‘Too good for mortal man’
If there is one building in Wales that sums up the hopes and aspirations of the generations of slate quarrymen, it is ‘Y Coleg ar y Bryn’ (‘The College on the Hill’), as it is locally known.
It was established in 1884 as the University College of North Wales. As part of its opening celebrations 3000 quarrymen, mostly from the quarries of Penrhyn and Dinorwic, led a celebratory procession through the town to the college building, at that time an old coaching inn with 58 students and 10 staff members. The quarrymen had subscribed over £1200 to the university.
In 1911 the university moved to what is now the main arts building. Designed by the architect Henry Hare and opened by George V, the style is considered to be ‘Collegiate Tudor’ with Arts and Crafts influences. Hare himself described the building as ‘generally of late Renaissance character’, and it was considered to be his finest work – one commentator famously judged it ‘too good for mortal man’. The stained-glass windows at the south-east end of the building are by Dudley Forsyth of London. They feature, on the ground floor, a Venetian-style window with a smaller window beside it. Upon this smaller window are the words ‘Architectus Dedit’ next to the monogram of a hare, the trademark signature of the architect himself.
A new arts and innovations space (the Pontio Project), due to open in 2015, will link the university building with Bangor’s Memorial Arch. The centre will include a theatre, cinema, restaurant, bars, student union and teaching and learning spaces.
An Audio Trail and Itinerary have been created for this site. To download them, please see here
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Buggy Access
- Wheelchair Access
Off the A5 (College Road) through Bangor
Bangor Station - 100 yards
Bus stop opposite university
On NCN Route 8
Visits may be arranged through the Registrars' Office
OS Full Grid Reference: SH 579723
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- 01248 351151
- Bangor University, Bangor, LL57 2DG