Netherhall House is an intercollegiate hall of residence for male students, situated in a pleasant part of Hampstead, and well-connected by public transport to the colleges and institutions of higher education in London.
In the tradition of Oxbridge colleges, Netherhall supports your pursuit of academic excellence and all-round development, within a community of university students, teachers and researchers. At Netherhall social and cultural life is much enhanced by the well-balanced body of residents, undergraduates and post-graduates, from home and overseas, who are studying a large variety of subjects in different colleges.
College staff promote your personal and academic development while overseeing Netherhall’s living and learning environment. The Netherhall experience is built on the pillars of scholarship, interaction and values. With the provision of good study conditions, the hall has always attracted keen students and academic results have been consistently above the average. First-year students can avail themselves of the experience and guidance of older students and graduates.
The atmosphere in the house relies upon the responsibility and respect for personal freedom of each resident. An applicant is offered a place on the understanding that he will by his positive outlook seek to maintain the high standards and family tone which have marked Netherhall House since 1952.
Netherhall House first opened its doors in 1952, promoted by some of the early members of Opus Dei in Great Britain with friends and colleagues who were not necessarily Catholics or Christian. From the very beginning, it sought to be a home from home for all the students who chose it as their residence during their university years in London. It was already the intention, during those early years, that Netherhall House should be an international hall of residence, providing a unique environment in which all students, whether from home or overseas, could sample the benefits of friendship and international co-operation amongst people of all nations, cultures and religions. The directors of the residence worked hard to make this happen, and, as the popularity of Netherhall House grew, they started to lay plans for an expansion which finally came in 1965 with construction of the new buildings in Nutley Terrace. These allowed for almost one hundred residents on the site and brand-new facilities for the Lakefield Catering School in Maresfield Gardens. In addition, seminar rooms, an auditorium and an Oratory were constructed. The development was partly funded by a grant from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, administered by the British Council who were keen to help provide good accommodation. It was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in November 1966.
One of the biggest developments in NEA’s history came with the Netherhall 2000 project. Planned a decade ago, built between 1993 and 1995, and completed in several respects for the Millennium, this enabled us to complete Netherhall House in good time for its fiftieth anniversary in 2002. Victorian buildings were replaced with modern houses in the same style. We were able to increase available space by digging downwards to create a lower ground floor and also by building a central area between the new houses and the 1960s block. This once again brought Netherhall House’s capacity (reduced temporarily when the old buildings had to close) to over 100 residents, but this time all in single rooms, some with their own en suite bathroom. Netherhall House remains as popular as ever and is now fully equipped to provide a first-class service well into the new millennium.
Opus Dei is an organisation of the Catholic Church which helps ordinary men and women strive for holiness in their ordinary lives, through their work and family life. It was founded in 1928 by St Josemaría Escrivá, who was canonised by Pope John Paul II in 2002.
Members come from all social classes and conditions and include young and old, married and single, male and female, rich and poor, lay people and priests. The majority of members are married and live with their families. All members lead ordinary working lives. Hence, their only common feature is the Catholic faith they share and their desire to strive for holiness in and through daily affairs. St Josemaría often spoke of the greatness of ordinary life, as it is there that people can find God and become holy, by striving to carry out their everyday activities to the best of their ability and for the love of God.
Opus Dei supports its members and others by spiritual formation and guidance helping them to strive for holiness and carry out a Christian apostolate wherever they are. Members of Opus Dei, in collaboration with other people of good will, have set up social and educational undertakings in the countries where they live. These include farming schools, centres for the advancement of women, medical centres, hospitals, youth clubs, students’ residences, secondary schools and universities. In Britain there are centres in London, Oxford, Manchester and Glasgow.
St Josemaría Escrivá personally encouraged the setting up of Netherhall House in the 1950s as a residence for students from all over the world. St Josemaría spent several summers in Britain between 1958 and 1962, and considered London a “crossroads of the world” where different cultures could enrich one another and work together for building a better society.