Student life in Lancaster:

County College

Lancaster University's largest college with plenty of facilities and accommodation for over 800 students.



Opened by the Queen in 1969, County college is the largest college within Lancaster University and also one of the most popular, with the largest population of undergraduate students, a wide range of facilities and over 800 spaces of student accommodation, split throughout the campus. Situated in the most northern area of the campus, County college is host to an array of sports and social events, including the popular Fylde County Cup and its very own exhibition space.


County Main was the original college building, opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 1969. The designers hoped for a quadrangle, however, the only way a square shape could be created was to design and build around an oak tree that was thought to have been saved by an agricultural labourer in the 18th century. The oak leaf symbol was chosen by architect Roger Booth in response to the central oak tree. In 1978, County West building was constructed and when Cartmel college vacated their buildings, County expanded further in 2004 into the newly refurbished space, with The Northern Oak bar replacing the old Cartmel bar. In 2007 however, County West was demolished to make way for new townhouses, which look out onto Lancaster Square.


The County College Name

County college was named after Lancashire County Council, who generously donated a large sum of money towards the construction of County Main, with a promise of a further £50,000 per year for 10 years, towards the upkeep and maintenance of the college. The college’s colours are blue and bright golden yellow, with the oak leaf being County’s logo, which is also included in the college’s Coat of Arms. The college’s official moto is ‘Nothing Without [The] Council’ as a result of their generous contribution to the formation of the college, however the unofficial moto is ‘Do it for the tree’ with the Oak Tree being the college’s unofficial mascot.


County college is known for having the largest population of undergraduate students and boasts accommodation for over 800 residents. County’s accommodation is split into different areas, with a wide variety available including the eco-friendly townhouses. County Field, as the townhouses are known, all contain 12 bedrooms, providing nearly 300 student rooms, with each property containing a large communal lounge area, dining room and kitchen, and boasts French doors opening onto a beautiful garden terrace. The original County Main building was refurbished before opening again in 2008. County Main now holds 176 single rooms, clustered into large flats with shared bathroom, kitchen and lounge facilities. The John Creed Building was built in 1992 to offer smaller, more basic accommodation, usually on a shorter tenancy which excludes certain holidays. In 2006, the County South development was constructed of 225 single rooms, clustered into flats of 8, with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. County college has its own porter’s lodge and point of contact for both students living on and off campus.



As the largest college within Lancaster University, it’s no surprise that County college host a huge variety of sports clubs and societies to get involved in. Some of the most popular County sports teams are football, netball, table tennis, pool, snooker, darts and even dominoes! It is a good idea to get your name on the list for trials at the start of term, if you are seriously considering joining a team. For those of you who don’t quite want to commit fully, there are plenty of other ways to get involved with college team events, such as the Carter Shield, held every term, where you are given the opportunity to represent the college in a randomly chosen sports tournament. Be prepared for anything! Recent tournaments have included everything from volleyball to dodgeball. There are also lots of university wide sports teams, where you can represent your college, whilst playing with other college members. One of the most widely anticipated events at County college is the Fylde County Cup (FCC), where County and Fylde college’s come head-to-head. It is usually held over a weekend, involving a variety of sporting events, entertainment and activities, followed by a big night out in the Student Union nightclub, Sugar House in Lancaster. The County college bar, Northern Oak, hosts fortnightly live music during term time and if that’s not quite your thing, County have their very own Comedy Club organised and run by the students. County college also offer exhibition space in the bar, to have your work shown, giving you a great opportunity to get recognised while studying at Lancaster.


Probably one of the most famous alumni to graduate from County college in Lancaster, is the actor Andy Serkis in 1985, having studied Visual Arts. Serkis was involved with the Nuffield Theatre during his time at Lancaster, before working for the Dukes Theatre. He is best known for playing Gollum in Lord of the Rings and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

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