Skip to main content Accessibility information


The Chaplaincy

The present-day University has a long and interesting history.

The University was originally two separate Colleges which were situated in London - St. John's College in Battersea and St. Mark's College in Chelsea.

A history of Marjon

St. John's was established as a teacher training college in 1840 by James Kay (later Kay-Shuttleworth) and Edward Tufnell. The first students were teenage orphans, and they received three years of training followed by two years of teacher placement. In 1843, it was taken over by the Church's National Society.

St. Mark's was established a year later in 1841 by the National Society, and its first principal was Derwent Coleridge (son of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge). Students were between 14 and 17 years old, and were placed on a three month probation before being apprenticed to the National Society until they were 21.

The two Colleges became rival institutions, both educationally and in the fields of sport and military drilling, so it was quite a shock when the decision was made in 1923 to amalgamate them to form one single College which was based on the Chelsea site. In 1967, women were admitted to the College for the first time.

In 1973, due to a proposed major road building project, the University was moved to its current location, a purpose-built site on the outskirts of Plymouth. It has expanded its course remit to include both traditional subject such as theology, and modern ones such as public relations and media studies. Over 5000 students now study at Marjon (as it is commonly known), and it is the biggest provider of in-service training for teachers in England.

The University Archives document and reflect Marjon's history. Our collection inclues student registers, committee minutes, textbooks and exam papers, plans and photographs, student remininescences and memorabilia, as well as newer forms of media.

Held on the upper floor of the Library, the Archives Assistant is available on Wednesdays(pm), Thursdays and Fridays. The Archives are open to the University community. The collection is also open to the general public but visits must be arranged in advance.

Art UK aims to make available to the public the the entire UK national collection of oil, acrylic and tempera paintings. It's been created in partnership with the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation and participating public institutions.

Marjon's collection comprises a mix of styles and eras, covering the past Principals of the college from Derwent Coleridge to John Rea – he was the last to be depicted in a painting. After that the college adopted a photographic representation instead.

Use the button below to view the Marjon collection.

Art UK


Marjon Archive
The Library
Plymouth Marjon University
Derriford Road

Archives Assistant

01752 636700