Bretton Hall, Educational Institution
Compiled by Susan Daniels.
Susan Daniels taught at Bretton Hall College 1987-2001 ( English, Interarts and Education), completing her time as Head of the School of Education. After the merger in 2001 she remained on the campus as a lecturer for the University of Leeds and became Head of the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, which had been Firmed in 2001. In 2007 the Bretton campus closed and activities moved to Leeds.
This timeline is drawn from wider research into the history of Bretton Hall College and is a work in progress.
Susan can be contacted on email@example.com
Bretton Hall College of Education was founded by Alec Clegg – education officer of the west riding of Yorkshire – as a training college for teachers of Music, Art and Drama. Clegg had a clear vision of progressive education to rebuild the country. Https:alecclegg.com
1949 – John Friend was appointed the first Principal. He was a Maths specialist who sought to establish a college with an academic community ethos and wider community interaction. It was intended for the training of teachers of music, art and drama via one or two-year courses.
1949 – September – College opened with 56 teacher trainees and 7 full time staff, all living and working in the former stately home of the Wentworth/ Beaumont family. One or two-year courses with main subjects of Music, Art, or Drama and shared courses in Education, English and Movement
To view photographs of all Foundation Staff – Click HERE
1952 – Martial Rose was initially appointed Head of English to replace Gerald Whitehead, who had resigned for personal reasons in 1951. Mr. Rose later became Head of Drama and subsequently Head of Education.
During the next 10 years specialisms were added, including Environmental Studies, Textiles, Outdoor Activities, Science and Mathematics and offering three-year degree programmes.
1956 – the ‘New Hall’ (later known as ‘College Hall’) was built close to the Stable Block, and used as an Assembly Hall, Lecture Room and Theatre.
1958 – The government began planning for an ambitious expansion programme for Teacher Training Colleges. At Bretton, the West Riding County Council committed itself to a programme which would allow the number of students to be increased from 155 to 300.
1959 – Estate House was first used to accommodate from fifteen to twenty students; a few other students lodged with local families in Bretton Village. One or two-year courses with main subjects of Music, Art, or Drama and shared courses in Education, English and Movement.
1961– College adopts university calendar
1962 – Beginning of a building programme, which included student hostels, took place, which freed the mansion building for teaching and staff.
1962/3 Building Extension Programme: Library; Music Salon / Lecture Theatre; Science Wing; Dining Hall; Student Hostels; Music Practice Rooms; Gymnasium; home for Principal and family.
1963/4: 300 students. Three year course = 75% students. Mains = Music/ Art Craft / Needlework and Dress Making/ Drama/ English/ Music/ Science
1964 – Additional main subjects for junior training – Mathematics and Biology
1964 – Visit by Dame Ninette de Valois for the official opening of the extensions to the college.
1964-79 – New title for Bretton Hall: Bretton Hall College of Education ( teacher training) West Riding County Council.
1965- affiliated to University of Leeds for award of degrees of the university ( four year B.Ed)
1967 – Resignation of Vice-Principal – Miss Margaret Dunn.
Miss Daphne Hale – headteacher of Pontefract Girls’ School – was appointed Vice-Principal of Bretton Hall.
1968- Principal – John Friend – retired.
1968- Filming of some scenes of ‘Women in Love’ at various locations around the lakes
1968- Dr. Alyn Davies appointed Principal
1970 – Opening of Nature Trail with public access
1973 – collegiate academic awards
1975 – BA programmes validated
1977 – -WMDC buy deer park to form Bretton country park 1978 – awards drop term ‘ collegiate’
1980 – Resignation of Dr. Alyn Davies.
1980-81 – Appointment of Vice-Principal – Daphne Hale – as Acting Principal
Timeline 1981 – 1990
1981-93 – Dr John Taylor appointed Principal
1988 – HE incorporation act
1/489 new form of governance : incorporation Principal also becomes chief executive and vice principals replaced by directors
Bretton hall including 200 acres, lakes, woods, equipment. Schools who had bought into using lakes cease to do so.
Timeline 1990 – 2000
1990 – Renaming of the College: Bretton Hall College of Higher Education. Independent Corporation
1991 opening of NAEA
Purchase ‘world of suits’ in smith street – powerhouse one , theatre
Purchase 23 smith street workshops – 23 smith street theatre design studio
Lease unity house smith street/ west gate. For music
1994- purchase colonial buildings Peterson road – powerhouse two : art and design studios, education space , student open learning space, staff space
1995 – purchase manygates maternity hospital – atalier space , social work and counselling, student accommodation, study and social space
Wakefield sites linked to Bretton hall by bus service
1997 – commencement of merger talks with university of Leeds
1999/2000 – audit of college finances for merger
2000 – July/August – suspension of principal, finance director and academic director
2000-2001 – (interim) Professor David Sugden appointed as Acting Principal
2001 – merger of Bretton hall with University of Leeds
2002 – new access road to YSP and visitor centre designed by Fielden and Clegg
2004 – December – university determines campus not viable and puts up for sale. Restructuring of the School of Performance and Cultural Industries linked to a case for relocation to Leeds
2006 – March – launch of university of Leeds Wakefield campus : space for ex Bretton Hall College access social work and counselling course plus private study space
2006 – Bretton campus purchased by Wakefield MDC .
2006 – September – Manygates Wakefield purchased by acorn homes for flats and offices – YSP take over estate, lakes, Kennel block, long sides gallery and NAEA.
2007 – 2nd May – last teaching on Bretton campus.
2007 – 4th-6th May – celebration of education at Bretton curated by students.