St Hilda's was founded in 1893 to promote women's education and in 2006 the Governing Body voted to change the College Statutes to admit men as well as women, both as students and as Fellows.

St Hilda's is situated close to the city centre on the banks of the Cherwell River, with many of the college rooms overlooking the river. The location is one of the most enchanting sites in Oxford and gives the college a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.