Campaign for 11 Norham Gardens

We are indebted to Lord Anthony Bamford (see article below), whose generous donation of a significant, leadership gift provided us with the confidence to purchase 11 Norham Gardens. We are also immensely grateful to The Sisters of the Sacred Heart, who have been both supportive and generous in their patience with us while we made this decision. However, the campaign to fully fund the purchase of 11 Norham Gardens is ongoing and circa £4m (December 2018) must be raised to fully pay for the purchase of the building. This funding gap is currently being met with a loan that must be repaid.

We are in conversation with potential donors and are hopeful that the full purchase price will be raised through the generosity of donors. Although we are celebrating this momentous and successful moment, we continue to ask for your support and advocacy while we fundraise the remaining £4m.

If you would like to discuss how you can impact the success of this campaign, please contact the Development Office, at +44(0)1865 280561 or

Generous Donation Allows St Benet's Hall to Secure Second Building

The remarkable transformation of Oxford University’s last all male institution into a fully co-educational modern centre of teaching and research has taken a crucial step forward thanks to the generosity of a donor to St Benet’s Hall.

norham gardens front door

The benefaction—from Lord Bamford, the chairman of the construction equipment manufacturer, JCB—has paved the way for St Benet’s to purchase a former convent in North Oxford. The building is vital to the future of the Hall, which began admitting women students in 2015.

The building, which provides essential space for accommodation, teaching and research, was being used by the Hall on a short-term lease. The gift from Lord Bamford made it possible for St Benet’s to press ahead with purchasing the building which is now fully secured through a mortgage for the remainder of the purchase price.

Lord Bamford said: “I am delighted to be able to make a contribution to the continuing transformation of St Benet’s Hall. It is a really unique community which plays a highly distinctive role in the wider University.”

The acting Master of St Benet’s at the time of the gift, Professor Sue Doran, said:

“We are extremely grateful to Lord Bamford for this generous gift, which means that St Benet’s can move forward with real optimism into an exciting new era.

“This is a highly important moment for the Hall, for its students—particularly its female students—and staff, and for the unique contribution St Benet’s makes to the world-leading teaching and research of the University of Oxford.”

St Benet’s historic roots lie in the Roman Catholic Benedictine tradition, and for more than a century it educated male students only. That changed in 2015 when the first female students were admitted. This academic year the Hall admitted equal numbers of male and female students.

The St Benet’s community continues to include a small number of Benedictine monks, and the significance of religious belief in the twenty-first century remains an important part of the Hall’s academic work and focus. However, no religious affiliation of any kind is required or expected of its academic staff and students.

Although St Benet’s is now in a position to secure the property in Norham Gardens, Professor Doran stresses that there is still a great deal of work to be done.

“We still need to find several million pounds to complete the project and to realise in full the vision we have for St Benet’s. But this is a truly exciting and important step forward and it gives real hope for the future to everyone who values St Benet’s and what it stands for.”