Our History & Heritage

Founded in 1891, and part of the University of London since 1904, we’ve a rich academic history but we’re also known for our creative approach. We also keep good company. As part of the prestigious 1994 Group of UK research-led universities, from the moment you enrol you’ll be part of a powerful legacy of learning.

Some key moments in our history


The Royal naval School opens in New Cross, in what is now the Richard Hoggart building


Goldsmiths' Technical & Recreative Institute is founded, dedicated to the promotion of technical skill & knowledge of the working and artisan classes


Goldsmiths introduces teacher training programmes


Goldsmiths joins University of London


The first School of Art opens behind the main building


1940 saw Goldsmiths library damaged by incendiary bombs in World War 2. It has since been rebuilt and developed into one of the UK's top 20 facilities


Mary Quant comes to Goldsmiths to study an art diploma course planning to become an art teacher, but would later become a renowned fashion designer


Goldsmiths expands degree-level and teacher-training work, creating new buildings including Lockwood, Whitehead and Education Building.


Damien Hirst graduates from BA Fine Art, and Blur perform their first gig at Goldsmiths Students' Union


Ben Pimlott Building opens on campus, housing seven floors of purpose-built teaching spaces including art studios and cutting-edge psychology labs


£20million Professor Stuart Hall building opens, home to our Media & Comms and the Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship departments


In 2011 BMus Music graduates Katy B and James Blake are nominated for the Mercury Prize, with James Blake going on to win in 2013


Goldsmiths graduate Steve McQueen wins an Oscar for his film 12 Years a Slave


Goldsmiths partners with Curzon to open campus cinema