Christ Church is the largest college in Oxford. It was founded by Cardinal Wolsey as Cardinal's College in 1524 and built on the site of the suppressed monastery of St Frideswide. The kitchen and the Great Hall were part of Wolsey's construction.
Wolsey fell from power in 1529 and the college became the property of Henry VIII. Henry re-founded the college in 1546. The old monastic church became the cathedral of the new diocese and the dual foundation of college and cathedral was called Ædes Christi (the house of Christ) in Latin and Christ Church in English. Because of its Latin name, the college is often referred to as 'the House'. Because of its ecclesiatical foundation, the Dean of Christ Church is always a clergyman.
Christ Church is situated near to the centre of Oxford, just to the south of the High Street, but it is bounded by the River Thames and the River Cherwell and the extensive Christ Church Meadows.
During the English Civil War (1642 - 1646) King Charles I lived at Christ Church and held his parliament in the Great Hall. After the restoration of the monastery in 1660, the college was rewarded for its loyalty to the crown with the result that it was able to finance the completion of Tom Quad, the main quadrangle.
In more recent years, the Hall of Christ Church gained fame by becoming the model for Hogwart's Hall in the Harry Potter films.
Oxford Experience students take all their meals in the Great Hall. The Christ Church 16th century Latin Grace is said at Oxford Experience Final Dinners and High Tables
In 1682 a former student, Christopher Wren, was commissioned to buld a new bell tower over the main gate. This bell houses the bell 'Great Tom' which came from the old Abbey of Osney.
To this day, Great Tom is rung 101 times each evening at 9:00 p.m. Oxford time (9:05 p.m. GMT) in memory of the curfew that was rung for the students.