Historic buildingSights and activitiesHertford College and the Bridge of Sighs

Founded in 1282, Hertford College is one of Oxford’s most centrally-located colleges and its former students include Jonathan Swift and Evelyn Waugh.

Hertford Bridge (more commonly known as the Bridge of Sighs) crosses New College Lane in central Oxford where it connects the Old and New Quadrangles of Hertford College.
Hertford Bridge (more commonly known as the Bridge of Sighs) crosses New College Lane in central Oxford where it connects the Old and New Quadrangles of Hertford College.

What to see at Hertford College

The main attraction at Hertford College is Hertford Bridge, which is often called the Bridge of Sighs. The bridge is a skyway linking Hertford College’s Old and New Quadrangles and it is one of Oxford’s most recognisable landmarks.

Although the college dates from the 13th century, the bridge is a relatively recent addition completed in 1914.

It is called the Bridge of Sighs because of its resemblance to the bridge of the same name in Venice; however, it was never intended to be a replica of that bridge.

As Hertford College is closed to the public you can only see it from the outside and it is not possible to walk on the bridge.

Visiting Hertford College

Hertford College is on Catte Street near the main entrance to the Bodleian Library and Hertford Bridge (the Bridge of Sighs) is on nearby New College Lane.

As it is a relatively small college, it is closed to the public so you can only see it from the outside.

However, the college’s exterior looks lovely and its central location means that it is easy to take a quick look while visiting nearby attractions such as the Bodleian Library, Radcliffe Camera and the University Church of St Mary the Virgin.

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