Bedford College, Regent's Park, London. By Basil Champneys (1842-1935). 1911-13. Red brick with plain white stone dressings and white casements. Images scanned from a double-page spread in "Review of the Architectural Work of Basil Champneys, B. A.," pp. 42-43. Text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the source and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one. Click on the images for larger pictures.]

By the end of the nineteenth century Bedford College had begun to outgrow its premises in Bloomsbury. Affiliated to the University of London since 1900, it was able in 1908 to lease land from the Crown in the beautiful setting of Regent's Park, and commissioned Champneys to design its new buildings there in 1911. The college's acquisition (occupation?) of them is dated to 1913 (Harte 280) More "restrained" and classical in style and therefore, to some minds, "more imposing than anything built at Newnham" (Vickery 72), the complex nevertheless echoed Newnham in layout. There were seven blocks, including two for science, in an L-shape that had the residential halls on the shorter side.

Since the college was amalgamated with Royal Holloway College in Egham, Surrey, in 1985, the lease for the Regent's Park site was taken by the University of Illinois, which founded Regent's College there. Now, according to their history of the site, the college is part of a "multi-disciplinary campus community of seven world-renowned schools" which it hopes one day to operate "as a single University" ("History of Regent's College"). Of course, there have been changes, but this gives an idea of the grand scale of Champneys' initial plan. Margaret Birney Vickery points out usefully that "Champney's role in the designing of these institutions [women's colleges in England] was a dominant and important one" (69).

Related Material

Sources

Harte, N. The University of London: An Illustrated History: 1836-1986. London: Athlone Press, 1986.

"History of Regent's College." Regent's College, London. Web. 26 March 2013.

"Review of the Architectural Work of Basil Champneys, B. A." Academy Architecture. Vol. 45 (1914): 33-52. Internet Archive. Web. 26 March 2013.

Vickery, Margaret Birney. Building for Bluestocking: The Architecture of Women's Colleges in Late Victorian England. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1999. Print.


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