Goodricke’s Golden Jubilee

2018 sees York’s fifth college turn fifty, but what do you remember about Goodricke College?

A College Founded in the Stars

Goodricke College is named after amateur astronomer John Goodricke (1764-1786), who is best known for presenting conclusive proof that the brightness of stars varies over a period of time in a cyclical nature. It was, and remains, the only college named after a scientist (an achievement of the first Provost, Michael Woolfson).


Born in the Netherlands, Goodricke moved to England early in his life and eventually settled in York, where he set up his own observatory at the Treasurer’s House. In March 2006, York students Sean Ellingham and James Valner established the room from which Goodricke observed the stars. In 1786, Goodricke died shortly after being made a Fellow of the Royal Society for his scientific endeavours.


Building a Reputation

Goodricke College first welcomed students in September 1968, into three accommodation blocks situated on the south of the campus lake. Over the years, its identity developed and it became known for its warm community spirit. Over time, Goodricke also came to house the Department of Mathematics, and to be neighboured by Wentworth College, James College, the Roger Kirk Centre and the YUSU building.

In the 90s, YSTV relocated to Goodricke’s nucleus after a move from the Exhibition Centre and the station still stands there today.

Breaking New Grounds

In 2009, just over forty years after opening its first set of doors, Goodricke became the first College to situate itself on York’s Campus East development. The new College buildings were officially opened by HRH The Duke of York, and the College now features halls of residences named after distinguished figures in the York community including Oliver Sheldon, Kenneth Dixon and Dame Janet Baker.

Goodricke college during construction

Goodricke has recently been joined by Langwith and Constantine Colleges, several academic departments and, subject to planning permission approval, will be neighboured by a further two new Colleges in the near future.

Goodricke College now

So, a great deal has changed over the fifty years, but one thing remains the same: a commitment in Goodricke to being a happy and supportive environment for all members.

Celebrating the Fiftieth

Save the date: 

The celebrations will conclude with a weekend event in Goodricke from the 31st of May to the 2nd of June 2019. The weekend will include, on Saturday 1st June, our annual music festival, Goodfest, as well as a chance to reminisce on your university days while listening to an authentic music playlist from McQ’s bar (in the original Goodricke), followed by dinner at the beautiful Merchant Taylors’ Hall in town.