An aerial view of the campus from the 1970s
History of the Grounds
The original planting on campus dates back to the 19th century, when the grounds of Reed (then Streatham) Hall were laid by the Veitch family of nurserymen, with funds provided by East India Merchant, Richard Thornton West. The planting around Reed Hall still features trees and plants collected by the Lobb brothers and E H Wilson, forming part of a magnificent arboretum.
This style and quality of planting has inspired the development of both campuses. Since the University was granted its Charter in 1955, when most of the estate was fields, successive Grounds Managers and horticultural staff have exploited the wonderful micro-climates which the buildings and natural undulations create, to grow rare, tender and exotic plants, continually enhancing campus collections and improving the biodiversity and resources for learning and enjoyment.
A number of articles have been written about the grounds over the years, which are archived below. Please note that as the campuses have developed, trees and plants have been moved and as a result the documents below may not reflect the current situation. If you have any specific questions relating to the grounds today please feel free to contact us.