Queen’s College, Birmingham
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The Birmingham Medical School was founded by surgeon William Sands Cox in 1828 as a residential college for medical students in central Birmingham, England. It was the first Birmingham institution to award degrees, through the University of London. Cox went on to found the Queen’s Hospital in Bath Row (Drury & Bateman, opened 1841) as a practical resource for his medical students. The 1828 Medical School became the Birmingham Royal School of Medicine in 1836. It became the Queen’s College in 1843 by Royal Charter.
The original Queen’s College in Paradise Street
Cox’s ambition was for the college to teach arts, law, engineering, architecture and general science.
The college started life in Temple Row and Brittle Street (now obliterated by Snow Hill Station). From the date of its Royal Charter in 1843 a large Gothic Revival building (Drury & Bateman, 1843-5) was constructed opposite the Town Hall between Paradise Street (the main entrance) and Swallow Street, where a chapel was built to St James. The building had large lecture theatre, laboratories, anatomical rooms, a dining hall and apartments for seventy students.
The building was given a new buff-coloured terracotta and brick front in 1904, and later demolished with its grade II listed façade incorporated into an office and residential block, Queen’s Chambers, opposite the Town Hall entrance.
Following internal quarrelling and law suits the medical and scientific departments split from the college and moved to the nearby Mason Science College, leaving the theological department, which moved in 1923 to Somerset Road in Edgbaston, becoming the current Queen’s College. Mason Science College became the University of Birmingham in 1900 and moved to a new campus in Edgbaston.