The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

The University of Surrey at Stag Hill, Guildford - A 1960s foundation

The University of Surrey, Stag Hill, Guildford Walk

Saturday 13 April 2024

Start time/place: 10.30/Piazza adjoining Rik Medik Building (by statue of Alan Turing)

Finish time/place: 15.00/ Piazza adjoining Rik Medik Building

Nicole Twort with Derry Caleb will lead a walk of the University of Surrey Campus, Stag Hill, Guildford, viewing notable buildings and landscape features. by BDP, Eric Lyons, Maguire and Murray and Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners.

The University of Surrey Development Plan was approved in 1964 and Building Design Partnership were appointed as architects for the first phase. There was a need for a fast development programme for the site on Stag Hill adjacent to Guildford Cathedral. The design took note of this interesting juxtaposition, which will be pointed out during the visit. This was the first new University to choose a town site.  The overall plan was to site student residences at the top of the hill, academic buildings at the bottom and communal facilities between.

The walk will include Stag Hill Court (1967-70) student residences (Maguire and Murray), original academic buildings, the Austin Pearse Building (ADP 1997) and the Students Union building (Maguire and Murray), although in a rather different style to their residential buildings.

After the University tour, Robert Drake will lead a tour of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, the only post-1914 Anglican Cathedral on a new out-of-town site and the principal work of its architect Edward Maufe, who won the competition for the building in 1932. Construction started in 1936, was interrupted by WWII, the cathedral was consecrated in 1961 and not completed until 1965-6. We will see its dramatic interior spaces, stained glass by Moira Forsyth, Lawrence Lee, John Hutton and others and its textiles and scheme kneelers overseen by Maufe’s wife Prudence and finally a walk around its exterior to see its sculpture by Eric Gill, Alan Collins and others.

Robert Drake has had a long involvement with the C20 Society and has led many national and foreign events for the society with an emphasis on places of worship.

The Campus is a c. 20 minute walk from Guildford Station see campus-map here. There is on-site parking, free at weekends, near to the Piazza. There are places for lunch on campus and at the Cathedral.

After the tour members can independently visit to the Cathedral, designed by Edward Maufe, open to the public until 4.30 pm (Cathedral Café open 9 am to 3 pm).

Nicole Twort, worked for many years as a Town Planner and in Historic Building Conservation in Sussex and Kent.  She is a long-standing member of C20.

Derry Caleb, Director of Estates at the University for over 20 years. He was closely involved in the commissioning of many of the newer buildings and in overseeing the maintenance of existing ones.

C20 Members’ £35 Non-members’  £40

Excludes lunch


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The Twentieth Century Society is an IHBC (Institute of Historic Building conservation) recognised CPD provider.


The Twentieth Century Society is a registered charity, no 1110244


Above: Landscaped Courtyard, University of Surrey Image: Nicole Twort


Booking Closed

Unfortunately, booking is closed for this event and we are no longer able to accept new bookings.