Durham Union Society

When a young man comes into residence in Durham, in seven cases out of ten he decides to become a member of the Union Society... And he is then in the succession of many whose first experience in oratory and official administration, gained in the Union Debating Hall and club-rooms, has stood them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

PDA Campbell, President of the Union Society, 1951.

24 North Bailey hosts the social activities of the Durham Union Society - Durham University's debating society. The actual debating chamber is nearby on Palace Green, in the Pemberton Building.

Today one building, Number 24 was originally two houses dating from around 1800 that have since been joined into one. The large arched window above the entrance is typical of its period, and can be found in other buildings along the Bailey, for example in the dining room of Hatfield College.

Among the building's most notable architectural features is its grand reception hall with a finely-carved staircase.

For more information about the Durham Union Society can be found on the DUS website.

A good source of information about the history of the Union Society is A Short History of the Durham Union Society by PDA Campbell, 1952.