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The first 10 years 1969-1979

(page 2 of 5)
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An early 1970s photograph of Alexandra Palace: the front facade and radio mast.
Image : Alexandra Palace
Date: 1973

Before the University was officially created in 1969, the first home of the institution - where the first staff were based - was a house in Belgrave Square in London.

Walton Hall in Milton Keynes was chosen as the main headquarters for the University. Find out more about the search for a home for the OU and why Milton Keynes was chosen in the exhibition Milton Keynes and The Open University.

Building began on the Walton Hall site on the 1st April 1969 and the move from Belgrave Square to Milton Keynes took place in October that year.

The video clip on this page shows the early building work on the Milton Keynes campus, as well as an extract of the opening ceremony for the first buildings by Lord Mountbatten on the 18th May 1970.

While the headquarters of the new institution were in Milton Keynes, from the beginning there was an intention to have additional offices across the UK. By the early 70s there were 13 regional offices, including 10 across the English regions and the three offices in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (later more appropriately renamed as National Offices).

In 1969 preparations were also being made to adapt Alexandra Palace in north London to be the television production centre for the new university. More information about Alexandra Palace and its role in the University's history can be found in the online exhibition The OU and Alexandra Palace.

The first 10 years 1969-1979 (page 2 of 5)