Oxford History: The High


Logic Lane

Logic Lane

Logic Lane runs south from the High Street, between University College’s 1903 Durham Building to the east and the older main part of the college to the west. It leads down to Merton Street.

In 1904 the small bridge shown above was built to link the two parts of University College on each side of this lanes, which was then a public bridleway. There was opposition to the plan from the city council, but a court judgement awarded the soil of the road to the college.

Logic Lane was known as Horseman Lane in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. There was a horse-mill here in medieval times, and it was also known as Horsemull Lane. It acquired the name Logic Lane by the seventeenth century, after a school of logicians at its north end.

There is a gate at each end of the lane, which is locked at night: a notice states that it is open from 7am to 8.30pm in winter, and 7am to 11pm in summer.

”Logic Lane” is one of the oldest surviving street names in Oxford. William Tuckwell in his Reminiscences of Oxford says: “Only Logic Lane, quoted in the Spectator, as commemorating mediaeval combats, not always of words alone, between Nominalists and Realists, no one was profane enough to change.”

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 30 June, 2018

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