Victoria University of Manchester

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The Victoria University of Manchester (commonly known as the University of Manchester) was a university in Manchester, England. On 1 October 2004 it merged with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) to form a new entity, "The University of Manchester".



1851 - 1951

The University was founded in 1851 as Owens College, named after John Owens, a textile merchant, who left a bequest of £96,942 for the purpose. Its first accommodation was in Quay Street, Manchester, in a house which had been the residence of Richard Cobden. In 1859, Owens College was approved as a provincial examination centre for matriculation candidates of the University of London.[2] As the college progressed it became inadequate so a move to Chorlton on Medlock was planned in 1871 and Alfred Waterhouse was the architect of the new college building west of Oxford Road which was opened in 1873.[3] It was granted its Royal Charter in 1880, becoming the first constituent college of the federal Victoria University. In 1884, University College Liverpool joined the University, followed in 1887 by the Yorkshire College in Leeds.

In 1903, the college in Liverpool left the Victoria University to become the independent University of Liverpool and Leeds followed in 1904 to become the University of Leeds. The remaining university and college were merged by Act of Parliament, 24 June 1904 (the Victoria University of Manchester was established by royal charter 15 July 1903).

1951 - 2004

In the mid 1960s the University and the Corporation commissioned Hugh Wilson & Lewis Womersley to produce a new plan for the campus. The final report was issued in 1966 and included removing traffic from Oxford Road to the adjacent main routes east and west and a building called the Precinct Centre which was subsequently constructed in 1970-72.[4] The Precinct Centre building includes the oldest part of the Manchester Business School, Devonshire House and Crawford House and the St Peter's House, the University Chaplaincy. It stands on Booth Street East and Booth Street West and Oxford Road runs through it at ground level. The architects were Wilson & Womersley, in association with the University planning officer, H. Thomas; for St Peter's House the architects were Cruickshank & Seward.[5][6][7]

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