Merton College (Oxford) Students and Applicants Watch

fundamentally
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Merton College was founded in 1264. It is one of three ancient Oxford colleges founded in the thirteenth century. The College buildings, set in extensive gardens and grounds, are of exceptional historical and aesthetic interest. The Library is probably the oldest surviving working library in the United Kingdom, and the Hall, Chapel, Lodge and Mob Quadrangle also date from the College's early years. It has a claim to be the oldest college in Oxford, although this claim is disputed between Merton College, Balliol College and University College. Merton was the first college to be provided with statutes, a constitution governing the College set out at its founding. Merton's statutes date back to 1274, whereas neither Balliol nor University College had statutes until the 1280s. Merton was also the first to be conceived as a community of scholars working to achieve academic ends, rather than just a place for the scholars to live in.

The College's founder was Walter de Merton, Lord Chancellor of England and Bishop of Rochester. Walter's conception of a self-governing community of scholars, with its own statutes and endowment, residing in buildings laid out in staircases and quadrangles, created a model and precedent for Oxford and Cambridge colleges founded in the succeeding centuries.

Notable members of Merton College include:

Archbishop Thomas Bradwardine (c.1321)
John Wyclif (1356)
Sir Thomas Bodley (1563)
Sir Henry Savile (1565)
Admiral Blake (1615)
Dr William Harvey (1645)
Sir Richard Steele (1691)
Cardinal Newman (1825)
Cardinal Manning (1832)
Lord Halsbury (1842)
Bishop Mandell Creighton (1862)
Lord Randolph Churchill (1867)
Sir Max Beerbohm (1890)
Professor Frederick Soddy (1895)
F E Smith (1896)
Sir Basil Blackwell (1907)
T S Eliot (1914)
Andrew (Sandy) Irvine (1921)
Lennox Berkeley (1922)
Louis MacNeice (1926)
Edmund Blunden (1931)
Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (1934)
Leonard Cheshire (1936)
Professor J R R Tolkien (1945)
Professor Niko Tinbergen (1949)
Sir Roger Bannister (1950)
Professor Anthony Leggett (1959)
Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys (1968)
Professor Sir Andrew Wiles (1971)
Mark Haddon (1981)
Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan (1983)

Merton admits about 90 undergraduates each year. Up to 300 undergraduates are in residence at any time. Undergraduates are admitted to the College on the basis of academic potential. Merton undergraduates achieve outstanding examination results, reflected in a consistently high ranking in the Norrington league table.

The college preprandial grace is always recited before formal dinners in Hall and usually by the senior Postmaster present. The first two lines of the Latin text are based on verses 15 and 16 of Psalm 145.

Oculi omnium in te respiciunt, Domine. Tu das escam illis tempore opportuno.
Aperis manum tuam, et imples omne animal benedictione tua.
Benedicas nobis, Deus, omnibus donis quae de tua beneficentia accepturi simus.
Per Iesum Christum dominum nostrum, Amen.

( The eyes of the world look up to thee, O Lord. Thou givest them food in due season.
Thou openest thy hand and fillest every creature with thy blessing.
Thou blessest us, O God, with all the gifts which by thy good works we are about to receive.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen. )

http://www.merton.ox.ac.uk/

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wilbur
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Good start. These links might also be useful:

http://jcr.merton.ox.ac.uk/ - JCR Homepage
http://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/oxfordtour/merton/ - Virtual Tour of Merton
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merton_College%2C_Oxford - Merton's Wiki Page
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Aj_deity
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So... is the workload at Merton really as bad as everybody I've spoken to seems to say it is?
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tbtommyb
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And are the rooms in Merton Street nice? It seems all the male first years go there.

That seems a really inane question.
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sherunsaway
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Is Merton a nice place in general? Any comments?

I didn't apply there so I didn't stay there during the interviews but i've got an offer from there.

I didn't see much apart from the outsides of the buildings and a pretty funky looking staircase when I had interviews there.
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Champagne Breakfast
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Did the JCR manage to resolve the crisis regarding massively overspending on crisps and such like for the interviews.
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kiry
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(Original post by burntgorilla)
And are the rooms in Merton Street nice? It seems all the male first years go there.

That seems a really inane question.
It can vary a lot, I have one of the best rooms in Merton street and it is very nice and spacious but one of my friends living on the top floor has pretty much the worst room in Merton Street with barely enough space to have another person in the room! However most rooms range in between these two extremes and for the most part I think its fairly good, also some guys do live in Rose Lane because there isn't enough space in Merton street so if you are a scientist you may end up there.
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tbtommyb
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Thanks, kiry.

(Original post by sherunsaway)
Is Merton a nice place in general? Any comments?

I didn't apply there so I didn't stay there during the interviews but i've got an offer from there.

I didn't see much apart from the outsides of the buildings and a pretty funky looking staircase when I had interviews there.
I really liked it. Colleges like Christ Church are much grander and look better, but I felt a bit uncomfortable when I visited it. Merton looks nice, but felt nicer. Have a look on the virtual tour, it's pretty good.
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wilbur
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(Original post by kiry)
It can vary a lot, I have one of the best rooms in Merton street and it is very nice and spacious
Stop bragging about your room. Just 'cos Tolkein stayed there...

Anyway, questions...

(Original post by The Ace Is Back)
Did the JCR manage to resolve the crisis regarding massively overspending on crisps and such like for the interviews.
Considering the JCR budget, they'd have to buy a lot of crisps.
I'm sure Merton will still be solvent when you arrive... hopefully...

(Original post by Aj_deity)
So... is the workload at Merton really as bad as everybody I've spoken to seems to say it is?
This will vary a lot between subjects. I do English, and have it easier than most (last term I had 1 tutorial, 1 lecture, 1 seminar: about 4 hours 'contact time' a week). Other subjects seem to have oddles to do...

If you're worried about the Merton 'work-ethic' being too much, I wouldn't worry about it. I saw very little evidence of it in my first term. I think people at Merton do work hard, but they have a good time too.

(Original post by burntgorilla)
And are the rooms in Merton Street nice? It seems all the male first years go there
As Kiry says, it varies. Some rooms in Merton street are pretty plush (although far from being the nicest in the college as a whole), and some are a tad manky. Mine's probably down at the mank end of the scale. I'm on the top floor, so I have a stunning view of Magdalen and the Botanic Gardens, but it's a bit small. Not all guys go into Merton Street either - some go to Rose Lane or Mure, which both tend to have pretty good rooms.

(Original post by sherunsaway)
Is Merton a nice place in general? Any comments?
Merton's lovely! It has a bit of an image problem, which is entirely undeserved. It's a really nice little community - very friendly and welcoming - so even if you didn't apply here originally I'm sure you'll have a great time.

As for attractiveness - I think Merton's one of the prettiest colleges in Oxford. It has some of the oldest buildings (much of Christ Church is Victorian), and an atmosphere which is really evocative. Take a look at the virtual tour if you like...

Hope that's helpful.
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tbtommyb
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What's the image problem? That everyone is really boring and spends all day working in order to stay top of the Norrington Table? One of the things that I noticed was that you have wifi out in the gardens, which must be pretty cool on a summery day.
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wilbur
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(Original post by burntgorilla)
What's the image problem? That everyone is really boring and spends all day working in order to stay top of the Norrington Table? One of the things that I noticed was that you have wifi out in the gardens, which must be pretty cool on a summery day.
That's the stereotype. I put it down to jealousy...

I've never used the WiFi (haven't been here long enough to use it in summer). I've been told it can be a bit of a pain to get set up (you have to get permission/fill in a form or something), but I imagine it's great when it works.
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henryt
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Merton was wonderful when I was there for interview! Everybody was really nice, and it was v. pretty - my brother even agreed (he's at ChCh)!! Just got to get the grades now...
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fundamentally
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Kitsch
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(Original post by kiry)
It can vary a lot, I have one of the best rooms in Merton street and it is very nice and spacious but one of my friends living on the top floor has pretty much the worst room in Merton Street with barely enough space to have another person in the room! However most rooms range in between these two extremes and for the most part I think its fairly good, also some guys do live in Rose Lane because there isn't enough space in Merton street so if you are a scientist you may end up there.
Rose Lane is lovely too (and great for house parties!)
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henryt
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(Original post by mertongirl)
Rose Lane is lovely too (and great for house parties!)
I was in Rose Lane 2 for my interviews! I really enjoyed it there. Very comfortable room!
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kiry
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(Original post by mertongirl)
Rose Lane is lovely too (and great for house parties!)
Yes it is very nice, a little bit more communal than Merton Street, and obviously nice parties! Dare I guess who you are?
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Kitsch
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(Original post by kiry)
Yes it is very nice, a little bit more communal than Merton Street, and obviously nice parties! Dare I guess who you are?
Hmm, who lives in Rose Lane and is known for drinking and parties... I think you know. Although saying that about me drinking, I think you were a little worse off after our cocktails the other night aswell hehe xxx
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kiry
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(Original post by mertongirl)
Hmm, who lives in Rose Lane and is known for drinking and parties... I think you know. Although saying that about me drinking, I think you were a little worse off after our cocktails the other night aswell hehe xxx

Hmm that only narrows it down a little And yes I wasn't doing to well that night but I could stand by the time I left without the support of a wall!
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Kitsch
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(Original post by kiry)
Hmm that only narrows it down a little And yes I wasn't doing to well that night but I could stand by the time I left without the support of a wall!
Only narrows it down a little? If I didn't think you were joking I'd feel appalled that I have such a weak reputation after all my escapades last term lol. There is blatantly no-one else who even comes close hehe.

And what do you mean not doing to well that night? If you can walk after one of our parties I am dissappointed in you :beer:

xxx
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wilbur
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For any prospective applicants, here are the access visit dates for this term:

14th feb 1:15-2:30
21st feb 12:20-2:30
23rd feb 12:20-2:30
2nd feb 12:20-2:30
10th march 12:20-2:30

Visits include a half-hour tour of the college, followed by a Q&A session. Visits starting at 12:20 also include lunch in Hall.

Should be nice to see some potential new Mertonians there!
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