For over 100 years the College has offered talented postgraduates from all over the world a supportive community.

The history of what is now Goodenough College began in 1930 when Frederick Craufurd Goodenough, Chairman of Barclays Bank, established the first student residence in London for international postgraduate students. Goodenough’s then vision was the creation of a hall of residence for male students from Commonwealth countries, offering a collegiate setting in the heart of London to enhance international understanding and prevent students from feeling isolated in the capital.

Goodenough has an amazing history with award schemes, having won the Best Specialist Accommodation Award and the International Accommodation Quality Kitemark in the National Student Housing Survey Awards eight times since 2013. Goodenough College has also been awarded the 2023 Best Specialist Housing (UK and Ireland) Award, for the last four years.  Read more about our accreditation and awards.

Founded 1930

London House opens

The Dominion Students’ Hall Trust (DSHT) was established on 25 March 1930 to provide a hall of residence to be known as London House. London House, which at first comprised several houses on Mecklenburgh Place, opened in 1931. Between 1935 and 1963, the new London House for 300 single students was built in three stages to the designs of architect Sir Herbert Baker, his partner Alexander T Scott and their successor Vernon Helbing.

William Goodenough House opens

After the Second World War, the Lord Mayor of London’s Thanksgiving Fund was launched to show appreciation to the people of the Commonwealth and the USA for their generous support during and after the War. The money raised was made available to the Sister Trust to build William Goodenough House, a residence for female postgraduates and students with families from those countries. It opened in 1957 and new wings were added almost every decade, the most recent in 2012.

Trusts merge

In 1965, the DSHT and the Sister Trust merged becoming the London House for Overseas Graduates. Initially, accommodation was reserved for students from the Commonwealth, but in 1950 students were admitted from the US and in 1974 (following Britain joining the European Community in 1973) from mainland Europe.

Mixed accommodation

In 1991, both London House and William Goodenough House started to offer mixed accommodation.

Goodenough College named

In 2001, we became Goodenough College, a name chosen to reflect our collegiate setting and community ethos; a community open to students of any nationality which currently comprises 700 Members representing around 95 different countries.

First College Dean appointed

In 2008 Roger Llewellyn was appointed as the first Dean of the College to “look after the student life of the College” replacing the separate Warden roles in London House and William Goodenough House.  Over the years the role of Controllers, Wardens and the Dean have evolved to reflect changes in society. One unifying characteristic is the postholders’ responsibility for fostering a real feeling of community.