Campus construction: a new Jerusalem, a city on the hill

Bowland Tower - Under Construction

By November 1965, work on the new site had begun. Only a year later, the first teaching and administrative buildings were opened, much to the excitement of the local community. In 1968, the students started to move into their new campus rooms, although the construction of the site was a gradual process. The architects Peter Shepherd and Gabriel Epstein designed the university and its buildings so that they would absorb as much natural light as possible. Greenery was also important, seen most typically in the designs of County college and Cartmel. The buildings were designed in order to be as multi functional as possible. According to Epstein, they would fulfill “a fruit salad of functions” and there would be no segregation of different buildings. From afar, it was hoped that the campus would look like a Mediterranean hill top village.

Bowland College - Under Construction

Over the years, many weird and wonderful ideas have been suggested in an attempt to create a distinctive campus. The following are just a few examples of the university’s “dream and schemes.” Firstly, it was hoped that the railway would provide a station so that students could be dropped closer to the university. Secondly, a bridge was planned for over the M6, connecting the two sides of an extended campus. But this idea didn’t get past the drawing board. Some slightly more bizarre plans include the construction of a Big Ben style timepiece, a Lancaster bomber plane (positioned on the hill), an Astronomical Observatory and a university ship to be moored in Glasson Dock. (Look at the university at night, do you think that the lit up Bowland tower, and the pluming smoke billowing out of Bowland chimney is reminiscent of a ship?) It was hoped that SS Bailrigg, would be fitted out with student rooms, a bar and a canteen!

More information about the construction of the campus can be found by following the links on the campus map. They have been coloured in blue for easy reference.

Watch a video of the construction of the University on YouTube

Lancaster University
LancasterLA1 4YW United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1524 65201