Josephine Butler College, Durham

Colleges of the University of Durham
Josephine Butler College
Named after Josephine Butler
Established 2006
Principal Adrian Simpson
Vice Principal Karen Langdon
Undergraduates 750
Postgraduates 110
Motto Comme je trouve
Motto in English We take life as we find it, and make of it what we can

Location of Josephine Butler College within DurhamCoordinates: 54°45′33″N 1°34′44″W / 54.7592°N 1.5789°W / 54.7592; -1.5789

Josephine Butler College is a college at Durham University. It is located at the Howlands Farm site next to residences of Ustinov College. In the centre of the college is a grass-covered hill, called "The Mound."

It is a fully self-catered college of the University with facilities far more modern than any of the existing undergraduate colleges in Durham (the newest of which was opened in 1972) and all rooms are en-suite. The college bar is the largest of all the college bars in Durham, and has extensive leisure facilities, and a library area during the day.

On 14 December 2005, it was announced that the college had been named after Josephine Butler, a Victorian feminist campaigner and a grand-niece of the 2nd Earl Grey, after whom Grey College was named.[1]

Shield and motto

The college arms are blazoned as "Gules on a chevron Or charged with a Cross formy, with cotises invected, between in chief two lions Argent and in base an open book charged with two covered cups".[2] The arms represent in large the heritage of Josephine Butler, with the lion argent being a symbol of the Grey family, of which Earl Grey (whom Grey College is named after) was Josephine Butler's uncle. Further the covered cups on the pages of the books are a heraldic symbol of the Butler family.

The college's motto is "Comme je trouve", which can be translated to "as I find" and is intended to mean 'we take life as we find it and make of it the best we can'.


Howlands Building

The Howlands building is shared with Butler's neighbouring college, Ustinov College. Howlands contains the college gym, laundry and music room. A large multi-purpose hall is also contained in the building that is used to host formal dinners and paves the way for some sports activities, where badminton and table tennis clubs practise.

Butler Building

The Butler building acts as the main social building of the college and mainly contains the college bar and some other rooms such as the college offices, porters lodge and reception, in addition to the JCR, TV room, college library and IT suite.

Accommodation blocks and the Mound

Kirknewton Building

Butler is placed around the "Mound", which stands between Butler and Ustinov Colleges. The college has three separate self-contained accommodation blocks; Kirknewton (the smallest of the three blocks with 100 rooms), Dilston and Milfield. Each building is divided up into 6 bed-roomed flats, with en-suite facilities. The accommodation blocks are all named after locations related to Josephine Butler's life: she was born in Milfield, spent a lot of her early life in Dilston, and is buried in Kirknewton.


The college has its own theatre company, STAB, as well as a Film Society and a Music Society. The JCR governs college societies.[3]

Josephine Butler College Cricket Club

After reaching the quarter-finals of the 2011 intercollegiate Indoor Cricket Tournament, Josephine Butler Cricket Club were named as the most improved team of the year 2010/2011 in their College. In 2012/2012, 2 Teams were entered into the Indoor League for the first time in the club's history, with both teams unlucky to miss out on Finals Day spots.

Josephine Butler College Rugby Club

After a year of consolidating the club, JBRFC went unbeaten in its 2nd year, winning both the 1st Division and the university '7s' tournament. Tom Longley, Tom O'Toole, William Cooke, Alexander Groves, Joe Thomas, Jack Barker and Steve Gleave all represented University at rugby.

Butler College Boat Club

Butler College Boat Club
Image showing the rowing club's blade colours
Location Dunelm House, Durham[4]
Coordinates 54°46′22.4″N 1°33′28.5″W / 54.772889°N 1.557917°W / 54.772889; -1.557917 (BCBC)
Home water River Wear
Founded 2006 (2006)[5]
Affiliations British Rowing, Josephine Butler College, Durham University

Butler College Boat Club (BCBC) is the boat club of Josephine Butler College, at Durham University. The club is responsible for hosting its own inter-collegiate head race, Butler Head. Despite the boat club being the newest of all the colleges in Durham, it manages to compete with the other colleges and local universities. In 2015 a BCBC VIII beat 3 other boats including the University of Leeds to get to the final of Durham Regatta.[6] The biggest success came to the boat club in the 2016 Durham Regatta season where the 2015 BCBC VIII took the title of Durham Regatta by winning the Alderman Thurlow Trophy.

List of Principals

The head of College is titled the Principal. There has been one Principal since the college's foundation in 2006.


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