Tuesday, 25 June 2013

5 fun facts about Durham University’s history

As a final one in the mini-series of the "5 fun facts: Durham", here are 5 fun facts about Durham University’s history:

Durham Castle, from the top of Durham Cathedral Tower. The tower arguably provides the best view of the entire city and University (except for Stockton campus!) (author's own, June 2013).

       1. The University was founded not only to prevent the Cathedral from losing it's property as a result of parliamentary reforms, but also to provide a sound but cheaper alternative to Oxford and Cambridge Universities for the "great and increasing population of the North of England".* However, later on in the 19th century, there was a large influx of wealthy northern students, which, coupled with cheap train travel across the country, meant that even at an early stage, Durham's students have always appeared to spend lavishly! Hatfield College was founded in 1846 for "men of limited means" to study at Durham.^ Speaking of colleges, there was a "Cosin's College" which only lasted for 13 years, in the mid 19th cenutry, due to lack of demand.^

2. The Dean and Chapter at the time was made up of a number of bishops from aroud the country, including the Bishop of Exeter, who was actually opposed to the University's creation on several grounds, including mistaking the University's creation to be a school, of which there was a grammar school already on palace green!* 

3. Hatfield’s Keep was originally going to become an observatory and a museum, but it became student accommodation by 1840. The students originally lived in the Archdeacon's Inn (Cosin's library), today part of the Palace Green Library on Palace Green.*~

      4. The Bishops of Durham kept the lease of Durham Castle until 1906. They had separate rooms and servant’s quarters for themselves, away from the rest of the students! The change occurred because of an Act of Parliament.*

      5.  The first subjects taught at Durham University included Geek, Divinity and Oriental Literature, Moral Philosophy, Classical Literature, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, History, English Literature, Anatomy and Medicine, Law, Natural History, Chemistry and Geology.*

I apologise that I didn't use many sources for this post. Until next time! Next mini-series of 5 fun facts: Warwickshire/Northamptonshire.

Comments always appreciated!!

*Whiting, C.E, 1932, "The University of Durham, 1832-1932" Sheldon Press, London

~ Roberts, M., 2003, "Durham: 1,000 Years of History", Tempus, Stroud

^Brickstock, R., 2007, "Durham Castle: Castle, Palace, Fortress", Jeremy Mills Publishing for the University College Durham Trust, Durham

1 comment:

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