In 1984 Hertford celebrated seven hundred years as an Oxford College. Such a monumental event deserved commemoration, and was marked despite the fact that Hertford was actually founded in 1874. This celebration was not the product of deceit or ignorance — merely creative accountancy. Although nominally a Victorian foundation, the college can claim an admittedly erratic descent from the original Hart Hall, which dates from around 1284. Over the years, it was associated with other academic halls; absorbed by Exeter College; refounded — briefly — as Hertford College; replaced by Magdalen Hall; and then, in 1874, it took the form we know today. This confusion of origins is reflected in the college's fabric. As Hertford's first historian put it, ‘Since its establishment the history of the College has been written largely in its buildings.' Above all, this means T. G. Jackson's work: his ‘Bridge of Sighs', his staircase — the ‘bastard child of Blois’ as Pevsner puts it, his chapel, hall, and accommodation blocks. All share a common free classicism. But, as a series of neglected, ignored, and previously undiscovered drawings reveal, this classicism was not set in stone from the start. There were near-Gothic alternatives too. This variant Hertford was not included in Sir Howard Colvin's Unbuilt Oxford, and it deserves further research. It gives an insight into T. G. Jackson's ways of working. It offers a vision of a wholly different Hertford. Above all, it reveals a truly Victorian dilemma: the. response of historicists to their historical context; the search for an appropriate style.