Merton College

Visitor information

Opening Hours
  • Monday to Friday 2pm - 5pm
  • Saturday 10am - 5pm
  • Sunday 12 noon - 5pm
  • Last entry is always 4:30pm

Friday 5th – closed to all except for Merton Alumni

Friday 12th Jan – closed to all except for Merton Alumni

Sat 13th Jan – closed to all except Merton Alumni

  • The College reserves the right to close at short notice if necessary. Visitors are advised to contact us in advance for up-to-date information relating to tours on specific dates.
  • Merton College alumni should consult our Coming back to College page for additional information on visiting Merton (including extended visiting hours).
Entry
  • £5.00 for adults
  • £3.00 for adults aged over 65 and children aged 13-17.
  • Entry includes a brochure containing a map of the College. Payment must be made by card; we do not accept cash.

Entry is free for:

  • Merton College alumni;
  • members of the University of Oxford (with up to 3 guests) on production of a valid University card (blue stripe) or alumni card; and
  • accompanied children aged 12 years old and under.

Assistance dogs are welcome.

The entry fee includes access to the four quads and the College Chapel. Please note that the Hall, Fellows Garden, and residential areas are normally closed to all visitors (including alumni). Chapel services are open to all.

Self-Guided Group Tours

A maximum of three groups will be allowed in college at any one time. Large groups of over 15 may be split to allow sufficient space to view the grounds.  Each group must have at least 1 designated adult leader responsible for their group at all times.

Self-guided groups can visit the four quads & the chapel only.

Group sizes of 15 or less:  Do not need to pre book unless they want to secure a specific arrival time or pay via invoice.

Group sizes of 15-30: Can book vis mclodge@merton.ox.ac.uk

Group sizes of 30+: Can book via events@merton.ox.ac.uk

All groups wanting to pay via invoice must email events@merton.ox.ac.uk

Guided Tours

From mid-July to 14 September, guided tours of the College are offered at 2:00pm (except for those days when the College is closed to visitors). Tours are led by trained Merton guides and/or library staff, normally last around 45 minutes and include the main quadrangles, the historic Upper Library, the Chapel and/or the gardens. The exact coverage of each tour may vary from day to day. Please note that the Upper Library will be closed from 4 September 2023 to enable conservation work on the windows to take place.  During this period, the guided tours will include the Fellows’ Garden (normally closed to visitors).

Places are limited to no more than 8 and must be booked in advance via the booking website. Please mention any special interests, as the chapel or historic library may not be available on all days. There is a charge for guided tours of £10 per person (£7 for University members, over-65s and children aged 13 - 17). The charge includes regular admission to the College site. Payment must be made by card at the lodge; we do not accept cash.

Access: please note that access to the historic library is via a flight of 17th century stairs. There is no lift access to the library.

Guided visits for Groups

Groups wishing to enquire about a guided visit to the college should make a request via the group tour request form. Tours can be customised if your group has a special interest. Enquiries about special group tours should be made at least 14 days in advance of your intended tour date. We are normally unable to provide special group tours before 11:00am or on Sundays.

Visits by Prospective Students

Prospective applicants are welcome to visit the College free of charge, between 9:00am and 6:00pm, Monday-Sunday; please enquire at the Porter's Lodge. For further information or to arrange an appointment contact the Schools Liaison & Access Officer.

For information about Open Days and school visits, please see our Open Days page which is designed for prospective applicants.

Accessibility

For detailed access information, please see our entry in the University Access Guide. However, please note that not all areas covered by the Guide are open to visitors.

Wifi for Visitors

Wifi is available to visitors to the College via The Cloud, a public access wifi service run by Sky UK.

The eduroam network is available for use by those with existing access to this system, such as visitors from other universities which also use this network. The connection method will be the same as at your home institution; please follow their connection instructions, if available.

Virtual Tour

See Merton in 360 degrees in this interactive Virtual Tour. It's the next best thing to strolling through College in person.

War Memorial

There is a folder of information on many of the Mertonians commemorated on the College War Memorial - visitors can borrow this at the Lodge.

Travel Information

Merton is located in central Oxford on Merton Street, which is just off the High Street. Oxford is less than sixty miles from London off the M40, with excellent transport links via train and coach. Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted are also served regularly by train and/or coach.

Read more about:

The Oxford Tube and X90 services from London stop on the High Street opposite Queen's Lane, which is only two to three minutes' walk from the College. Here is a Google map showing Merton College in relation to the city centre and the train station.

Oxford is an ancient, pedestrian-friendly city, with many one-way streets and limited parking. If you're travelling to Merton by car, it is best to enter the High Street from the east, turning left into Merton Street at the Eastgate Hotel. Alternatively, there are six Park and Ride services in Oxford which all serve the city centre.

Defibrillators

We have 4 defibrillators held in weather proof and heated secure cases at;

  1. The path entrance to the College Bar adjacent to the Games room.
  2. B block at Holywell site – facing towards the grass / quad area.
  3. Mure arch adjacent to the entrance to the Mure room.
  4. The Sports Pav adjacent to the side entrance to the bar/groundman’s office.

Access for emergency use – Any person can access the defibrillators by calling 999. The emergency services have the access codes and will release them to whoever has called along with support in how to use them. All 4 defibrillators have step by step vocal instructions as to their usage so anyone can use them.

Flying of Flags and Ringing of Bells

A flag will be flown from the pole atop the Lodge, and bells will be rung, on the following dates during 2022:

Date Occasion Flag and Bells
1 February LGBTQIA+ History Month Progress Pride Flag
6 February Anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Accession Union Flag
Bells rung at 19:20
28 February LGBTQIA+ History Month Progress Pride Flag
1 March Shrove Tuesday Merton Flag
Bells rung at 19:25
11 March Bodley Dinner Merton Flag
19-20 March Gaudy Weekend Merton Flag
Bells rung on Saturday at 19:25
21 April Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II Union Flag
Bells rung at 18:00
23 April St George's Day Flag of St George
Bells rung at 19:00
25-28 May Eights Week Merton Flag
Throughout June Pride Month Progress Pride Flag
2-5 June The Platinum Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II Union Flag
Bells rung on Thursday at 19:00
22 June Encaenia Merton Flag
25 June Merton Society Weekend Merton Flag
Bells rung at 19:25
24-25 September Gaudy Weekend Merton Flag
Bells rung on Saturday at 19:25
3-9 October Freshers Week Merton Flag
5 October Wednesday of Freshers Week Progress Pride Flag
23 October Commemoration of Benefactors Merton Flag
Bells rung at 19:25
13 November Remembrance Sunday Union Flag
Bells rung at 11:00
14 November Birthday of HM King Charles III Union Flag
Bells rung at 19:00
20 November Transgender Day of Remembrance Transgender Flag
26 November Advent Carol Service I Bells rung at 19:00
27 November Advent Carol Service II Bells rung at 19:00

Additions to this list may be made, subject to the approval of the College's Governing Body. Except on the death of a Fellow, and where noted, flags are not flown for longer than a day.