RepositoryChurch of England Record Centre
Alt Ref NoSGC
Extent11 series
TitleSt. Gabriel's College [Kennington Training College for Mistresses]
DescriptionIncludes records generated by the College's academic work and extra-curricular activities. Also includes staff records, St. Gabriel’s College Association and St Gabriel’s Trust records.
AppraisalTo be kept permanently
AdminHistorySt.Gabriel's College was founded by Canon Charles Edward Brooke [1847-1911] in consultation with Miss Matilda Ellen Bishop [1844-1913], to whom he had been introduced in 1898 by Dr. Randall Davidson, then Bishop of Winchester. Canon Brooke was Vicar of St. John the Divine, Kennington, and Miss Bishop had recently resigned from the principalship of the Royal Holloway College. At that time Kennington was in the diocese of Rochester and the bishop, Dr. Talbot, played an independent facilitating role in the establishment of the College, eventually becoming chairman of the Executive Committee. Canon Brooke already had a notable record in education, having served on the London School Board, as well as being fully engaged in the educational work of the Church of England. The College was unusual in having a woman principal, for Church training colleges had previously been headed by clergymen. Another notable feature of the College was its admission of Free Church candidates as day students, exempt from Anglican religious instruction. The College quickly established itself, and apart from evacuation to Culham, and to Doncaster, during the two world wars, it enjoyed a long period of growth and stability. The buildings were severely damaged by bombing in 1941, and this led to an extensive rebuilding programme after the war. When teacher-training courses were lengthened to three years in the 1960s, the College facilities were further developed. This extension of the College was carried further in the 1970s when colleges of education were allowed to offer university B.Ed. degree courses. However, this enhancement of the College's facilities and programme was short-lived with rationalisation of national teacher education and training provision. The College was eventually amalgamated with the University of London Goldsmiths' College in March 1977. St Gabriel's College ceased to be a separate corporate entity in June 1977, when its affairs and assets were transferred to the St. Gabriel's Trust which had been established three months before. The last generation of students admitted to St. Gabriel's completed their three year course in July 1978.
CustodialHistoryThe records of the College have had a chequered history since the closure in 1977. The College archives were given on indefinite loan to the National Society, as the Society had been the custodian trustee of the college, since the 1950s. Miss Blackburn, the last Principal listed and ordered them between 1978 and 1979. For some time after Miss Blackburn's departure they were stored in the College chapel vestry, with no control over access. It is likely that some of the records were lost during this period, notably records for the period of the evacuation to Culham 1914-1918, most of the collection of newscuttings, and biographical studies of Canon Brooke and Miss Bishop. A careful study of the primary sources listed in some student dissertations may serve as a partial guide to losses. At some point during the 1980s St. Gabriel's Trust retrieved the surviving archives from the National Society, but by the end of the decade their whereabouts had been forgotten. Eventually they were discovered in the basement of the offices of the Clerk to the Trustees, and deposited on permanent loan to the National Society archive at the Church of England Record Centre. By that time the depleted records were disordered, and there was some evidence on the five boxes containing them that they might have been put stored in a commercial repository for a period. The extant records provide an adequate range of evidence of the College's history, but there a number of irritating lacunae.

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Related name records
GB/109/21831St. Gabriel's College; 1898-19871898-1987
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