Lonsdale College, Lancaster

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Colleges of Lancaster University

Lonsdale College

Named after Lonsdale Hundred
Established 1964
Dean Dr. Keith Davison
Principle Dr. Richard Austen-Baker
Undergraduates 1400
Location Alexandra Park
Lonsdale College crest.svg
Simply the best
College website
JCR website

Lonsdale College is a constituent college of the University of Lancaster, UK. It was one of the two founding colleges, originally built when the university first opened in 1964. It is also one of the largest colleges on campus in terms of Junior Common Room membership, with over 1,200 undergraduates. Like most other colleges in the university, the college is named after a region of the traditional county of Lancashire. The college takes its name from the Lonsdale area, the valley of the River Lune.


The old college quadrangle, given to Bowland College in 2004

The College was originally located in what is now Bowland North to the north of Alexandra Square. The college was designed in tandem with Bowland and was in fact designed as a mirror image of it.[1]

In 2004 the college moved, along with Cartmel College to some of the newly built buildings to the south of the main campus in Alexandra Park. Its original buildings were transferred to the other founding college, Bowland, and became known as Bowland North.


Lonsdale college has a bar called The Red Lion, a computer lab, a study room, and a launderette.


Just over half of the college's students live in college at any one time. Other Lonsdale students live in Lancaster city centre. The residential buildings housing the college's entirely en-suite accommodation are named after places in the Lonsdale area. Residential buildings are reallocated from year to year for administrative convenience so which are Lonsdalian ones is subject to change each year.


Lonsdale College

The College is established under the Statutes of the University. Internally, the key committee which runs the College is the College Syndicate.

The College Principal is Keith Davidson and the Vice-Principal is Michael Pickles. The Senior Tutor is Laura McGowan, and the Dean is Richard Austen-Baker.

College Symbols[edit]

An heraldic "leopard" (the name given in heraldry to a lion "passant guardant", i.e., walking from right to left with face turned towards the viewer) features in the official Lonsdale college logo. The college colours are observed in the college scarf and are: blue, white, red and grey.

Junior Common Room[edit]

The Junior Common Room consists of all Lonsdalion undergraduates. The term JCR is often used in reference to the junior common room's elected executive committee. The executive committee undertake a variety of tasks, ranging from organising social events to co-ordinating sports, producing publicity and offering an education and welfare service. The JCR publishes 'Purple Lonnie', currently named ROAR, the college magazine. The origin of the magazine's name relates to an episode when one of the parents of a member of the JCR executive worked for the company that penned the Purple Ronnie poems. On being asked to pen a Purple Ronnie poem for Lonsdale, the poem came back signed Purple Lonnie.

Social Events[edit]

The college has a noted long standing reputation for being the university's "party college", holding some of the best attended social events on campus. Lonsdale was the first winner of the inter-college Rugby sevens cup in 1969.

Other uses[edit]

Lonsdale College is also a fictional college of the University of Oxford, as featured in Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels. In the television adaptation of Inspector Morse, Brasenose College was used to represent Lonsdale.