Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy


Ascension Day 2023!

18 May 2023

On Thursday 18 May, Lincoln College celebrated Ascension Day. Taking place 40 days after Easter, Ascension Day commemorates Christ's ascension into heaven, according to the New Testament of the Bible, and is an important date in the Christian calendar. On this day in Oxford, groups from the parishes of St. Michael at the Northgate and St. Mary the Virgin mark the old city boundary stones with chalk and striking them with willow wands.

One such boundary is found in Front Quad, next to the door to Hall. Under beautiful blue skies, our Brasenose neighbours were welcomed through this door to partake of Ivy Ale and the bounds were beaten. From the tower, the Lincoln Choir serended spectactators with madrigals, and then members of the JCR and MCR Committees threw pennies to primary school children waiting eagerly below - all safely wearing hats!  Finally, that evening at 6:00pm, we welcomed the Brasenose choir to our chapel for a joint service of Holy Communion.

This Lincoln tradition allegedly originates from an event in ages past where a Brasenose student, being chased by angry townsfolk, sought refuge in Lincoln. After being denied sanctuary, he came to an unfortunate end. In penance for this failure of hospitality, we invite members of Brasenose into College on Ascension Day, through the special door in the kitchen and give them ivy ale to drink. Apparently the ivy was added to ensure that Brasenose students did not outstay their welcome!

Where next?

  • Year 9 Students visit Lincoln as part of Pathfinders Access ProgrammeRead more
  • Lincoln celebrates Ascension DayRead more