King's College London
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In the Beginning ...

Proposals for a site

letter with small map drawn in bottom marginAnonymous letter suggesting a site for King's College on the Edgeware Road, 1828At least twenty serious alternative locations for the new College were considered by its executive Provisional Committee including land between Westminster Bridge and Lambeth Palace, Paddington, Somers Town, Edgware Road and even the vacant Buckingham Palace.

One proposal favoured by the poet laureate, Robert Southey, was the East End of London. This would be convenient for the sons of commercial and professional men residing in the new suburbs and avoid competition for business with the 'London University' in Bloomsbury.

Southwark was another popular choice and members of the Committee visited a site close to Guy's Hospital in July 1828. The area boasted sufficient open space, cheap lodging for students and a suitable chapel in the form of St Saviour's.Ā  The Committee was impressed with the development potential of the parish in an area earmarked for regeneration.

However, it was a vacant plot adjoining the new Zoological Gardens in Regent's Park that proved the strongest proposal until powerful local residents complained.

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