Student life in Lancaster:

Cartmel College

On the south side of Lancaster University and popular for it's great accommodation, social life and live music



With some of the largest social spaces of any of the nine colleges, Cartmel college is situated at the south side of Lancaster University campus within a beautiful 17th century converted farm. Cartmel college boasts its own bar and eatery, along with large social space and views overlooking the Lancashire countryside. Cartmel accommodation is very popular with students, as all facilities are en-suite, and the college regularly host live music in Barker House Farm, as well as a wide range of other social events and sports clubs.


Cartmel college officially opened in 1968, with the original building designed by the Manchester architect Haydyn Smith. The college was surrounded by beautiful open grassed areas, popular in the summer months, with the building designed to allow as much natural light in as possible. Just one year later in 1969, further buildings were developed to cope with the rising demand for student accommodation. This original building is now occupied by County college and the Institute for Advanced Research. Cartmel college has undergone a few changes over the years however, with the John Creed block opening in 1992, offering additional en-suite accommodation, named after the founding principal of the college. Then in 2003, the university offered Cartmel the opportunity to relocate to the southwest area of the campus. Cartmel subsequently moved to the newly refurbished Barker House farm complex, a beautifully renovated 17th century farm. The new building now houses a bar, eatery, junior common room and en-suite accommodation.


The Cartmel Name

Cartmel college was named after the area of Cartmel when it was founded in 1968. Popular with tourists, Cartmel is famous for the beautiful Cartmel Priory, built by Augustian canons in the late 12th century and completed in 1220. Legend has it that the priory was built between two parallel streams, following a heavenly voice. During the Dissolution of Monasteries under Henry VIII, a large part of the priory’s structure was destroyed, before the King realised the need for a place of worship for the residents of Cartmel, resulting in what remains today. As well as the famous Priory, Cartmel is also home to the smallest racecourse in Britain, attracting thousands of visitors each year to the Cartmel Races. Bordering on the beautiful countryside of Cumbria, Cartmel is one of the most beautiful spots in the county and continues to attract visitors from all over the world.



Boasting entirely en-suite rooms, accommodation in Cartmel college is extremely popular. Due to its position on the south side of campus, Cartmel enjoys spectacular views of the Lancashire countryside, and is a pleasant escape from campus, without being too far away. Most corridors and apartments have eight rooms, with WIFI available throughout. These modern study rooms come complete with a bed, built-in study desk and chair, fully furnished storage and furniture, phone and broadband point and full-length mirror. It is little wonder the rooms at Cartmel are so sought after, being fully furnished and ready to move in. The accommodation has its own kitchen facilities for self-catering purposes, but there are also a wide range of options to eat out on campus, with the Barker House Farm Food Court right on your doorstep. A porter’s lodge on site, ensures you have a direct point of contact for any issues you may have during your stay.


Cartmel college hosts a wide range of social and sporting events, with regular pub quizzes, open mic nights and cultural celebrations, as well as the annual winter ball. Cartmel also takes part in the annual Extrav event along with all the other colleges. The popular annual Roses event, sees the colleges coming together for the traditional boat race between Lancaster and York University, held since 1965. Cartmel has its very own sports clubs too, ranging from football and netball to pool competitions. Trials usually take place at the beginning of term, so be sure to sign up early. Other regular events involve many inter-club competitions and championships, including the Sustainability Challenge, the famous George Wyatt Cup and Cart Shield, as well at the Patriots Cup where Cartmel take on Furness and finally the Charities Challenge. There is certainly no shortage of sports and events to get involved in and you can also speak with the JCR exec team to look at setting up a club yourself, if there’s something in particular, you’d like to see on the Cartmel calendar.


Cartmel alumni have largely pursued a career in politics. They include Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Cat Smith, who graduated from Cartmel in 2006 in Gender and Sociology, Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale, graduating in Sociology, 1992 and Senior Campaigns Manager for the Prime Minister, David Watson, having graduated from Cartmel in 1998. As an alumni member following graduation, there are lots of lifetime benefits available through the university.

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