Original features

June 25, 2009

Standing prominently above the Dearne Valley, the University Centre Doncaster's 126-acre campus includes land that was granted to local estate owner Roger de Bully by William the Conqueror.

Located six miles west of the town in the small village of High Melton, its oldest surviving structure is St James's Church, built of local stone in 1153.

Even more prominent is the imposing stone-brick Old Hall, which houses the business school as well as offices and accommodation.

At its heart is a three-storey cylindrical structure which is thought to date back to the Middle Ages. An owner called Dr Levitt apparently gambled away the property in 1650, but it was the Fountayne (later Montagu) family who were responsible for the main hall in 1757. The addition of wings in 1878 created the present H-shaped design.

The last Lord of the Manor held the title until 1929 when the land was sold off and put to use by a teacher training college in 1948. It was then taken over by what is now Doncaster College, which offers degrees validated by the University of Hull, in 1976. More recent buildings on the campus include the Relate Institute, Britain's first centre of excellence for relationship studies.

Send suggestions for this architectural series to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

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