College History

Lt-Col Angus Alexander Macfarlane-Grieve

/images/masters/Angus Alexander Macfarlane-Grieve.jpgLt-Col Angus Alexander Macfarlane-Grieve was Master of University College from 1939-1953.

He joined University College as an undergraduate, leaving with Honours in Mathematics in 1913. During his time at Castle he was both a College and University rower, becoming President of the Boat Club in his final year. He was the author of History of Durham Rowing (1922) 

Macfarlane-Grieve left Durham in 1914 to serve in the Highland Light Infantry during the war. He retired from the army in 1923 and joined the University as a member of staff, as 'Lecturer in Military Subjects'. He later became Bursar of University College, before taking up the post as Master in 1939.

From 1940-1949 he was Master of Hatfield College at the same time as Master of Castle; from 1948-1953 he was Sub-Warden of the Durham Colleges.

In 1947, while Master of University College, Macfarlane-Grieve founded the Durham Castlemen's Society (later Durham Castle Society).

On his retirement in 1953, the College and members of the Durham Castlemen's Society paid for a portrait of Macfarlane-Grieve. This portrait was a crayon drawing by the artist John Wheatley - Macfarlane-Grieve himself begrudged the expense of an oil portrait.

Macfarlane-Grieve was Durham.

'Mac', to his young men, was an institution. He had his eccentricities. He walked his spaniels sockless; walked bare-ankle deep in yellow daffodils over the Keep mound in Durham's late Spring. His impenetrable, pebble-lenses removed him from any really effectual personal contact; but it was known that he would forgive a fellow Castlemen anything - or almost anything. It was believed too that to row was the surest way to his heart. It would be truer to say that to be a loyal Castleman was the true key to his unassuming heart.

Edgar Jones (Castle 1947-1951), author of University College Durham: A Social History


Durham Castle Society

Durham University