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Buildings and Residences of Bedford College

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0505 BC AR500-885
Held at: Royal Holloway, University of London
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Full title: Buildings and Residences of Bedford College
Date(s): 1873-1985
Level of description: Subfonds of Bedford College
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Extent: 183 boxes and 2 volumes or 1.85 cubic metres
Name of creator(s): Bedford College
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

'The Residence': Mrs Reid's home in Grenville Street housed early boarders attending Bedford College, until the purchase of 48 Bedford Square.

Bedford Square: The College opened at 47 Bedford Square in 1849. In 1860, Mrs Reid created a Trust for the Managers of the Residence to lease 48 Bedford Square for the use of boarders. The leases were given up on the move of the College to York Place.

York Place, Baker Street: Bedford College moved here in 1874. The Managers of the Residence leased Numbers 8 and 9, and though the College were their tenants for Number 8, the two houses acted as one, with the College using the downstairs rooms and the Residence the upstairs. The Managers passed the lease for both houses to the College Council in 1894. In 1889-1890, the Shaen Wing was built behind the York Place houses to create Physics and Chemistry laboratories. In 1896 10 York Place was leased to provide for Botany and Geology laboratories, a Training Department, a gymnasium, a Library extension and a Professors' Common Room. 7 York Place was leased in 1903. All the York Place leases were sold by 1915.

East Street: Running behind York Place, 64, 65 and 66 East Street were leased by the Managers of the Residence and held for Bedford College until the move to Regent's Park.

Regent's Park Site: Bedford College bought the lease to the South Villa Estate in 1908, and raised money for a new college through a Building and Endowment Fund. The existing house was maintained until after World War One, and from 1909 housed the Training Department and the Art School, and acted as a Residence for the boarders. Designed by the architect Basil Champneys, the new Bedford College was built 1910-1913, and included Reid and Shaen Halls of Residence, (later [1948-1950] renamed Reid Hall, with Shaen, Bostock and Oliver Wings), Oliver Dining Hall, South and North Science Blocks, the Arts and Administration Block, and the Tate Library. Several extensions were made to the original buildings. The Sargent Laboratory for Botany was opened in 1925, the Tuke Building, designed by Maxwell Ayrton, was completed in 1931 and included Inorganic and Physical Chemistry laboratories, an Observatory, space for the Departments of Philosophy, Psychology, Social Studies, Geography, Italian, French and German, lecture rooms, staff rooms, common rooms, Student Union rooms and a large hall, and the Tate Library was divided into two storeys in 1932. Following severe bombing during World War Two, Oliver Hall, the Arts and Administration Building and the North Science Block were practically destroyed. Rebuilding began immediately, and comprised a rebuilt Oliver Hall (1947-1949) with kitchens, refectory, common rooms and a Mathematics Department; a new arts building called the Herringham Building (1948-1951) housing a Hall, Council Room, and the Departments of Greek, Dutch and Latin; and the Darwin Building (1950-1952) to contain the Departments of Geology, Botany and Zoology. The South Science Block was renamed the Arthur Acland Building. Owing to the growth of the College, further extensions were made, such as additions to the Acland Building in the 1950s; the extension of Reid Hall to house a Common Room and Student's Union (1958-1959); the addition of a new wing and extra storey to the Tuke Building; the building of the Botany Garden Laboratories, 1965-1966; the four-storey extension of the Library known as the Jebb Building, 1962-1964; the rebuilding of the kitchens in 1967-1969; the Tuke-Darwin Infill Building in 1971; and the Wolfson Psychology Library, built over the kitchens in Oliver Hall.

Dorset Square: In 1915, 20 Dorset Square was taken as a hostel for 15 students (it was given up in 1924). Numbers 35 and 36 were acquired in 1918 to provide additional accommodation. In 1925, the buildings were extended further with the purchase of two more adjoining houses and the refurbishment of the premises to hold 60 students. The buildings were then named Notcutt House in memory of the former student and Librarian, Miss Rachel Notcutt. The Hall was damaged beyond repair by the 1941 bombing raids on London. The leases of 10, 11 and 12 Dorset Square were acquired in 1966 after money was received from an anonymous benefactor. Named Tennyson Hall, the building opened in 1968 as a residence for 50 male students.

Bedford College House: Three adjoining houses in Adamson Road and one house in Buckland Crescent were taken in 1919. These housed 37 students and were named Bedford College House in 1925. They formed the nucleus of a residential centre to which more houses were later added. Bedford College House was renamed Lindsell Hall in 1944. Various changes were made over the years so that by 1968 the buildings housed 87 students. During the 1969-1970 session male students were housed in part of the Hall in Buckland Crescent. It therefore became the first mixed Hall of Residence.

Hanover Lodge: The building stood in the Outer Circle of Regent's Park, and was leased in 1947 as a residence for 30 students. It was extended in 1962-1963 so that by the 1966-1967 session it provided accommodation for a total of 231 students. From 1970 the accommodation was made available for men and women.

Broadhurst Gardens: 15-26 Broadhurst Gardens were taken as a residence in 1945 to solve the accommodation problem caused by damage to buildings during World War Two. The six buildings housed 60 students and were kept until 1949.

The Holme: Another property taken as a result of bomb damage to College buildings, the Holme was leased from 1946. Situated in the Inner Circle, it housed the Departments of English, Classics and Italian, while the second floor became an extension of the College Residence. The lease was given up in 1975.

St John's Lodge: This building in the Inner Circle, just beyond The Holme, was leased in 1944-1946 to hold the English and Classics Departments. In 1959 it was leased again. At first it provided residential and Union accommodation and later housed the Departments of History, Greek and Latin. Alterations were made to it in 1962.

Nottingham Place: This building was acquired in 1951 and later renamed Rachel Notcutt Hall. It was reserved for women and accommodated 16-22 students. It was given up in 1984.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to fundraising for the buildings of Bedford College, 1897-1981, notably minutes, 1897-1905, and correspondence, 1905-1917, of the Endowment and Buildings Fund Committee; minutes and papers of various Appeals Committees, 1906-1916; correspondence, 1910-1933, concerning financing of building schemes at the Regent's Park site; papers of the Extension Fund Committee, 1919-1932, including committee minutes, minutes and correspondence of the Publicity Sub-Committee, appeal letters, programmes and leaflets for fundraising plays. Material relating to building and development at the Regent's Park site, 1910-1947, including architects' correspondence, mainly from Basil Champneys, concerning plans for the new Bedford College buildings at Regent's Park and the progress of the building work, 1910-1917; Champney's plans, 1913, for the Administrative Block, Senior Common Room, and Science Blocks A and B; plans by Haddocks of the Bursar's Office, 1922; plan and elevations of South Villa, 1926, by Simpson and Maxwell Ayrton; engineer's plans for the Botany Greenhouse and the heating system in the Physiology Laboratory, 1925; plans and watercolour impressions of the Tate Library, 1910, by J R Smith; coloured plans for the layout of rooms in the Physiology Laboratories, [1913]; Maxwell Ayrton's plans, 1925-[1930], for the Tuke Building; correspondence and plans relating to the drainage system at Bedford College, 1920-1947. Papers concerning post-war rebuilding of the Regent's Park site, 1942-1980, notably plans, 1942-1957, by Maxwell Ayrton of Oliver Block, the Herringham Building, the North Science Block (Darwin Building), and extensions to the Tuke Building; correspondence, papers and plans relating to the Tuke-Darwin Infill, 1966-1972; correspondence and plans relating to the Development Programme, 1964-1980, including a report on future library accommodation in the Acland Building, 1971, and proposed plans for an Oliver Infill, a Bedford College Union Society Building and a North Spur, 1979-1980; correspondence concerning the purchase of land for sports facilities, 1922-1925 and 1969-1971. Bursar's papers, 1924-1985, relating to the maintenance of Bedford College buildings, including minutes of the Premises Sub-Committee (Bursar's Meetings), 1965-1976, and minutes and papers of Special Bursar's meetings, 1982-1984; minutes, papers and accounts, 1966-1981 of the Refectory; Bursar's correspondence, 1924-1959; Bursar's working papers, 1978-1981; Bursar's copy of a management study on the efficiency of the Bedford College Administration, 1971, and the Peat-Matwick Report on the financial implications of the merger with Royal Holloway, 1983; minutes and papers of the Safety Committee, 1974-1985, and the General Services Sub-Committee, 1979. General material relating to the Bedford College Halls of Residence, 1873-1982, including legal correspondence concerning the lease and purchase of residential properties, 1922-1953; minutes and papers of the Lodgings Sub-Committee, 1892-1921, formed to vet accommodation offered to students; bound volume of letters offering lodgings to students, 1934-1937; correspondence concerning general policy matters, 1956-1974, and financial management, 1974-1982, of residential Halls; minutes and papers of the Halls of Residence Sub-Committee, 1976-1978; Boarding House accounts, 1873-1901. Correspondence and papers relating to the purchase, lease and maintenance of specific properties used as Halls of Residence, 1895-1985, namely 7, 8, 9, 10 and 28 York Place; South Villa; 17, 20, 35, 36 and 37 Dorset Square (Notcutt House); Bedford College House (Adamson Road and Buckland Crescent), later Lindsell Hall; Hanover Lodge, including plans and Warden's papers; Tennyson Hall; York Gate and Nottingham Terrace; The Holme; Broadhurst Gardens; Nottingham Place (Rachel Notcutt Hall); and St John's Lodge.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Papers are arranged broadly according to subject.

Conditions governing access:

Administrative and Committee papers are closed for 30 years from the last date on file. Papers relating to individuals are usually closed for 100 years from the subject's birth. Users are advised to consult the College Archivist for specific details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies of open material may be supplied, subject to the condition of the original. Requests to publish original material should be directed to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

'A catalogue of the Archives of Bedford College (University of London), 1849-1985' by Claire Gobbi Daunton and Elizabeth Bennett, 1987.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The papers were transferred from the Bedford College Archives when the College merged with Royal Holloway in 1985.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Related material held at the Royal Holloway, University of London Archives includes deeds of property, 1865-1983 (BC GB119); papers of the Managers of the Residence, 1856-1928 (BC GB140-144); papers of the Council Building Committees, 1876-1983 (BC GB160-169); Registrar's papers relating to the Premises Committee, 1969-1972 (BC AR271/4), the Halls of Residence Sub-Committee, 1968-1981 (BC AR271/6/1-3) and the North Spur Working Party, 1979-1980 (BC AR275/2); Secretary's papers relating to the maintenance and protection of the College buildings in wartime, 1938-1951 (BC AR392-394); wage books for the Halls of Residence, 1914-1963 (BC AR443); accounts for Capital Building Projects, 1903-1954 (BC AR450-454); Bursar's (Helen Proctor) scrap book kept during World War Two, 1939-1943 (BC RF128/1); article by Maxwell Ayrton in The Builder on the reconstructed Regent's Park buildings, Jan 1953; 'New Science Block at Bedford College' from Nature, Vol 171, Feb 1953; 'Regent's Park buildings' from Architects and Builders Journal, Jul 1913; framed sketches of Reid Wing, the Library and Physics Laboratory at York Place, 1891, the Regent's Park buildings, and The Holme (BC RF152-153); sketch by Maxwell Ayrton of the war damage to Oliver Building in 1941 (BC RF152/2); statement on the development of the Regent's Park site by David Atwell of the Greater London Council Historic Buildings Commission, [1970] (BC RF156/1/1); typescript of an article entitled 'Regent's Park' taken from The Architect and Building News, Jan 1954 (BC RF156/1/2); pamphlet entitled 'The Villas in Regent's Park', 1954, by Edith Samuel (BC RF156/2/1); plans for St John's Lodge, with alterations proposed by the College [1962] (BC RF156/2/4); pamphlet concerning renovations to The Holme, 1982 (BC RF156/2/5). BC PH1 contains photographs of Bursars, Wardens and Porters; BC PH2 holds photographs of College buildings and Halls of Residence, [1849-1980].

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

A history of Bedford College for Women, 1849-1937 (Oxford University Press, London, 1939), by Dame Margaret Jansen Tuke; Educating women: a pictorial history of Bedford College, University of London, 1849-1985 (Alma Publishers, Surrey, 1991), by Dr Linna Bentley.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with general International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Apr 2000

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