St Hugh's College was originally set up in 1886, to open up the opportunities of an Oxford education to poorer women. It was founded by Elizabeth Wordsworth and adopted the name and arms of St Hugh of Avalon who was Bishop of Lincoln, a position also held by Elizabeth's father. The arms were officially granted to the College in 1980. Today, the College is a vibrant, co-educational establishment, which remains very proud of its radical tradition and beginnings. During over 130 years, it has provided first class educational opportunities to scholars, and become a renowned community of learning. The College has had notable alumni in Academia, The Arts, The Law, Politics, and almost every aspect of public life.
Our history also has some surprising episodes which you may not have heard of. Learn more here.
You can read a timeline of the history of St Hugh's by clicking on the tabs below. Or view an illustrated history, set in the context of important contemporary world events, by clicking on the images.