Being a prospective student, you may think you’ve researched everything you need to know about Essex. You’ve read the prospectus, searched the website, seen the virtual tour, what more can be said? Well, what you don’t know, is all the campus secrets that students discover here. A few of which are listed below, but mum’s the word…

1. Campus Cat

Yes, we really do have a pet cat on the Colchester Campus. Her name is Pebbles, but is more commonly known as Campus Cat, and she has over 9,000 likes on her Facebook account.

campus cat on a windowsill next to student

2. Paternoster lift

At the Albert Sloman library we have an extraordinary way to travel between floors. It’s not quite a lift, it’s not quite a dumb waiter, but it is quite hard to explain. Watch this video instead!

Paternoster lift

3. The Secret Garden

Behind Square 3 lies the peaceful Secret Garden. In the summer, there are outdoor movie screenings, as well as stress-relief dogs during the summer exam period.

garden with table and chair

4. Secret door to SU bar

A little-known shortcut to the bar when you want to be first in line for a pint. You can find it located down the Law corridor, past Lab J. Like the wardrobe to Narnia, there are no signs saying the entrance is here or what is beyond the door – just a lovely surprise when you swing into the SU Bar.

corridor from SU bar to law department

5. Frisbee golf course

Mix the fun of frisbee with the accuracy of golf and you get the unique game frisbee golf (also known as disc golf). Play along using the 18 goals dotted all over Colchester campus. You can play leisurely, or practice your skills to go pro! We regularly host the European and World Championships in disc golf on Colchester Campus.

student playing throwing frisbee in game of disc golf

Image credit: Frisbee.net

6.Celebrity Alumni

A national treasure, a legend on the dancefloor and an Essex alumnus. Yes, that’s right, ‘The Inbetweeners’ star Blake Harrison (AKA Neil Sutherland) is just one of the famous graduates from our East 15 Acting School.

actor Blake Harrison headshot

7. Award-winning buildings

Our Ivor Crewe Lecture Building won an award! Despite being compared to a ‘dustbin’ by Prince Charles, the building was praised during the Civic Trust Awards in 2008.

Path leading up to Ivor Crewe Lecture Theatre Building at Colchester Campus

8. Nightline for Mental Wellness

We were the first in the country to setup Nightline. A volunteer-run service that offers support every night during term time. Whether you’re going through personal troubles, having a rough time, or simply need a reassuring chat, the students on call will always have an open ear for you.

North towers and Tony Rich Teaching centre buildings at Colchester Campus

9. UOE has been eternalized on a stamp

Issued in 1971, the University of Essex stamp was created alongside a set intended to celebrate modern buildings. The commemorative stamp is part of an online gallery for the Royal Mail’s special stamp programme. Seriously though, only 9p?!

9p postage stamp featuring a picture of a building at Essex University

10. Nelson Mandela visited in 1996.

Enough said.

Portrait of Nelson Mandela smiling

So now you know all these secrets, go and check them out. You can tour the campus virtually 24/7 by using our virtual platform, or book yourself onto one of our autumn 2021 open days and see for yourself.