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Former Neville House students Christine Middleton and Ruth Rowntree standing with Joel Lozano beside the blue plaque

A Durham building that has stood for 101-years and now houses part of our postgraduate college, Ustinov, has had its historical importance recognised with a blue plaque.

Neville House was founded by Durham County Council in 1921 as a women-only teacher training college, Neville's Cross College.

Over the next century it changed its educational purpose, name and stewardship several times but always retained its role as a college.

In 2017, following an extensive renovation project, Neville House reopened as part of Ustinov College on the Sheraton Park site in Neville’s Cross.

Now its rich history has been recognised with a blue plaque unveiled at an event that brought past and present college residents together.

Blue plaques are awarded by a local authority – in this case the City of Durham Parish Council – to buildings that have a historical significance.

This could be due to famous people who have lived there in the past, their contribution to industry, or as in Neville House’s case, their civic importance.

Spanning generations

The plaque was officially unveiled by Ruth Rowntree and Christine Middleton who are both members of the Neville’s Cross College Association and were teacher training students at Neville House in the early 1960s.

They recalled fond memories of living and learning at the college some six decades ago, including having ten-shillings a week to spend and needing to sign out every time they left the site.

At the plaque unveiling, Ruth and Christine met with University representatives including Ustinov’s Graduate Common Room President Joel Lozano and Ustinov College Principal, Professor Glenn McGregor.

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