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Wye College: A History of Events

The College of St. Gregory and St Martin at Wye was founded in 1447 by Cardinal John Kempe as a Latin school and training college for secular priests.

The Medieval buildings were planned around an intimate cloistered quadrangle, with a chapel, chapter house, refectory, lodgings, common room, and the master’s residence looking into a walled garden. There was an outbuilding with bakehouse and stables and a small building in the corner, used as a grammar school. These spaces all remain today and are mostly in original condition.

After the Reformation, the buildings continued to be used as a grammar school and master’s house. In 1610 some alterations and improvements were made including an exemplary Jacobean staircase with carved statues. These features also remain and are in original condition.

In 1894 the school moved out and the buildings were taken over by the School of Agriculture within the University of London. At the beginning of the twentieth century the main campus was developed as a substantial educational facility, with a complex of new buildings planned around a series of quadrangles - in a similar way to an Oxford college.

At its peak in 1995, Wye College had over 900 students from around 50 countries and collaborated with over 70 institutions in global and national research.

In 2000, due to a decline in applications and funding for land based education, Wye College merged with Imperial College who, in 2004, announced that teaching and research at Wye would end.

Shortly after this, an extraordinary project was exposed by the masterful work of two journalists – secret proposals for 4000 homes were to be built on 250 acres of Wye College land in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty!

The story is told vividly in David Hewson’s book SAVED - How an English village fought for its survival…and won.

In 2015 the main college campus was sold to the property developer, Telereal Trillium, who plan to convert the listed buildings into 38 private residential units, including the Medieval and Jacobean buildings at the heart of the village.

The Wye College Regeneration Group was formed in November 2018. Its purpose - to save and regenerate the historic Grade I listed buildings of Wye College, retaining a significant national heritage asset for the benefit of the community and the wider public…

  • The Parlour

    The Parlour

  • The Wheel Room

    The Wheel Room

  • Wheelroom


  • Cloister Quad<br>© Imperial College

    Cloister Quad
    © Imperial College

  • Jacobean Staircase Statues

    Jacobean Staircase Statues

  • Chapel Window

    Chapel Window

  • Jacobean Staircase

    Jacobean Staircase

  • Jacobean Staircase

    Jacobean Staircase

  • Northbourne Room

    Northbourne Room

Saving Wye’s heritage for future generations

: Website by Kikk