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Wiltshire Community History

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Salisbury - Salisbury and Wells Theological College, Salisbury

This was founded in the Close in 1860 by Bishop Hamilton (1854-69). The building that is now 19 The Close (it was then numbered 87) was bought for the college and the first students were admitted in January 1861 with Edward Eddrup as college principal. Pupils were to be trained to take holy orders with between 6 and 10 students admitted each year. The college grew when George Moberly was bishop - his son, Robert, was college principal between 1878 and 1880 - and new buildings were erected. By 1878 men were able to live in the college. The college chapel was dedicated in 1881 and the college continued to expand during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1940 the college buildings were commandeered for the ATS and the students were moved to Wells Theological College. After the War, in 1946, Salisbury college re-opened and the students moved back from Wells.

In the 1950s under 'Freddie' Tindall the college gained a reputation for high academic achievement. The Wells college amalgamated with Salisbury in 1971 on the Salisbury site. This prompted further extensions of a three storey block with a new chapel, library and refectory and another block containing flats and study bedrooms. The college was now known as Salisbury and Wells Theological College. Numbers of sttudents began to fall in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1989/90 there were 64 but this had dropped to 46 in 1992/3 and these included very few theology graduates. A review of theological colleges in 1993 recommended that there should only be eight in the country and this did not include Salisbury and Wells. The college closed in 1994.

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Salisbury and Wells Theological College, Salisbury
Salisbury and Wells Theological College, SalisburyImage Date: 2003
Image Details: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham
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