Greyfriars was a Permanent Private Hall of Oxford University, founded and governed by the Capuchin friars of the Franciscan Order (Order of Friars Minor), which received a licence to matriculate Oxford students on 18 June 1957. This Hall was the twentieth-century successor of a medieval Greyfriars founded in 1224 and suppressed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the sixteenth century. Sadly, in 2008, having just celebrated its Golden Jubilee, Greyfriars closed its doors for a second time and the student body migrated to Regent’s, which also became home to the records of its alumni. Since then the Development Office at Regent’s has been making contact with former Greyfriars students and staff, and beginning to explore with them the ways in which we can guarantee a legacy for the Hall in Oxford. We are delighted to launch this page on the website to commemorate Greyfriars and to open the appeal to anyone who knew the Hall or supported its special contribution to the University to support our campaign.
To contribute to the Greyfriars Legacy Fund or for more information, please contact the Development Assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Curious Fact…
When the first Franciscan friars first came to Oxford in c. 1224, in the early days of the University, King Henry III (r. 1216-1272) granted them some land known as the ‘Paradise Garden’. It is a curious coincidence that when Greyfriars closed its students came to Regent’s which is officially called the ‘College of the Prince Regent’s Paradise Garden’ (Collegium de Principis Cum Regentis Paradiso). Perhaps the histories of our two Halls were always destined to be intertwined; certainly there will always be a place for Greyfriars alumni in the paradiso of Regent’s Park.
If you have photos or memories from your time at Greyfriars and would like to share them on this page, we would love to receive them; please contact the Development Office. Here are a few photographs that we have collected so far…
Commemorating Greyfriars in 2010
The last Warden of Greyfriars, Br Mark Elvins, OFM Cap., drew upon his love of heraldry to design a shield to commemorate the arrival of Greyfriars students to Regent’s Park in 2008. Br Mark had two shields manufactured, one for Regent’s Park and one for Greyfriars. Our shield was unveiled by the Chancellor of the University, Lord Patten of Barnes, in 2010.
Above (from left to right): Br James Boner, OFM Cap. (Provincial of Capuchin Order in England and Wales), The Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes (Chancellor of Oxford University), Br Mark Elvins, OFM Cap. (Warden of Greyfriars), Dr Robert Ellis (Principal of Regent’s Park College).
Above: Lord Patten made a short speech in the presence of the Principal and Fellows, other staff and students of Regent’s Park, and members of the Capuchin Order.
The celebration culminated in Formal Hall at Regent’s Park.
Top (left to right): Thomas Anstey (Law), Hope Hadfield (History), Dr Richard Lawes (Senior Tutor), Jonathan Lafferty (English), Matthew Mills (Theology).