Durham University is distinctive – a residential collegiate university with long traditions and modern values. We seek the highest distinction in research and scholarship and are committed to excellence in all aspects of education and transmission of knowledge. Our research and scholarship affect every continent. We are proud to be an international scholarly community which reflects the ambitions of cultures from around the world.
Durham itself is a lovely small medieval town, with an international airport (Newcastle Upon Tyne, with a direct flight to New York, Dubai and major European capitals) 40 minutes away. The University has a unique estate, which includes 63 listed buildings, ranging from the 11th-century Castle to a 1930s Art Deco Chapel. The University also owns and manages the UNESCO World Heritage Site in partnership with Durham Cathedral. The University’s ownership of the World Heritage Site includes Durham Castle, Palace Green, and the surrounding buildings including the historic Cosin’s library. Workshop delegates will also have the option to go on a walking tour of the World Heritage Site and Durham City.
All conference activities, including accommodation would take place at St John’s College. A wine reception is planned for the first day of the conference at the Castle.
St John’s College is located at the heart of the ancient city of Durham, opposite the magnificent Norman Cathedral, within an area now designated a World Heritage Site. We offer friendly service, comfortable accommodation, excellent food and an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area. Members of the Garrison and Court of the Prince Bishops originally occupied most of the College buildings and these buildings possess fascinating histories dating back to the 15th century. St John’s College now consists of a continuous and fully connecting row of fine and attractive buildings. Former occupants include the widow of Dean Whittingham, tanslator of the Geneva Bible, and also the Bowes-Lyon and Eden families. A frequent visitor of the Eden family was Alice Liddell – the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland“.
The present Castle began in 1072 as a simple defensive mound commissioned by William the Conqueror to defend the peninsula formed by the meander in the River Wear. Over the centuries, the Castle has been a residence of the Bishops of Durham who added to the buildings and altered them to suit the needs of the time. Durham University was founded in 1832 by Bishop Van Mildert and the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral. After Van Mildert’s death in 1836 the Castle was handed over to the University and became ‘University College’ in 1837, the oldest of the Durham Colleges. It is lovingly known to students as ‘Castle’. Early generations of students lived either in University House, now Cosin’s Hall, or in the Castle Keep which was reconstructed in 1840. The College is now an academic community within Durham University of around 700 undergraduate and 150 postgraduate students.