Wye College

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The College of St Gregory and St Martin at Wye, more commonly known as Wye College, was an educational institution in the small village of Wye, Kent, England, 60 miles (100 km) east of London in the North Downs area.

Founded in 1447 by John Kempe, the Archbishop of York, as a college for the training of priests, in 1894, the school moved to new premises, and the South Eastern Agricultural College was established in the buildings with Alfred Daniel Hall as principal. In 1898, Wye became a School of Agriculture within the University of London. Until 2005, Wye College was a well-known study and research centre in the fields of rural business and management, biological sciences, and the environment and agriculture. The college was officially closed by its then owner, Imperial College London, in September 2009.

Today, buildings that formerly housed Wye College have been repurposed as the Mind Campus,[1][2] a substance abuse rehabilitation clinic, and Wye School, a school for children of year seven and up.[3]

Wye College

Academic and learning centre[edit]

The Wye campus developed from 1894 until 2000. It occupies a 3 km² estate, which includes a farm, managed woodland, and ancient grassland for agroecological research. These resources were augmented by glasshouses, climate-controlled growth rooms for plants and insects, and a containment facility for transgenic plants that supported laboratory-based research. There were dedicated laboratories for plant molecular biology, genomics and gene sequencing, electron microscopy, use of radiochemicals, microbiology, soil analysis, and plant/animal cell culture. Some of these lab facilities were removed by Imperial College. There were student halls and other buildings dotted around the village.[citation needed]

In 2000, Wye College lost its status as a College within the federal University of London and merged with Imperial and was renamed Imperial College at Wye. Imperial agreed to keep agricultural teaching and research on the campus, although the social scientists and economists were relocated to London.[citation needed]

The first Provost of Imperial College at Wye was Professor Tim Clark. Commenting on his new appointment, Professor Clark said: "Wye College has a well-deserved reputation for excellence in teaching and research. I am looking forward to acting as Wye's champion and helping to preserve and build on all that is so special here."[4][better source needed]

The end of Wye College[edit]

In 2004, new Imperial Rector (Richard Sykes) announced that the Department of Agricultural Sciences was closing, and that most teaching and research at Wye would end.[5] In 2005 it was announced that Wye College would be converted into a research centre for non-food crops and biomass fuels, with the support, under a "concordat", of Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council, [6] with around 12,500 jobs.[7]

In 2006, Ashford Borough Council withdrew its support, and Imperial College abandoned its plans, which has included 4,000 homes in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.[7][8] In 2007, the University of Kent agreed to run some undergraduate business management courses from the college buildings in 2007 for a short time.[citation needed]

The college today[edit]

Wye parish church

The Wye College campus was closed in September 2009 and Imperial College sought to develop the estate or to find suitable tenants for it.[9] Most of the college farmland is currently leased to a former student of Wye College, a Mr Atwood, until 2019. An effort by Imperial to sell off Withersdane Hall was halted with council intervention.[10] A proposal to restore the agricultural college, with accreditation from the University of Buckingham, was advanced in 2010, but was later withdrawn.[11] A proposal for a Wye Free School, initially with an entry of Year 7 students was received in 2012 by the Council and later approved. The school opened to Year 7 pupils in September 2013 in the Kempe Building.[12]

In 2014, the PROMIS Clinics repurposed Withersdane Hall as a rehabilitation clinic.[2][1]

Hops[edit]

Among Wye College's major contributions were the development of a number of new varieties of hops, such as Wye Challenger, Wye Northdown, Wye Target and Wye Yeoman, used in the brewing of beer.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Former college site to become rehab centre". Kentish Express. Lexis Nexis. 
  2. ^ a b "Whats in a Promise?". Wyeweb.org. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Wye School > Home". wyeschool.org.uk. 
  4. ^ "Imperial College London - New champion at Wye College". imperial.ac.uk. 
  5. ^ "Project Alchemy … the legacy". save wye. 
  6. ^ "Imperial College London - New GBP1 billion world-class scientific research centre and facilities planned for Kent". imperial.ac.uk. 
  7. ^ a b David Hewson. 2007. Saved; How an English village fought for its survival and won. Leicester: Troubador Publishing
  8. ^ http://www.wyecommunitylandtrust.org.uk/
  9. ^ TNICHOLS. "Wye Campus". imperial.ac.uk. 
  10. ^ see wsvi "dot" wordpress.com/
  11. ^ "phoenixwyecollege". phoenixwyecollege.co.uk. 
  12. ^ "Wye School > Home". wyeschool.org.uk. 
  13. ^ Wheeler, G, "Home Brewing", CAMRA, 1993

External links[edit]