This is a guide to the various people who make up Holywell Manor and keep it running smoothly. From staff to students, this section includes information about many people who would be very good for you to know.

The Praefectus

The Praefectus is the resident head of Holywell Manor and has responsibility for all graduates who live in the Graduate Centre based around Holywell Manor. He promotes good order and administers discipline in accordance with the rules in the College Handbook. All references to the Dean in Rules Section of the College Handbook also refer to the Praefectus for matters involving the Graduate Centre.

The Praefectus is always available for advice and assistance on academic, financial, career, or personal matters. He meets all new graduates when they arrive, and appointments to see him can be made through the Praefectus' Secretary. The current Praefectus is Professor Tom Melham. He is the Tutor in Computation at Balliol College and a Professor of Computer Science.

Lodge Porters

The Lodge at Holywell Manor is staffed by our friendly and helpful Balliol porters twenty-four hours a day. Occasionally, graduate students act as Lodge Deputies, staffing it in the absence of the Porters. The Lodge is a first point of contact for information about the Holywell Manor Site, Balliol College, or the local area.

The Porters can take telephone messages for residents and place them in residents' pigeonholes. They are only permitted to fetch students from their rooms in an emergency or if instructed to by the Praefectus.

The Lodge should be contacted immediately in the event of any emergency such as fire, flood, if medical assistance is needed, or if suspicious activity or individuals are observed.

The telephone number of the Holywell Manor Lodge is (0)1865 271501 (x71501 from a University phone).

In case of emergency and if the Lodge is unoccupied, the Porter can be contacted on the Lodge emergency mobile phone: (0)7813 437617. The Main Site Lodge can also be contacted at (0)1865 277777 (x77777).

The Lodge Manager is Mr Mark Howe.
The Night staff are Mr Steve Sheather and Mr Mark Hughes.
The lodge may also be contacted by e-mail in non-emergency situations.

Graduate Officers

The graduate officers are not members of the MCR committee, but are instead representatives of the college. The contact information for the student college officers can be found here.

The Assistant Praefectus
The Assistant Praefectus (AP) is a senior graduate student who assists the Praefectus in disciplinary, pastoral, and organisational matters. When required, the AP acts on behalf of the Praefectus to ensure the well-being of Balliol graduate students.

The AP is part of the College's welfare team and is happy to be contacted for welfare related issues. The AP is also the Warden of Holywell Manor and is empowered to prohibit or limit any activities which may cause disturbance to residents. Any large gathering in the graduate centre must first be approved by the AP or the Praefectus.

The Jowett Wardens
The Wardens are the first point of contact in matters relating to emergencies, disturbances, and security in your building. They are also available to provide guidance should other concerns arise.

Housekeeping, Gardening, and Maintenance

These are the college staff who you will likely see and work with on a regular basis at the Holywell Manor Complex. Full listings and contact information of all College Staff may be found here at the College Website.

The Head Housekeeper is Mrs. Pauline Talbot, who manages the team of Scouts. She has an office next to the Post Room and should be contacted on housekeeping-related matters (e.g. waste bins, bedding).

The Head Gardener is Mr. Chris Munday. Mr. Jim Head is responsible the garden areas around Dellal and Martin Building. He is also Head Groundsman, leading the maintenance of the squash courts, football and cricket pitches, and one of the best croquet lawns in Oxford, all of which are located on or around the Master's Field.

Any plumbing, electrical faults or general maintenance issues (e.g. dead light bulbs, broken furniture) should be reported to the Maintenance team by filling in a maintenance request form, found in the lodge. The completion of the form then initiates a response from college maintenance staff. The Maintenance Department is run by the Clerk of Works, Mr. Roland Harris.

Computing and IT
The Computing Department, headed by Christopher Thompson, has responsibility for the computing infrastructure at Balliol (and also at New College). You may also contact the MCR IT Officer for assistance. Alternatively, feel free to e-mail the Computing Department directly at: if you like!

If you have an issue or problem, please be as specific and detailed as possible in your report. Also, please first check these pages to see solutions to many common problems.

College Officers
You might also be looking for information about College Officers, who are generally responsible for academic, pastoral, and administrative matters. This can be found here.


In addition to being a physical space, the Middle Common Room refers to the collective body of postgraduate students at Balliol College.

In total, we are a community of over 350 students representing 48 countries (2013-14 Academic Year) from around the world. About half "live-in" at the Holywell Manor Complex, while the other half "live-out" in non-college housing. Balliol offers places for postgraduate students in 182 different courses, ranging across the 4 divisions of the University of Oxford. 

All Balliol postgrads are members of Balliol's Middle Common Room, unless they choose to opt out. Members of the MCR may also elect to become members of the Balliol Junior Common Room whose President can be reached at