Looking back while writing the future: A History of Middlesex University


While we get ready to launch the North London Literary Festival with an eye on the future of publishing, we are experiencing a sense of nostalgia fuelled by an awareness of the rich local history, and Middlesex University’s role as the cultural centre in the locality.

By Maitrayee Basu & Anne Hansen

1878 is the year we can trace back the beginning of the institutions that would eventually become Middlesex University. It was the year St. Katherine’s College opened, and shortly followed by Hornsey College of Art in 1882 and Ponders End Technical Institute in 1901. Hendon Technical Institute opened in 1939 and after the war in 1947 Trent Park College of education opened. So it has been a significant while that Middlesex University, or rather the institutions that constitute the university in its modern form, has been a major seat of learning and innovative thought in North London.

In 1973 all of these and more educational institutes dotted around North London (or Middlesex according to the Saxons) joined together to form Middlesex Polytechnic. A number of more educational institutes joined in 1992 when the polytechnic by Royal Assent became Middlesex University. Thus Middlesex University in its current form is an amalgamation or union of the various seats of learning in North London. We are extremely proud to carry forth this legacy of forward thinking sitting on the cutting edge of culture propelled forth by the socio-technological landscape of our times.

Join us for the North London Literary Festival 2013 and you will get a chance to enjoy the wonderful ambiance of the University’s flagship building in the College Building (originally built in 1938) with its now covered courtyard, where all of our exciting events will be held.

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