Oxford, Magdalen Chapel, survey drawing for the west entrance, ND (1)
Magdalen College, Oxford was founded in 1458 by William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester for the study of theology and philosophy. The site was previously occupied by the Hospital of the Order of St. John and following his inheritance of the hospital and its surrounding buildings, Waynflete decided to redevelop the site, establishing his college. Work first began in 1467 with the construction of the Longwall which enclosed the site. In 1474, working alongside stonemason William Orchard, Waynflete began the construction of the cloisters, chapel, hall and library, which were completed in 1480. Following Waynflete's death in 1486, further additions were made, including the magnificent 144ft bell tower completed in 1505.
In the late 1720s Edward Butler, President of the College, expressed a desire to replace the cloisters with a new Palladian quadrangle. Edward Holdsworth was commissioned to design the new complex and construction of the north range began in 1733. However the project was not completed and only the north wing of the intended scheme was executed.
This survey sketch drawing by Robert Adam of the west entrance to Magdalen Chapel, as viewed from the quadrangle, is undated.
R. Ackermann, A history of the university of Oxford, its Colleges, Halls, and Public Buildings, 1814; ‘Coloured lithograph of the west door of Magdalen College Chapel, 1814 – FA 1/7/3P/2’, www.archive.cat.magd.ox.ac.uk; www.magd.ox.ac.uk; www.oxfordhistory.ac.uk (accessed February 2021)