"At Gabriel College there was a very holy object kept on the high alter of the Oratory,"

Gabriel College is one of the many fictional colleges in the Oxford University in Lyra's world. It is based on the real Wadham College, founded in 1610 by Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham.

Lyra mentions the Oratory, or church; Wadham College does indeed have a chapel (pictured).

Alumni include actress Rosamund Pike, broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and poet Michael Rosen.