Canterbury College

Learning by Design: Building Canterbury College in the City 1873-1973. An illustrated history based on the Armson Collins Architectural Drawings Collection

Electrical Engineering Laboratory


The Electrical Engineering Laboratory at centre, with the earlier red brick facade now covered in stone, and with the added cloisters.

Canterbury College was fortunate to have not one but two Mountforts involved in the design of the College buildings. Following in the footsteps of his well-known father, Cyril Mountfort was responsible for the design of the Electrical Engineering Laboratory. The Board of Governors resolved "That Mr C. J. Mountfort be asked to prepare sketch plan and estimates of an electrical engineering laboratory, 75ft by 54ft, as suggested by Professor Scott, in brick or brick and stone facings.” The use of brick would have been a cost saving measure.

The building was completed in 1902 at at cost of ¬£3,453. Among the conveniences the two storey building offered was that it was fully lighted with electricity. Whatever improvements it held though, the building was looked down on at the time for being constructed out of red brick. College Students made their feelings known, writing "That Canterbury College should ever descend to an extension in red brick, was, no doubt, unthinkable by its earliest rulers, but now such is its fate.”

The Press reviewed the new building on 23 Jan 1902, describing how “The whole is very solidly built, and in the magnetic testing room there is no iron, either inside or outside the building, the floors being fastened with copper nails, while the fittings are all brass or copper. Piers are built up from a solid foundation eight feet below the floors, to ensure absolute rigidity‚Ķ” Head of Engineering Professor R.J. Scott was accommodated in appropriate surroundings in a new office on the first floor which had an oriel window. Scott later insisted the window was double glazed so he wouldn’t be disturbed by the noise of stonemasons working on site during the construction of the College Library. With the departure of Engineering in the 1960s, the building was converted into the Law Department, and by the 1980s had become home to the Southern Ballet in the Arts Centre.

Next: Hydraulics Laboratory

  Cannot #EXEC file due to lack of EXECUTE permission