Royal Agricultural University. The text below is from a ‘blog’ published in Reach plc’s ‘In Your Area.’
On this day 9th. August in 1845 the ‘Illustrated London News’ carried the above image of the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester.
It was the first agricultural college in the English-speaking world and was based in the rural county of Gloucestershire.
The idea of an agricultural college was first suggested at a meeting of the Fairford and Cirencester Farmers’ Club.
However, little support was forthcoming from government, and as a result funding by way of public subscription was agreed as the way forward.
Financial support came from landowners and farmers and Henry Bathurst, 4th Earl Bathurst, was elected President of the committee tasked with bringing the plans to fruition.
Having been granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria, the term ‘Royal’ has been in the name of the college since its inception. Indeed it has since opening enjoyed royal patronage, with the current President being His Royal Highness Prince Charles.
Commenced in April of 1845, the first students were enrolled at the College in September of the same year.
Its location was described by the ILN as “at Cirencester, a station on the Great Western Railway.”
The architecture being described as “in the Tudor style, of three stories high; the upper story being lit by picturesque, old fashioned dormers windows, of the style so prevalent among the collegiate buildings of Oxford.”
The college adopted the Latin motto “Arvorum Cultus Pecorumque” or in English “Caring for the Fields and the Beasts”
In 2013 the College gained university status and changed its name to the Royal Agricultural University.