Hatfield College History
in 1846, Hatfield College is a residential college of the University of
Durham. It is right in the city centre, nestling beneath Durham's magnificent
World Heritage Cathedral. The College buildings are an interesting blend
of Georgian coaching inn, early Victorian room sets and major additions
during the last century.
is available for 400 students on site and nearby, about one third live
in lodgings in the city. In vacations, there is an important bed and breakfast
and conference trade.
to the College is its Dining Hall - among the oldest parts of Hatfield.
This historic building had a seventeenth century pedigree and an eighteenth
century reputation as a fine coaching inn (The Red Lyon) with dancing,
dining and gaming rooms (all still in use for other purposes) and kitchens
with stabling which used to be on front of what is now C Stairs.
was founded in 1846, David Melville - the first in a long line of principals and masters - set it up as a model
college. This was a revolutionary development in residential higher education.
For the first time, student rooms were let furnished, all meals were taken
in Hall, expenses were fixed, reasonable and known in advance. Cared for
and guided by College Officers. Most of this is now considered general
practice. However, it many years before it became an accepted model throughout
50 years later, after some initial uncertainties, Hatfield had developed
into a well known, predominantly theological
establishment under Archibald Robertson, later an eminent bishop.
Frank Jevons - the first lay Master - steered Hatfield into the new century
during his long period of service. The First
World War had a major impact on the College, as on everything else.
At the centenary
of its foundation, Hatfield had changed its emphasis to science and education
but reached a low ebb until the end of the Second
World War. However, Eric Birley played a key role in the revival of
the College and was responsible for many modern aspects of administration
and organization including the establishment of a tutorial system and
provision of facilities for a Senior Common Room.By 2007,
the admission of women agonized under James Barber and grudgingly
accepted are now a welcome fact. The features of the present time are,
under Tim Burt, vastly greater student numbers, a wider range of study
courses, and increasingly good academic results. Hatfield spirit and rich legacy of College
traditions present from earlier days is alive and well.
There are some things money cant buy!
material on this website draws heavily on the invaluable work of the College
Archivist Arthur Moyes and, in particular, his books 'Hatfield 1846-1996'
and 'Be the Best You Can Be' published by The Hatfield Trust in 1996 and 2007 respectively.