Aberystwyth Old College, West Wales.
Contributor:Frank Irwin / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:70 MB (3.3 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:6058 x 4039 px | 51.3 x 34.2 cm | 20.2 x 13.5 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:18 July 2016
Location:Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, West Wales, UK
Aberystwyth’s Old College is the site of the original University of Aberystwyth which was founded in 1872, and became the first established university in the whole of Wales. When looking at the building from the sea front (which at the time of building was only cliffs, until the coming of the promenade in the mid 1880′s) it is easy to see that a number of architects have added their own styles to the building over time. The original section of the building, known as Castle House was built as a hotel in the 1860′s, was designed by John Nash, under the orders of land owner Uvedale Price. Price had envisioned that Castle House would become a hotel, which would provide accommodation to the influx of middle class Victorian tourists who began to arrive with the advent of the railways. However, during the construction of Castle House, Price and his company ran out of money and decided to put the building up for sale for around 12% of the building costs to that date. For the knock down sum of £10,000 the partially completed building was sold to the newly formed, and rather cash strapped University of Aberystwyth.Despite the modern view of universities being publicly funded, with large budgets for buildings and facilities this was not the case at the time. In fact, the majority of the funding provided for the newly formed university had come from public donations. Even in 1885 when a large section of the college burnt down, and government policy favoured the colleges in Bangor and Cardiff, the University of Aberystwyth was able to survive through the determination of its board members.The further developments of the old college were undertaken by the University of Aberystwyth in conjunction with architect John Pollard Seddon, who was also chief architect of Castle House. The eccentric gothic stylings of the building are attributed to Seddon.