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University of Gloucestershire to Celebrate its Heritage

Thursday September 6 and Friday September 7, 10am-4pm, Francis Close Hall, Swindon Road, Cheltenham, GL50 4AZ.

The University of Gloucestershire's Francis Close Hall campus is opening its doors for a celebration of its unique history as part of the Heritage Open Days programme.

Buildings which are usually closed to the public or charge for admission are open for free access for four days every September as part of the programme managed by the Heritage Open Days National Partnership and funded by English Heritage.

Built in 1847, Francis Close Hall is a distinctive Cheltenham landmark and its Chapel, Archive Room and Inner Quad will be open to the public on September 6 and 7.

The Grade 2 listed Chapel of St Mary and St Paul is a stunning example of Edwardian architecture and was built in 1909 to support the students of St Paul's and St Mary's Teacher Training College. Today it retains its Austrian oak panelling, aisle facing pews, and an impressive pipe organ.

The University Archives and Special Collections department is the official repository for the historic records of the University and houses an eclectic mix of several special collections relating to Gloucestershire and beyond. These include the Gloucestershire Poets, Writers and Artists Collection, the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Library and the St Paul's Practising School Old Boys' Association and the Practising School Archive.

Francis Close Hall cost around £12,000 to build on completion in 1850. The main buildings cost £9,500, the battlements £115, and papering for houses cost £15 each.

Archivist Lorna Scott said: "Visitors are welcome to explore the Chapel and Archive Room (QU024) and there will also be access through the Library to the Inner Quad during this time as well. The Archives will have a display and items relating to the history of the site and an information leaflet will be available."

To find out more please visit

About the University of Gloucestershire

The University of Gloucestershire gained official university status in 2001 but has existed as an educational establishment for nearly 200 years. Our heritage lies in the Mechanics Institutes of the 1830s, with our Francis Close Hall campus founded in 1847 as the Cheltenham Training College.

Today, we have three thriving campuses, Francis Close Hall and The Park in Cheltenham, and Oxstalls in Gloucester, which are occupied by approximately 10,000 students. In 2010, the University invested £5 million in teaching facilities including a new, state-of-the-art media and art and design studios.

The University of Gloucestershire delivers approximately 100 undergraduate course choices including accounting, law, business and management, fine art, TV production, humanities, leisure and tourism, social work and education plus and a diverse range of postgraduate and research degrees, and professional courses.

For more information visit

Source:University of Gloucestershire


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