SE6250 : Central Hall from James

near to Heslington, York, Great Britain

Central Hall from James
Central Hall from James
Looking across towards Vanbrugh paradise (left), Berrick Saul (middle) and Central Hall (right).
University of York
Founded in 1963 as one of seven new build universities in the 1960s. Initially comprising a main campus (now known as Heslington West) and King's Manor in the city centre, a new campus is under construction and is known as Heslington East. These two main campuses exist to the south-east of York surrounding the village of Heslington, and the city is about a 20 minute walk away. The university has a collegiate system LinkExternal link with seven undergraduate and one post graduate colleges and all members of the university are assigned to a college. For more information see the university website LinkExternal link
Heslington West
The original Heslington campus at the University of York is now referred to as Heslington West to differentiate it from the more recent Heslington East campus. Construction began on this campus in 1964, building on the grounds of Heslington Hall. The Hall still remains housing various administrative arms of the university. The west campus is built around a large artificial lake with Central Hall in the middle of the campus. As well as students, the university is home to large numbers of waterfowl, especially geese and ducks as well as several black swans. Running through the north of the campus is University Road, with Chemistry, Alcuin College, the library and a few other buildings to the north of it. On the south west Heslington Lane runs from Heslington to Fulford splitting Halifax college and 22 acres sports fields from the rest of the campus.
Colleges at the University of York
The University of York was built with a collegial system in a similar way to Cambridge, Oxford and Durham. At York, the colleges are principally for accommodation and social reasons rather than for academic teaching (although the colleges are commonly used for splitting teaching into smaller groups within departments). The first college was Derwent College (named after the nearby river) in 1965, quickly followed by Langwith College (named after the nearby common) and in 1968-9 by Vanbrugh College (after John Vanbrugh the architect), Goodricke College (after John Goodricke the astronomer) and Alcuin College (after Alcuin of York). Wentworth College (after Thomas Wentworth), the post graduate only college, was formed in 1972 and completed the originally envisaged colleges. In 1990 James college (after Lord James of Rusholme) was added, initially post-graduate only, it allowed undergraduate entry from 1993. Halifax College only came into being as a college in 2001, although the buildings had existed as overflow accommodation (known as Halifax Court) for several years previous. With university expansion onto Heslington East campus several colleges are departing from their original locations with Goodricke College relocating in 2009 and Langwith College in 2012. The buildings on Heslington West vacated by the departing colleges were acquired by other neighbouring colleges (where other shared descriptions for the specific colleges exist, these reflect the college at the time of the photograph). A ninth college was added to the university in 2014, named Constantine College after the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great was constructed on Heslington East.
Vanbrugh College
Vanbrugh opened in 1967 and was the third college at the University of York. The college was named after the architect John Vanbrugh, who had been responsible for Castle Howard amongst other buildings. Located on Heslington West, the college originally consisted of 4 blocks built around a courtyard in the middle of Heslington West campus, three for accommodation and one for the History & History of Art departments, as well as having lecture theatres and housing the college bar, dining room and porters' lodge. During 2006 some of the accommodation blocks (C block, and part of B block) were converted to offices and teaching space for the Language and Linguistics departments. The remaining original accommodation (A and B blocks) we renamed Le Page Court after the first Provost of Vanbrugh College, Professor Bob Le Page.
To make up for the loss of accommodation space the new blocks built on the former Bleachfields family accommodation site (situated just beyond the music department) were allocated to Vanbrugh. These blocks comprise Barbara Scott Court and Donald Barron Court (collectively these are now known as 'New Vanbrugh'). The college also has a property on Heslington Road (Fairfax House) which accommodates a further 90 Vanbrugh students. Since the departure of Goodricke College (just the other side of the lake from Vanbrugh) to Heslington East campus, a number of blocks in the old college were given to Vanbrugh. Officially these are called Eric Milner-White Court, but are more commonly referred to as Vanbrugh-over-the-water.
Between Vanbrugh College nucleus and the lake there is a large concreted area. Officially called Vanbrugh Plaza, it is more commonly referred to as Vanbrugh Paradise. This area has been home to many campus events, including some of the Woodstock (outdoor music concerts) during the summer term. Over the summer of 2015, Vanbrugh Paradise was subject to a substantial investment and redevelopment, supported by the outgoing chancellor, Greg Dyke and a rebranding of the area to be known as 'Greg's Place'.
James College
The seventh college and the first college not originally envisioned at the University of York. The college was named after the first Vice-Chancellor, Lord James of Rusholme. Construction work begain in late 1989 and the first three accommodation blocks (A, B & C) along with the lakeside JCR opened in 1992 and were built forming a quad. Further accommodation blocks were added starting in 1993 with D, E & F, forming a second quad and in 2000 a further 6 blocks (G, H, J, K, L & M) along with the Psychology department. James expanded again in 2009, taking over some of the buildings that had formerly been part of Goodricke College when it moved to Heslington East, including the nucleus (gaining the college its first bar) along with the old Goodricke C block, (renowned as the worst accommodation York has to offer) which was renamed as block N.
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SE6250, 701 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 2 July, 2011   (more nearby)
Sunday, 3 July, 2011
Geographical Context
Educational sites 
Place (from Tags)
Central Hall  University of York  York 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 6225 5051 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:56.8175N 1:3.1827W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 6214 5042
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Other Tags
Central Hall  Vanbrugh  Heslington West  University  Vanbrugh College  Vanbrugh Paradise  Fountain  Bridge  Lake 

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