Locus Lancaster: Campus, Place and Experience

Architectural drawing of Lancaster University campus.

2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the award of the royal charter to Lancaster University. This symposium investigates the modernist spatial legacy of the architects and landscape architects, Bridgwater Shepheard and Epstein.

Established on a ridge, south of the city and between the M6 and A6, Lancaster’s campus is characterised by its landscape. Set amongst existing woodland, the oldest building on campus, the Grade II listed Bailrigg House (Woodfall and Eccles, 1899-1902) has a garden by Thomas Mawson. Peter Shepheard was also a landscape architect and under his influence the buildings of the 1960s, modest and straightforward, framed a linear sequence of hard and soft landscaped spaces as an integral part of the planning and organisation.

Loosely based on ideas of a classic Italian hill town, observers see the complex as the new town that Shepheard and Epstein never had the chance to design. A sense of intimate squares and passageways, with a distinct core, combined with an orthogonal modernist assembly is perhaps the easiest way to conceptualise the campus architecture.

The symposium takes a creative and engaged perspective on the original campus and the changes it has experienced in the last six decades. A series of artworks, responsive to the campus, and short, scholarly views on its architecture and landscape will be mixed with a photo walk and a private view of a pop-up exhibition of some of Lancaster Arts’ mid-century works in the permanent collection (curated by Dr Natalie Bradbury, Miranda Stearn and Adam Robinson).

Attendance is free and lunch and refreshments will be provided. The event is limited to 50 places. £5 returnable deposit guarantees your place.

Register here: Locus Lancaster (

£5.00 refundable deposit required upon booking. Please only register if you fully intend to come.

Partners and Presenters

The Modernist Society

Bruce Bennett

Brian Baker

Rob McCarthy

Joy Burgess

Helen Angell

Holly Rowan Hesson

Natalie Bradbury

Miranda Stearn

Adam Robinson

Lancaster Arts

Lancaster School of Architecture

Supported by the AHRC and UKRI.

Back to News