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The most picturesque spots at the University of Keele

Lily Martin
Last Updated: 17 July 2021 • 3 min read

The University of Keele is a located in the stunning county of Staffordshire, England, only a short distance from Stoke-On-Trent.

If you’re looking for a campus with quintessential English charm, an impressive history and university with an excellent international reputation, look no further.

In 2020, Keele was shortlisted for University of the Year by Times Higher Education and ranked in the Top 10 for Student Experience in The Times.

The university is situated in the grounds of Keele Hall, a Victorian country manor house with over 350 years of history in the Sneyd family. The land was purchased in 1544, during the reign of Henry VIII and was sold after the Second World War in 1948 to the university.

With so much history, and a fair few Royal connections - HRH Princess Margaret was President of the University College and University Chancellor between 1956 and 1986 - there’s plenty of hidden gems to be discovered.

Here, we introduce five of our favourites from the University of Keele.

The most picturesque spots at the University of Keele

1. Keele Hall

2. The Bridge and Gorge

3. The Holly Hedge

4. The Clock House

5. Parterre Garden and Lake Terrace


1. Keele Hall

Grade II listed Keele Hall was built between 1856 and 1861 by iconic Victorian architect Anthony Salvin for then-owner Ralph Sneyd. 

It forms the heart of the university’s campus and is built from sandstone in the ‘Jacobean’ style, with stunning features such as the later right-hand wing which was built in 1890.

There is also an eye-catching feature in the staircase tower, a lantern added as an after-thought. 

The previous country house on the site was built in 1580, which briefly provided asylum to King Charles II in 1651.

2. The Bridge and Gorge

Hidden within the estate’s woods is a hidden gem in the form of a bridge over a rock-cut gorge.

It is thought that stone was quarried near here for the original Keele Hall, and the bridge forms the drive over to the Clock House. 

It was designed by Edward Bloor in the 1830s, and just beyond there are stunning views of the gardens and local landscape.

3. The Holly Hedge

Keele’s Holly Hedge is a remnant of a bygone age, when Keele Hall was a thriving country estate for the wealthy Snyed family.

Situated on the Keele Drive junction, on the way to Keele village, the hedge was planted in 1769 and was once 200 yards long, 25 feet high and 18 feet wide.

Today, it is an excellent place to explore, go for long walks around the campus or commute through between lectures.

4. The Clock House

The Clock House was first built in around 1830 and is today a university department and the Vice Chancellor’s residence.

Originally built in a revived Tudor, early Renaissance style, it served as a stable block as well as accommodation for the coachman, gardeners and grooms.

Keele also once had a short-lived racecourse. Founded by ‘Sporting Ralph’ Sneyd in the 1890s, he built the stables in the Clock House and even a railway station for visitors to the races.

5. Parterre Garden and Garden Terrace

The Parterre Garden and Garden Terrace are a highlight of the university’s campus and can be found nestled next to the Hall.

Designed in the 1840s by WA Nesfield and restored after its destruction in World War Two, a new fountain was added to the garden in 1963. Nesfield designed multiple gardens at the Hall, including the adjoining Garden Terrace.

With stunning views from each of the gardens over the lake, they’re a great place to unwind and relax.

 

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Lily Martin
Written By
Lily Martin

Lily is a Content Writer and Editor based in Manchester, UK. She is passionate about travel, literature and higher education.

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