Oriel Square



Oriel Square, formerly known as Canterbury Square, Hibbert, Christopher, ''The Encyclopedia of Oxford''. London: Pan Macmillan, 1988, pp. 295–296. . is a square in central
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the ...
, England, located south of the
High Street High Street is a common street name for the primary business street of a city, town, or village, especially in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. It implies that it is the focal point for business, especially shopping. It is also a metonym ...
. The name was changed after the Second World War at the request of Oriel College which maintained that the square had originally been known as Oriel Square.


To the east at the southern end is the cobbled Merton Street and to the north are King Edward Street and Oriel Street. To the west at the northern end is Bear Lane. Oriel College, one of the older colleges of the
University of Oxford , mottoeng = The Lord is my light , established = , endowment = £6.1 billion (including colleges) (2019) , budget = £2.145 billion (2019–20) , chancellor ...
, fronts onto the square to the east. Canterbury Gate of Christ Church also backs onto the square. The street is officially designated as part of the A420 due to the blockage of the High Street to normal traffic. To the north it continues as King Edward Street and to the east it continues as Merton Street. Oriel Square tennis court was a former
real tennis Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of kings" – is the original racquet sport from which the modern game of tennis (also called "lawn tennis") is derived. It is also known as court tennis in the United St ...
court. The only active court left in Oxford is the Merton Street tennis court nearby. The television crime series '' Inspector Morse'' used the square as a location in the episodes "The Dead of Jericho", "Last Seen Wearing", "The Ghost in the Machine", "Infernal Serpent", "Absolute Conviction", "Deadly Slumber" and "The Daughters of Cain".Richards, Antony and Attwell, Philip, ''The Oxford of Inspector Morse''. Irregular Special Press, Cambridge, 2006, p.41. . Oriel Square is the setting for a poem by Sir John Betjeman titled "On an Old-Fashioned Water-Colour of Oxford".


File:Oriel Square for King Edward Street Oxford.jpg, Looking towards Oriel College in Oriel Square, from King Edward Street. File:Oriel College Main Gate.jpg, The main entrance of Oriel College in Oriel Square.


External links

* Squares in Oxford Christ Church, Oxford Oriel College, Oxford {{Oxfordshire-geo-stub