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The "House of Scholars of Merton" originally had properties in Surrey (in present-day Old Malden) as well as in Oxford, but it was not until the mid-1260s that Walter de Merton acquired the core of the present site in Oxford, along the south side of what was then St John's Street (now Merton Street).
The college was consolidated on this site by 1274, when Walter made his final revisions to the college statutes.
The south transept was built in the 14th century, the north transept in the early years of the 15th. It is for this reason that it is generally referred to as Merton Church in older documents, and that there is a north door into the street as well as doors into the college.
This dual role also probably explains the enormous scale of the chapel, which in its original design was to have a nave and two aisles extending to the west.
The reason for this was Merton's annoyance with the interference of their Visitor William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Walter also obtained permission from the king to extend from these properties south to the old city wall to form an approximately square site.By 1274 when Walter retired from royal service and made his final revisions to the college statutes, the community was consolidated at its present site in the south east corner of the city of Oxford, and a rapid programme of building commenced.The hall and the chapel and the rest of the front quad were complete before the end of the 13th century.The college continued to acquire other properties as they became available on both sides of Merton Street.
At one time, the college owned all the land from the site that is now Christ Church to the south eastern corner of the city.
But in 2011 – after his controversial intervention, which was detailed in an official report earlier this week – Mr Couldrick was appointed chief executive of Wokingham Borough Council in Berkshire on £155,000 a year.