Based in the heart of Regent’s Park, Regent’s University London occupies a site with a rich and diverse history, and a long tradition of education and achievement. The University campus was originally built for Bedford College, which moved to the park from nearby Bedford Square. Founded in 1849 by Elizabeth Jesser Reid, the college was the first higher education institution for women in the United Kingdom.
The campus, which opened in 1913, was designed by architect Basil Champneys in Queen Anne style. The Tate Library, designed by Sydney Smith, was built with £10,000 donated by Lady Amy Tate in memory of her husband Henry, founder of London’s Tate Gallery. The dome of the Astronomical Observatory, opened by the Astronomer Royal, remains in place, despite extensive damage to most of the buildings in the Second World War.
The Regent’s Park itself originally formed part of a large monastery estate owned by Barking Abbey, which was seized by Henry VIII in the late 1530s. Marylebone Park, as it was then known, remained a royal chase until 1646. It was John Nash, architect to the Crown and friend of the Prince Regent, who developed Regent’s Park, covering 197 hectares, as we know it today.
While you are here, don’t miss the Open-Air Theatre and Queen Mary’s Garden (with more than 30,000 roses) both a short walk from the University. If the weather is fine you might enjoy riding a pedalo on the lake or admire the floral arrangements, both in the University grounds and in the park.
For more on The Regent’s Park see www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/about-regents-park/landscape-history