Somerville College

Somerville College - (1 of 1)

 

Somerville College is based around the large Main Quad and two smaller quads. Due to the age of the college, and the mix of building styles, some areas are more accessible than others. Many of the main areas are accessible, and there are also some accessible bedrooms in some of the recently built accomodation buildings.  

 

This table contains summary information about the building

On-site designated parking for Blue Badge holders No
Public designated parking for Blue Badge holders within 200m Yes
Other nearby parking Pay and Display
Main entrance Level. Automatic door
Alternative entrance N/A
Wheelchair accessible toilets 6
Lift N/A
Hearing support systems Yes
Google Maps
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University Map
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College maps

Follow the link to view a floor plan of the building showing level access routes: 

 

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The car entrance is on Woodstock Road and has an access controlled barrier opened with a proximity card. There is also an intercom to the Porters Lodge. This route takes you to the Traffic Quad where there are a limited number of parking spaces. Blue badge holders will be able to use the car parking but do be aware there are no marked accessible spaces. Please contact the College directly (and in advance) to discuss parking requirements.

There are some blue badge parking spaces on St Giles nearby. 

 

 

Please click on the thumbnails below:

The main entrance is on Woodstock Road. There are large heavy double doors; one leaf is held open throughout the day (until around 11pm) and is easily wide enough to admit a wheelchair.

After 11pm the main doors are locked; entry is then by proximity card. There is a cut-out door inside the main door which means there is a step to negotiate. The card reader and intercom are located to the left of the doors and are too high for many wheelchair users.

Once through the main doors you’ll find yourself in an entrance lobby. The Porter's Lodge is to the right, and up one step. There are powered sliding doors straight ahead with a proximity card reader to the right of the doors – this is in a corner so may be difficult for some to reach. Through the doors is the Darbishire Quad.

There are two pedestrian entrances about halfway along nearby Little Clarendon Street. One leads into the Margery Fry accommodation building and is access controlled with a card reader just above the door handle. Inside the door there are two steps up into the building.

The second entrance on Little Clarendon Street is gated and access controlled. Once inside there is a short flight of stairs leading to the Main Quad area. There is also a very steep ramp here that is designed for people wheeling bikes and is not recommend for use by wheelchair users!

 

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The Porter's Lodge is on the right hand side of the entrance lobby. There is a step up into this room.  Staff are able to see visitors in the lobby from the counter, and will come out to assist those not able to use the step. The counter does not have a lowered section but staff are happy to help and will come out from the counter if needed. There are pigeon holes here including some that are at an accessible height for a wheelchair user. There is a hearing loop in place at the reception.

 

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Accessible toilets

There are accessible toilets in several locations throughout the college. Please note that many of the toilets were not built to current accessibility standards and as such do not have features such as high contrast between rails and walls, easy to use door handles, and easy reach sinks.

The new ROQ accommodation building has accessible bedrooms which all have en suite accessible bathrooms.

There are locations with no accessible toilets including the library and the college bar.

There are accessible toilets in:

  • Darbishire Building 
  • Traffic Quad 
  • House Building/Dining Hall
  • Maitland Building 
  • Flora Anderson Hall 
  • Margaret Thatcher Centre 

Please click on the thumbnails below to enlarge:

There are two platform lifts in the college.

The House Building has a platform lift between the ground and first floors to enable access to the Dining Hall. The door is manually operated, please be aware that the door closes quickly. The lift has tactile backlit buttons, visual and audio information and a handrail.

The Vaughan Building has a platform lift between the ground and first floors to enable access to The Terrace college bar. The door is manually operated. The lift has tactile backlit buttons, visual and audio information and a handrail. This lift does not go to the upper levels where the accommodation is located.

There is a standard passenger lifts in the ROQ West accommodation building.  This has tactile buttons with information in Braille, visual and audio information and a handrail.

 

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The College has expanded many times since it was founded in 1879 and therefore has a mixture of building styles and staircases, some more accessible than others!

While stairs generally have contrasting edgings, and handrails this is not consistent across the college. It is possible to access the dining hall, ground floor of library and ground floor of the Maitland Building (containing tutor rooms) without needing to use stairs.

Below are some images to try and show the mix of stairs across the college.

 

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As you would expect for a college site made up of many buildings built at different times, there is a huge variety of doors some more accessible than others!

There are some powered doors: the main sliding doors into the college, the entrance door to the Darbishire Building (from the Traffic Quad), the entrance doors to the Maitland Building (containing tutor rooms), ROQ West (accommodation), Vaughan Building (The Terrace bar).

Some of the doors are large and heavy meaning that some people may require assistance.

Below are some images to try and represent the mix of doors across the college site.

 

Please click on the thumbnails below to enlarge:

There is level access through this quad into the rest of the College.

The quad contains the Darbishire Building (accommodation) and New Council Room (meeting room) – both are only accessible via steps although there is ramped access into the Darbishire Building from the adjacent Traffic Quad.

 

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This quad contains the Hostel Building (accommodation), House Building (academic officers), Kitchen & Dining Hall and ramped access to the Darbishire Building. There are a limited number of parking spaces here. Blue badge holders will be able to use the car parking but do be aware there are no marked accessible spaces. You’ll also need a college parking permit. Please contact the College directly to discuss parking requirements.  There is an accessible toilet in the quad. There is level access through this quad into the Main Quad.

 

Please click on the thumbnails below to enlarge:

As the name suggests, you can access most of the main areas of the College from this quad - the library, Maitland Building (tutorials), bar, chapel, gym and function spaces. There is level access throughout although do be aware that some of the paths are a little uneven in places – notably outside the library and Maitland Building. This should not prevent most people getting around but please take care when using the paths. The central path through the quad is well lit, some of the paths leading off it are less so meaning that some people may need to familiarise themselves with the layout. 

There is a central grass area that is used as a social space. As this is grass some people may find it harder to use this area; there is no seating in this area.

 

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The main entrance to the library is on the Main Quad via a wide stone staircase – this has a central handrail but no contrasting edgings. The doors are manually operated and fairly heavy. This entrance opens into a lobby area with the enquiry desk to the left, a small break out area to the right, and a corridor ahead that runs along the width of the library. The enquiry desk is fairly high and at present does not have a lowered section.

There is a level entrance at the side of the library near the ROQ accommodation buildings. The door here is access controlled and manually operated. This gives access across the ground floor of the library, including several study areas. There are several manual doors along this route, although they are not too heavy. 

Unfortunately the basement, ground floor extension, and first floor of the library can only be accessed via stairs.

The main reading room of the library is on the first floor. Access is by stairs only – there is a staircase at both ends of the building. The doors into the reading room at both ends are narrow and heavy. There is an upper mezzanine gallery accessed by narrow stairs at either end of the reading room.

There are smaller study areas spread throughout the library, including on the ground floor.

Bookshelves throughout the library are floor to ceiling. Staff are happy to help if required. 

 

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The Seminar rooms are on the ground floor of the Park Building which has steps at both entrances. The College will be carrying out work to improve the accessibility of this building in Easter 2019. 

The JCR is on the ground floor of the Vaughan Building and has two possible routes both of which involve at least one step.

The first route is through the main entrance door which is powered. Once inside, there is a corridor opposite which leads to the JCR; there is one step up into this corridor.

The JCR can also be accessed through the Fellow’s Garden, although there are two small staircases in the garden as well as a step up into the building to negotiate.

 

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The MCR is on the first floor of the Margery Fry Building. It can be accessed from the patio area outside The Terrace (reached using stairs), or from inside the Margery Fry Building (also using stairs). This room is therefore inaccessible for many people with mobility impairments.

Where possible, the College will organise events in accessible spaces to accommodate users’ needs.

There are four accessible bedrooms in the ROQ West accommodation building – one on each floor of the building. Entrance to the building is via a powered door opened with a proximity card reader located at a good height for wheelchair users.

A passenger lift gives access to all floors. The lift is well laid out and has audio visual information.

The bedrooms are well laid out, with accessible shelving, storage and workspace. The en suite toilet/shower rooms are also well laid out and have good visual contrast.

There is a designated accessible kitchen on the first floor. The sink and workspace has good kneehole space underneath to accommodate wheelchair users and the fridges are at an accessible height. There are drawers and cupboards also at an accessible height. The hob may not be accessible for some wheelchair users.

Corridors are wide with doors on hold open mechanisms enabling good circulation. Stairs have continuous handrails and contrasting edgings.

 

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There is a designated accessible kitchen on the first floor of the ROQ West building (which contains four accesible bedrooms). The sink and workspace has good kneehole space underneath to accommodate wheelchair users and the fridges are at an accessible height. There are drawers and cupboards also at an accessible height. There are cupboards below the hob which can be removed to enable wheelchair access.

 

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All of the accommodation buildings have laundry rooms. Most of the accommodation is only accessible using stairs so many people with mobility impairments will not be able to use these buildings.

The ROQ West building which contains four accessible bedrooms and has a laundry room on the ground floor. There are machines at a suitable height for wheelchair users.

 

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The Dining Hall is accessed via the first floor of the House Building. The entrance door to the House Building is access controlled – some wheelchair users may find the proximity card reader is rather high. In addition there are slopes leading up to the door.

There is a platform lift to the right of the entrance giving access to the first floor and Dining Hall. The door to this lift is on a strong closer which some people with mobility impairments may struggle with. The lift has audio and visual information and tactile buttons.

Food is self-service. The counters are at an accessible height for wheelchair users, although some may find it hard to reach into the self service areas and need assistance.

The dining hall itself is accessible for wheelchair users (apart from the top table which is accessed via steps), although at busy times manoeuvring space may be restricted. The chairs can be moved to accommodate wheelchairs. Please note that the hall can get crowded and noisy at busy times.

 

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The bar is on the first floor of the Vaughan Building. Use the powered door at the main entrance and you will see the platform lift in front of you to the left, or stairs to the right.

The Terrace bar is level throughout and has a mix of furniture, some of which can be rearranged as needed. The counter does not have a lowered section and there are no accessible toilets.

There are two doors either end of the bar leading to the outside seating area – both have a high lip at the threshold which means that many people with mobility impairments will not be able to use the outside area. The glass doors have good contrasting markings on them and the lip at the threshold has good contrast with its surroundings. The outside area can also be reached using the external staircase. 

 

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There is a small gym next to the Vaughan Building. There is a step up immediately inside the entrance door. The access control card reader is unfortunately too high for wheelchair users to reach.

 

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The chapel is used for events and by groups as well as for services.

The Chapel is on the south side of Main Quad near the entrance to Vaughan Building. There is level access to the entrance. There are two sets of double doors – these are narrow but can be held open if required. Inside there is level access apart from the steps up to the “stage” at the end. There is some seating at floor level, and further seating one step higher.

There is a hearing loop in the chapel. 

 

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There are hearing loops installed in the Porter's Lodge, The Chapel, and Flora Anderson Hall. 

Image gallery

Contact details


Somerville College
Woodstock Road
Oxford
OX2 6HD

01865 270 600
www.some.ox.ac.uk

 

Access enquiries


Porter's Lodge
lodge@some.ox.ac.uk
01865 270 600

 

Contact the Access Guide


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