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Slems Stories


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What is Slems Stories?

Slems Stories aims to showcase the rich history of one of the University of Manchester’s oldest halls of residence. Working with original archive material, Hall Archivist Izzy Sumner draws together stories from past residents in a fascinating delve into their careers and lives after St Anselm Hall.

Past Histories

"Times change but across the decades, residents have always been willing to contribute to hall life."

Izzy Sumner,
Hall Archivist

St Anselm Hall has a rich and colourful history.

Since its foundation in 1907 as St Anselm Hostel, many of the hall’s alumni have contributed in significant ways to their particular fields and to wider society.


In 1903, a theology department was established at Manchester Universirty. According to ledgend, faculty member Rev. Thomas B. Allworthy was reading The Life of St Anselm under a willow tree in Brookdale Park, Newton Heath, when he had an idea: a place of residence for working-class men who were studying for holy orders or going through theological training.


The Church of England supported his idea and St Anselm Hostel opened four years later. This close link to the teaching and study of theology at the University and the Church of England explains why many of the Hall's early residents went into the church.

Allworthy's St Anselm Hostel had places for eight students. Allworthy was the first Warden and the Hostel began to function as a place of theological study. As it grew, a move to a new site was needed, firstly to Dickenson Road and then to Kent House in 1914 (the current site).

The first Slems Stories focus on three men from the early years of the Hall. Each were ordained but that is only part of their stories….

Have you got any suggestions for Anselmians we should cover next?

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