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Hi everyone, it’s Hayley here! As I’m sure you already know, we have been asking staff, students and alumni to share with us objects and places that make the University of Chester special to them. And this week it’s my turn! Keep reading to find out why I nominated the University’s Vicarage…

Img0048“My nomination for the University of Chester in 100 Objects is the University’s Vicarage, home to the English Department.

“I arrived at the University of Chester in September 2012, pen and notebook in hand, eager to begin studying English Literature at degree level. I was intrigued by the quiet, idyllic setting in which I was about to study. Despite only being set back a few yards from the busy Parkgate Road, the Vicarage transported me to a different world on a weekly basis.

“Within its walls, I explored the dystopian landscapes of novels such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the alternate realities of Philip K Dick, the surreal plays of Harold Pinter, and followed the epic journey of Odysseus in Homer’s The Odyssey.

“While my housemates would return home to complain about arduous lectures in vast lecture theatres, my mind was reeling from the literary adventures I had embarked upon in the comfort of the Vicarage. Being able to share a love of literature with like-minded students and tutors is a true privilege.

“Naturally, during the winter months, the warm embrace of the Vicarage was welcomed with open arms. Admittedly though, during the summer months, it could get a little bit too cosy! Cracking open a window often guaranteed that someone would begin cutting the grass, or the children at the nearby school would come out to play. Not sure we ever did work out how to turn those radiators down…


“I rarely had lectures anywhere but in the Vicarage, in fact most of my lectures were in the same room for three years! I would occasionally venture over to main campus for a lecture in Molloy or Binks, but most of my time was spent in my own little literature bubble in the Vicarage. Safe within in its walls to discuss a vibrant (and sometimes bizarre!) array of topics, from novels in the traditional literary canon, and the contemporary literature of Ian McEwan, to the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter.

“Now for a little bit of history… Built in 1880, the University’s Vicarage is a designated Grade II listed building, also known as St. Oswald’s. The building was designed by notable Victorian architect, John Douglas, who designed a range of buildings across the North West of England. The student accommodation next to the Vicarage is actually named after him.

“As a University of Chester alumna myself, I feel like I have a unique insight into just what it means to be part of the alumni community at the institution. I have many fond memories of my seminars in the Vicarage and without sounding too cliché, it certainly holds a special place in my heart!”

If you would like to nominate an object or place for #UoC100Objects, we would love to hear from you! Email us at or drop us a message on social media.

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