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St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2164 ACB, ACC, BUR, DEA, DED, DHI, FIN, GOV, LIB, PRI, PUB, REG, SHO, SIM, STU, VPA, VPE
Held at: St Mary's College, Twickenham
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Full title: St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham
Date(s): 1925-2002
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 881 items
Name of creator(s): St Mary's College | from 1925 | Strawberry Hill, Twickenham
St Mary's Training College | 1850-1924 | Hammersmith
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

St Mary's Training College was founded in 1850 on the initiative of Cardinal Wiseman. The Catholic Poor School Committee which was concerned with providing primary education to children of poor Roman Catholics throughout the united Kingdom, purchased a former girls school at Brook Green House, Hammersmith, and adapted it for use as a college with accommodation for 40 men students. A legal trust created on 16 Jul 1851 in connection with this property and its use as a training college for Catholic schoolmasters was confirmed in perpetuity.

The college was established on similar lines to that of the Brothers of Christian Instruction (les Freres d'Instruction Chretienne) at Ploermel, Brittany, where English students were sent between 1848-1851. A French brother, Brother Melanie, was initially placed in charge of St Mary's College, until the appointment of an English principal, Rev John Melville Glennie in 1851.

The college opened with six men students who had begun their training at the novitiate of the Brothers of Christian Instruction, Ploermel, Brittany. It was expected that students would join the teaching religious order, however in 1854, in response to a shortage of suitably qualified candidates, the decision was taken to admit lay students to the college. In 1855, additional accommodation was provided for 50 lay students. By 1860 only lay students were attending the college.

With the appointment of the fourth principal Father William Byrne CM in 1899, the association of the College with the Congregation of the Mission (usually known as the Vincentians) commenced. This inaugurated a period of change and augmentation, seen in the increase in staff and student numbers, the introduction of the office of Dean, and the extension of the College premises made possible by funding from the Catholic Education Council. At the same time the College was concerned with adjusting to the requirements of the Education Acts of 1902-3 and their effect on the development of elementary education.

In 1898 Inter-College Sports were introduced between Borough Road, St Mark's, St Johns, Westminster and St Mary's colleges. The college magazine The Simmarian began a new series in 1903-4. Originally in manuscript form, it become a printed paper in 1905.

By 1924 there were 129 resident students at the College. Recognising the limitations of facilities at Hammersmith, the Principal the Very Rev Dr J J Doyle CM along with Sir John Gilbert and Sir Francis Anderton negotiated the sale of the Hammersmith site to the neighbouring Messrs J Lyons and Co. in 1922 and in 1923 the purchase of the Walpole-Waldegrave property at Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, from Lord Michelham.

The College moved to its Strawberry Hill site in 1925, despite the extensive new buildings, designed by S Pugin-Powell, being yet incomplete and it was not until June1927 that they were officially opened. The new College site provided accommodation for 150 students, with 190 students altogether.

The majority of students were from England and Wales and entered according to Board of Education regulations. There were also a number of private students from 1925 onwards, including approximately 40 coming annually from Northern Ireland, as well as students from Malta, and brothers from England and Wales. Private students lived in accommodation separate from the College.

Prior to 1928 the Certificate of Education course and examinations were jointly controlled by the Board of Education and individual training colleges. With the introduction of a new scheme for London teacher training colleges, the Board of Education retained its inspectorship functions, but delegated its authority over the courses and examination to the University of London. Under this scheme, the four resident male teacher training college in London (St Mary's, Strawberry Hill; Borough Road, St Mark's and St John's; and Westminster) were formed into a group under the supervision of University College London (UCL). This group was jointly responsible with UCL for drawing up the syllabuses of the courses taught at the colleges, while the final examinations were designed to qualify students for the Certificate of Education awarded by the University of London. To direct the scheme, the Training College Delagacy was established, composed of representatives of the University, the Teacher training colleges, religious denominations and local authorities. Meanwhile, two representatives of the University of London joined the governing board of St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill.

In 1930, in addition to the Certificate of Education course and examination, degree courses were provided at St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, leading for successful candidates to a London University degree. At the same time a one year colonial course was established at the College to train Priests and Brothers destined to join overseas missions. In 1935, responsibility for this course was transferred to the Jesuits.

The College became a Constituent College of the University of London Institute of Education, inaugurated on 19 December 1949, and the incorporation of the College into the Institute was formally approved by the Senate of the University in April 1950, the College's centenary year.

In response to the increasing demand for teachers, it was agreed in 1959 to expand the college to 500 places. By 1966, there were 1000 students 1966 also saw the admission of the first full time women students to the college. Other developments include the introduction in 1968 of an extra years study for the conversion of the Teachers Certificate to a Bachelor of Education degree, and in 1975, the first students pursuing the London University Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Humanities and Bachelor of Science.

In 1979 the University of London severed links with College. The University of Surrey agreed to take over the validation of its courses. Representatives from St Mary's College attend meetings of the University of Surrey Delegacy which was set up in 1980. In 1986 the first students of the college graduated with degrees from University of Surrey.

With the retirement of the Fr Desmond Beirne, as Principal in 1992, the College's links with the Vincentians came to an end, and Dr Arthur Naylor was appointed the first lay principal.


Scope and content/abstract:

: Records of St Mary's College following its transfer from Hammersmith to Strawberry Hill comprising:

records of the Board of Governors including minutes 1921-1976; constitution 1991 and Department of Education and Science circulars 1969-1986;

records of the Academic Board including: Academic Board minutes 1949-1977, 1988-1990; papers 1963-1994; constitution and lists of subcommittee members 1967-1976; secretary's correspondence 1969-1976; Staff meeting minutes 1963-1981; Staff Student Discipline Committee minutes and papers 1969-1993; Staff Student Committee minutes and papers 1966-1984; Emergency meeting of the Academic Council draft minutes 1983; Minutes and papers of sub-committees for General Policy, 1967-1980; Library, 1962-1981; Estimates, 1964-1978; Bachelor of Education, 1964-1973; Curriculum, 1966-1967; Professional Course, 1966-1975; Teaching Practice, 1970-1978; Postgraduate Certificate of Education, 1971-1974; In-service, 1976-1983; Learning Resources and Audio Visuals, 1969-1975; Degrees and Awards, 1980-1984; Considering problems of Communication within the College, 1969; of Staff for Father Cronin's Presentation, 1969; report for Father Cashin's presentation [1976];

Minutes and papers of committees for Academic Resources Committee 1981-1990; Charity Ball and Summer Ball, 1966-1969; Computers, 1969; Board of Studies 1974-1978; Research and Staff Development 1980-1989; Papers of working parties on Alternatives to the Present Deparmental Stucture, 1983; on Financial Strategy, 1990; First Term Reorganisation and Extension of Professional Mathematics, 1970; Multicultural Education Report, 1974; Cash Grants Report, 1974; Publicity, 1975-1977; the Composition of the Academic Board Report, 1969; Academic Career Structure report 1983; Board of Studies, minutes and papers 1964-1976, and case papers 1964-1978; minutes and papers of the Heads of Department meetings 1968-1977; report of the Junior School Course meeting, 1968;

records of the Principal's office including papers relating to the Board of Governors 1962-1986, Academic Board 1980-1983; General correspondence and papers 1925-1984; papers relating to London University 1965-1985; copies of minutes of the Association of Voluntary Colleges, 1977-1988; papers relating to the Association of Teachers in Colleges and Departments of Education 1972-1974; Principals diary and log book 1930-1931, engagement diaries 1926-1986; visitors books 1970-1991; photograph albums 1936-1938; papers concerning conference and events using college facilities, 1949-1990; papers of the Catholic Teachers Federation 1962-1979; papers of the National Advisory Body for Local Authority Higher Education 1984-1988; files relating to College departments 1963-1983; Chaplains report 1989; Annual statement and operating statement 1994; Strategic Plan 1989-1997; staff appointments 1960s-1980s; staff notices 1969-1972; special events files 1927-1991; College television studio, 1966-1968; papers relating to the Chapel 1934-1979; memorabilia 1936-1997; St Vincent de Paul centenary 1959-1960; Simmarian Union papers 1926-1980; war memorial 1947-1950; Old Simmarian's files 1930-1985; college history 1950; Inspectors reports 1936-1989; Fr Cronin's papers 1953-1981; Fr Beirne's retirement speech 1992; newspaper cuttings relating to the College and buildings 1924-1994, former staff 1925-1994 and former students 1970s-1990s; architectural plans 1920s-1995;

records of the Vice Principal (Academic) including Correspondence and papers 1963-1995; Surrey University Delegacy copy minutes & papers 1980-1994; Surrey University Advisory Committee papers 1981-1984; Amalgamation Planning Committee papers 1974-1975; Correspondence with London University 1968-1980; Submissions to Surrey University 1981-1989; Correspondence with Surrey University 1980-1993; Teacher Education Advisory Committee papers 1977-1982; Catholic Colleges of the UK Partnership papers 1991-1995; Summary of academic staff achievements 1992; Staffing files 1963-1984; Staff address lists 1966-1993; Interviews with former members of staff 1995-1996; Modular degree regulations and handbooks 1991-1992; London University Board of Educational Studies papers 1978-1981; Copy internal memoranda 1986-1995; Report on role of Vice-Principal(Academic) 1987; Prince's Trust project file 1985; Commonwealth Fellowships reports 1967-1976; Degree regulations 1971-1989; Degree award programmes 1985-2001; Student statistics file 1980-1988; Students Union papers 1969-1978;

records of the Vice Principal (Executive) including Appointment diaries and papers 1962-1966; Women's hostel late night register 1967-1969; Administrative papers 1960-1967; Correspondence and papers 1967-1976; Administrative papers 1962-1990; First destination survey papers 1971-1987; London University Board of Educational Studies papers 1969; Women's Silver Jubilee file 1991; Notebook 1967-1968; Registers of absences 1974-1980;

records of the College Bursar including: papers relating to Elm Cottage, 1950; Health and Safety papers, 1975-1983; Accident books, 1988-1990; and insurance documents 1988-1989;

records of the Dean's office including House Management books 1933-1950; diary and log book 1943-1944; rules for students 1925-1944; Fr Cashin's papers and correspondence 1963-1964;

departmental records including the English Department magazine Strawberry Fare, 1980-1990; History Department staff meetings minutes 1964-1993; The Historian magazine of the Historical Society of St Mary's, 1964-1989; History Department undergraduate essays, 1939-1956, and theses, 1930s-1950s, examination papers 1930-1977, field trip handbooks, 1971-1985; papers relating to the Heritage Diploma 1984-1991, the Multicultural Masters Degrees, 1978-1979; and related information and literature 1968-1980;

student records including registers 1850-1961; roll of students 1961-1992; record cards 1957-1982; Chinese students file 1988-1989; student photographs 1949-1990; student disciplinary registers 1930-1945;

financial records of the college including ledger 1927-1938; cashbook, 1926-1938; petty cash books, 1929-1943; salaries and wages, 1920-1943; wages receipts 1941-1942; salaries analysis book 1926-1929; student fees book 1941-1944; annual reports and accounts 1995-2001;

architectural plans for the Library, 1961-1996; Tutor Librarian's file 1962-1972;

College publications including prospectus 1930s-1998; annual reports, 1993-2002; magazines, handbooks, newsletters 1950s-1990s;

records of the Strawberry Hill Overseas Concern (SHOC) including: minutes 1971-1974; members and officer lists 1977-1982; general correspondence 1971-1996; overseas correspondence 1973-1983; accounts 1973-1995; newsletter 1977-1994 and photographs 1970s-1990s;

records of the Simmarian Association 1950-2002.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Open by appointment only, contact the Archivist in the first instance, St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, Waldegrave Road, Twickenham TW1 4SX.
Access is granted in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Freedom of Information Act 2000. Readers are asked to note that under the terms of these Acts, access restrictions apply to some series.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies available subject to physical condition of material and copyright regulations.

Finding aids:

St Mary's College Learning Resources Catalogue (

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Created and held in situ

Allied Materials

Related material:

Records of St Mary's Training College, Hammersmith (Ref: SMH); personal papers of former students (Ref: DDP); the Catholic Education Council (Ref: CEC) and the Committee of Principals of Catholic Training Colleges (Ref CTC) held at St Mary's College;

also records of Strawberry Hill property and buildings, including accounts, expenditure on furnishings etc, 1747-1797, (Ref: MUN.A.3.125) held by Chetham's Library, Manchester.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Historical Manuscripts Commission's On-Line National Register of Archives; Notes on administrative history of St Mary's college prepared by Dr Clare Rider; 150 Years of St Mary's College, Ken Breen, (Freeland Haynes Marketing Communications, Southampton, 2000); Centenary record of St Mary's College, Hammersmith, 1850-1925: Strawberry Hill, 1925-1950, St Mary's College 1950; St Mary's College Learning Resources Catalogue.
Compiled by Alison Field as part of the London Signpost Survey Project.

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description,

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