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Cranmer Hall, St John’s College,

3 South Bailey, Durham DH1 3RJ

Learning Resource Centre

Our new Learning Resource Centre: world class teaching and learning facilities for Cranmer Hall

After many years of planning, consultation, negotiation and too many designs to list, we were finally granted planning permission for a new Learning Resource Centre this summer.  This ambitious project will see the creation of state-of-the-art teaching and learning space for both the Cranmer and St John’s communities on the site of 17 South Bailey.

With Cranmer numbers booming and the evolving University strategy placing clear responsibility for the role of Colleges in providing first class facilities for students, our plan to replace the existing library was first identified in our review of Estates and Buildings as early as 2008.  We always knew that such an ambitious project would be challenging, both in terms of building in such an important historical location – but also in agreeing a design which would provide both the study and teaching space the College needed.  So the design had to be practical, yet remain sensitive to its surroundings.

Rt. Revd. Watts-Ditchfield

It was the vision of one man, the Rt. Revd. Watts-Ditchfield, which led to the foundation of St John’s in 1909 as a hall in a university setting where ordinands and missionaries could take advantage of training within a university setting, the dialogue between the two institutions enriching each other.  Durham University had already been founded some 70 years before the foundation of John’s – the five members of the hall that year grew to forty in 1912 and 92 by 1934, when the University numbers as a whole were around 500.

Now, with Cranmer numbers alone at well over 100 this year and some 150 graduates a year entering the College across all disciplines, the College has remained at the heart of theological training ever since.

This is a significant time in the growth of the College.  Just as Watts-Ditchfield bought Haughton House in 1912 to enable growth of the College, we now enter another important strategic moment in the life of this College.

We now have a period of some 24 months of preparatory and construction work ahead, which will begin with the demolition of the property at 17 South Bailey before undertaking an archeological survey of the site.  The period ahead will be challenging as we plan the project around the busyness of College life, but we hope to minimise disruption to you during the months ahead.

We ask for you to hold us in your prayers as we begin this important journey.

Download a more detailed brochure (PDF)

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