About the College
Founded in 1846, Hatfield College is a residential college of the Durham University. 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.
Central 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 Lion) 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.
When Hatfield 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, with students cared for and guided by College Officers. Most of this is now considered general practice. However, it was many years before it became an accepted model throughout the world. The College is now home to approximately 400 students.