Black and white photo of Lancaster University under construction

Our History

A History of Lancaster University, its formation and growth

Founding of Lancaster University

In 1947 a public meeting in Lancaster endorsed a proposal that there might be a university college established in the city.

Although the idea lapsed for lack of government funding, in early 1961 it was revived by Lancashire County Council, and a Promotion Committee for a University in North-West Lancashire, chaired by Lord Derby, presented a proposal to the University Grants Committee for Lancaster to be chosen.

From the day it opened its doors, the new institution had full authority to manage its own affairs within the terms of its Royal Charter and Statutes.

These pages are dedicated to the history of Lancaster University. We have charted the evolution and construction of the campus from a greenfield site, through its initial conception and early home in the city, and provided a picture of what it was like to study here during the “swinging sixties” and the early 1970s.

We hope that alumni, present students, staff, local residents or just plain inquisitive folk will all find something to interest them.

The content for this site was originally designed as part of the History in the Community course, which was tutored by Dr Mik Winstanley. The content was written in the early 2000s by Emma Vickers and Emma Edwards, students in the Department of History. In 2014 Marion McClintock added content regarding Lancaster University's formation and her book 'Shaping the Future'.

There are now over one hundred thousand Lancaster alumni across the world.

A quote from Marion McClintock MBE Honorary Archivist and Honorary Fellow Lancaster University

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