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History of St Anselm Hall

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St Anselm Hall is founded

The Revered Thomas Allworthy founds St Anselm Hall at a house in Newton Heath. The institution is originally a seminary for training priests.


St Anselm Hall moves to the current site

Allworthy and students move again - now to Kent Road. The house they move into has now been incorporated into the current hall.

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The Hall is acquired by the Church of England

The Revered Chevassut reopens the Hall.


The first Hall Play is performed

Many of the traditions still alive in the Hall today date from the inter-war years.


St Anselm Hall moves to Dickinson Road

The house at Newton Heath becomes too small for the number of students. Allworthy and the students move to a larger house on Dickinson Road.

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1915 - 20

St Anselm Hall closes temporarily

Large numbers of men going to war means the Hall must close.

May 1921

St Anselm Hall merges with Brassey Hall

The Hall becomes open to more students.


Dewar wing is constructed

The opening of Dewar wing, named after the then Warden Lindsay Dewar, expands the Hall's capacity. 


Revival of the Hall

The Revered Ronald Preston takes over the Wardenship and revives a number of hall traditions, such as the hall play and the Annual Old Boys (now Alumni Association) Reunion. These had been cancelled at the outbreak of the hostilities.

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1958 - 60

The Hall is developed

Construction of Manor and Summerfield wings begins, as does the building of the Warden's house (now the Lodge) and the dining room.


The last Warden leaves St Anselm Hall

The University abolishes the Warden position.


The Hall reopens to students

A small number of returning students (seven, an all time low) bring the hall back to life and ensure the traditions  and values continue.


The Hall closes due to


The Hall closes for the 2020-21 academic year, but reopens after lobbying from the Slems in Exile Society and the Alumni Association.


The Hall is sold to the University

Financial difficulties lead to the sale of the Hall to the University of Manchester, in whose possession it remains.


The Cellar Club is established

The student-run bar was founded in the room under the Closed JCR, now the Snooker Room.


Establishment of Canterbury Court

A new, self-catered Hall is built across the road. The new Canterbury Court students develop a close relationship with the St Anselm Hall students.

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Fire at St Anselm Hall

A devastating fire guts two thirds of the Hall. A major building programme over the summer ensures its restoration ahead of the arrival of new students in the Autumn term.

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The Cellar Club relocates

The bar moves to its current location under the dining room. 


Construction of the Chapel

The Chapel is built from designs by architect Harry S. Fairhurst. 

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1939 - 45

The Hall survives WWII

The Revered Joe Inglis becomes Warden during the War years and ensures the Hall's survival. The cellars are turned into an air raid shelter. See here for archives of the Fallen Anselmians.

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Formal dinner is established

Under the Wardenship of Duncan Armytage, the tradition of formal dinner is established. The Senior Common Room and library are also developed.


Admission of female students

Female students are finally admitted to Hall, making St Anselm Hall the last hall in Britain to go from all-male to mixed.

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