University of Derby History

University of Derby logoUniversity of Derby History

Early years

University of Derby History, Over the years, two dozen bodies have contributed to the university’s formation. The first of these was founded in 1851 as the Derby Diocesan Institution for the Training of Schoolmistresses. Albeit under different names so to reflect maturing objectives, the institution flourished as an individual entity for some 120 years before merging with another developing educational artery to help form what was then known as the Derby Lonsdale College of Higher Education, 1977.

The other line of this confluence began in 1853 with the establishment of the Derby School of Art, which in 1870 became the Derby Central School of Art and the Derby Central School of Science. In 1885, the two schools were reformulated into the Derby School of Art and Technical Institution. Less than a decade later however, 1892, three more mergers took place and the institution became the Derby Municipal Technical College.

Kedleston Road

Former Derby Art College on Green Lane, Derby

In 1928, the Technical College split into the Derby School of Art and the Derby Technical College. By 1955, the two had become the Derby and District College of Art (opened on 22 September 1966 by Paul Reilly, Director of the Council of Industrial Design), and the Derby and District College of Technology (opened by the Duke of Edinburgh on 15 May 1964), both situated on Kedleston Road, Allestree. The site was formerly Markeaton Golf Course and cost £2.5m, with a foundation stone placed on 5 July 1957 by Lord (Ernest) Hives, a former managing director of Rolls Royce. Opened by the duke the day before, the 35-acre (14 ha) Bishop Lonsdale College in Mickleover was developed for teacher training courses.

At the opening ceremony, the duke said “qualities needed by teachers are the dedication of a saint, the patience of a watchmaker, the sympathy of parents and the leadership of a general”. The duke spent two days in Derby, staying the night nearby at Okeover Hall near Ashbourne as a guest of the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire. Half of the places at Mickleover were reserved for C of E trainees and the other half for those with no link to Derby Diocese.