When Balliol College is mentioned, most people (except MCR members) will think of the Main Site located on Broad Street in near the heart of Oxford, which dates back to the mid-13th century. Graduates will at least have to visit Main Site to check their pigeonholes regularly, but many take full advantage of the other facilities here. Main Site is the location of most administrative offices, as well as the Dining Hall, the Library, the Chapel, beautifully landscaped grounds, and many of the Undergraduates.
A complete list of all Balliol College Officers and their contact information can be found on the College Website.
Main Site Lodge and Post Room
The Main Site Lodge serves a similar function to the Holywell Manor Lodge, except for the college at large. All door codes for main site can be obtained from the lodge. They are also responsible for room bookings throughout Balliol College. This Lodge is staffed by the Main Site Porters 24/365 and may be contacted if the Holywell Manor Lodge is unavailable.
All graduate students have a pigeon hole at Main Site. You are required to check this regularly, as official mail from college is generally sent here, rather than to the Manor.
During term times, good value lunches and dinners are served in the college Dining Hall. Lunch is served 12.30-1.30 and dinner 6.30-7.30 (except on Tuesdays, when normal Hall is served from 6.15-7.15). Most normal meals are cafeteria style, though the meal is served at tables for Tuesday Hall and other special occasions.
There is always at least one vegetarian option, which is sometimes vegan.
There are several options for paying for Hall. Remember that you must present your University Card in order to take advantage of the lower Balliol pricing:
You can pay in cash.
You can pay using money deposited on your university card via the college payments website.
You can pay in advance for one of several meal plans that run over weeks 1-8 of each term:
7 dinners per week
5 dinners per week on any day
5 dinners per week Monday to Friday
You must sign up for these on the college payments website before the start of term.
Before committing to a meal plan, keep in mind that certain activities (in particular, rowing) often having training sessions that make eating at Hall difficult, and that "Tuesday Hall" (see below), exchange dinners and other social events will take you away from regular Hall.
In 2015, a 2-course lunch cost 3.55 and a 2-course dinner cost 4.15. Up-to-date pricing and further details can be found on the college website.
Most Tuesdays during term there is a semi-formal "Tuesday Hall". The dress is jacket and tie for men, equivalent for ladies. Gowns are not worn. These are advertised by e-mail, and may signed up by sending an e-mail in response to the Conference and Catering Manager.
The library at Main Site is open 24/7 for most of the year, with occasional closed periods that are advertised. The library is located in one of the most beautiful and historic parts of Balliol College. With your university card, you can use the self-checkout system to borrow ten books for a fortnight at a time, and most books may be renewed unless reserved by another reader. There is a fine of 20p per book per day for overdue books.
All books borrowed during term are due back on Wednesday of 8th week. Books may be borrowed for the vacation from Monday of 8th week. All books borrowed for the vacation are due back on the Monday of first week. It can be a nice place to work, though it will likely be packed full of undergrads (especially during Trinity Term).
If there is a book you need for your course which is not available from either the College Library or any of the other libraries to which you have access it is worth inquiring whether College Library would consider acquiring it. You can do so by e-mailing the title, author, and date of publication to the librarian.
The Balliol college archives, early printed books, and manuscript collections are located in a separate facility at the St. Cross Church near the Manor. Detailed information about the library can be found on the library page of the main Balliol College website.
There are Chapel services every Sunday during term at 5.45pm. These alternate Evensong and Communion. The College Choir sings each week. All of any faith or none are welcome.
The present building dates from 1857 and is the third chapel on the site. For more information, please visit the Chapel page at the main College Website.
The ground floor of Staircase XV houses the Junior Common Room (JCR) and several associated facilities. This is the undergraduate analogue of the MCR at Holywell Manor. While graduates are no longer automatically members of the JCR, they should feel comfortable making full use of these facilities.
The JCR hosts "The Pantry" an establishment that serves fully cooked, properly greasy breakfasts, sandwich lunches, and jacket potato style suppers. Its opening hours Monday-Saturday are: 8.30-11.30am, 1-1.45pm, 3.30-5pm, 7-8pm and Sunday: 8.30-11.30am and 4-5pm.
The basement of Staircase XV includes a gym, which may be used after attending and induction session and paying the membership fee. Those who have completed this process for the MCR gym may automatically use the JCR gym.
JCR Bar (Lindsay Bar)
The basement also contains the Lindsay Bar, which is (much like the Megaron) one of the rare student-run bars left in Oxford. Prices are low, especially on Tuesdays, aka "Crazy Tuesdays". A pool table, table football, and various game machines can all be found in the bar.