Friday, October 2, 2009

Did you know what happened on this day 127 years ago…?

Welcome to the new academic year! It is an exciting time of year for Queen Mary and the thousands of new students who will be settling in over the up and coming weeks. It is difficult to imagine the humble beginnings of one of Queen Mary’s predecessor colleges, Westfield College, which opened for the first time on this day 127 years ago, in Hampstead, North London…

Westfield College, one of the first ladies colleges in London, opened its doors on 2nd October 1882, welcoming just 5 students in total! The only teaching staff were the Mistress, Constance Louisa Maynard, and the Resident Lecturer, Katherine Tristram. The numbers gradually increased but it is quite a contrast to today where Queen Mary has a community of over 15,000 students and hundreds of lecturers!

Westfield College merged with Queen Mary in 1989 to form Queen Mary and Westfield College, better known today as Queen Mary, University of London. The Westfield Student Village at Mile End is one of the lasting legacies of Westfield College, making Queen Mary unique in being the only College of the University of London to have on-campus halls of residence. Meanwhile, the original site of Westfield in Hampstead, is now largely occupied by Kings College or has been converted to private flats.

To discover more about the fascinating history of Queen Mary visit the Archives website:
or pop into the new Archives Reading Room located on the 2nd floor of the Main Library, due to open on 12th October.

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