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Title: An agricultural college on the Cotswold hills : The Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, and the origins of formal agricultural education in England
Author: Tattersfield, B. K.
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 1985
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Formal agricultural education in England came into existence with the opening of the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Gloucestershire in 1845. For many years, it remained the sole agricultural college in the country. This begs the questions why was it created at this time, and in this place? Why was its example not widely copied? The original intention of the founders was to provide agricultural education for the sons of working farmers in the Cotswolds, but this could not be sustained, and the target group and the catchment area were soon changed. What brought about these changes? In seeking answers to these, and other questions, the key role of a single individual, R. J. Brown, is examined. He was acknowledged as the originator of the plan to create an agricultural college. Having no English precedent, Brown looked abroad for models, on which to base his proposals and arguments. Some of the models he chose are examined for possible sources of inspiration and influence. The roles of other individuals and groups involved in the development of the Royal Agricultural College are explored. Attention is given to the fact that the College, which became a national institution, was launched by a local Farmer's Club, at a time when local and county Agricultural Societies were flourishing and the Royal Agricultural Society of England had been in existence for seven years. Brown was not the only individual to outline proposals for establishing an agricultural college. Two similarcontemporary schemes, for Kent and for Yorkshire are included for comparison, both of which failed. The foundation of the Royal Agricultural College in England is seen as part of a diffusion process starting with the pioneering work in formal agricultural education in Switzerland and Germany and its gradual spread that included the creation of establishments at Templemoyle in Northern Ireland and at Grignon in France. The creation of the Royal Agricultural College is regarded as an innovation, the result of a directed social programme, with Brown as the change agent. Use is made of Beal1s Construct of Social Action to discuss the process of the development of the Royal Agricultural College and the start of formal agricultural education in England. A retrospective view from 1907 of the achievements of the Royal Agricultural College is attempted, in the light of the evidence offered by the Principal of that time
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Agronomy