Our History

A history of Lancaster University, its formation and growth.

An aerial photo showing the University under construction in the 1960s.

The founding of Lancaster University

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

The idea lay dormant until Lancashire County Council revived it in early 1961. The Council created a Promotion Committee for a University in North-West Lancashire. Lord Derby was the chair of the committee. The Promotion Committee presented a proposal to the University Grants Committee for Lancaster.

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

We dedicate these pages to the history of Lancaster University. We have charted the evolution and construction of the campus. Beginning as a greenfield site 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 alums, present students, staff, local residents or curious folk will all find something to interest them.

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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The authors

The content for this site was originally part of Dr Mik Winstanley's 'History in the Community' course. History students Emma Vickers and Emma Edwards wrote these pages in the early 2000s. In 2014 Marion McClintock added content about Lancaster University's formation. Marion's book 'Shaping the Future: a history of the University of Lancaster, 1961-2011' covers the subject in far greater depth.