June 12, 2012, by Fraser

Building success: 90 years at Highfields

The 14 June is a very important date in the history of The University of Nottingham. That’s because on this date 90 years ago, the foundation stone was laid at the University’s Highfields site. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The stone was laid by Viscount Haldane following the generous donation of the 35 acres of land at Highfields by Sir Jesse Boot.

The start of something special

Dr Paul Greatrix, Registrar at The University of Nottingham, believes the history of the Highfields site plays a vital part in the success of the University.

“I think the University’s rich history is very important,” he said. “It was the vision, ambition and creativity of previous generations of University staff which made it the place it is today – both in terms of the estate and academically.

“All of this makes it a wonderful place to study and live.”

Bigger and better

Prior to laying the stone, Viscount Haldane read a letter by Sir Jesse Boot in which he outlined his proposals for the enlargement of the existing lake, the layout of public parks and playing fields, the construction of a level boulevard from Nottingham to Beeston, and the erection of the future University.

The University moved out of the city centre to the Highfields site in 1928, six years after the foundation stone was laid.

Dr Greatrix added: “The Trent building and its iconic clock tower has defined the character of the institution and replicas of it stand on our two campuses in Asia – more significant changes are hard to imagine.

“It marked a turning point in the development of The University of Nottingham. The development at Highfields set the tone for bold future development of an outstanding international University yet one that was firmly rooted in its City and closely connected to local employers.”


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