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Visiting Goldsmiths College, London, England: distinguished Constituent Institution of London University

Updated on July 13, 2013
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
Goldsmiths College Entrance
Goldsmiths College Entrance | Source
The Richard Hoggart Building at Goldsmiths, University of London
The Richard Hoggart Building at Goldsmiths, University of London | Source
Goldsmiths College. Graduation Day at Goldsmiths, the rear of the building.
Goldsmiths College. Graduation Day at Goldsmiths, the rear of the building. | Source

Influential and well established, sedately based

SInce the University of London was given a Royal Charter of Incorporation by King William IV in 1836, Constituent Institutions have been added to the University, beginning in that year with University College London and King's College, London.

Goldsmiths College, Mile End, London, SE14, is one of those Constituent Institutions. Orginally founded in 1891, its status within the University of London was attained in 1904.

The Main Building of the College, now called the Richard Hoggart Building (1), predates the founding of the College, and was build in 1844 to house the Royal Naval College: this function it served until 1889. Acquired by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, it subsequently became the seat of the Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute, later known as Goldsmiths' College.

This building was designed by John Shaw, Jr. (1803-1870)(2). Particular features of the building include a promiment, pillared entrance archway, over which is set a colourful large representation of the crest of the Goldsmiths' Company.

The College has had many distinguished faculty and alumni. Faculty have included Ben Pimlott, particularly well known for his biography of British Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Well known alumnae include HRH Princess Beatrice of York and designer Mary Quant .

An interesting feature of the College as an institution is that its name is rendered in a variety of ways. For a start, an apostrophe qualifying 'Goldsmiths' has long been dispensed with (except in legal documents!).

The College was originally known as 'Goldsmiths College' (with or without apostrophe, by error, or design) and, indeed, informally it is still referred to as such. But officially today it known as 'Goldsmiths, University of London'.

Subject strengths at Goldsmiths College have traditionally included education and visual art.

July 13, 2013

Ben Pimlott
Ben Pimlott | Source
HRH Princess Beatrice of York
HRH Princess Beatrice of York | Source
Map location of London, England
Map location of London, England | Source


(1) Named for the former Warden of the College and prolific cultural studies academic writer of that name.

(2) Architect Shaw also served as Architect to Eton College; it is thought that his contract for the Royal Naval School building, now the main building of Goldsmiths College, owed something to his friendship with Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII).

Also worth seeing

London 's visitor attractions are so extensive that attempts at a proper summary here would be futile; but a very few of these would include: Trafalgar Square, faced by Canada House and the National Gallery, the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Other of the University of London's distinguished buildings include Senate House, University College and King's College.

How to get there

United Airlines flies from New York Newark Airport to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. Underground and train services link Heathrow Airport with Central London. New Cross and New Cross Gate railroad stations are 5 minutes; walk from the main buiding at New Cross. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada

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