St Patrick's Hall, founded in 1908 by R. L. Pearson as a private hostel , and taken over in 1909 by the then 'University College, Reading', is the second oldest hall of residence at The University of Reading. Prof V Mallinson, who later became warden of Whiteknights Hall, observed that Pearson was in many ways a model warden who truly cared about his students and thus Mallinson tried to emulate his approach at Whiteknights. The hall comprises Pearson Court (built in 1913 and named after the first warden) and New Court (opened in 1960 but recently refurbished). It is a fully catered hall with 257 single study bedrooms each of which has its own washbasin and access to a modern, well equipped kitchen. In Pearson Court (often simply referred to by students as 'Old Court') there are 4 bathrooms (each with a shower cubicle, loo and basin) in every block of 12 students. In New Court there is one large bathroom (with several shower cubicles, lavatories and basins in) for every group of 8 students.
New Court is reserved entirely for freshers (first year undergraduates) whilst Pearson Court has a healthy mix of roughly 50% freshers and 50% returning students. There are also a few postgrad flats in G Block in Pearson Court and the hall also owns a couple of houses on the Northcourt site which are for mature students and international students.
It is situated on Northcourt Avenue - just two minutes walk from the main University campus and it is within a couple of minutes walk from a wide range of shops, a pharmacy, a NatWest bank, the University Sports Centre and the University Health Centre.
The Hall is situated in the Reading East constituency (Church Ward).
The JCR committee are elected annually by the residents of St Patrick's Hall.
The current (2009-2010) committee is:
Dark Green is the hall colour of St Patricks' (hence why residents wear green on 'show your colours' nights which are held periodically at the students union and nightclubs in the town centre). The crest features two snakes encircling a flame and is engraved on the wall above the study room (next to the library) in Pearson Court. It is also depicted on the residents hoodies and on the JCR committee t shirts.
The hall motto is 'facta non forma' which is Latin and translates as 'deeds not image'
'Paddies' are second and third year students at Reading University who lived in St Patrick's during their first year. They assist during freshers week helping the new students to have the best possible start to their time at University.
There are several hall formal every year including Freshers, Christmas, and Spring/Summer. Students wear dresses and suits/tuxedos to these events and dinner is provided. The formals are held in various locations in and around Reading (past venues including Trunkwell Mansion House, Reading Town Hall, Pearson Court Quad and several 4/5* hotels).
Usually held around or on St Patrick's day each year. Previously it had been held in a marquee in the grounds of the halls although in the 2008 and 2009 years it has been held at other venues.
St Patrick's has its own football team and rugby team (who regularly compete against other halls especially Wantage Hall). The hall also has an annual sports day, usually held in the final weeks of the summer term. It's a chance for some fun and light-hearted competition in the summer sunshine and all residents normally take part.
St Patrick's main rival is the nearby Wantage Hall and sports competitions between the two halls are taken very seriously. Allegedly the hostility between these halls began when members of St Patrick's Hall burned the original Wantage sign during the bonfire bop on the 5th of November 1990.
The hall previously had a "gentleman's drinking club" but was shut down after being judged sexist.
Cafe Shamrock, the dining room at St Patrick's Hall, is open 8am-7pm (weekdays) and 9am-1.15pm (weekends) during term. The cost of rent at the hall is inclusive of food so students are issued with a smart card upon arrival at the hall which is automatically topped up with 210 points per day (sufficient for 3 meals and a snack).
1913-1949 Lt. Col. R.L. Pearson TD. AMIEE
1949-1961 T.R.M. Creighton MA.
1962-1987 D.C. Large BA. MA.
1987-1993 J. Peel BA.
1994-1997 C.R. Wilson MA. D.Phil.
1998-2006 C.G. Gayford BSc. Med. PhD. FIBiol.
2006-Present J.D. Ross PhD
The Warden (also known as 'Senior Resident Tutor') is responsible for discipline and welfare in the hall and resides in a house adjacent to Pearson Court.
Dr Jim Ross holds 'surgeries' in his office (which is located opposite the hall bar) twice every week when any student from the hall can go and see him about any problems they may have, or anything else they'd like to chat about. Details of these are on the halls virtual 'blackboard' site and are also circulated by email.