"This was early morning and the door light was still on, lighting up the golden fauns and leading the eye to the Radcliffe Camera." J J Marshall
URBANPIX CAPTION to this Oxford card:
St Mary’s Passage runs between Brasenose College on the left and the University Church of St Mary the Virgin on the right, and leads to Radcliffe Square and the Radcliffe Camera. The timbered buildings of Brasenose College shown here, are probably 17th century and have an interesting bracket of gold-painted fauns above their entrance. Brasenose College was established in 1509 for the study of sophistry, logic, philosophy and theology.
The oldest part of St Mary the Virgin is the tower (1280) with its profusely decorated spire (1315-25). The ‘Virgin Porch’ on the High Street with its statue of the Virgin and Child above, still displays the bullet holes made by Cromwell’s troopers.The church stands in the centre of the original walled city and the university grew around it.
Radcliffe Camera and Radcliffe Square are named after John Radcliffe, a student of University College and doctor to the King, who in 1714 bequeathed £40,000 to build a science library. Work began in 1737 and finished in 1749. In 1909-12 a two-floor underground book store was added with a tunnel to connect it with the Bodleian Library on the north side of the square. Today, the Radcliffe Camera is used as a reading room for the Bodleian and isn’t open to the public.