St Hilda's College
Our gardens

History of the gardens

St Hilda’s riverside grounds have a hallowed history stretching back to the Middle Ages. Edmund Rich, the first Oxford Don to be made a saint, used to wander through Cowley fields.

At the beginning of St Hilda's College's history in 1893, a small cedar tree was planted by Hall Building to celebrate St Hilda's taking over the house on Cowley Place. From its earliest days, the College's grounds were much admired. Our first visiting student, Umeko Tsusa, described St Hilda's Hall as being 'very prettily situated on the river with a beautiful view at the back of the building' when she arrived from Japan in 1899 according to The Centenary History of St Hilda's College Oxford by Margaret E. Rayner.

There is an array of ever-changing colour in the Suffragette Border, the Riverside Walkway, Rose Garden and Blossom Border in St Hilda's gardens.”

Walter Sawyer, Horticulture Consultant
History of the Gardens

Rose garden

Our rose garden was created in memory of Winifred Moberly, Principal of St Hilda's from 1919 to 1928, by the Old Students' Association. The bird bath in the rose garden is engraved with her initials, WHM. The garden was restored and replanted in 2011, thanks to a gift from our alumna, Margaret Bliss, née Massey Stewart, (Biochemistry, 1951).