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St Luke's Teacher Training College, Heavitree Road

Page updated 9th February 2010

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Now part of the University of Exeter, St Luke's College started life in 1839 as a teacher training college in the Cathedral Close. It was created after a meeting in the Chapter House that led to the setting up of a Diocesan Board of Education, that consisted of 'the Bishop, the Dean and Chapter, and 150 of the nobility, clergy, and gentry of Devon and Cornwall'. The principal in 1850 was the Rev. George Martin BD, assisted by a master and a mistress.

In 1853, John Hayward (where would we be without John Hayward?) was commissioned to design purpose built premises for the college. It was complete in 1854 at a cost of £7,000, some of which was funded by the Acland's of Killerton. In 1911-12 James Jerman added some new buildings and enlarged the chapel. Again, expansion occurred in 1934-8, when the Haighton block was added.

The bombing of 1942 badly damaged much of the college, and the attached St Luke's School. In 1967, the modern giraffe house dining room and student bedrooms was added.

In 1978 the college became the School of Education, within the University of Exeter. In 1854 the college welcomed 40 students for training, while in the 1990s there were more than 700. The college has welcomed several trainees who were either already well known, or would become well known. Sir Stanley Rous, attended the college in the 1920's where he gained his qualification as a football referee. In 1934 he refereed the FA Cup Final and in 1938 helped rewrite the laws of the game. He was also a founder member of FIFA. Peter Mark Phillips, the son of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips also attended the college, where he excelled at rugby, becoming a world class player.

For more photos of bomb damaged St Lukes see Swansborough Photo Essay

Bishop Blackall Girls' Grammar School 1900 Bomb damaged St Lukes in 1950. Photo Maurice SwansboroughSt Luke's Teacher Training College, Heavitree Road
St Luke's College sports day – early 20th century.

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