Merton Street

Merton Street
Merton Street, Oxford.
Merton Street, viewed from the junction with Magpie Lane.
Looking down Merton Street, at the corner with Oriel Square, looking east towards Merton College.

Merton Street is a historic and picturesque cobbled lane in central Oxford, England.[1] It joins the High Street at its northeastern end, between the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art (together with the Examination Schools) and the Eastgate Hotel at the historic east gate of the city. It then runs east-west, parallel and to the south of the High Street for most of its length.

Merton College, one of Oxford's older colleges, is situated to the south of the street. To the west of Merton, Corpus Christi College, one of Oxford's smallest colleges, also fronts onto the street. At the very western end, actually in Oriel Square, is an entrance to Christ Church, Oxford's largest college. At the eastern end can be found the notorious 'Pink House', as well as an entrance to University College.

Logic Lane (through University College, which backs onto the street) and Magpie Lane, both narrow lanes, lead off the street to the north. Also located here is the Merton Street tennis court, a rare example of an extant real tennis court. To the south is Merton Grove (opposite Magpie Lane), providing pedestrian access between Merton College and Corpus Christi College to Christ Church Meadow to the south.

The street is designated the A420 due to the blockage of the High Street to normal traffic. To the west it continues through Oriel Square, where Oriel College is located.[citation needed]

The street occasionally gets repaired incompetently by Oxford City Council using Asphalt, as reported in the Oxford Mail.[2]


The part of modern-day Merton Street adjoining the High Street used to be known as Coach & Horses Lane, named after a public house on the west side of the lane.[1] From the early 18th to the late 19th century, it became known as King Street.

The rest of the street (the part running east-west) was originally known as St John Baptist's Street, named after the church which is now Merton College's chapel. In 1751, the whole street had become King Street, but by 1772 just the east-west part was called Merton Street. The entire street became known as Merton Street only in the 20th century.

The academic and author J. R. R. Tolkien had rooms in Merton Street towards the end of his life in the early 1970s.


Coordinates: 51°45′05″N 1°15′06″W / 51.7514°N 1.2518°W / 51.7514; -1.2518

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Merton Street tennis court — is the home of the Oxford University Real Tennis Club. It stands on the north side of Merton Street in central Oxford, England, and forms part of Merton College. There has been a tennis court in Oxford since 1450 and one at the Merton Street site …   Wikipedia

  • Banbury Merton Street railway station — Infobox UK disused station name = Banbury Merton Street caption = locale = Banbury borough = Cherwell, Oxfordshire original = Buckinghamshire Railway London and North Western Railway manager = London and North Eastern Railway London Midland… …   Wikipedia

  • Merton College — Patio principal y ábside de la capilla del Merton College. Fundación 1264 Fundador Walter de Merton …   Wikipedia Español

  • Merton College, Oxford — Colleges and halls of the University of Oxford Merton College …   Wikipedia

  • Merton (parish) — Merton Geography Status Civil parish (rural until 1907, then urban) 1881 area 1,765 acres 1921 area 1,762 acres 1951 area 1,762 acres …   Wikipedia

  • Merton Park railway station — Merton Park Location Place Merton Park Local authority Merton …   Wikipedia

  • Merton Park tram stop — Merton Park Location Place Merton …   Wikipedia

  • Merton Abbey railway station — was a railway station in Merton on the Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon Railway. It was opened in 1868, became part of the Southern Railway (SR) in 1923. It closed to passengers on 3 March 1929 and to goods on 1 May 1972, although goods trains… …   Wikipedia

  • Merton College Chapel — Merton College Chapel, Oxford Merton College Chapel viewed from just north of the Meadow Location Oxford, England Country United Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • Merton Simpson — Birth name Merton Daniel Simpson Born September 20, 1928(1928 09 20) Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. Nationality African A …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.