WORK is well under way on a £16m project to renovate a history city centre pub and provide new rooms for an Oxford college.

Rooms for undergraduates above the former coaching inn The Mitre in High Street are badly in need of an upgrade and Lincoln College began the two-year building project in 2018.

The Mitre, which closed in the summer, is being refurbished and 64 student rooms are being provided, some with ensuite bathrooms.

Oxford Mail:

The roof is also being replaced at the building, which is listed.

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The Lincoln College website said: “While the Mitre has belonged to the college for centuries, it was first used as student accommodation in the late 1960s.

“The rabbit warren layout and uneven floor levels are familiar to many generations of Lincoln undergraduates, as it has most commonly been used to house second years since then.

Oxford Mail:

The Mitre rooms were badly in need of updating, and in the summer of 2018 the College began a major redevelopment of the site.

“The project is incredibly costly as the buildings are listed as Grade II* or Grade II.

“The college was able to take advantage of low interest rates and secured a £10m loan to undertake the renovations.

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“The total cost of the work will be roughly £16m so we are hoping to raise funds through room naming opportunities to help bridge the gap.”

The present Mitre Inn dates back to about 1630, but there has been an inn on the site since about 1300.

Oxford Mail:

It has always belonged to Lincoln College, and its name is thought to refer to the college coat of arms, which depicts the mitre of the Bishop of Lincoln.

As early as 1671 there were coaches running between London and The Mitre three days a week.

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Information boards about the history of the pub and the college now cover the construction site, with signs reminding shoppers that shops in Turl Street remain open.

Oxford Mail:

The renovation has been taking place while a new Ivy restaurant was created on the opposite side of High Street.

The new £5m chain restaurant in High Street, on the site of a former bank, opened on November 5.