Heritage Guide Heritage Guide Leaflet 3rd A4 v3 FINAL - Page 3

Central Campus Trail 1.5-2 km, 45-60 minutes We’ll start in the modern heart of the present-day campus and take a walk back in time over 1000 years. 1. Union Square  ere in Union Square is the sculpture ‘Forest H of Light’ [1] by Diane Maclean, unveiled in 2012, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the University’s Royal Charter. 2. Students’ Union The Students’ Union building [2] opened in 1962 as an icon of the modern movement and helped to transform the estate into a modern university. The strong ‘ocean liner’ horizontal forms were designed by Architects Stillman & Eastwick- Field. HM the Queen laid the foundation stone, accompanied by HRH Princess Margaret. HRH Princess Margaret had a long association with Keele, as President of the University College and University Chancellor from 1956 until 1986. 3  . Wartime huts Keep the Chapel [17] on your left, turn left along Cherry Tree Walk (we will return here). Bear right to the rear of Chancellor’s Building; ahead are two low brick wartime huts [3], the last remaining of dozens of temporary buildings, including ‘Nissen’ huts, from the estate’s military occupation 1939-1948. It was a transit camp for services personnel and post-war refugees. Huts accommodated the Students’ Union, the chapel, offices and even some of the staff and students into the late 1960s! Forces evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940 passed through Keele and American troops of the 83rd Division were stationed here in 1944- top secret at the time. The Keele estate was acquired from the Sneyd family for the new University College of North Staffordshire, opened in 1949, the University of Keele from 1962. By 1969 Keele was described as “the most original innovation in British university education in the 20th century”. Lord Lindsay, Master of Balliol College, Oxford, was prime mover in establishing it, close to an industrial area where none had previously existed. Continue past the rear of Chancellor’s Building to the Covert, a main campus road. Follow the route to the left, passing University staff housing on the right at The Covert and Church Plantation (private). Take a detour along the access roads for views towards the north and west boundaries if you wish. You can do the spectacular ‘Flowering Cherries’ walk here at Keele in the spring. There are over 230 varieties! keele.ac.uk/arboretum/ nationalcollectionoffloweringcherries 4. Holly hedge  At Keele Drive junction you can see the carpark boundary with a hedge and trees: the remains of a formal holly hedge [4] planted in 1769; the first evidence of the former glory of the country house estate on our trail. The hedge was once 200 yards long, 25 feet high and 18 feet wide; part of the estate pleasure gardens which kept generations of gardeners busy. Keele Drive leads to the village of Keele. There are estate lodges (private) and village buildings linked to the Sneyds who owned the Keele estate from 1544 at the time of King Henry VIII until 1948. Turn to the left along Keele Hall Road, turn right at Access Road 9, past Lindsay Court [5] on your left. Stop to look over to Paddock Farm (private), built as a stud in the late 19th century. You can see the M6 motorway, opened in 1962, from here. Beyond are the Maer Hills where Charles Darwin walked when visiting relatives at Maer Hall. Keele once had a short-lived racecourse, established by ‘Sporting Ralph’ Sneyd who inherited the estate in 1890. He built stables at the Clock House [8] and even a railway station for race-goers. The home straight is parallel to the M6, on the opposite side. ‘Racecourse Farm’ still remains there. Nearby Uttoxeter Racecourse took over the licence in 1907. 8. Clock House Continue along the Terrace, down the steps (with care) towards the Clock House [8]. For step-free access, retrace your steps back to Keele Hall Road, turn right and then turn right down Clock House Drive. This grade II listed building is now a university department and the Vice Chancellor’s residence; please respect privacy. Built around 1830 in a revived Tudor/early Renaissance style with later alterations, it was the stable block, coach house and accommodation for the coachman and head gardener. Landscaping of the 1820s and 30s to designs by WS Gilpin and in the mid-19th century by WA Nesfield can be seen in this area. For step-free access, go to the left of the Clock House and follow the Woodlands Walks sign into the gardens. 9. The Bridge and Gorge Retrace your path up the steps, bearing right into the woods (please note: muddy/slippery when wet). Stone was probably quarried near here for the original Keele Hall of 1580 and later. The bridge over the rock-cut gorge [9] forming the drive to the Clock House was designed by Edward Bloor in the 1830s. Bear right over the bridge and down the steps (steep – take care). Go down to the right and enjoy a breath- taking view of the gardens and landscape. Turn left following the Woodlands Walks. You can follow the way-marked Woodland Walks trails with a guide leaflet to the extensive tree species that can be seen on the estate. keele.ac.uk/arboretum 10. Parterre Garden and Lake Terrace 5. 6. 7. Walled gardens and Terrace Return to Keele Hall Drive, past Lindsay Court which incorporates the remaining wall of the later of two estate walled gardens [5] built in the mid-19th century. Turn right and take the path bearing right into the woods leading to the Terrace [6], once part of the Keele Hall driveway, bounded by Sweet Chestnut trees, some of which are now 500 years old. Overlook the remaining, more complete Walled Garden [7], built around 1763. Inside, there were heated, south-facing glass houses and gardeners’ sheds, some of which remain. The working allotments here are run by students, with organic produce for sharing and selling. Make your way down to the formal Parterre Garden [10], designed by WA Nesfield around 1845 and restored following its destruction in World War II. A new fountain was added in 1963 near the statuesque Cedar of Lebanon tree. Nesfield also created the terrace beside the Hall looking over the lake. Take time to explore the gardens; we’ll look at Keele Hall later [14]. 11. 12. Lakes and the White Well Walk down to the edge of Lake 1 (there are step free routes). Landscaping includes several lakes, woodland, pleasure gardens and earth works. Across the lake are the remains of a late Victorian boathouse [11]. Turn left along the lakeside into the woods. At the lake head is the White Well [12], an Italianate well-house of about 1870 forming part of the complex of water-works on the estate. 13. The White House Take a detour for another modern moment: the White House, Horwood 99 [13] was built as the Warden’s House in 1958/9 with an inverted pitched roof and other features of Scandinavian style. 14. 15. Keele Hall Retrace your route into the woods and follow round to the right to meet the drive to Keele Hall [14], our grade II* listed country house, built in sandstone and designed by leading Victorian architect Anthony Salvin for Ralph Sneyd in 1856-61 in the ‘Jacobean’ style. Follow the drive into the courtyard. Sadly, nothing remains of the house from earlier periods, except for some interior features. The right-hand wing dates from later, about 1880 and includes a billiard room, now home to the Raven Mason ceramics collection. keele.ac.uk/ discover/artskeele/ whatson/ravenmason. The most eye-catching feature is the staircase tower [15], with an upper storey or lantern added by Ralph Sneyd as an after-thought, it is said. The Sneyds, known in Staffordshire from at least the 13th century, bought Keele estate (much larger than the current campus) for £334 in 1544. The Knights Templar previously owned the lands. The first Keele Hall was built in 1580. During the hot, dry summer of 2018 aerial photography by Historic England revealed a pattern of medieval route ways on the estate. keele.ac.uk/discover/news/august/ heatwave-reveals/medieval-road-keele.php In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Sneyds’ wealth came from coal mines and ironworks and also from brick and tile manufacture. In 1900, Russian Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich rented Keele Hall. He married against the will of his cousin, Tsar Alexander III and lived in exile. During his ten years here he enjoyed the lifestyle of an English country gentleman and once welcomed King Edward VII to Keele Hall. 16. Freshers Gate Leave the courtyard through ‘Freshers Gate’ [16], a student joke of the early 1960s. The opening was made to separate pedestrians and vehicles, but an enterprising undergraduate poking fun at the Freshers’ traditions of older institutions wanted to see what effect the painted title would have! 17. The Chapel Cross Keele Hall Road back to the campus centre. Our last site is the Chapel [17], built 1964-1965. In addition its importance as a modern building designed by leading architect George G Pace, it is the UK’s first ecumenical religious building which accommodates different Christian traditions. It was intended to be faced with sandstone, however, a generous gift from the local Berry Hill Brick Company accounts for the striking blue Staffordshire brick facing. The map indicates sites of interest that are away from the central campus, including Keele Village, Home Farm and the University Observatory. Follow signage on campus. Find out more about Keele History: keele.ac.uk/discover/ourhistory Explore ArtsKeele events and collections: keele.ac.uk/discover/artskeele