Page images
[ocr errors]


a very good NÈ W COMPANION Steps, which are of Stone, adhering to the Wall at one End, seem rather to be upheld by the Iron Rail that is upon them, than supported underneath at the other. The Pavement is of different coloured stone, brought from Harts Forest in Germany.

The Dome, which is 80 Feet high from the Pavement; is whought in curious Compartments in stucco. It is chiedy lighted by Windows in the Cylindric Flowers. In the circular Part, without the Piers, are the Book-cases and Reading-tables : The Galtery' above is appropriated to the fame Uses as the Statue of the Founder by Rysbrack. Over the Entrance of one of the Galleries is a Bult of Gibbs, the Architect. The first Stone of this fuperb Building was laid May 17, A. D. 1737; and being com pletely

, finished, it was opened on Thursday, April 13, 1749

In this Library are a couple of Superb Roman Candlesticks of incomparable Workmanship, given to the University by Sir Roger Newdigate, Bart. They were found

in the Ruins of the Emperor Adrian's Paláce at Tivoli, in the Campania Romana,

THE Public are indebted to Dr. Radcliffe's Truftees for building and completely furnishing the PUBLIC INFIRMARY at the north fide of the City, which is maintained and supported by voluntary Contributions. , An institution which in this place mult be productive of very extensive Benefits, as, 'while it relieves the Poor, it serves as a School for the Stua dents in Phyfic.

T'he munificent Trustees of Dr. Radcliffe's Will have also built a magnificent


ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY, in an advantageous Situation, as it commands an extensive Horizon, not incommoded by the Town, and which is now completed, under the Direction of that eminent artift Mr: Wyatt. The Eight-Winds, after the Manner of the Temple at Athens, are placed on the third Story, and the Atlas on the top. It is built in an open Field adjoining to the north side of the Infirmary; the Land a Benefaction of his Grace the Duke of Marlborough. The whole Building is 175 feet in length; its breadth from north to south in the Centre, exclusive of the Portico, is. 57, Feet; and at each Wing 24 Feet.

Between the Wings in the North Front, springs a femicircle, which includes the Hall with two ad jaceht Libraries on the ground floor; the stair-case and the Lecture-Room with two adjoining Rooms on the next story:

The third story consists of an Octangular Tower, the elevation of which, including the figure on the Roof, is upwards of 50 feet. Thus is the elevation of the centre of this Building an 100 feet and upwards.

In the Eastern Wing is contained, in three rooms, a complete set of Astronomical Instruments, fixed in the plane of the Meridian, made by thë laté unrivalled Artift Mr. John Bird, at the expense of above į 100 Pounds; conifisting of two Quadrants; each of eight feet radius; a Tranfit Instrument of eight Feet, and a Zenith-Sector of twelve.

In the Western Wing is placed a set of smaller Inftruments for the use of such Students as choose to apply themselves to practical Astronomy.

The Dwelling-House for the Professor is very


commodiously connected with the Eastern Wing of the Observatory by a Covered Way.

In the lower part of the Field is a small circular Building, with a moveable roof, in which is placed an Equatorial Sector for the purpose of observing the Places of the Heavenly Bodies at any distance from the Meridian.

The Duke of Marlborough was also pleased to present to this Observatory a Reflecting Telescope of twelve Feet, which cost above 1000l. It was made by the late Mr. James Short. A Building, with a moveable Roof, will soon be erected for this Inftrument.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

is situated on the South of Magdalen College. This was the Donation of Henry D'Anvers, Earl of Danby, who purchased the Ground (containing five Acres) of Magdalen College, surrounded it with a lofty Wall, and erected, next to the Street, a parapet with Tron Pálisades.

The Gateway is justly, esteemed an elegant Piece of Architecture. The design is ascribed to Inigo Jones; nor is it unworthy of that Architect. In the Centre over the Arch is a Bust of the Founder, Lord Danby. On the Left-hand of the Entrance is a Statue of CHARLES I. and on the - Right one of CHARLES II. On the Face of the Corona and the Frize is the following Inscription ; viz. Gloria Dei Opt. Max. Honori Čaroli I. Regis in Ulum Acad. et Reipub. Henricus Coines Danby D. D. Anno 1632. This Inscription is likewise on the Garden Front.

The Garden is divided into four Quarters, with a broad.Walk down the Middle. Near the Entrance


are two elegant and useful Green-houses, built for Exotics; of which there is a considerable collection. In the Quarters is the greatest Variety of such Plants as require no artificial Heat to nourish them, · all ranged in their proper Classes, and numbered.

Eastward of the Garden, without the Walls, is an excellent Hot-house; where tender Plants are raised and brought to great Perfection ;, viz. the Anana or Pine-Apple, the Plantain, the Coffee Shrub, the Caper Tree, the Cinnamon, the Creeping Cereus, and many others. The Caper and Coffee Shrub bear well.

This useful Foundation has been much improved by the late Dr. Sherard, who provided a Salary for the Profeffor, and brought from Smyrna a valuable collection of Plants; and by the present learned Profeffor, who also refided some Years in the East, and has enriched the Collection with many new Articles. The Afiftant to the Professor is provided by the University; he is generally ready to attend such Persons as wish to be minutely informed as to the more scarce and curious Plants.

We proceed next to describe and give some Account of the several Colleges; and as Magdalen College is the nearest to the place we last mentioned, and the first we meet with in the Road from London, it may be most convenient to begin with that College.

HE College of St. Mary Magdalen is situated

near the River Cherwell, at the east end of the City. The first thing worthy attention is the were Entrance into the Chapel ; over which are five small Figures, of elegant sculpture. That on the right, in a kneeling posture, represents the Founder; the




[ocr errors]

next, William of Wykeham, the Founder of the two St. Mary Winton Colleges; that in the middle, St. Mary Magdalen, to whom the College is dedicated; the next, in a kneeling posture. King Henry lll. who founded the Hospital which was converted into this College; and that on the left, St. John the Baptist, to whom the faid Hospital was dedicated

The Building on the left hand is the President's Lodgings. Near the Entrance, on the right hand, is the Chapel, which is a well-proportioned Edifice in form of a Roman T inverted. A new roof has been placed on this Chapel, after an el gant Design (in 1793); and 'the whole, when completed by the Alterations which are intended to take place, will be

one of the most finished Chapels in the place. In the Ante-chapel, on the left of the Organ-loft, is a Monument erected to the memory of two brothers of the name of Lyttleton, who were drowacd in the River Cherwell, one by endeavouring to save the other. The Ante-chapel has been lately adorned with an elegant new Pulpit, Lecturer's Seat, and new Paving.

The West Window, painted in claro obscuro, was done after a design of Schwartz, as appears by a print engraved by Sadelar from the original. It reprefents the Resurrection ; and, by the print, was certainly a grand design; but the beauty of the Painting was much impaired. It is at present taken down, and in the hands of an ingenious artist, who has undertaken to supply the defects, which had been occasioned by a Hail Storm, and to restore the whole nearly to its original excellence. Till the time of the Civil Wars, all the Windows were painted in the fame manner. Those now in the Chapel were removed thither from the Ante-chapel in 1741; but not being a fufficient number to glaze the whole, two new ones have since been added.


« PreviousContinue »