History in Longwall Quad

1480s – Row of large houses built on the corner of Longwall Street and High Street
1500s – The Greyhound Pub, a popular coaching inn, opens on the corner
1845 – Houses and pub demolished
1851 – John Buckler’s building for Magdalen College School opens
1928 – Magdalen College School migrates across the river
1932 – Buckler Building is converted and opened as the New Library
2014 – Work begins on excavating Longwall Quad and redeveloping the Buckler Building

Over the past two years a full archaeological survey has significantly increased our knowledge of the history of Longwall Quad:

  • Over 100 skeletons have been exhumed; males and females ranging in age from neonates buried with their mothers to those of advanced age. Early maps suggest there was a cemetery on the north side of Longwall Quad, possibly for inmates of the 13th to 14th century Hospital of St John the Baptist when it was located more or less where the Grove buildings are now.

  • Artifacts removed from structures built at the backs of the tenements that fronted High Street and the old Gravel Walk in the 17th and 18th centuries include a hoard of more than 3,000 clay wig curlers (the largest collection in the UK) and a cut-throat razor, intact wine bottles, a tiny weaver’s token and cooking implements.

"The library is one of the few places where I feel that I am part of an academic community. As a medic I have lots of lectures and so it’s very easy during the day for me not to see anyone from College. The library plays an important role in bringing students together." Ben Jacobs Undergraduate, Physiological Sciences (Medicine)