Hall and Ensom

New College

NewCollege main
  • Chapel, Cloisters and Tower
  • Dating from around 1400
  • Listed Grade 1
  • Quinquennial inspection
  • re-roofing and lead work repairs
Martin Hall has been retained for some time by New College to undertake various works on their behalf, and is now Surveyor to the Fabric of the Chapel, Cloisters and Tower.

Apart from the ancient city wall, which dates from Norman times, these buildings are among the earliest collegiate buildings on the site. The records show they were completed in around 1400 and that roofing timbers came from the forests of Windsor. As grade 1 listed Ecclesiastical buildings, they now fall under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Oxford. The Cloisters roof and outer North walls are part of the ancient Oxford city walls and are therefore a Scheduled Ancient Monument.


Initially, Martin was asked to undertake a Quinquennial Inspection of these buildings and prepared a detailed report for the college. This involved a trip up a very large cherry picker to see the condition of the roof timbers in the Chapel but even this piece of equipment couldn't quite reach the dizzy heights of the interior of this magnificent building.

On the basis of the survey and the college's past experience, Martin is now overseeing the re-roofing of the Cloisters Quadrangle – last undertaken in 1946. Unfortunately, the stone slates have defective fixings so need to be removed and re-fixed, using as many of the existing slates dating from 1946 as possible. Leadwork is also being replaced, and the opportunity is being taken to upgrade the rainwater disposal system.

Historic England and the Diocese of Oxford historic buildings experts are acting as advisors for these works.