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Durham University

Special Collections

Palace Green Library Events

After the soldiers left: Durham Cathedral’s conversion into a new university for the North of England, 1653-1660

16th July 2018, 15:30 to 16:30, Palace Green Library (Learning Centre)

Adrian Green, Associate Professor in the Department of History, Culture Durham

Durham Cathedral was converted into a new university college under Oliver Cromwell. New College was to be the beginning of a new university for the North of England. It occupied the cathedral buildings left vacant as a result of the English civil war and Parliament’s decision to abolish cathedrals. The cathedral clergy and bishop returned in 1660. But between 1653 and 1659 Durham College was established in the cathedral. This lecture explores how the cathedral buildings would have been used, as well as the evidence for tutors and students. One hundred and eighty years later, Durham University was founded by Bishop Van Mildert, with University College occupying the Castle. But the 1832 university was, in fact, the second attempt to found a university here.

Throughout the course of the exhibition, specialist staff from across Culture Durham and the wider university will dig deep in to Palace Green Library’s archives and special collections to bring 17th century Durham to life. Starting on 18th June, sessions will run through to 24th September.

Tickets are free for this event, but booking is required via Eventbrite:

More events and activities will be added to the Palace Green Library website as they are confirmed so please check regularly for updates.

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