Brasenose College (BNC), officially The Principal and Scholars of the King’s Hall and College of Brasenose in Oxford, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1509, with the library and chapel added in the mid-17th century and the new quadrangle in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
“Brasenose was a hall before it was a college, and a lodging before it was a hall. But it has always occupied the same site, halfway between the Bodleian Library and St Mary’s Church, a site at the very heart of Oxford. . . . Brasenose entered the nineteenth century as an Anglican monopoly, a male preserve, independently financed, largely governed by bachelor Fellows in holy orders. The curriculum was narrow—mostly classics, mathematics, and divinity—and the basis of recruitment narrower still. . . .”
Before the foundation of Brasenose College part of the site was occupied by Brasenose Hall, one of the mediaeval Oxford institutions which began as lodging houses and gradually became more formal places of learning. Various other halls and houses occupied the site alongside Brasenose Hall, but very little is known about the Hall itself. However, we do know that it was situated on the site of the College’s entrance tower (situated on Old Quad).
A Concise History of Brasenose (official website)