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Eleanor Lodge, c1925.
Eleanor Lodge, c1925.
Courtesy of Queen Mary, University of London Archives.

Eleanor Constance Lodge (1896-1936) was a Historian and Principal of Westfield College from 1921 until 1931.

Lodge was born in Staffordshire, and was educated at home and at private schools. She was orphaned as a child, but had several older siblings to look after her, including two brothers who were fellows at Oxford.

In 1890, Lodge went up to Oxford herself, becoming a student at Lady Margaret Hall. She was awarded her degree in History in 1894. During 1895-96 she studied at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and Ecole des Chartes in Paris, where she trained as a medievalist and researched the English rule in Gascony.

In 1895, Lodge accepted a request from the Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Elizabeth Wordsworth, to return to Oxford to become Librarian. A few years later, in 1899, Lodge became History Tutor, and she was appointed as Vice-Principal in 1906. She remained in these posts until 1921, when she took the position of Principal at Westfield College .

In 1921, Lodge submitted an application for the post of Assistant Lecturer in History at Westfield College. She was, however, appointed as Principal of Westfield College instead, succeeding Bertha Phillpotts. During the decade Lodge was Principal, she continued her teaching duties and her research. She also oversaw the development of the College Library and the building of a chapel.

Eleanor Lodge, c1930.
Eleanor Lodge, c1930.
Courtesy of Queen Mary, University
of London Archives


In 1926, she advocated new University of London statutes under which Westfield's standing as a College of the University was secured; it had been under question because Westfield was amongst the smaller London Colleges. In 1929, she became the first principal of Westfield to be appointed to the University Senate. She was also President of the Association of University Women Teachers.

Over the years, Lodge enjoyed visits in France, including research trips to archives and cycling and walking holidays. Her research resulted in publications including: 'The estates of the archbishop and chapter of Saint-André of Bordeaux under English rule' in Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History (1912) and The English Rule in Gascony (1926). And, in 1918, she went to France to join the voluntary work of Oxford Women's Canteens for French soldiers.

Lodge was committed the education of women and girls throughout her professional life, and is known to have encouraged teaching as a career. She was also involved with campaigns for Oxford University to award degrees to women, which was achieved in 1920.

Lodge was the first woman to be awarded a DLitt from Oxford in 1928, and she was later appointed CBE in 1932. She became Honorary Fellow of Westfield in 1933, and was President of the Westfield College Association from 1934 until 1936.

The Eleanor Lodge Trust was set up after her death in 1936. Her autobiography Terms and Vacations was published posthumously in 1938 and is held in the College Archives.

Papers relating to Lodge's work at Westfield, including letters, photographs and a portrait by Sir Gerald Kelly, are also held by the College Archives.


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