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19th century - 1900s

St Hugh’s Hall was founded in 1886 by Elizabeth Wordsworth and, until the construction of its current Main Building, occupied a number of houses in North Oxford, including No.25 Norham Road and No.17 Norham Gardens.

SHG/M/1/1/4: A postcard of 17 Norham Gardens, late 19th century (Davis’s, Oxford).

SHG/M/1/1/2 (3):   The Chapel, 17 Norham Gardens, c.1900s.

SHG/M/1/1/2 (5):   The Library, 17 Norham Gardens, c.1900s.

SHG/M/1/1/2 (7):   The Dining Room, 17 Norham Gardens, c.1900s.

SHG/M/1/1/2 (9):   A student’s room, 17 Norham Gardens, c.1900s.

SHG/M/1/1/2 (10):   A student’s room, 17 Norham Gardens, c.1900s.


Elizabeth Wordsworth, Founder of St Hugh’s Hall, from an 1886 group photograph (By kind permission of the Principal and Fellows of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford).

SHG/M/2/1/2/1: Charlotte Anne Elizabeth (‘Annie’) Moberly, Principal 1886 – 1915.


Group photographs were taken from very early on, usually at the end of Trinity Term, but ‘freshers’ photos do not appear in the archive collection until much later in the 20th century.

SHG/T/1/3: The first students of St Hugh’s Hall with Miss Moberly, Principal, May 1887 (Hills & Saunders).

SHG/M/2/5/1890:  A group photo, 1890.

SHG/M/2/5/1892: A group photo, 1892.

SHG/M/2/5/1893: A group photo, 1893 (Gillman & Co).

SHG/M/2/5/1894: A group photo, 1894 (Hills & Saunders).

SHG/M/2/5/1896: A group photo, c.1896 (W. Forshaw).

SHG/M/2/5/1903: A group photo, 1903.

SHG/M/2/5/1904: A group photo, 1904.

SHG/M/2/5/1905: A group photo, 1905.

SHG/M/2/5/1907: A group photo, 1907.

SHG/M/2/5/1908: A group photo, 1908.

SHG/M/2/5/1909: A group photo, 1909 (Hills & Saunders).

Formal sports photos also exist but only for the Hockey Club in this decade.

SHG/M/2/8/2/1903: The Hockey Club, 1903 (Hills & Saunders).

SHG/M/2/8/2/1904: The Hockey Club, 1904 (W. Forshaw).

SHG/M/2/8/2/1907: The Hockey Club, 1907.

SHG/M/2/8/2/1908: The Hockey Club, 1908.

SHG/M/2/8/2/1909: The Hockey Club, 1909.

SHG/M/2/8/2/6: The Hockey Club, c.1900s (Gillman & Co.).

SHG/M/2/8/2/7: The Hockey Club, 1900s.


Our photo collection also contains some rather more random pictures and from this period we have some images of a Victorian trip to the Alps – quite an achievement by ladies attired in the approved outfits of the time!

SHG/M/2/7/11 (3): Expedition to the Alps, c.1900s.

SHG/M/2/7/11 (5): Expedition to the Alps, c.1900s.

SHG/M/5/2: We also have a photo of the New College Barge, c.1902.


By the early 1910s, St Hugh’s had outgrown its scattered accommodation and the time had come for the construction of a purpose built building. A site containing a house called ‘The Mount’ was initially leased from University College – the house was demolished and construction on a new building began. The First World War threatened this venture but the generosity of Clara Evelyn Mordan allowed the work to be completed. The site was eventually purchased from University College in 1927.

SHG/M/2/3/1: Clara Evelyn Mordan, c.1900s.

SHG/M/2/3/2: Mary Gray Allen, Mordan’s executor, who continued as benefactor of the College, c.1910s.

SHG/F/2/2: The wonderful clay model of the new building, sadly no longer extant, c.1914.

SHG/M/4/16 (9): The Main Building under construction, c.1916.


SHG/M/2/1/3/4: Eleanor Jourdain, Principal 1915-1924.


Formal group and sports photos continue but now we also see more informal and social pictures appearing:

SHG/M/2/5/1910: A group photo, c.1910.

SHG/M/2/5/1916: A group photo, 1916 (Elliott & Fry).

SHG/M/2/5/1917: A group photo, 1917 (Hills & Saunders).

SHG/M/2/5/1919: A group photo, 1919.

SHG/M/2/8/2/1 (3): The Hockey Club, 1918.

SHG/M/2/8/2/4: The Hockey Club, c.1910s (Hills & Saunders).

SHG/M/2/8/2/5: The Hockey Club, c.1910s.

SHG/M/2/8/5/1 (1): The Lacrosse Club, 1919.


SHG/M/2/2/51: Staff group – Miss Evans, Miss Ady, Miss Jourdain, Miss Shaw, Miss Hind, Miss Bullen and Miss Spearing, c.1919.

SHG/M/2/2/68: A more formal staff group – front: Miss Ady, Miss Rogers, Miss Jourdain, Miss Wardale, Miss Evans; back: Miss Spearing, Miss Shaw, Miss Bullen and Miss Hind, c.1919.


SHG/M/2/2/65: Miss Ady with a group of students, 1916.

SHG/M/2/7/54: Mary Gwendolen Vaughan, Norah Carter and Joan Evans, 1916.


And from the ‘random’ collection…

SHG/M/5/1: Blackwell’s Bookshop, 1910.








SHG/M/2/1/4/1: Barbara Elizabeth Gwyer, Principal 1924-1946.


We are lucky enough to have an album of photographs of College taken by the JCR in 1928 that were sold to raise money in support of the Scholarship & Fellowship Fund:

SHG/M/4/3 (1-2): Main Entrance.

SHG/M/4/3 (2-1): A view of The High from an unknown vantage point.

SHG/M/4/3 (4-1): The Mary Gray Allen Wing (MGA) and Main Building.

SHG/M/4/3 (4-2): MGA – before the construction of the Library.

SHG/M/4/3 (7-1): The Junior Common Room (JCR) – now the MGA Lecture Room.

SHG/M/4/3 (7-2): The Junior Common Room (JCR) – now the MGA Lecture Room.

SHG/M/4/3 (7-3): The Junior Common Room (JCR) – now the MGA Lecture Room.

SHG/M/4/3 (7-4): The Junior Common Room (JCR) – now the MGA Lecture Room.

SHG/M/4/3 (8-1): The Main Terrance – the wall in the forefront was removed when the wing was extended in 1955.

SHG/M/4/3 (9-1): The Main Lawn set out for tennis.

SHG/M/4/3 (9-3): The Dell.

SHG/M/4/3 (9-4): A resident squirrel.

SHG/M/4/3 (10-1): The Lawn – No.89 Banbury Road.

SHG/M/4/3 (10-3): The rear of No.82 Woodstock Road.

SHG/M/4/3 (11-1): The rear of No.4 St Margaret’s Road.

SHG/M/4/3 (11-2): The front of No.4 St Margaret’s Road.

SHG/M/4/3 (11-3): The front of No.3 St Margaret’s Road.

SHG/M/4/3 (11-4): The rear of No.3 St Margaret’s Road.

SHG/M/4/3 (12-1): The opening ceremony of the MGA wing.

SHG/M/4/3 (13-1): St Hugh’s Council including: back row (l-r) – Canon W.J.K. Brook, Margery Perham, Canon Streeter, Evelyn Ritchie, Miss E.M. Talbot, Miss Francis, Miss Seaton, Miss Evans, remaining unidentified; front row (l-r) – Miss Wardale, Prof. Myers, Miss Rogers, Lord Hugh Cecil, Miss Gwyer, Thomas Banks Strong (Bishop of Oxford), Bishop Shaw, Miss Ady and Sybil West.

SHG/M/4/3 (14-1): St Hugh’s students matriculating.

SHG/M/4/3 (14-3): Domestic staff.

SHG/M/4/3 (15-1): The ‘Old JCR’ – now the Board Room.

SHG/M/4/3 (15-2): The ‘Old JCR’ – now the Board Room.


In addition to the JCR album, a set of formal images were taken by Bassano.

SHG/M/1/3/1 (1): The main entrance, 1928 (Bassano Ltd.).

SHG/M/1/3/1 (2): The Chapel, 1928 (Bassano Ltd.).

SHG/M/1/3/1 (3): The Dining Hall, 1928 (Bassano Ltd.).

SHG/M/1/3/1 (5): The Mordan Library, 1928 (Bassano Ltd.).

SHG/M/1/3/1 (6): The Junior Common Room, 1928 (Bassano Ltd.).


Formal group and sports photos also survive in greater numbers from the 1920s:

SHG/M/2/5/1922: A group photo, 1922.

SHG/M/2/5/1923: A group photo, 1923.

SHG/M/2/5/1924: A group photo, 1924.

SHG/M/2/5/1925: A group photo, 1925.

SHG/M/2/5/1927: A group photo, 1927 (Hills & Saunders).

SHG/M/2/5/1929: A group photo, 1929 (Hills & Saunders).

SHG/M/2/5/1931: A group photo, 1931.

SHG/M/2/5/1935: A group photo, 1935.


SHG/M/2/8/2/2: The Hockey Club, c.1920s.

SHG/M/2/8/2/8: The Hockey Club, c.1920s.

SHG/M/2/8/2/10: The Hockey Club, c.1920s (Hills & Saunders).

SHG/M/2/8/2/1 (5): The Hockey Club, 1925.

SHG/M/2/8/2/1928: A hockey match, 1928.

SHG/M/2/8/2/1929: The SCR Hockey Team, 1929.

SHG/M/2/8/2/1936: The Hockey Club, 1936.

SHG/M/2/8/4/1: The Netball Club, c.1920s (Hills & Saunders).

SHG/M/2/8/4/2: The Netball Club, c.1920s.

SHG/M/2/8/4/1925: The Netball Club, 1925.

SHG/M/2/8/4/1929: The Netball Club, 1929.

SHG/M/2/8/5/1 (2): The Lacrosse Club, 1920.

SHG/M/2/8/5/1 (3): The Lacrosse Club, 1921.

SHG/M/2/8/5/1 (4): The Lacrosse Club, 1922.

SHG/M/2/8/5/1 (5): The Lacrosse Club, 1923.

SHG/M/2/8/5/1 (6): The Lacrosse Club, 1924.

SHG/M/2/8/5/1 (7): The Lacrosse Club, 1925.

SHG/M/2/8/5/1 (8): The Lacrosse Club, 1926.

SHG/M/2/8/5/2: The Tennis Club, c.1920s.

SHG/M/2/8/5/3: The Tennis Club, c.1920s (Gillman & Co.).

SHG/M/2/8/5/4: The Tennis Club, c.1920s.


SHG/M/4/11 (9): An early Garden Party, c.1920s.

SHG/M/4/11 (20): Students on the river, c.1920s.

SHG/M/4/12 (2): The Terrace, 1920s.

SHG/M/4/12 (3): Students studying on the roof, 1920s.

SHG/M/2/7/1: The cast of ‘A School for Scandal’, 1923 (Gillman & Co.).

SHG/M/2/7/69 (1): Punting on the Cherwell: Jessie Lace, Lorna Limpus, Alice Tyacke and Margot Whittaker, 1927.

SHG/M/2/2/74: Fellows in procession, Jun 1936.

SHG/M/3/1/1: The visit of Oba Alaiyeluwa Ademola II, Alake of Abeokuta, 4 Jun 1937.

SHG/M/2/7/12: Informal student group in the college grounds, 1938.

SHG/M/1/11/8 (1): The Shrubbery, No.72 Woodstock Road, c.1930s.

SHG/M/1/11/8 (2): The Library of The Shrubbery, c.1930s.


The first half of the 1940s was dominated by WWII when St Hugh’s was requisitioned as a hospital for the treatment of head injuries:

HHA/6/1/23: Patients and nurses in the College grounds.

HHA/6/1/6: The neurosurgeons who worked at the hospital. Front row, third from left, is Sir Hugh Cairns who was instrumental in the establishment of the hospital.

HHA/6/2/22: A nurse with patients on the main terrace.

HHA/6/2/25: Red Cross nurses pose under the rose arch.

HHA/6/2/9: The Dining Hall served as a ward.

HHA/6/5/2: Brick huts were erected in the grounds as ward blocks. After the war, these were leased to various University departments until their eventual demolition in 1952.

HHA/6/5/8: The huts were primarily sited on the main lawn and behind the library.

HHA/6/5/10: The demolition of the huts, 1952.


SHG/M/3/3/1(3): Evelyn Emma Stefanos Procter, Principal 1946-1962, at a garden party, 1957.


Formal group photos also continued:

SHG/M/2/8/5/1942: The Oxford and Cambridge lacrosse teams featuring three players from St Hugh’s – Anne Blake (front row, far left), Ruth Oulton (front row, second from right) and Diana Colbeck (second row centre) (Gillman & Soame).

SHG/M/2/8/8/1: The University squash team with Rosamund Rieu from St Hugh’s (back left).

SHG/M/2/5/1947: A group photo, 1947 (Gillman & Soame).

SHG/M/2/5/1948: A group photo, 1948 (Gillman & Soame).

SHG/M/2/5/1949: A group photo, 1949 (© Gillman & Soame).

SHG/M/2/5/1955: A group photo, 1955 (© Gillman & Soame).

SHG/M/2/5/1957: A group photo, 1957 (B.J. Harris © Gillman & Soame).

SHG/M/2/5/1959: A group photo, 1959 (© Gillman & Soame).


SHG/M/2/2/66: Ida Busbridge with her Mathematics ‘mods’ group studying in the College grounds, 1957.

SHG/M/2/2/57: Elizabeth Francis, Fellow in French (l) and Olga Bickley, Fellow in Italian, c.1950s.

SHG/M/5/10: ‘Bulldogs’ stand guard outside the Examination Schools, c.1950s.


And from the ‘random’ collection…

SHG/M/5/4: Sailing on Port Meadow, c.1950s.

SHG/M/5/5: Ice skating on Port Meadow, 1958.

SHG/M/5/6: Morris dancers on May Morning, c. 1950s.



SHG/M/2/1/6/2: Dame Kathleen Kenyon, Principal 1962-1973.


The 1960s brought significant expansion with the construction of the Wolfson and Kenyon Buildings.

SHG/M/3/2/5 (1): The ‘Topping Out’ ceremony for the Kenyon Building, with Kathleen Kenyon and Mary Warnock on the roof, Jul 1965.

SHG/M/1/8/1: Construction of the Kenyon Building, Mar 1966 (© The Oxford Mail).

SHG/M/3/2/5 (2): Miss C.V. Wedgwood declares the Kenyon Building open, watched by Dr. Michael Ramsay, Archbishop of Canterbury and College Visitor, 19 May 1966.

SHG/M/1/7/2 (1): The Wolfson Building shortly after construction, 1968 (Thomas Photos).

SHG/M/1/7/2 (3): A student room in the Wolfson Building, 1968 (James Austin).

SHG/M/3/2/2 (10): Princess Alexandra and Kathleen Kenyon proceed to dinner as part of the celebrations for the opening of the Wolfson Building, 14 May 1968.

SHG/M/3/2/4: Procession for the opening of the Wolfson Building with Princess Alexandra and Sir Harold Macmillan, Chancellor of the University, 14 May 1968 (© The Oxford Mail).


SHG/M/2/2/71 (1): A visit by Rev. Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury and College Visitor, with Kathleen Kenyon, Principal, and other Fellows.

SHG/M/2/1/7/1 (1): [Mabel] Rachel Trickett, Principal 1973-1991, (Peter Espé de Giselle Studios).

SHG/M/2/2/64: In 1972, the college bade farewell to its retiring Head Gardener, George Harris, who had been at St Hugh’s for forty-five years.

SHG/M/1/12/1 (12): During the severe drought of 1976, the outlines of the previous house, The Mount, became clearly visible in the lawn.

SHG/M/1/12/2 (2): Planting a new young beech tree to replace one killed in the 1976 drought (© The Oxford Mail & Times).

SHG/M/1/5/3 (3): The Chapel before it was refurbished and the new organ was installed in 1979 (Thomas Photos).

SHG/M/1/5/4 (1): The Chapel, c.1985.

SHG/M/1/2/2 (1): An aerial photograph of the College site, 1979 (Thomas Photos).


SHG/M/2/2/6 (1): In 1980, Theo Cooper, Fellow in Economics, was admitted to become the first female Senior Proctor. She is front left in this picture of the proctorial procession with Peggy Jacobs, Fellow in German, next to her and Barbara Kennedy, Fellow in Geography, behind Miss Jacobs (© The Oxford Mail & Times).

SHG/M/2/7/27: This is an unidentified photo of a student production c.1980s – if anybody recognises it, we would be pleased to have any further details! (Thomas Photos).

SHG/M/1/7/4 (4): In 1991, a third storey was added to the Wolfson Building.


Also in that year, the Rachel Trickett Building (RTB) was constructed:

SHG/M/1/7/5 (7): The site of the RTB, including the Evelyn Procter memorial pond, 1991.

SHG/M/1/7/5 (8): The site of the RTB, showing Wolfson prior to the third storey addition, 1991.

SHG/M/1/7/5 (9): The site of the RTB, 1991.

SHG/M/1/9/2 (1): Rachel Trickett cuts the first turf for the construction of the RTB, Mar 1991.

SHG/M/1/9/5 (29): Construction of the RTB underway, May 1991.

SHG/M/1/9/6 (14): Construction of the RTB underway, Sep 1991.

SHG/M/3/2/7 (5): Rachel Trickett speaking at the opening of the RTB with Derek Wood, Principal, and Rev. Fosdike, Chaplain, 17 Nov 1992.


RTB was followed, in 1999, by the construction of the Maplethorpe Building (MTB):

SHG/M/1/12/15 (3): The site of the MTB, 1998.

SHG/M/1/10/2 (14): Work begins and the existing tennis court was moved to what is now the site of the China Centre.

SHG/M/1/10/1 (2): The basement is excavated.

SHG/M/1/10/3 (14): Construction continues.


SHG/M/1/2/4 (2): An aerial view of the College site, Oct 2002 (Commission Air).