Clarendon Building

Nicholas Hawksmoor

North front

Located on a prominent site, near the Sheldonian Theatre, this building was seen by Hawksmoor as a formal entrance into the university with the grand Doric portico as a gateway to learning. This building was Hawksmoor's first success and his first commission in Oxford. It was designed for the Clarendon Press with the plan divided in half by a public passageway aligned to the northern entrance to the school's quadrangle; this division corresponds to the two spheres of activity: the "learned" and Bible presses.

West gable end

The gable ends are treated like pediments. Some bays are recessed although none have the exaggerated keystones of the front. The windows on the attic story occupy the frieze as if they were metopes. (See a similar treatment at Jefferson's Monticello, designed several decades later.) The statuary on the the pediments is by James Thornhill.

Details of the north front; the west end

See Index for additional works by Hawksmoor.

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© 2003 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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