol College
Balliol's garden with its chapel i…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Airpunk says:
One of my favourites in Oxford!
Posted on: Feb 01, 2017
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Airpunk Airpunk
502 reviews
Balliol College Jan 14, 2017
Balliol College is one of the oldest colleges in Oxford. 1263 is given as official founding year, its founding fathers were John de Balliol and the Bishop of Durham. Famous alumni include Adam Smith, King Harald of Norway, Edward Heath, Richard von Weizs├Ącker and Boris Johnson.

As a very old college, it has a lot if traditions including a rivalry with neighbouring Trinity. Balliol is often seen as the more liberal while Trinity is regarded as more conservative. It is manifested in a taunting song called the "Gordouli" (if someone has a video of it, I would appreciate a link - TKS!). The rivalry reflects the one of its sister colleges in Cambrige. Trinity's sister college is called Trinity as well while Balliol's sister is St. John's.

Entry fee is 2 GBP (2016). Beside all its architectural details, the highlights are the chapel and the dining hall, the lattter includes portraits of famous alumni. The leaflet you get together with your ticket is excellent - it has a short description of each important place you can visit in the College. Plan around 45 minutes for a visit. As with all colleges, opening times can vary, depending on university terms and exam periods.
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
College Chapel, Balliol College, O…
College Chapel, Balliol College, O…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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