[The Grey College Shield]

[University of Durham Homepage]

The College

[Students at Grey]

A Short History

Construction on the site that is now Grey College began in the late 50's and despite fire wreaking havoc in the original building, Elvet, only six months prior to opening, the first 46 students arrived as planned in October 1959. Two further buildings, Hollingside and Oswald, were constructed in the following three years and in 1995 Holgate House was added to complete what is now a College of over 900 students.

Given events prior to the opening of the site it will not come as a surprise to know that the Phoenix is the unofficial symbol of Grey with a room in Elvet, the College year book and the annual summer ball all named after it. Grey was originally a men's College until 1984 when the first intake of just 18 women changed the face of the College forever.


The College is set in landscaped gardens and looks out over Durham boasting the most impressive view of the City's Norman Cathedral. It is also situated next to the University Botanical Gardens, and with free entry to students they are well worth a visit.

Grey College is well situated within Durham - It is only 15 minutes walk from the City centre, and approximately 25 minutes walk from Durham Station, allowing easy access to the city and only a short train journey away from Newcastle.

[The Grey College Crest]

The Origins

Grey College is named after the second Earl Grey, who was the Prime Minister who passed the Act of Parliament which founded the Univeristy in 1832. The College shield, which adorns the front of the college building, is described in heraldic terms as "Gules a Scaling Ladder in bend Argent between two St. Cuthbert's Crosses Proper". The scaling ladder, or 'gré' is the badge of the Grey family. The college motto is "Gradibus Ascendimus", or in English "Ascending by degrees".