College history

The original Goodricke College was the fifth to be built on the Heslington West site. It was named after the astronomer John Goodricke.  

The College was opened in 1968 by Michael Swann and the event is commemorated by a plaque outside the old Goodricke Dining Hall, now part of James College.

As a 1960s ‘clasp’ development, Goodricke College accommodation first comprised three blocks (A block, B block, and C block), before expanding over the lake in 2002 and taking a further block from Wentworth College (becoming Goodricke D block in 2002). 

Each block was home to between 80 and 120 students who shared communal kitchens and bathrooms on a ratio of 1:16 in standard study bedrooms along a series of long corridors. The blocks were fun, noisy and designed for socialising – it wasn’t hard to get to know your neighbours when there were that many of you sharing a shower and a fridge!

Since 2002, the College has been home to the Department of Mathematics. Up until July 2009, Goodricke had approximately 1100 undergraduate members, of whom some 330 lived in college accommodation, and about 140 postgraduate members, of which 19 lived in college accommodation in Goodricke B-block (which was our quiet block).

In 2003, the College saw the closure of its old dining facilities and the opening of the Roger Kirk Centre. The centre is a new purpose-built amenities building and consists of a large dining room, and a smaller coffee and snack bar. It is named after Roger Kirk, a former member of the University's administrative staff.

July 2009 saw the last Goodricke students leave our old accommodation. The blocks have now been incorporated into James College (the old Goodricke C block), Vanburgh College (the old Goodricke A and B blocks), and Wentworth College (the old Goodricke D block).  

In September 2009 we moved into our new accommodation on the Heslington East campus expansion. The new accommodation accommodates about 600 students in three courtyards:  Janet Baker Court, Kenneth Dixon Court and Oliver Sheldon Court.  The College was officially opened by the Duke of York, HRH Prince Andrew, on April 28th 2010.  A video of the event can be accessed below.

Video of Prince Andrew at the Goodricke College opening

The new buildings feature a mixture of standard and en-suite accommodation. Also, a central 'nucleus' with large communal common rooms, a laundry room and offices for staff. The move approximately doubles the capacity of the College to over 600 students, including 100 postgraduate students. Other parts of campus are easily reached by cycle paths and footpaths.

Plaque outside the Treasurer's House, York, commemorating John Goodricke Old Goodricke College, 1960s clasp buildings