Dolphin Gate of Trinity College and
St John’s Dolphin quadrangle (2, 3, & 4 St Giles' Street)

Balliol, Trinity, St John's

Buildings belonging to three colleges can be seen adjacent to each other in the above photograph:

  • Just showing on the right is the triangular lintel of the house at 1 St Giles’ Street that since 1989 has belonged to Balliol College
  • Then immediately north of it is the archway of the Dolphin Gateway of Trinity College, with rooms above (built by Sir Hubert Worthington in 1947–8). This is Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1183851)
  • Then north of that is a neo-Georgian building with a balcony built by Edward Maufe in 1948 and a stretch of wall that are part of the Dolphin Quadrangle of St John’s College,

Dolphin Inn

The Dolphin Inn, which was in St Mary Magdalen parish and according to the 1772 Survey of Oxford had a frontage of 28 yards, stood on the this site until 1794, next to the older part of St John's College.

The inn can be seen on the right-hand side of the engraving on the left, which was made in 1773.

The Dolphin was owned by the City of Oxford from 1660–1787: see Oxford City Properties, pp. 256–261.

There is an advertisement in Jackson’s Oxford Journal for a bull-baiting to be held at the inn on 6 and 7 September 1784, with a prize of a silver collar for the dog that penned the bull best.

In 1786 it was sold for £740 to Trinity College, and this is how that college acquired a passageway to St Giles'.

The old Dolphin Inn was demolished in about 1794.


Jackson's Oxford Journal of 10 January 1795 (p. 3c) advertised “A PLOT of GROUND, late the Site of the Dolphin Inn, situate in the Parish of St. Mary Magdalen, in the Suburbs of Oxford. For Particulars enquire of the Bursar of Trinity College.”

Three dwellings (allocated the numbers 2, 3, and 4 St Giles' Street) were built on the site in the 1830s.


At the time of the 1851 census Mrs Mary Mason, a retired college servant of 71 with a servant of her own, lived in No. 2 St Giles’ Street. In No. 3 lived Mrs Kitty Lee, a widow of independent means (also aged 71) with one servant; and in No. 4 lived John Parrott, a journeyman carpenter, with his wife and son. This latter house was also used as an office by Baker Morrell, the solicitor who lived at No. 1.

By 1861 all three houses were occupied by college servants: Thomas Moses Allnutt was at No. 2 with his wife and eight children and two lodgers; William Uphill and his wife were at No. 3; and John Parrott and his wife were at No. 4.

These three houses became lodgings for St John’s College by the 1870s and were known as the South Buildings; the ground-floor windows were then barred.

The houses were demolished in 1881, but it was not until 1947/8 that Trinity's Dolphin Gate and St John's Dolphin Quadrangle were built on this site.

Occupants of 2, 3 & 4 St Giles' Street listed in censuses and directories
(grey background = earlier building)


2 St Giles

3 St Giles

4 St Giles


Joshua Fisher


Edward Michael Knowles

Mrs Catherine
(Kate/Kitty) Lee

Baker Morrell & Son
Solicitors (offices)
(Morrell & Biddle in 1861)

John Parrott
Carpenter/college servant (upstairs)


Mrs Mary Mason


Moses Thomas Allnutt
College servant

William Uphill
College servant


J.B. Spearing
Land agent & surveyor


Mrs Huthnance
Lodging house

George Johnson
Lodging house

Miss Wyatt


S.T. Hughes


Demolished in 1881: then vacant site, behind new wall


St John's Dolphin Quadrangle with
Trinity's Dolphin Gate to the south

St Giles’ home

Stephanie Jenkins

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