Hulme Hall is a hall of residence of the University of Manchester. It traces its origins to a Church of England hall opened in 1870 in Plymouth Grove. This hall did not flourish and closed in 1876. Hulme was re-established as its successor in 1887.
One of the sponsors of the original hall was Sir William Houldsworth, Bart, a prominent Manchester businessman and churchman. Houldsworth provided the premises, which he retained after the hall closed in the hope that the project could be revived. The hall's supporters also attempted to channel funds from Hulme's Charity, a long-standing local educational charity, to the hall. Eventually it reopened in 1887 as Hulme Hall, after support from the Charity was forthcoming.
The Hall was a private foundation, administered by a board of governors, a number of whom were associated with Hulme's Charity. Membership was for male students attending Owens College (from 1903, the University of Manchester). Owens was promoting residential halls, partly as a way of recruiting students from outside the Manchester area, and supported the initiative. Only a very small proportion of students lived in halls in this period.
In 1907 Hulme moved to new premises in Victoria Park. The new building was designed by Percy Worthington in a broadly Arts and Crafts style. Like other halls, Hulme was modelled on Oxbridge colleges, and it had its own library, dining hall, and senior and junior common rooms. A number of extensions were added to Hall over the next decades, including a house, Oaklands, which had formerly been occupied by the Fielden Demonstration School, a University-run school.
Like other University halls, Hulme developed a strong corporate identity, with its own societies and events. The interests of the student body were overseen by their elected representative, the Senior Man (later the Senior Student), who liaised with the Hall authorities, and by the Junior Common Room. The JCR was run by an executive committee and held regular meetings of residents. The Hall had a number of societies including the long-established Athletics Club, which competed in inter-hall events, and a dramatic society, which for many years put on a joint production with Ashburne Hall.
By the 1950s, many halls of residence, which remained independent bodies, were struggling to maintain the upkeep of their premises. The University for its part was keen to expand provision of student accommodation, and it gradually assumed responsibilities for these halls. In 1962, Hulme was taken over by the University, and in 1966-7, further new buildings were opened. Older buildings such as Oak Bank and Oxford Lodge were demolished around this time.
A major change occurred in 1985/6, when women students were admitted to the Hall for the first time, initially on a trial basis. This proved successful and the Hall became officially mixed at the end of the 1980s. These changes necessitated new buildings, and in the 1990s further accommodation was added.