You will not find a medieval quadrangle at St Benet’s, a Cathedral, or a piece of scenery from Harry Potter. However if you ask any Benetian, they will tell you that this is only a good thing. Our Hall is not a tourist attraction, it is our home. There is a sense of ownership and community within St Benet’s that is unmatched anywhere else in Oxford, and the facilities add to this family atmosphere.
In the early Middle Ages, the only heated room in the monastery was known as the Calefactory, and it was home to a communal fire beside which the monks could warm themselves after long hours of work and study. Our own Calefactory, while mercifully not the only heated room, retains this atmosphere of warmth and community. It is never empty, owing to the dangerously comfortable chairs and sofas and in the evenings it is often host to impromptu piano recitals.
In addition to the Calefactory, we have the JCR, which in this case refers to the physical Joint Common Room itself and the Solar. The JCR is a comfortable room in the basement, filled with a large television, a collection of old sofas, a fridge, microwave and sink. The JCR is the place to have a few beers before braving the Oxford night-life, and is also host to social events such as watching England lose the Eurovision Song Contest, and watching England lose the World Cup.
St Benet’s Hall also has two large gardens one of which echoes with the sounds of croquet during Trinity Term. It is also the site of our famous Garden Party, featuring live music, a whole hog-roast, and conversation and dancing well into the night.