Our History

Our past

The University had quite a nomadic start since we were first established in 1836, when we were founded as a chartered university. Over our 179 year history, we have been based in various locations, including Somerset House, Marlborough House, Burlington House, the Imperial Institute and our current home Senate House. During the Second World War, our university and our colleges were evacuated to the provinces with the central offices moving to Richmond. The Ministry of Information moved into Senate House. After moving around a lot, we found a wonderful home in Bloomsbury over 80 years ago. We want to help make Bloomsbury better for everyone.

SenateHouse Aerial Shot

Our present

London is in competition with many other world-class cities to attract future talent, which in turn helps economies to thrive. London is currently ranked #1 by PWC in the 2014 Cities of Opportunity report. However, other cities including Paris, New York and Singapore are also vying for the top spot. It is important to the vitality of Bloomsbury that it retains its reputation as an academic centre in the world’s foremost city for higher education. This will enable it to continue attracting world-class talent. (Since the University of London was established by Royal Charter in 1836, it has been a centre for educating some of the world’s most influential people, from presidents, prime ministers and monarchs to Nobel Prize winners, Grammy Award and Oscar winners as well as Olympic gold medallists.)

Our future

We are proud to call Bloomsbury our home and our masterplan proposals explore the ways in which we can adapt our facilities in a way that stays true to the character of Bloomsbury, improving the quality of the area for the entire community whilst also continuing to offer a world-class education in the heart of London.

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