College Dean Close

It was the construction of the Inner London Motorway in the mid-late sixties that forced the College of St Mark and St John of King’s Road, Chelsea, to uproot and move. And move it did in 1973 to a large site on the southern fringes of Plymouth Airport. The move was hailed as “a big advance in the city’s educational facilities and an important boost for its economy”.

A Church of England voluntary college, Marjons as it is popularly known these days, is a product of the amalgamation of two earlier London establishments – St Mark’s and St John’s, and each of these has given its name to domestic developments, built in the late 1980s, early 1990s between Miller Way, to the south, the airport runway, to the north and east, and Marjons itself to the west.

A third street in this development is College Dean Close. Most universities and colleges, and even faculties within these institutions, have a dean, the role generally conferring one or other or a mixture of presidential, pastoral or principal’s duties. The word itself comes from the Latin “decanus” meaning the head, chief or commander of a division of ten.