About the School

History

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The Baines Wing, a Grade II listed building, is named after its benefactor, Sir Edward Baines (1800-1890), a businessman, MP for Leeds and educational visionary. Construction work on what is now the Baines Wing began in August 1882 on the eastern-facing lawns of Beech Grove House (now occupied by the School of Education) and in the closest proximity to the house itself.

Extensive greenhouses were the only buildings on the site to be demolished to accommodate the new building, and the utmost care was taken to ensure that all trees on the estate were protected.

The financial restrictions imposed upon the architect, the awkward shape of the site and the exacting technical requirements of the College forced the architects to repeatedly modify their plans so that the original intention, that the Baines Wing should form an irregular quadrangle enclosing a museum, was lost when the east wing could not be built and the logical arrangement of accommodation for departments was obscured. Nonetheless, the most spacious accommodation was provided, as originally planned, for the large scientific and technical departments: chemistry, physics, biology and, temporarily, engineering, while the arts departments, library and admin-istrative offices, planned to occupy the east wing, were fitted in where space allowed, sharing lecture rooms with the technical departments. Common rooms for the students were also provided, notably for the growing number of women.

In 1894, the Great Hall and Library, to the west of the Baines Wing, was opened and in 1912, an enclosed link was developed between Baines Wing and the Great Hall. Baines Wing remained relatively undeveloped until the last remaining science department, biology, moved to a new, custom-built building in the mid-1990s. With the need to locate the School of Healthcare on to campus, architects were appointed in February 1997 to carry out a feasibility study as to whether this large School could be relocated into Baines Wing. In April of that year, the feasibility study was presented to the University's House & Estates Committee and tendering for the renovation of the listed building began in September.

Building work began at Christmas 1997, continuing until the School of Healthcare moved in during the summer of 1999. The modern Baines Wing represents a tasteful blend of Victorian architecture, including the Miall lecture theatre (named after Louis Compton Miall, the first Professor of Biology at the University of Leeds), with modern facilities, including a café bar.

Pages in this document

  1. About the School
  2. Aims and Objectives
  3. History