Student life in Lancaster:

Furness College

Very inclusive and homely Lancaster University college with lots of social and sporting events AND a bar featured in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide!



Situated in the heart of campus, Furness college is the smallest of all the colleges within Lancaster university, having opened in 1968. Despite being the smallest, Furness is a very inclusive and homely college with a wide range of social and sporting events available, including the inter-college events. The college’s accommodation blocks are all named after the region of Furness and has a close relationship with the area. The college bar is popular across campus as a great social hub and specialises in real ale, not only featuring in the CAMRA good beer guide, but also boasting its own wine club.


Furness college was originally planned in 1966 as the fifth college to be constructed at Lancaster university, headed by the founding Principal, Professor Reynolds. Following intensive design of the new college buildings and facilities, Furness college was officially opened in 1968. As the smallest college on campus, Furness has a modest intake of around 400 undergraduates each year, but despite its small size, the college make up for it in being widely known as a very close-knit, welcoming college. The Furness bar was later refurbished before reopening in 2012 and remains an important feature as a social hub for the college and its residents.


The Furness Name

When Furness college opened its doors in 1968, it declared ‘Everywhere else is nowhere’, and remains the college motto. The college was named after the region of Furness in the Lake District, with all the accommodation blocks named after towns and villages around the region, such as Pennington, Aldingham and Hawkshead. The landscape of Furness inspired the college logo, stretching from the industrial port of Barrow-in Furness to the area of Coniston. The Furness region has had a difficult history with the region being taken under the wing of the Honour of Lancashire in the 12th century. Furness separated Morecambe Bay from Lancashire for over 800 years, before being integrated into Cumbria following the reorganisation of the county boundaries.



Furness college constructed the standard accommodation to the east of the main college building in 1992, before being refurbished in 2011. The standard accommodation block features 191 student rooms, with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. All of the accommodation buildings of the college have been named after areas of the Furness region, with the five houses of standard accommodation named Bardsea, Wetherlam, Brantwood, Torver and Greenodd. In 2006 a superior ensuite accommodation block was built, offering a further 347 rooms across four houses, Colton, Aldingham, Pennington and Hawkshead. The superior accommodation features a wetroom and is fully furnished with bed, wardrobe, desk, shelves and carpeted throughout. Shared facilities contain table and chairs for socialising within the kitchen, along with all appliances such as, electric cooker, microwave, toaster, kettle and plenty of storage. There are also plenty of laundry facilities with ample washing machines and driers. The college also supply ironing boards and vacuum cleaners, so there’s no excuse for cleaning!


Despite being the smallest of Lancaster universities colleges, sport plays a large part in Furness college life, and they more than make up for the lack of numbers in spirit! The college have three football teams in the inter-college team as well as the college cup. Netball is also a very popular sport within Furness, who also have three teams, A, B and C, as well as two recreational teams, Mighty Mountains and Trev’s Army, named after the Furness bar. Furness hold table tennis tournaments regularly, and is open to players of all abilities, gaining a reputation over the years as the team to beat! For something a little more laid back, you can enjoy plenty of bar sports, with a women’s and men’s pool and darts team, with plenty of pool tables and dart boards to practice in the bar. Furness also take part in many of the inter-college sports events, such as the Carter Shield and the Patriots Cup, battling it out against Cartmel with the event running into an evening celebration in the bar. The college also hold many memorial tournaments, paying tribute to college members who have previously passed away, such as the Nick Lewis Memorial Trophy and Richard Slatter Pool Tournament. As well as the jam-packed sports calendar, Furness also hold the annual gin festival and a weekly quiz run by the JCR.


There are many members of Furness college who have gone on to great things including, actor and screenwriter, Roger Ashton-Griffiths who graduated in Music in 1978 as well as the famous actor Ralph Ineson, who graduated in 1991 in Theatre Studies. Ralph has featured in The Office, the Harry Potter films, Star Wars, as well as Game of Thrones. Other alumni include, the Chief Executive of the Money Advice Sevice, Caroline Rookes who was awarded CBE and the Head of Research Grants at Lloyd’s Register Foundation, Ruth Boumphrey.

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