AFTER months of painstaking work Balliol College in Broad Street looks stunning in the sunshine.

The Brackenbury Buildings have been restored to their former glory in a careful cleaning operation.

The Grade II-listed structure was built in 1867-1868 by award-winning architect Alfred Waterhouse and in recent months scaffolding has been erected so that contractors could clean the dirt of the last century away.

Contractors have been meticulously cleaning the limestone and washing away the grime.

College surveyor Neville Clarke said people have been commenting how good the stonework looks once it has been cleaned up.

He added: “Passers-by including tourists have been saying how bright and clean the building looks.

“It’s just the finishing touches we are working on now, which includes putting a new door onto the cycle yard.

“We are also restoring 16th century stained glass in the college chapel.”

Mr Clarke said earlier the clean-up should last for the next 50 to 100 years because the air quality in in Broad Street is so much better than it once was.

He added: “This is the latest phase of a major stone cleaning programme.”

Mr Clarke revealed the work on the Brackenbury Buildings cost approximately £175,000 as part of a 10-year restoration scheme.

When the buildings, named after benefactor Hannah Brackenbury, were first built they were highly acclaimed.

Benjamin Jowett, who in 1870 became master of Balliol, said the new buildings were ‘really beautiful – the best thing that has been done in Oxford in this way’.

Alfred Waterhouse was a prolific English architect, whose buildings were largely in the Victorian Gothic Revival style.

In 1865 he opened a new office in London, which was followed by his first major commission in the capital, the Natural History Museum.

Work is also under way on a £50m scheme to create a new student accommodation block.

Building has started on the Master’s Field Project, off St Cross Road, a development that will create more than 200 study bedrooms for students, accommodation for fellows, a new sports pavilion and other facilities for college members. Since June last year Maylarch has been preparing the site and the first new rooms are due to be completed at the end of 2018 or early 2019.