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, Greyfriars closed its doors for a second time in 2008, having just celebrated its Golden Jubilee, and the student body migrated to Regent’s, which also became home to the records of its alumni.
Since then, the Development Office has been making contact with former Greyfriars students and staff, and exploring ways in which we can guarantee a legacy for the Hall in Oxford. In 2020, we were delighted to launch the Greyfriars Postgraduate Scholarship for the study of humanities in honour of Greyfriars Hall. The Scholarship has been made possible thanks entirely to the vision and generosity of Greyfriars alumni, and takes into account both academic merit and financial constraints of applicants.
A Curious Fact. When the first Franciscan friars first came to Oxford in 1224, in the early days of the University, King Henry III 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 paradise of Regent’s Park.
We are delighted that members of the Greyfriars community have become members of the College’s Senior Common Room and are making valuable contributions to research life and teaching:
Dr Richard Lawes
Lecturer in English Literature