HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is to visit Magdalen College on Wednesday 11th May to open the newly refurbished library in Longwall Quad. Professor David Clary, President of Magdalen College said in an email to students: “I am delighted to be able to announce that His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge has kindly agreed to come and open the Longwall Library on the morning of Wednesday 11 May. He is expected to be in the College between 10 and 11am.” “This will be a great occasion for the College and I hope many of you will be in the quads to welcome the Duke.”
The £10.5million development has reached its final stages following a comprehensive expansion and redesign of the old college library that had stood at the site since 1851 as the original site of Magdalen College School and has been in use as the college library since 1932. The work to redesign the library began in 2014 and has seen the space within the library increased three-fold with an extension added to the existing building and extra study space added in the newly sunken quad. Magdalen had previously struggled for space in their library with the college’s own website stating that the college currently has the worst seating ratio within its college library of any Oxford college with 14 students to every seat in the old library.
The outdated building also suffered from problems in accessibility, its lighting and heating. The new design, by Wright and Wright Architects will allow the outdoor space within the quad to be preserved despite the significant increase in capacity of the library. It will be Prince William’s first official visit to Oxford since 2014, when he opened the new Dickson Poon China Centre building. The Duke, who is second in line to the throne, has recently returned from a state visit to India.
Image: Robbie Dale