Hertford College, Oxford

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Bridge of Sighs at Hertford College

Hertford College is one of the colleges of the University of Oxford. The full name of the college is the Principal, Fellows and Scholars of Hertford College in the University of Oxford. It is best-known for its bridge, called "The Bridge of Sighs".

Hertford was originally known as "Hart Hall". The land for Hart Hall was bought by Elias de Hertford in 1282. Hart Hall was a residence for students at other colleges in Oxford. In 1312, Hart Hall was purchased by Walter de Stapledon, who was the Bishop of Exeter. De Stapledon founded Exeter College and Hart Hall was controlled by Exeter College for many years.

In 1710, William Newton became the Principal of Hart Hall. In 1723, Newton formally proposed that Hart Hall be chartered as its own college. In 1739 a charter was granted for the new Hertford College. After Newton died, however, the college declined, and it was dissolved in 1816.

The grounds of the college was taken over by Magdalene Hall. Magdalene Hall began as a grammar school associated with Magdalene College in 1448. Magdalene Hall moved to the site of the former Hertford College in 1822. It grew at the new site, and in 1874, Magdalene Hall was given a charter as Hertford College. The new name was chosen so that it would not be confused with Magdalene College, and because it was on the location of the former Hertford College.