Hatfield College

Hatfield College

Name = Hatfield College

Motto = "Vel Primus Vel Cum Primis"Either the first or with the first" (Colloquialised in College as "be the best you can be")
Colours =


Named_after = Bishop Thomas Hatfield
Established = 1846
head name = Master
head = Prof. Tim Burt
Senior Tutor = Dr Penny Widdison
JCR Name = Senior Man
JCR = Pierre-Louis (Pili) Christensen
Undergraduates = 736
Postgraduates = 106
Website = [http://www.dur.ac.uk/hatfield.college/ Hatfield College]
JCR Website1 = JCR Website
JCR Website2 = [http://www.dur.ac.uk/HatfieldJCR/ Hatfield JCR]
Boat Club Website = [http://www.dur.ac.uk/hatfield.boatclub/ Hatfield Boat Club]
Campus = Durham City
:"For Hatfield Technical College please see University of Hertfordshire"

Hatfield College is a college of the University of Durham in England. Founded in 1846 by the Rev. David Melville, it is the second oldest of Durham's colleges, and was originally called Bishop Hatfield's Hall. It is named after Thomas Hatfield, Prince-Bishop of Durham from 1345 to 1381.

Hatfield College occupies a large site above the River Wear on North Bailey next to Durham Cathedral on the World Heritage Site peninsula. The buildings are an eclectic blend of 17th century halls, early Victorian buildings and major additions during the last century. Central to the College is its dining room and entrance via a gateway from North Bailey. The college boathouse is situated within the grounds, as is the Victorian college chapel.

The College is one of the most competitive to gain entry to out of Durham's collegesFact|date=October 2007. It is often regarded as having a disproportionate public school intakeFact|date=October 2007.

History & Buildings

Hatfield College was established in 1846 as the second college of the university. The establishment of the college as a furnished and catered residence with fees set in advance was a revolutionary idea at the time and later became a general practice at student residences. The origin of this idea came from the founding Master, Rev. David Melville. Melville’s idea for the college was that college residence and higher education should be economically viable to the financially disadvantaged. Three principles to Melville’s model were that rooms would be furnished and let out to students with shared servants, meals would be provided and eaten in the college hall and college battels (bills) were set in advance. Melville’s model was not introduced within the university until recommended by the Royal Commission of 1862, whereby it was later used at Keble College and eventually worldwide.

Although not established as a theological college, the first 50 years of the college saw a majority of theology students and staff as members of the college, with senior staff members and the Principal (who was always been a clergyman until 1897) being a cleric. The rise in students to over a hundred, resulting from the popularity of theology, resulted in the college's buying Bailey house and the Rectory to accommodate its students in the 1890s. Toward the end of the nineteenth century Hatfield’s demography had shifted from theology to education and science and resulted in the building of ‘C Stairs’ to increase the amount of accommodation.

The economic shortfall during the 1920s led to an uncertain situation for Hatfield, although with a larger number of students then University College it lacked the facilities, especially kitchens, to accommodate them. The solution resulted in the amalgamation of Hatfield and University Colleges with all meals being taken at the former. As a result of this Hatfield was awarded monies to fund its tutorial system and the introduction of electricity. During World War II the college was taken over by a local teaching college and students were moved to nearby accommodation on the Bailey.

After the war and twenty years under the care of University College, Hatfield students were able to return to their college although a number of problems faced the college such as the number of students rising as a result of the backlog of students resulting from the war and rebuilding the morale and freedom of students. As a result new buildings were built and refurbished (e.g. Pace, Gate-house and Kitchen Blocks) as well as accommodation away from the main site being bought along with the establishment of the Senior Common Room. During the late twentieth century the Hatfield was faced with an increasing number of students and as a result living-out became compulsory and many of the existing buildings were either rebuilt or refurbished to make room for students. Hatfield also became a co-educational college during this time and the first female Senior Man holding the post in 1992.

List of Buildings

* Jevons – contains the bar and K to M stairs
* Laundry – contains J stairs
* Pace – contains E to H stairs and the library
* Main – contains A to D stairs, Dining Hall, Kitchens, Senior and Junior Common Rooms.
* Rectory – contains the Melville Room
* Gatehouse – contains the porters' lodge and reception
* Hatfield Cottage
* Bailey House
* Palmer's Garth - Opposite the DSU


The College Chapel was built in 1851 as a result of donations by alumni and a loan from the University. The chapel was designed by the architect and then Chaplain to Bishop Cosin’s Hall, James Turner and contains two head sculptures of Bishop Van Mildert and the Vice Chancellor and Warden Thorpe. Decorative furnishings were later added with the first organ being installed in 1882, commemorative wooden panels marking the First World War dead and a book of remembrance for those who lost their lives along with a lectern were added gradually and were primarily funded by alumni and the Hatfield Association. Attendance to the services at the chapel were compulsory for eighty years after the foundation of the chapel until the onset of World War II ended the compulsory attendance to Cathedral services.

College Traditions


The original arms used by the college consisted of the shield of Bishop Thomas Hatfield turned into a circular device with the motto “Vel Primus, Vel Cum Primis”. The use of these arms was, however, found to be illegal as they were not registered with the College of Arms [ [http://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/hatfield.college/contact_us/about_the_college/history/History%20of%20Hatfield.pdf Web site History of Hatfield ] ] [ [http://www.dur.ac.uk/hatfield.college/contact_us/about_the_college/history/crest_and_motto/ Hatfield College : Crest and Motto - Durham University ] ] . As the arms had been used for over 100 years the college was able to use the shield, although it had to be differentiated from that of Bishop Hatfield by the addition of an ermine border around the shield.

The current coat of arms features the Shield of Bishop Hatfield and is blazoned as "Azure a Chevron Or between three Lions rampant Argent a Bordure Ermine", with the college motto underneath: "Vel Primus Vel cum Primis" which literally means "Either First or With the First" [http://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/university.calendar/volumei/current/college.hatfield.pdf] although it now interpreted by the college as "Be the Best you can Be" [ [http://www.dur.ac.uk/hatfield.college/college_life/ Hatfield College : College Life - Durham University ] ] .

Academic Dress

Similar to most Bailey Colleges the wearing of the undergraduate academic gown is required to formal events. The wearing of the gown is at the discretion of the Master of the college and at present is worn at Matriculation, in chapel and at formal meals held in the hall.


This can be translated as:

The grace was widely used in the fourth century and is based on earlier Hebrew prayers. It was translated from the Greek and adopted by Oriel College, Oxford. Presumably influenced by the Reverend Dr. Henry Jenkyns, who was a Fellow of Oriel, Hatfield adopted this grace practically .Since 1846 the grace has been read at all formal meals in College which occur twice a week.

Hatfield Sports and Societies

Hatfield College participates in most sports in the university. Hatfield has traditionally focused on rugby, as can be seen by inspection of their former masters, and other team sports, which has resulted in a host of alumni in the sports arena such as Andrew Strauss, Tim Curtis, Frank Tyson, Marcus Rose, Will Carling and Will Greenwood. Hatfield College has its own theatre group, The Lion Theatre Company, which performs in Durham University's Assembly Rooms theatre located opposite the college gates. Students produce the termly college magazine, The Hatfielder.

Hatfield has an intense rivalry with many of the older colleges on The Bailey, especially nearby University College.

College officers and fellows

The Master

Tim Burt has returned as Master of Hatfield College. Burt was appointed Dean of Colleges and Support Services between 2002-2006, leaving Angel Scott, an Acting-Master in his absence. He returned to his position as Master in 2006.

List of Past Masters

* Rev. David Melville (1846 - 1851)
* Rev. Dr. William Henderson (1851 - 1852)
* Rev. Dr. Edward Bradby (Michaelmas Term 1852)
* Rev. James Lonsdale (1853 - 1854)
* Rev. John Pedder (1854 - 1859)
* Rev. James Barmby (1859 - 1876)
* Rev. Dr. William Sandy (1876 - 1883)
* Rev. Dr. Archibald Robertson (1883 - 1897)
* Prof. Frank Jevons (1897 - 1922)
* Prof. Arthur Robinson (1923 - 1940)
* Angus Alexander Macfarlane-Grieve (1940 - 1949) as acting Master
* Prof. Eric Birley (1949 - 1956)
* Dr. Thomas Anthony Whitworth (1957 - 1979)
* Prof. James Barber (1980 - 1996)
* Prof. Tim Burt (1996 - Present)

College Fellows

College fellowships are awarded by the Hatfield College Council on the advice of the Master to alumni and people who have a close association with Hatfield; a fellowship is the highest honour that the college can bestow. On receipt of the fellowship the fellow automatically becomes an honorary member of the SCR and receives the same benefits such as the use of the SCR common and dining rooms as well as a brass plaque bearing the fellow's name being erected in the dining hall. As of 2007 the number of fellows stood at 18. The first fellowships were awarded in 1991 to Sir Kingsley Charles Dunham, the Right Reverend David Jenkins, Sir Frederick Holliday, Professor Sir Gareth Roberts, Professor Robert Allison, Bruce Oldfield and Dr. Sheila Armstrong. The former Master and pioneer of the college fellowship Professor James Barber was awarded a fellowship in 1996.

Notable alumni

* Will Carling, former captain of the England rugby union team
* Richard Metcalfe, Bursar, Royal Grammar School Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
* Tim Curtis, England cricketer
* Will Greenwood, England rugby player and World Cup winner
* Jeremy Vine, radio and television presenter
* Mark Pougatch, radio presenter
* Andrew Strauss, England cricketer
* Professor Ted Wragg, educationalist
* Frank Tyson, England cricketer
* Kim Darroch, Prime Minister's European Policy Adviser and Head of Secretariat, Cabinet Office
* Alexander 'Russ' Frater, writer and broadcaster
* Tim Smit, former archaeologist and famous for his work on the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan
* David Schukman, journalist
* Mark Durden-Smith, broadcaster
* Jake Thackeray, musician
* General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of General Staff, British Army
* Warren Bradley (footballer), Manchester United and England player
* Marcus Rose, former England rugby union international full back
* Jonny Gould, presenter of MLB on Five
* Griffith Snyder I, surfer
* Ian Oakley, former Tory PPC who pleaded guilty to criminal damage and of harassment


External links

* [http://www.dur.ac.uk/hatfield.college/ Hatfield College] official website
* [http://www.dur.ac.uk/HatfieldJCR/ Hatfield College JCR] undergraduate student organisation
* [http://www.dur.ac.uk/hatfield.college/mcr/ Hatfield College MCR] postgraduate student organisation
* [http://www.dur.ac.uk/hatfield.scr/ Hatfield College SCR] staff organisation
* [http://www.dur.ac.uk/hatfield.choir/ Hatfield College Chapel Choir]
* [http://www.dur.ac.uk/hatfield.college/contact_us/about_the_college/history/ Hatfield History] brief history of Hatfield with a link to a more comprehensive PDF file
* [http://www.dur.ac.uk/hatfield.boatclub/ Hatfield College Boat Club (HCBC)]
* [http://collegiateway.org/colleges/durham/hatfield/] a site with many photos of Hatfield

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