All the Oxford Colleges Used As Locations In The Inspector Morse Series. PART ONE.

Hello everyone, I hope this post finds you all well mentally as well as physically.

As the title suggests this post is about all the Oxford colleges used as locations in all 33 episodes. I will only mention those colleges which were used as a location internally. However, I will mention a college if someone is simply exiting or entering a college. At the end of the post there is an alphabetical list of the colleges used, plus which episodes were filmed therein. I will not mention a college used as a location unless I can 100% identify it as correct.

This is part one of two and includes all episodes up to and including Masonic Mysteries.

Here is a link to part two – College Locations Part Two.

If you enjoy the post leave a like at the end of the post.

I plan to also create a post about all the Oxford colleges used in the Lewis and Endeavour series and then a post with a list of all three series combined. I have added all the new information into my review posts.

Let’s get started.

The times are based on the British DVDs. The times stated are not exact but are within the minute the location appears.

The Dead of Jericho. (Series 1, Episode 1)

44m minutes –

Morse is walking along the High Street.

John Thaw looking at Colin Dexter.

This is Magdalen College.


53 minutes –

Morse parks his car on Longwall Street.

The large building in the background is New Building, Magdalen College.

However, the interior scenes of Alan Richards lecture were apparently filmed at the Royal Holloway Sanatorium, Virginia Water, Surrey, England. The Sanatorium and surrounding land is now a large, expensive, gated community.

1 hour and 17m –

Morse visits Magdalen College to talk to a don.

The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn. (Series 1, Episode 2).

Start of episode –

The reception party for the Sheik of Al-Jamara is held at Brasenose College. Brasenose is referred to as Lonsdale College in the episode.

Though the reception takes place in Brasenose College, when Ogleby and Quinn leave the reception they exit into Oriel College.

34 minutes –

Morse walks through Oriel College talking to Frederich Treves.

44 minutes –

Morse visits Brasenose College to talk to Roope in his rooms.

The arrow marks where Morse is standing in the above screenshot.

1h19m –

Roope is in his rooms at Brasenose College.

Roope spots Lewis.

Lewis follows Roope through Brasenose College.

Lewis exits Brasenose College into Radcliffe Square looking for Roope.

Lewis still chases Roope but we are now in Exeter College.

The door that Roope is going through leads from Exeter College Fellow’s Garden to Brasenose Lane.

Lewis runs through Exeter College Fellows’ Garden.

Lewis watches Roope from the raised part of the Exeter College Fellow’s Garden. Roope is walking down Brasenose Lane toward Radcliffe Square.

1h21m –

Not really a college being used as a location but worth mentioning. After the scene mentioned above we see Lewis entering onto the High Street.

Lewis exits what is a exit/entrance to St Edmunds Hall College.

The main entrance to St Edmund’s Hall College is on Queen’s Lane, off High Street. The large heavy door is kept open until 10pm when this entrance is locked (at which point entrance is via High Street).

SERVICE OF ALL THE DEAD. (Series 1, Episode 3)

34 minutes –

Morse talks to the Archdeacon. (Colin Dexter can be seen talking to a girl). Merton College.

THE WOLVERCOTE TONGUE. (Series 2, Episode 1)

1h2m –

Cedric Downes is walking with the American tourists. This is New College.

Above is where the American tourists and Cedric Downes are walking.

LAST SEEN WEARING. (Series 2, Episode 2)

1h9m –

Morse meets Mrs Philipson in what is the upper library of Christ Church. I verified the location with Christ Church.

THE SETTLING OF THE SUN. (Series 2, Episode 3).

Less than a minute. The Jane and her father are in a chapel. It is Exeter College Chapel.

Morse then meets Jane and her father in the grounds of Exeter College.

(Sorry for the poor screenshot).

4 minutes –

The tour bus stops in Radcliffe Square outside Brasenose College. Brasenose stands in for Lonsdale College.

8 minutes –

The tour group and Morse have dinner. I have read it mentioned that this is Brasenose College Dining Hall. But it isn’t.

This is Brasenose College Dining Hall. It hasn’t changed in decades.

1h34m –

Morse finds Mrs Warbut in a chapel.

This is Exeter College Chapel.

1h38m – 

Morse and Sir Wilfred Mulryne walk and talk.

This again is Exeter College.

The Last Bus to Woodstock. (Series 2, Episode 4).

14 minutes –

Angie Hartman is seen entering and walking through Worcester College.

53 minutes –

When Peter Newlove is looking out of his rooms at Angie it is Worcester College.

56 minutes – 

Bernard Crowther gives a lecture.

I have read it said that this is Hertford College but it isn’t. This is Brasenose College. In the picture below the clues to it’s identity are arrowed.

Angie and Morse exit Exeter College.

Ghost in the Machine. (Series 3, Episode 1).

Beginning of the episode – 

A meeting of Fellows to decide the next master.

Other scenes in the episode show that Oriel College is being used as a location. Oriel is referred to as Courtney College. I cannot confirm this room is part of Oriel College. Someone on IMDB has written that this is University College.

11 minutes –

Professor Ullman pulls up outside Oriel College.

12 minutes –

Professor Ullman walks into Oriel College Front Quad.

27 minutes –

Morse walks and talks with the Master.

This is University College Fellows Garden.

© University College Oxford

The Last Enemy. (Series 3, Episode 2).

Beaumont College is the fictitious name giving to the college run by the Master, Sir Alexander Reece.

9 minutes –

Morse walks through Corpus Christi College garden.

Morse then walks through a gate into a back garden area of Corpus Christi.


47 minutes – 

Morse and Carol Sharp walk through Brasenose College.

1 hour –

Lewis visits Beaumont College (Brasenose College) to talk about Dr Kerridge.

Deceived by Flight (Series 3, Episode 3).

The opening scenes are outside Pembroke College. Referred to as the fictional Arnold College.

Anthony Don arrives.

Anthony walks to the entrance of Pembroke College.

Entrance to Pembroke College.

20 minutes –

Morse is walking through the quad of Pembroke College where they are moving Anthony’s body.

© Dave S.

24 minutes –

Morse and Kate Donn meet Vince and Roland.

This is still in Pembroke College.

The steps behind Kate Donn in the screenshot can be seen in the above photo in the background.

Morse and Kate Donn go for a cup of tea.

29 minutes – 

Morse and Roland have a drink.

This is Oriel College.

39 minutes –

Peter Foster collects his room keys from Lewis then walks through Pembroke College.

47 minutes – 

Lewis and Roland stagger through Pembroke College.

1h27m – 

The cricketing team are ready to leave.

This is the entrance to Pembroke College.

The Secret of Bay 5B. (Series 4, Episode 4).

No colleges used as locations.

The Infernal Serpent. (Series 4, Episode 1).

The college that Copley Barnes is Master is referred to as the fictional Beaufort College.

The episode starts with shots of Merton College and then the master Copley Barnes and Dr Julian Dear walk through Merton College at the beginning of the episode.

The stairs are the entrance to the T.S. Eliot Theatre and the Mure Room.

The above is St Alban’s Quadrangle.

Dr Dear and the Master are leaving St Alban’s Quad and heading toward the Front Quad.

© Chris Sullivan

Morse and Lewis walk and talk after speaking to the Master. They are walking from St Alban’s Quad to the Front Quad.

8 minutes –

The day after the killing of Dr Dear we get this overhead view of Merton College Front Quad.

10 minutes –

Sylvie Maxton arrives at the Master’s Lodgings.

This is in actuality the Master’s Lodgings University College on Logic Lane, Oxford.

Below is the door Sylvie enters on Logic Lane.

© Chris Sullivan

© Chris Sullivan

The above is the Master’s Lodgings, University College, Logic Lane.

13 minutes –

Morse and Lewis discuss Dr Dear and music is playing.

They are standing in St Alban’s Quad, Merton College.

21 minutes –

Lewis is looking through Dr Dear’s things in his college rooms.

It is written on IMDB that this is Brasenose College but I don’t believe it is. If you look at the roof in the background it is nothing like any roof in Brasenose.

I believe it is Merton College.

24 minutes –

The Copley Barnes have a family photograph in Merton College Fellows Garden.

29 minutes – 

Morse and Lewis interview Mrs Copley Barnes about the unwanted parcels. University College.

44 minutes –

Morse and Lewis discuss the case and Morse asks if Lewis saw a young man come out of the building.

They are standing between the Front Quad and St Alban’s Quad, Merton College..

45 minutes –

The mourners entering Merton College Hall.

46 minutes –

Dr Dear’s funeral.

This is University College Chapel.

© Cathedral Music Trust.

1h31m –

Phil Hopkirk walks through first Merton College Fellows’ Gardens and then St Alban’s Quad.

1h34m –

Mrs Copley Barnes is in the University College Chapel.

1h41m – 

Morse and Lewis stand at the entrance/exit to Merton College which leads on to Merton Street.

Sins of the Father (Series 4, Episode 2)

No colleges used as locations.

Driven to Distraction (Series 4, Episode 3).

No colleges used as locations.

Masonic Mysteries. (Series 4, Episode 4)

No colleges used as locations.

List of Colleges and the episodes filmed at those locations in alphabetical order.

Brasenose College. (Radcliffe Sq, Oxford OX1 4AJ)

The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn.

The Settling of the Sun.

The Last Enemy.

Last Bus to Woodstock.

Corpus Christi College. (Merton St, Oxford OX1 4JF)

The Last Enemy.

Exeter College. (Turl St, Oxford OX1 3DP)

The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn.

The Settling of the Sun.

Last Bus to Woodstock.

Magdalen College. (Oxford OX1 4AU)

The Dead of Jericho.

Merton College. (Merton St, Oxford OX1 4JD)

Service of All the Dead.

The Infernal Serpent.

New College. (Holywell St, Oxford OX1 3BN)

The Wolvercote Tongue.

Oriel College. (Oxford OX1 4EW)

The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn.

Ghost in the Machine.

Deceived by Flight.

Pembroke College. (St. Aldates, Oxford OX1 1DW)

Deceived by Flight.

University College. (Oxford OX1 4BH)

Ghost in the Machine.

The Infernal Serpent.

Worcester College. (1 Walton St, Oxford OX1 2HB)

Last Bus to Woodstock.

All maps and street views © Google.

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Author: Chris Sullivan

Up until a few years ago I was my mum's full time carer. She died in, 2020, of Covid. At the moment I am attempting to write a novel.

17 thoughts

  1. Happy New Year to one and all. I commend all your hard work and application, Chris, in creating this excellent post, of all the Oxford college filming locations and their time frames, during the Inspector Morse series. Nevertheless, may I slightly wonder, why you stated the episode “Last Seen Wearing,” had no Oxford colleges as filming locations? I hope you don’t mind me questioning this aspect, because I thought Christ Church College Library was used for the scene, where Morse visited and questioned the headmaster’s wife, Sheila Phillipson. Before Morse enters the library, we witness him just outside in the Peckwater Quadrangle, if I am correct, where he passes Colin Dexter, performing one of his usual Hitchcock appearances. We therefore, see the outside of the library, and its beautiful Georgian neo-Palladian architecture.

    After Morse and Sheila leave the library, we observe both of them exit a Christ Church College gate. I believe it is the Canterbury gate, which is at the junction of Oriel Square and Merton Street. This makes sense, because, Morse and Sheila walk into Oriel Square, where Lewis spots the pair of them from his car. Morse’s sergeant had previously, just completed, conducting an identity parade, with an elderly women as the witness, and she had picked out a lady cyclist wearing an anorak. Lewis realises the lady walking alongside Morse, Sheila Phillipson, is wearing the same coat, as pointed out by the elderly witness. Anyway the time frame for this college scene in the Morse episode, “Last Seen Wearing”, from my DVD, is approximately between 1 hour 9 minutes and 1 hour 14 minutes.

    1. As I wrote in my post, if I wasn’t 100% sure of an identification then I wouldn’t mention it. Because the location is used externally it doesn’t mean it was used internally. The Morse Universe is littered with examples of someone entering a building but a different internal location is used. Look at The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn. Roope is walking through Brasenose College but then exits a gate from Exeter College.

      1. Thanks for the reply, Chris. That is very sound reasoning, for not including certain college locations, on this excellent web page you have developed, above. My knowledge came through Bill Leonard’s “The Oxford of Inspector Morse and Lewis”, published in 2008. This stated that Morse spoke to Sheila Phillipson in Christ Church College Library, and they then left, through a college gate and walked into Oriel Square. I also used Google Maps to identify the College Quad and the Gate. Whether all of this information gleaned from those two sources is 100% correct, I couldn’t possibly say. To paraphrase, using a Douglas Henshall phrase from the Lewis episode, “The Mind has Mountains”, “my speculation won’t help you”!!! Anyway, thanks Chris, for this wonderful guide to the college filming locations, from the Inspector Morse series.

      2. Unfortunately, many publications get location information wrong as I have found when writing such posts as this one. As an example, all publications I have in my library stated that the dining room scene in The Settling of the Sun is Brasenose College, it’s not. Regarding, Christ Church College library I did try and identify it but couldn’t find any pictures to confirm the location.

      3. That is very interesting, Chris. I was going to say in my intial comment, that I suspect there might be a reason, why you didn’t mention Christ Church College Library as a location in “Last Seen Wearing”, but I forgot to mention it. I now know why, thank you. As you stated, just because we see Morse from outside, apparently about to enter the library, passing Colin Dexter, it doesn’t mean the internal scenes were filmed in that very library. I just wonder then, is it worth depicting on the web page above, the very brief scene of the College quad, which showed overhead views of Morse and Colin Dexter, from a distance, and also the other brief scene, where Morse and Sheila Phillipson leave the college, via the Canterbury gate? Perhaps, you deemed it wasn’t. Particularly, as you could not be sure, whether the scenes filmed inside, were the internal surroundings of Christ Church College Library. That is all from me for now. Thank you Chris, and all the best.

      4. I wrote to Christ Church and they have verified that the scene was filmed in their upper library.

      5. Sorry, I left out the second “i” in the word “initial”, in my last comment above.

      6. Thanks Chris, for letting me know this updated information. Thank you also for taking the time to write to Christ Church College, Oxford. If and when, you are not too busy with your university studies, I look forward to the pictures/photographs of the scenes filmed (briefly) outside, and most importantly inside, of Christ Church College Library. In this case, of their upper library. That is all for now. Thank you and all the best.

      7. The member of staff who answered my email reminded me that the word ‘college’ is not used when referring to Christ Church. 😉

      8. Hi Chris. Thanks for your kind replies to me over the past few days. I would just like to say, I really enjoy reading your posts, portraying the filming locations of the Morse universe. I knew very little about Oxford, before I first started reading your website, four or five years ago. Consequently, observing all of your photographs, videos and maps of Oxford, including, of course, its many colleges, has been something of an education to me. In fact, you have inspired me to look more closely at the locations, used for filming, in either Morse, Lewis or Endeavour. Hence, the discussion we have just had about Christ Church, Oxford. Thank you for all your hard work, Chris. Anyway, I look forward to tonight’s first streaming of the “Sunday Endeavour” on Twitch, which will be the wonderful pilot episode. Thanks Chris, and all the best.

  2. Sorry I meant “an elderly woman as the witness”, not women, with an “e”, as I accidentally wrote above.

  3. Hi Chris. There we go, we learn something everyday!!! I will have to remember to just say Christ Church, Oxford!!! I suppose it is similar to St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, because, one does not include the word, “college”, in that instance. It is also, of course, known affectionately as “Teddy Hall”, a name that Jeremy Paxman has used on University Challenge, when referring to them.

    1. Hi James. Mea Culpa. I had Oriel in my notes but stupidly wrote Brasenose. Well spotted.

  4. Thank you. Most timely too as all the Morse episodes are being re-run again on Australian free-to-air tv during yet another snap lockdown . Is that a sign of a yearning for an earlier pre-pandemic life ? Or as one cynic wrote recently, the broadcaster must have bought the Morse package cheaply as its on re-run frequently. Whatever the answer It suits my viewing and interests . Even more so now . Cheers

  5. Re. “The Infernal Serpent”, your identification of Merton Front Quad is exactly right. I was fooled by the distorted nature of the attic windows in the 3-d image (looking rather “hooded” – à la Hogwarts, as it were) and went searching through Google maps for the appropriate roofline. Which led me back to Merton. Wikimedia shows the true nature: and the multi-paned mullion window that serves as Dr Dear’s college rooms is, judging by appearance, the left one of the two top windows in the facing building.

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