Somerville College was formed in 1879 as a female-only college at the University of Oxford that would not discriminate on religious grounds. It remained female-only until 1992.
Somerville College played its role during World War I as a hospital. Amongst its patients were the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves. Somerville's literary reputation also extends to being credited with its own 'School of Novelists', whilst its pioneering spirit is reflected in its alumni, which include Britain's first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.