Permanent private hall

Divisions of the University of Oxford Church of England Roman Catholic
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A permanent private hall (PPH) at the University of Oxford is an educational institution within the university. There are six permanent private halls at Oxford, five of which admit undergraduates.[1] They were founded by different Christian denominations. The principal difference between a college and a PPH is that whereas the former are governed by the fellows of the college, the governance of a PPH resides, at least in part, with the corresponding Christian denomination.

Students at PPHs are members of the University of Oxford and have full access to the university's facilities and activities. Regent's Park College is the largest PPH, and admits men and women of any age. St Benet's Hall formerly only accepted male students, but has admitted women as graduates since 2014 and as undergraduates since 2016. Blackfriars, St Stephen's House and Wycliffe Hall accept only mature students. Campion Hall admits Jesuits and priests of other orders and congregations who are graduate students. It occasionally accepts non-ordained students and ministers of other churches.[2]


Private halls

The Oxford University Act 1854 and the university statute De aulis privatis (On private Halls) of 1855, allowed any Master of Arts aged at least 28 years to open a private hall after obtaining a licence to do so.[3] One such was Charsley's Hall.[4]

The Universities Tests Act 1871 opened all university degrees and positions to men who were not members of the Church of England (subject to safeguards for religious instruction and worship), which made it possible for Catholics and Nonconformists to open private halls. The first Catholic private halls were Clarke's Hall (now Campion Hall), opened by the Jesuit Order in 1896 and Hunter Blair's Hall (now St Benet's Hall) opened by the Benedictine Order in 1899.[5][6]

Permanent private halls

In 1918 the university passed a statute to allow private halls which were not run for profit to become permanent private halls and the two halls took their current names.[5]

In some cases, a PPH can be granted full collegiate status; recent examples include Mansfield College (became a full college in 1995) and Harris Manchester College (became a full college in 1996). However, one hall, Greyfriars (1224; refounded 1910), closed at the end of the academic year 2007–08, as the Franciscan order which ran and funded it could no longer afford the expense. Greyfriars' students were transferred to Regent's Park College when it closed.[7]

List of permanent private halls

Name Founded PPH status since Affiliation Undergraduates Graduates Visiting students Total students Undergraduate degree subjects
1221; refounded 1921 1994 Roman Catholic (Dominican) 4 39 9 52 PPE, Philosophy and Theology, Theology
Campion Hall
1896 1918 Roman Catholic (Jesuit) 0 9 0 9 -
Regent's Park College
1810 1957 Baptist Union of Great Britain 115 70 16 201 Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Classics, Classics and English, English, Geography, History, History and Politics, Law, Philosophy and Theology, PPE, Theology
St Benet's Hall
1897 1918 Roman Catholic (Benedictine) 47 4 0 51 Classics, Classics and Oriental Studies, History, History and Politics, Oriental Studies, PPE, Philosophy and Theology, Theology
St Stephen's House
1876 2003 Church of England (Anglo-Catholic) 24 46 0 70 Theology
Wycliffe Hall
1877 1996 Church of England (evangelical) 77 27 55 159 Philosophy and Theology, Theology

Former permanent private halls

Name Founded PPH status from Affiliation Current Status
St Peter's Hall 1929 1929 Church of England Became a new foundation 1947, full college 1961
Mansfield College 1886 1955 Nonconformist Became a full college 1995
Manchester College 1889 1990 Nonconformist Became a full college 1996
Greyfriars 1224; refounded 1910 1957 Roman Catholic (Franciscan) Closed 2008


  1. ^ "Permanent Private Halls | University of Oxford". Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Statuta Universitatis Oxoniensis [Oxford University Statutes] (in Latin). University of Oxford. 1876. pp. 275–279. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  4. ^ William Geddie, Chambers's Encyclopaedia, Volume 7 (1874), p. 174: "To these may be added Charsley's Hall, being a private hall under the mastership of WH Charsley, in virtue of a statute passed in 1854..."
  5. ^ a b "Victoria County History". Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Victoria County History". Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  7. ^ Macleod, Donald. "Oxford religious hall closes down". the Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2015.