Wroxton College

Wroxton College, an overseas campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, features a wide range of courses including in literature, theatre, acting, history, political science, art history, communications, astronomy, hospitality, business, sociology, psychology and creative writing.
For Theatre students, acting classes are offered in a partnership with the nearby Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-on-Avon. The class sizes are small allowing for close and memorable relationships with the highly qualified British faculty.

Wroxton College Van

Wroxton College Van

Living at Wroxton College provides the essence of life in England, complete with breaks for tea every morning and afternoon. A great way to relax between classes, students often find themselves looking forward to teatime with biscuits in the morning and cake in the afternoon. Wroxton Abbey retains its 17th century charm but has been completely modernized. There’s even a fully-equipped gym at your disposal; a nice way to blow off steam after a day of classes.
Wroxton is three miles from the market town of Banbury, on the edge of the Cotswolds, an area known for its outstanding natural beauty. Explore the nearby cities of Oxford or Birmingham. At Wroxton you will encounter the quintessential English village scene. Set in the rural heart of England, Wroxton offers a peaceful environment for learning amid a beautiful countryside of lawns, lakes, gardens and woodland. However, the quiet country setting belies a close proximity to leading cultural and entertainment centers that provide an important dimension of the program. Group excursions are part of each week’s program. London, less than a 90-minute train ride away, presents an outstanding selection of theaters, concert halls, museums, galleries, restaurants and major shopping opportunities.
Wroxton College continues to meet its founding vision of an intellectual community, cloistered in an idyllic setting, and housed in a remarkably beautiful, modernized 17th-century manor house.

From an ancestral home of English nobility to an English home for American college students.

In 1963, Wroxton Abbey and fifty-six acres of its estate were sold to Fairleigh Dickinson University, in New Jersy, U.S.A. However, after years of neglect, its buildings and grounds were in considerable disrepair. The University was faced with a massive restoration project.
Dry rot permeated the building, the plumbing was literally held together with bailing wire and duct tape, and the electrical and heating system required extensive upgrading. Soon after purchasing the estate, Fairleigh Dickinson University had the timber work, floors and ceilings repaired, installed central heating, and rewired the Abbey. Rooms were added in the basement and the brocade and gold leaf in the Regency Room were restored. The architect was C. J. Cunningham.

In 1973 the university received a gift from one of its benefactors, Morris Leverton, to enable the interior of the Carriage House to be converted to a lecture hall, dining room, bar, and kitchen.

The only exterior modification was westward to enlarge the new lecture hall and at the rear to create a boiler house and enlarge the dining room. The eastern extension of the 17th century stable was possibly removed when Baroness North created the flower and rose gardens above Her Ladyship’s Pool. In 1975, a car park was added, and the entry lodge was restored in 1977.

Following the costumed Medieval Banquet, students celebrate in the Buttery.


Although essential repairs had been undertaken by the university, the soft Hornton stone was still causing trouble. From 1978 to 1982 a major restoration project was executed by Fairleigh Dickinson University at a cost of £150,000, nearly half of which was paid by the Historic Buildings Council. This reroofed the entire building, reusing the Stonesfield slate, and all defective stonework on the ridges, coping, finials, chimneys, window mullions and dressed stone face were restored.

Between 1986 and 1988 extensive renovations took place in the Abbey itself, transforming the 40 bedrooms and eight bathrooms into 45 bedrooms each with their own bathroom.

Wroxton College Inauguration

Wroxton College Inauguration

At the same time major changes were made in the Abbey basement, including the addition of an exercise room, television lounge, teaching room as well as laundry, workshop, and service rooms. Later, building-wide Internet access was provided and a computer lab was installed.
Further alterations and improvements have been made to the Abbey in recent years. For example, all of the bedrooms have been renovated and redecorated, some with reproductions of period furnishings. For an example, a Wroxton College student may find themselves housed in the Prince Frederick Room.

The Regency Room now houses a splendid chandelier. Wroxton alum Katy Koch Campbell (Spring, 1982) and her husband Ralph Campbell generously donated funds for a number of projects, including the purchase of five eye-catching chandeliers which now hang in the Great Hall and in the Libraries.

Generous book donations, perhaps most significantly from a number of former Members of Parliament and Members of the House of Lords, have enabled an expansion of the College libraries.
Major improvements have also been made to the technology infrastructure of the College, allowing high-speed Wi-Fi reception throughout the Abbey and the Carriage House.

Una Braden interview

Click to watch a video about the collaborative program with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Significant works have also been carried out in the College grounds, including major forestry projects, as well as the re-roofing of the Doric Temple.
In a Grade I listed building all of the work took both considerable effort and skill by all of those involved. In conserving the work of families who have made Wroxton their homes through the centuries, Fairleigh Dickinson University continues to enhance the house with skillful renovation creating a modern college in one of England’s most historic houses. The basic premise behind all the renovation and restoration works has been an attempt to recapture the essence of the past for today’s students.
At Wroxton College, the past permeates the atmosphere and reaches out across the ages and generations. The objective has been to harness this while at the same time facilitating a strong collegiate atmosphere, creating an environment conducive to study and free from as many pressures as possible.
As a result, more than five decades of ongoing restoration and refurbishment have maintained a consistency with the building’s history while creating a fully modernized “home away from home.”

For more information on the history of Wroxton Abbey and its families, explore the collection of books at The Wroxton Chronicles.