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City and Guilds of London Institute

From Academic Kids

The City and Guilds of London Institute was founded by the London Livery Companies for the purpose of training craftsmen and engineers in 1878.

Unable at once to find a large enough site within the City of London for their Central Institution, they first established Finsbury Technical College, off City Road under the Institute's director and secretary Philip Magnus, later University MP. Finsbury College was intended as the first of a number of 'feeder' colleges for the Central Institution, but was almost the only one founded.

Faced with their continuing inability to find a substantial site, the Companies were eventually persuaded by the Secretary of the Science and Art Department, General Sir John Donnelly (who was also a Royal Engineer) to found their institution on the eighty-seven acre (350,000 m²) site at South Kensington bought by the 1851 Exhibition Commissioners (for 342,500 British Pounds) for 'purposes of art and science' in perpetuity.

The Central Technical College building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, better known as the architect of the Natural History Museum. Located adjacent to the Central Institute on the site were the Royal School of Mines and the Royal College of Science.

In 1907, the latter two colleges were incorporated by Royal Charter into the Imperial College of Science and Technology and The Central Technical College of the City and Guilds of London Institute was renamed the City and Guilds College but not incorporated into Imperial until 1910. Finsbury continued its separate existence until 1926.

Today, the alumni of the City and Guilds College unite under the City and Guilds College Association, the only surviving alumni body from the initial three constituent college alumni bodies.

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