An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Cambridge. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1959.
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It was designed by James Gibbs and begun in 1722; the building materials were bought from Christopher Cass, mason, of London. The contract for the roof with Thomas Phillips and Benjamin Timbrell, carpenters, was sanctioned by the Senate in January 1723–4 and in the next month it was agreed to employ James Essex sen. to make and finish the sashes. Essex also made the wainscoting and Cass the marble flooring. In October 1725 there was an Order for Isaac Mansfield to be employed for the plain plasterer's work, and G. Artari and J. Bagutti for the ornaments of the ceiling.
By 1730 the Senate House was complete, except for the W. end. In addition to the cost of the building, £13,000, the cost of the site and incidental expenses amounted to £3,386. Gibbs was paid £151 for his work, which included provision of an engraving of the plan and a thousand prints from it. The W. end was first finished in brick as it was then intended that the building should be joined to a new range on the E. front of the Schools; the scheme was abandoned and the W. end was completed in stone by James Essex, architect, in 1767–8.
Early in the 17th century the increasing requirements for space and suitable accommodation for meetings resulted in various schemes being considered for building a Library and a new Senate House outside the precincts of the Schools. Circumstances for the most part beyond the control of the University prevented any progress being made for some fifty years, except the preparation of a model and the collection of the large sum of £8,000 for the purpose. Dr. Cosin, Bishop of Durham, offered financial help; the letter dated 1668–9 in the University Library (MSS. Baker XXX, 454) containing his offer shows the extent of the scheme.
Cosin promised money 'so soon as I am ascertained that [the Vice-Chancellor and Heads] have purchased all the houses now standing on both sides of the Regent Walk, between King's College and Caius College, where the said Commencement House and Library are to be erected, with a large square area between them surrounded or sided with walks and arched columns— and fronted with battlements of good hewn stone, according to the pattern and dimensions set forth in [a new and more perfect model of the said building by me made and presented to the late sacred Majesty of King Charles I], and by me reposed in the University Library that now is'. Some of the land was bought, but little more was done in spite of the legacy of £500 of Dr. Laney, Bishop of Ely, who died in 1674–5, on condition that the 'foundation be laid' within a year of his death.
Early in the 18th century the necessity of appropriating the Regent House to the Library to house the increasing number of books made the need for building a new Senate House imperative. To this end in 1719 more land was acquired by the University and in 1721–2 James Gibbs was called in to advise. Previously, in 1720 and 1721, houses in the area had been demolished, from which it is clear that the extent and position of the new buildings had been in some degree decided; an Order exists to Gibbs to take with him to London Mr. Burrough's plan of the 'intended public Building' and to make whatever improvements upon it he should think necessary. James Burrough, of Caius College, was added to the Syndicate in 1721.
Gibbs' ground-plan is published in his Book of Architecture (London, 1728, pl. xxxvi); it is a symmetrical scheme consisting of buildings enclosing three sides of a square open to the E., with the existing Senate House on the N. balanced by a building similar in external appearance on the S. and both connected by a long W. range built a short way in front of the Schools.
In 1723 acquisition of more land for completion of the proposed buildings was begun but meanwhile a rival design to rebuild the E. range of the Schools and leave the Senate House detached was suggested. Coinciding with this indication of a change in the climate of opinion there was difficulty in obtaining money for the completion of Gibbs' scheme and although trenches for the foundations of his W. range were opened they were never used; in 1727 an injunction was granted to stop the new work. Reasons were adduced against building on a public way (North School Street) and so near that part of the Caius boundary, but there is little doubt that the possible screening of King's College Chapel was a material consideration. The Court did not find for the plaintiffs but the work was never recommenced.
In 1738 a move was made to obtain the land for the S. range, balancing the Senate House, but acquisition was not completed until 1769. In the meantime plans were prepared by Burrough and published by James Essex for rebuilding the E. range of the Schools to provide room for the Royal Library on the first floor; the new front was to be in advance of the ends of the N. and S. ranges, of the Divinity and Law Schools, and in style to continue the elevational treatment of the Senate House. The Chancellor, the Duke of Newcastle, put forward another design, by Stephen Wright, which although in much the same position on plan differed in articulation and style. Wright included in his design a S. range to balance the Senate House.
Wright's scheme was chosen and work on the Library range was begun in 1754 and completed in 1758 at a cost of £10,506 (see Schools Building, East Range); the S. range was never built. The completed building was linked to the Senate House by a low screen-wall, which was subsequently demolished. Towards the end of the century both Brettingham, 1785, and Soane, 1791, prepared plans for a S. range to complete the lay-out, but after 1797 the proposal for the new building seems to have been abandoned.
The Senate House is one of the most important of James Gibbs' works. If his original scheme had been completed it would have resulted in a group of some of the most distinguished classical buildings of the period in England. Designed as a flanking block to a building that was to close the E. to W. vista, it says much for Gibbs' adherence here to classical rule, and the unity of composition in part as well as in whole, that the present unattached building is regarded as a noble and complete entity.
Architectural Description—The Senate House is rectangular on plan and stands on a plain low podium with steps up to centrepieces on the S. and E. The S. front (Plate 69) is of nine bays. The three central bays are divided and flanked by fluted attached Corinthian columns supporting a pedimented entablature with an ornamental cartouche flanked by palms etc. in the tympanum and surmounted by three vases; the entablature is carried round the building. The side bays are divided by plain Corinthian pilasters, coupled at the angles of the building; above the entablature is a balustraded parapet with pedestal blocks. The windows of the lower range, one in each bay except in the centre, have square heads, moulded architraves, console-brackets below the sills and straight and curved pedi ments alternately; in the centre bay is a doorway similarly treated but enriched and fitted with panelled doors. The upper window in each bay has a semicircular head with moulded architrave, scrolled keystone and brackets supporting the sill.
The E. end has a pedimented centrepiece of three bays, similar to the three middle bays of the S. front, set forward on the plane of the face of flanking coupled pilasters; these last are also similar to those on the S. front except that the innermost are half-pilasters attached to the outer columns of the centrepiece.
The N. front is of nine bays and treated similarly to the side bays of the S. front, there being no centrepiece. The westernmost window of the lower range has been cut down to form a doorway and opens to a modern flight of steps.
The W. end, as completed by Essex, is similar in detail to the N. front. The centre three bays project slightly in front of the narrow flanking bays, which have angle-pilasters; all the windows are blind.
The Interior (99 ft. by 42 ft.) (Plate 70) is divided into two storeys by a continuous gallery, the lower storey being of the Roman Doric order and entirely timber-cased. Flanking all the lower free side-windows are fluted pilasters supporting a full entablature, with rosettes in the metopes; paired cantilevers treated as consoles project from the triglyphs over the pilasters to support the gallery, the cornice of the order thus being extended forward to form the fascia and to support the balustrade of the gallery-front (Plate 72). The soffit is panelled and enriched with large roses. The entablature is reunited over the panelling at the E. and W. ends. At the W. end the panelling is returned round two enclosures and, between them, swept into a semi-elliptical recess with a pedimented Doric centrepiece; this last (Plate 74), with four fluted columns and pilasterresponds, has the Hanoverian royal arms (1714–1800) in the tympanum and, in the wider centre bay, an enriched round-headed recess with a carved key-block and a cartouche in the head, of the University arms supported by cherubs (Plate 75). The S. enclosure contains a robing-room, that on the N. a staircase with a half-round turn, turned balusters, and carved brackets to open strings. At the E. end are panelled enclosures with Roman Doric pilasters; both contain staircases with turned balusters and carved brackets to the open moulded strings; between the enclosures are four fluted Roman Doric columns in antis supporting the gallery; the soffit of the last is divided into panels by enriched panelled beams with rosettes at the intersections. The gallery along the side walls is carried on scroll-brackets and the soffit is panelled and enriched with large rosettes; the front has an enriched and dentilled cornice with guilloche-ornament on the soffit and a balustraded parapet with pedestal-blocks with panelled dies. Scrolled iron fences cross the gallery E. of the third window from the W. on each side.
Above the gallery the windows in the sides and E. end have panelled plaster reveals, and between them are plaster panels with scrolled heads with foliage and a shell at the top of each. The walls are finished with an enriched cornice with scrolled brackets. The plaster ceiling is of nine bays in the length and three in the width; the main square panels, enclosing roundels with elaborate acanthus-pendants, are separated by double guilloche bands divided by smaller oblong panels with modelled cartouches and foliage and small square panels at the intersections containing acanthus-pendants; the enrichments were executed by Artari and Bagutti (Plate 60).
The pavement is of black and white marble squares with a segmental-fronted step to the dais at the W. end and a second step with a flooring of oak to the dais itself. Along the sides of the building, in the W. half, are three-tiered stages for benches, and flanking the S. doorway and central N. window are balustrades with panelled pedestals; in the E. half are singletiered stages. There are numerous movable benches of the date of the building with double-scrolled supports carved with palmettes etc.; similar curved benches are continued round the semi-elliptical recess. The Chancellor's chair (Plate 44) in the W. recess has dolphin supports to the arms and carved cabriole legs with claw feet, and a number of plain tables have cabriole legs and ball-and-claw feet; all are of the mid 18th-century. The Vice-Chancellor's chair is French, of the early 19th century, and of mahogany with ormolu mounts and gilded wood sphinxes supporting the arms (Plate 44). On the dais is a set of mahogany chairs, including eighteen single and two armchairs, with shaped top-rails, splats with interlacing scroll-work and moulded legs, c. 1760.
At the E. end of the room are two white marble full-length standing figures on panelled marble pedestals (Plate 73), on the N., of the younger Pitt, signed by Nollekens, 1812, and erected by public subscription, on the S., of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset, Chancellor 1689–1748, in mid 17th-century civilian dress under a Garter cloak, by Rysbrack, 1756, given by the Duke's daughters, Frances, Marchioness of Granby, and Charlotte, Lady Guernsey. The figure (Plate 81) representing Academic Glory, by Giovanni Baratta, removed to make way for that of Pitt is now in the Fitzwilliam Museum.
The massive cast-iron railings (Plate 75) to the E. and W. of the Senate House are presumably original, but were re-erected in 1789 and completed along the E. front in 1792; they have closely set uprights comprising stout moulded balusters alternating with slender plain wrought-iron rods, with spiked cresting and with standards at intervals in the form of Roman Doric columns, all on a moulded stone dwarf-wall; the gates are similar but with cast-iron pedestals, of the height of the wall, supporting the moulded balusters.
In the middle of the court S. of the Senate House is a bronze copy of the Warwick Vase, given by Hugh, 3rd Duke of Northumberland, Chancellor, in 1842, and made by Sir Edward Thomason of Birmingham, c. 1830. It is the only one known of this size and stands on an iron core in a stone casing. Until 1936 the casing was of wood, painted to resemble stone, over a brick filling. The inscription, cut by Eric Gill, was composed by E. Harrison, Registrary, and D. S. Robertson, Regius Professor of Greek.
(17) Schools Building stands between King's Parade and Trinity Lane. The walls are of brick and rubble partly ashlar-faced and with dressings of Barnack and other freestone and Portland stone; the roofs are covered with slates and lead. The first part of the site was given to the University by Nigel de Thornton shortly before 1278 and other portions have been added. Of the original block of four ranges round a court the North Range was begun about the middle of the 14th century and the foundation stone is said to have been laid by Sir Robert Thorpe, Master of Pembroke Hall (1347–64); it was carried up to the first-floor level and, after an interval, is said to have been completed in 1400; it contained the Divinity School, with the Senate House (Regent House) and chapel above.
The South Range was begun in 1457 and in 1466 William Harward and William Bacon of Halstead, carpenters, contracted for making the floors and roof, to be finished by August 1467. It was completed c. 1470 and contained the Civil Law School, with a library above. A third floor was added to the S. range in 1864–7. The E. Range was begun in 1470 and completed probably within the decade, partly at the expense of Thomas Rotherham, Bishop of Lincoln; it has since been rebuilt.
The buildings underwent a general repair in 1583–4 when rain-pipes were added. In 1639–40 the parapets were repaired and in 1646–7 timber supports were added to the upper floors. Some cutting away of stonework to the windows of the Divinity School in the N. range took place in 1659–60 and in 1676–8 a general repair and much refitting was undertaken.
In the 18th century more and more of the space was devoted to library accommodation. The gift of a library by George I in 1715 led to the fitting up of the first floor of the W. range to house it between 1715 and 1717. The Dome Room in the angle between the S. and W. ranges was built in 1718–19 and fitted up in 1719–20.
The East Range was rebuilt from the designs of Stephen Wright in 1754–8 (see p. 10) and the old entrance sold and re-erected at Madingley Hall; W. Atkinson and J. Pitchford were the contractors. In 1935 the library was removed to the new University Library and much re-fitting and repair was then done to the old buildings.
The Old Court of King's College to the W. of the Schools, was bought by the University in 1829 and some of the buildings on the N. and S. sides were demolished. C. R. Cockerell's designs for a new University Library here were eventually accepted and in 1837–40 the North Range was built by Messrs. J. and C. Rigby of London, contractors, the intention being, at that time, to remove the old buildings, including the Schools, and to replace them with an entirely new court. The designs are in the University Library (MS. Add. 6603) and illustrated in Country Life 20 Oct. 1934.
This intention was abandoned and in 1864–7 the existing South Range and part of the West Range were reconstructed from the designs of G. G. Scott by Messrs. Jackson & Shaw, contractors; the W. range incorporated the unfinished Gatehouse of King's College, begun in 1441, which was retained and completed with the rest of the range in 1890 under J. L. Pearson.
In the Schools Building the Regent House (now a Combination Room) with its plastered ceiling of c. 1600 and the East Range of 1754–8 by Stephen Wright are of considerable architectural interest. The old Gatehouse of King's College was the first building in the University designed with a sophisticated regard to decorative splendour. The Cockerell Building is a remarkable intellectual and personal exercise in neo-Classical design and his entire scheme, if completed, would undoubtedly have formed one of the outstanding buildings in the country. In the Squire Law Library are two notable statues, of George I and George II.
Architectural Description—The Schools Building occupies the four sides of a central court (46–53 ft. by 70–74 ft.) (Plate 77). The East Range (1754–8) is of two storeys faced in Portland stone ashlar. The E. front (Plate 71) has a projecting central block and side wings finished with a main cornice with carved swags and heads of the Seasons and a balustraded parapet with stone vases on the pedestals in the centre. The central block is of five bays; on the ground floor is an open arcaded walk with rusticated and round-headed arches with plain plinths, imposts and key-stones; the rustication of the middle opening is rock-faced. The first floor has a central three-light window of Venetian type and Ionic order enclosed in a round-headed wall-arch with large scrolled key-stone; the side-bays have each a square-headed window with pediment on console-brackets set in a wall-arch; the wall-arch in the centre is larger than those that flank it and all have moulded archivolts, plain imposts and balustrading below the windows. The side wings have each a window on the ground floor, similar in design to the arches of the arcade, flanked by round-headed niches; the floor above has a Venetian window like that in the central block and flanked by a second pair of niches.
The arcaded walk has pilasters and wall-arches against the back wall and a trabeated ceiling supported on consolebrackets. The walk formerly returned westward through the building at each end of the central block but these return portions have been partitioned off.
The W. front to the court is in five bays with a projecting middle bay, a plain plinth, small cornice and blocking-course; the ground-floor openings are similar to those of the arcade on the E.; the centre three are fitted with windows, the two in the end bays were originally doorways but the southernmost has been converted into a window. The first floor has a round-headed window in the middle and plain square-headed windows in the side bays and all are in wall-arches with plain imposts continued as a flat string.
The Interior of the E. range contains a staircase at the S. end which has a mid 18th-century wrought-iron balustrade with scroll-work in panels divided by square uprights and with a mahogany handrail. The original plaster ceiling over the stair is groined, with a central foliated boss and floral garlands on the groins. The East Room (33 ft. by 68 ft.) (Plate 74) on the first floor of the central block is of five bays with round-headed wall-arches with enriched plaster imposts and archivolts enclosing the windows. The windows have oak architraves and panelled linings and the middle one on each side has a round head and is flanked by fluted Ionic pilasters; that on the E., appearing as a Venetian window externally, has the side lights concealed internally. The ends of the room both have a central projection containing a shallow alcove with the enriched impost carried round from the side-walls; the round semi-dome has a coffered soffit with rosettes in the panels and a shell at the top. The lower part of each recess is panelled in oak and has a central doorway (Plate 47) with an eared and enriched architrave and panel carved with eagles' heads and scrolled foliage above, fluted Corinthian side-columns supporting an enriched entablature with modillion-cornice and a broken pediment.
The enriched plaster cornice round the room has highly modelled swags of fruit and flowers slung from the modillions. The ceiling is elaborately panelled in five main bays of geometrical patterns with the main ribs enriched with Greek keyornament and scallop-shells and the subsidiary ribs with crisply modelled foliage and flowers. The book-cases from this room, made by Charles Humfrey, carpenter of Cambridge, in 1787–90 are now in the new University Library (page 24), except the four remaining in the angles of the room and these have simple entablatures.
The North Range was built in the second half of the 14th century. The walls are of small rubble with freestone dressings and the roof is lead-covered. The N. wall is largely hidden by the immediately adjacent Cockerell building although the two structures do not actually join except in two bays. The ground floor had five windows, of which only the easternmost remains open; it is of three lights with the mullions run up to the high four-centred head and with a label; the second window has been cut down to form a doorway; the three other windows, blocked with brickwork, are visible on the outward face only and are similar to the first window. The upper storey had six windows of which again only the easternmost is open and is similar to that below; the other five windows were similar but are blocked on the outward face and the second has been cut down to form a doorway.
The S. wall has two four-stage buttresses, a moulded plinth and restored embattled parapet; in each bay and on both floors is a window similar to those surviving in the N. wall except that the lower windows are transomed and the label-stops are carved with grotesque heads; the westernmost ground-floor window is entirely modern outside. At the W. end is some clunch ashlar and rubble patching indicating the position of a two-storey porch destroyed in 1732.
The W. wall has ashlar quoins, a low-pitched gable and two added buttresses of 1864–7. On the ground floor are three windows, the middle one similar to the easternmost window in the N. wall and original: Loggan however shows it with tracery; of the side windows, that on the N. is modern and that on the S. of the 18th century, restored and of two pointed lights in a round head with a label. On the upper floor is a large original window, partly restored and of five pointed lights with uncusped tracery in a four-centred head with a label and beast-stops; it has a moulded rear-arch and the internal splays of the side lights are cut by carved stops of human heads.
In the Interior of the N. range, in the E. bay of the S. wall of the ground floor, is a 15th-century arch formerly extending through the wall but now blocked on the S. face by 18th-century work; it has moulded jambs and four-centred head and the reveals and soffit have two tiers of panels cinque-foiled at head and foot. The cross-wall towards the W. end of the range has an original doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head.
The Regent House (Combination Room) (96¼ ft. by 28¼ ft.) on the first floor, is of six bays with 4 ft. or so added at the E. end when the 18th-century front was built. It is faced internally with clunch ashlar. The original low-pitched roof has moulded wall-plates and tie-beams with curved braces and traceried spandrels; the wall-posts stand on moulded clunch corbels carved with half-figures etc. (Plate 29) as follows: N. side, (a) angel, (b) man in hood buttoned at neck, (c) angel, (d) modern, (e) bearded man in buttoned jerkin; S. side, (a) man with beard and wide-sleeved coat, (b) man with hood buttoned at neck, (c) angel, (d) modern, (e) grotesque head, part modern. The main spandrels of the trusses and the sloping rafters are faced with enriched plaster-work of c. 1600 (Plate 85); the vertical faces of the spandrels are modelled with vases of flowers flanking roundels containing heads in profile; the bays are sub-divided by the plastered purlins and ridge into four long rectangular panels containing broad ribs, returned over the ridge and purlins, modelled with vine scrolls in geometric patterns enclosing lions' masks and sprays of conventional foliage, except in the W. bay where there is a shield-of-arms of Jegon, for John Jegon (Vice-chancellor 1596–1601) or Thomas Jegon, Masters of Corpus Christi College; the ceiling of the same form in the eastern part of the E. bay is perhaps of the 18th century. In the S. wall is the original entrance to the room, formerly approached by a flight of steps on the outer face of the wall; it has moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with quatre-foiled spandrels enclosing paterae; on the N. side is a high four-centred rear-arch and a recess with a half-arch in the W. wall for the swing of the door. Further E. is the modern doorway and in the second bay is an original doorway to the room over the former porch and now blocked; it has moulded jambs and two-centred head; E. of it is a small recess with a four-centred head and a drain, perhaps a piscina. It is suggested that the former chapel occupied the two W. bays of the Regent House, with a screen approximately below the fourth truss from the E.
On the S. wall is a painted wood panel of the arms of Charles II and in the S.E. window are five shields in ancient glass, perhaps in part restored; one is of the Royal arms (after 1405), 15th-century, the others are of Thorpe (for Sir Robert Thorpe), 16th-century. Under the E. corbel on the N. wall are three late mediaeval graffiti, difficult to read but perhaps Ludwig Cluicstatt, Sherwod, g, s, Millbillon.
Reference has been made to certain annexes which the range originally had on the S. side towards the W. end. These, which are indicated on the plan on page 13, consisted of a twostorey porch with an outer doorway in the S. wall and inner doorways in the N. and W. walls, the N. leading to the Divinity School, still visible but blocked, and the W. to a staircase leading up to the entrance to the Regent House above. The staircase was enclosed by comparatively thin walls of which that on the W. remains up to the first-floor level. The foundations of the porch and of the S. wall of the staircase were uncovered in 1884. When the W. range was built, during the 15th century, these arrangements were not interfered with and remained until 1732 when the porch and staircase were removed and the W. range was continued through at a uniform width to meet the N. range; probably at the same time the W. wall of the former staircase was thickened and the upper part rebuilt, thereby covering the W. jamb of the original entrance to the Regent House which was blocked. A former original doorway opening from the N. range to the space under the staircase has been replaced by a wider modern doorway.
The West Range, built c. 1435–55, is of two storeys; originally the two N. bays were recessed on the E. to avoid the porch to the N. range then standing; the main wall was continued across the site of the porch in 1732, as described above, and two of the late 14th-century doorways removed as part of these alterations were reset; they are now in the N. and S. bays of the E. wall of the range. This E. wall is now of five bays with three-stage buttresses and a renewed embattled parapet; the reset and partly restored N. doorway, formerly in the southern of the two recessed bays, has moulded and shafted jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with a label and head-stops of a king and a woman; the inner moulding of the arch has carved paterae and two beasts pendent from foliage, the label has carved leaves and paterae and the spandrels contain quatrefoils and foliage. The window in the second bay is modern. The next two windows are of the 15th century; both have brick relieving-arches and are of three lights in a four-centred head with a label with carved stops, of half-angels playing a pipe and a lute to the first window and lions' heads to the second; the mouldings of the reveals are mostly cut back and the former tracery, shown by Loggan, was cut away in the 18th century. In the southernmost bay is the brick relieving-arch of a former window and below it is a reset late 14th-century door-way, formerly in the S. wall of the N. range, with splayed jambs and a moulded four-centred arch in a square head with a restored label with modern stops; the spandrels have carvings of St. George and the dragon and St. Michael and the dragon; St. Michael carries a shield bearing the device of the Trinity (Plate 54). The upper storey has a range of ten windows, each of two lights with the mullion carried up into the round head and with moulded reveals and voluted label-stops; they are presumably entirely of the 18th century and replace the traceried windows shown in Loggan's view.
The W. front has a deep offset at the first-floor level and a coved 18th-century cornice. On the ground floor the N. end of the wall, as far as the break in the plane of the front, is apparently part of the original build of the N. range, but the wall of the first floor above it, which continues the line of the main frontage, is probably an 18th-century rebuilding. The lower storey has, in the N. bay, an 18th-century window of three lights with the mullions carried up to the elliptical head; the other four windows are similar to the 15th-century windows in the E. wall, but with rubble relieving-arches; the doorway is modern. The upper floor has windows similar to those on the E. front.
The Interior of the W. range contains, in the lower part of the S. wall, originally an external wall, a 15th-century window blocked by the later building on the S.; the central light has been opened out on the N. and consists of a cinque-foiled opening in a two-centred head, all much restored; it remains blocked on the S.; the rear-arch of the window is moulded. The Syndicate Room (24¾ ft. by 58 ft.) occupies the whole of the upper floor beyond the modern staircase at the S. end; the N. doorway is similar to those in the Council Room in the S. range and the ceiling is divided into four panels in the length and three in the breadth by beams, apparently old but now painted.
The South Range is of three storeys, the two lower of 1457 to c. 1470 and the third added in 1864–7. The N. front is faced with red brick with stone dressings in the original work and has a string-course at first-floor sill level and brick relieving-arches to the windows. The ground floor has three single-stage buttresses; of the four windows the easternmost is modern, the remainder are of the 15th century partly restored and have four-centred heads and moulded reveals and labels; the second and fourth are both of three pointed lights; the third, of four lights with the mullions carried up into the head, presumably was altered in the 18th century. The first floor has seven 15th-century windows, each of two pointed lights in a four-centred head with a label, and, at the E. end, a half-window, of a single light and of the same date, with the reveal-moulding returned down vertically from near the crown of the head.
The S. front has been refaced with ashlar and has five buttresses all of the 19th century; the quoins of the original ends of the range have been preserved in the first and sixth bays from the E. The ground floor has five windows, the easternmost inserted probably in the 18th century and of two pointed lights in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and modern label; the others are of three lights and similar to those on the N. front. The first floor has nine two-light windows similar to the corresponding windows on the N. front.
The Interior of the S. range contains on the ground floor no ancient features except a canopied desk of c. 1800 with modern sounding-board. The Council Room (60¾ ft. by 25¼ ft.), on the first floor, has been reduced in length at the E. end by threequarters of a bay. The roof is now of eight and a quarter bays (Plate 85 and p. 396) and has been adapted from the roof contracted for in 1466 by William Harward and William Bacon of Halstead; this was of low-pitched king-post type, but ceiled level with the top of the tie-beams and hence described as a double roof in the contract; the upper part is inaccessible and was probably destroyed when the third storey was added in the 19th century.
The ceiling has cambered tie-beams, plates, and curved braces to wall-posts with carved ecclesiastical figures at their foot (Plate 226); each bay is divided by beams into four panels with the rafters exposed and boarded above; the main beams are moulded and the rafters hollow-chamfered. The eight figures on each side have modern colouring and hold, on the N., a shield, mitre, crown, open books, casket, scroll, and on the S., a scroll, shields, closed and open books and a crown.
The doorways at each end of the Council Room have 18th-century oak doorcases with panelled side-pilasters and semicircular heads with moulded archivolts, scrolled keys and panelled tympana; the E. doorway has panelling above the arch with a cornice against the ceiling; the doors are in two leaves and panelled.
The building containing the Dome Room in the angle between the W. and S. ranges was built in 1718–19 and was originally of two storeys but the added modern storey of the S. range has been carried over it. The ground floor has no ancient features. The Dome Room (24½ ft. by 23½ ft. and 25½ ft.), on the first floor, is lined with panelling of 1719–20. The S. wall has been altered for the insertion of two modern windows, but the others are divided into three bays by fluted Composite pilasters, with capitals cut by John Woodward, the carver, supporting an entablature with a dentilled cornice; in each middle bay is a round-headed arch with imposts and a scrolled cartouche on the key-block; the E. arch has a panelled tympanum and contains the door to the Council Room, the N. is open and the W. arch contains a modern doorway. The room now has a flat plaster ceiling with a round central panel in a guillocheenriched frame and modelling in the spandrels incorporating a trumpet and lyre.
The Old Court of King's College (74 ft. by 111½ ft. and 93¼ ft.) (Plate 77) lies immediately W. of the Schools on a site bought for the Royal founder, Henry VI, and conveyed to him in January 1440–1, which he then granted to his proposed foundation 'to the honour of Almighty God, in whose hands are the hearts of kings; of the most blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ; and also of the glorious Confessor and Bishop Nicholas, Patron of my intended College, on whose festival we first saw the light' (Prof. Willis's translation of the preamble to the charter).
The first stone was laid in the S.W. angle of the Gatehouse by Henry VI on April 2, 1441. Earlier in the same year old materials from the hall and another building of the castle of Cambridge, then in ruins, were granted to the college to help in the building. Work was continuing in 1444 when the king issued letters patent authorising Reginald of Ely, 'head mason of our College Royal of St. Mary and St. Nicholas', William Roskyn and Henry Beverley, [clerks of the works], to obtain workmen and materials for the College building.
The Gatehouse was never finished and most of the other buildings, except those completed to the S. and S.W. of the Court, were erected without any degree of uniformity in view of the enlarged scheme proposed for the college (see King's College, p. 98). With the exception of the Gatehouse and some lower walling to the N. and S. of it the old buildings have been demolished, mainly in the second quarter of the 19th century. The Gatehouse was restored and completed and the W. range rebuilt from the designs of G. G. Scott in 1864–7 and J. L. Pearson in 1890.
The Gatehouse is ashlar-faced and most of the two lower storeys are original with extensive modern restoration; its state before the restoration is shown in drawings by Pugin and in photographs in the National Buildings Record. The W. front (Plate 145) has a central archway with moulded and tripleshafted jambs and four-centred arch with a label (p. 394) with modern stops and a string-course over enclosing traceried spandrels carved with roses and foliage; the string-course has defaced carving and a cresting of half-angels, all much decayed. The archway is fitted with original two-fold doors, much restored in the lower parts; each leaf has four vertical panels in two tiers with moulded styles and convex panel-pieces, with modern traceried heads to the panels; in the N. leaf is a wicket with a two-centred head and old foliate spandrels. The stage above has two traceried panels and two two-light and transomed windows divided and flanked by niches, but all restored except parts of the window-reveals; the original work stopped below the window-heads. The turrets retain some old work in the three lower stages; the first stage is plain and the second and third are panelled and divided by a restored embattled string.
The E. front (Plate 146) has an archway with chamfered jambs and moulded four-centred head with a label (p. 394) of ogee form; the label has carved head-stops of Saracens, a rose in the spandrel, crockets, and a finial supporting the pedestal of a niche containing a late 19th-century statue of the 1st Duke of Buckingham; the niche has side-shafts, a ribbed vault to the canopy and a crocketed, spire with modern top. Flanking the niche are restored windows, both of one cinque-foiled and transomed light with carved paterae in the reveals and a crocketed label with head and beast-stops; the labels and stops are mostly old. In the angles against the turrets are splays resting on arched squinches and under them a carved winged monster and a demon. The two lower stages and part of the third stage of the turrets are old. The N. turret has an original N. doorway with a moulded two-centred head and much restored label with one old stop of a half-angel; the corresponding doorway in the S. turret is modern except for most of the arch and part of the E. jamb.
The Gatehall (20¼ ft. by 12½ ft.) has rubble walls; from vaulting-shafts with moulded caps and bases in the angles and in the centre of the side walls springs a ribbed vault of two bays. The vault is modern except for the springers and wall-ribs, which have carved foliage bosses. The fireplace illustrated by Willis and Clarke (Arch. Hist. I, 325), formerly in the room over the gatehall, has been removed.
In the modern S. range, in the Registry, are preserved a carved wood achievement-of-arms of Matthew Stokes dated 1558 (Plate 65) and an oil-painting on canvas; the last illustrates the rights of the University granted by the charter of 1589, and the ceremonies to be observed, in relation to Stourbridge Fair, with tables of weights and measures on painted scrolls and the arms of Stokes and Perne, mid 18th-century (Plate 59).
The Cockerell Building was erected in 1837–40 on the site of the old hall of King's College and other buildings. It was designed to form the N. side of an entirely new court but the rest of the scheme was abandoned. The building is ashlar-faced and of three storeys with a high basement.
The E. end (Plate 76) is built of Portland stone and comprises a Roman Doric order of four colossal paired pilasters flanking a high central arched recess with returned lengths of the heavy dentilled entablature forming imposts to a semicircular arch that rises into the attic-storey; the rusticated attic has a crowning modillion-cornice decorated with lions' heads. The central entrance is a modern insertion and the arched recess above frames a window; between the two is a stone balcony with cast-iron rail on two standards with voluted caps. Between the paired pilasters is a round-headed niche below and a rectangular recess above a flat string enriched with a running fret.
The S. front is divided into seven bays by Composite pilasters extending the height of the two main storeys; the main entablature is continued from the E. end and supports squat pedestal-blocks centrally over the pilasters. The ground-floor windows fill the space between antae set against the main order and below a simplified entablature with a fret-ornament in the frieze; the first-floor windows have eared architraves. The attic-storey has large segmental-headed windows in rectangular sinkings and the crowning cornice is flatter than that to the E. and without modillions.
The N. front (Plate 78) is treated less decoratively than the S. front but the subtle modelling of the parts is of considerable complexity. The easternmost bay, in Portland stone, continues the pilaster design of the E. end and stops against a plain return where the front is set forward and the building material is changed to Whitby stone. The remaining nine bays are symmetrical, with the seven middle bays arcaded. The differentiation in the design on the N. front, accentuated by the change of material, is no doubt to give architectural expression to the E. range and the courtyard lying to the S. proposed by Cockerell but never built. The basement is rusticated and with a boldly projecting capping on an echinus moulding; the arcading above comprises wall-arches with round heads rising the full height of the building and with continuous imposts; the wall-arches embrace the windows of the two main storeys and the attics, the latter forming their tympana; the lower windows are set between antae and have external cast-iron strengthening bars in the form of two mullions and a transom with foliated ends where they meet the stone reveals; the upper windows have plain rectangular openings, and the attic windows contain a reticulated pattern of glazing-bars. The two flanking bays are simpler and have smaller windows with eared and tapered architraves and cornices set in plain areas of ashlar in order, visually, to provide strong abutment to the arcade.
The Interior contains, in the English Faculty Library in the basement, one of the bookcases of the set made for the Regent House by Essex between 1731–4 (see University Library, p. 24). The Seeley Library (67 ft. by 38½ ft.) (Plate 79), on the ground floor, has undergone much refitting. It is divided into five bays in the length and three in the width by free-standing fluted Doric columns supporting the two lower divisions of entablatures spanning the two side bays; from the top of the friezes, in place of the cornices, spring shallow coved plaster ceilings running N. and S. over the side bays and meeting to form a groined vault over the central bay down the centre of the room; the friezes and the soffits of the architraves are enriched with honeysuckle and fret ornament. The room adjoining the Seeley Library on the W. has rusticated walls with pilaster-strips, a deep entablature and a segmental and panelled barrel-vaulted ceiling springing directly from the cornice; from two bays of the side walls reading-recesses extend N. and S.; the more restricted W. bay contains round-headed arched openings to a cupboard on the N. and a small lobby on the S.
The Squire Law Library (141¾ ft. by 38½ ft.) above (Plate 78), occupying the length and width of the building, has also been refitted with modern cases and book-stacks, which to some extent obscure the original design. A vestibule at each end is divided from the main reading-room by an open screen of coupled fluted Ionic columns with a frieze and dentilled cornice supporting a large semicircular arch with moulded archivolt and moulded soffit. The larger vestibule, on the E., has an elaborately coffered ceiling and a large semicircular gallery-recess on the N. with a panelled semi-dome; a rectangular gallery opening off the S. has a panelled semicircular barrel-vault and retains along the front original brass and cast-iron balustrading with top-rail, fluted standards with female masks at the bases and low guard-rail with open latticework panels below.
The reading-room has a semicircular barrel-vault filled with a net-work of diagonal coffering; the broad flat ribs are channelled and at a number of the intersections are large gilt stars. Opening off the room to both N. and S. are seven readingbays divided from one another by square piers with plain entablatures supporting semicircular barrel-vaults, running N. and S., opening into the main vault; in the spandrels are gilded stars and wreaths.
In the E. and W. windows of the library, in the vestibules, are large glass roundels by Thomas Willement, 1840, containing shields-of-arms, in the E., of Pratt quartering Jeffreys for John Jeffreys Pratt, 2nd Earl and 1st Marquess Camden, K.G., Chancellor from 1834–40, and, in the W., quarterly, 1 and 4 Percy quartering Lucy, 2 and 3 Percy (ancient) for Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland, K.G., Chancellor 1840–7, the chief donors of the glass; the arms are both in a Garter with a coronet above. Surrounding the Camden arms are other smaller shields-of-arms of the same date and by the same maker, of (1, 5 and 9) the University, (2) Hodgson, (3) Ainslie, (4) See of York (ancient) impaling Rotherham, (6) See of Durham impaling Tunstall, (7) Worsley, (8) Tatham.
Flanking the W. window in the Squire Law Library are two white marble full-length standing figures on pedestals (Plate 80), of George I by J. M. Rysbrack on the S., and George II by Joseph Wilton on the N. Both are crowned with wreaths and clad in classical armour and toga.
George I holds a baton; on the pedestal are Latin inscriptions and a cartouche with crown and crossed sceptre and sword. It was carved between 1736 and 1739 and paid for by Charles, 3rd Viscount Townshend; placed originally in the Senate House, its removal to the Library was authorised in 1884.
George II leans on a half column supporting a globe; the pedestal has a Latin inscription, enriched scrolls at the corners and a frieze containing wave-ornament. It was given by Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, and was placed first in the Senate House shortly before the end of June, 1766.
(18) Fitzwilliam Museum stands on the W. side of Trumpington Street immediately S.E. of Peterhouse. It is for the most part of two storeys; the walls are of Portland stone ashlar and the roofs are covered with lead and copper. Richard, 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion, by his will dated August 18th, 1815, bequeathed to the University his collections of pictures, books, prints, etc. together with £100,000 with which to house them. After his death the following year the collections were exhibited first in the Perse Grammar School and from 1842 in the University Library until a suitable site for the Museum had been found and the permanent building was ready. Meantime also the Pitt Building was used to house the Mesman bequest which had come to the University in 1834.
The present site was acquired during 1821–3, and in 1834 an open competition for the new building was held; from thirty-six designs submitted by twenty-seven architects George Basevi's design was chosen. The site was out of lease in 1835 and the first stone was laid in 1837; George Baker of London was the contractor and William Grinsell Nicholl was employed for the sculptural work, including the Corinthian capitals and, subsequently, the composition in the pediment from a design by Eastlake. In 1844 Basevi was authorised to proceed with the decoration of the interior of the building. He was killed accidentally in Ely cathedral in the following year and C. R. Cockerell was appointed to succeed him.
Cockerell made some alterations in the design of the staircase and staircase-hall, substituting a central dome and skylight for three small domes; the changes are described more fully below. In 1847 work was suspended for lack of funds but the library and galleries were complete and in 1848 the collections were moved in.
A proposal to complete the staircase-hall was made in 1870 and the next year Edward Middleton Barry was appointed architect; his designs for the rearrangement of the staircase and increases in the area of top-light were approved and the work was completed in 1875. The total cost of the museum was £114,942. In the present century galleries have been added on the S.E.
The Fitzwilliam Museum is an important 19th-century neo-Classical building; the planning is axial, but in the absence of axial approach Basevi has contrived architectural compositions on the flanks of the street-front which focus the diagonal views.
Architectural Description—Exterior: The N.E. front to the street (Plate 84) has a colonnade in thirteen bays flanked by narrow pavilions and with the centre columns brought forward to form an octastyle portico under a pediment; the whole is of the Corinthian order. The portico is approached by a flight of steps bounded by pedestals projecting from the moulded podium supporting the colonnade and pavilions. The entablature of the order with enriched modillions and carved lions' heads is continued round the whole building and the tympanum of the pediment is carved in high relief with the nine Muses, Pegasus and the Hippocrene fountain with an attendant nymph, after Eastlake's designs (Plate 83); on the acroteria on the lower extremities of the pediment are carved seated chimaerae. The walls of the staircase-hall continue up behind the portico to form an attic, with bracketed cornice and blocking-course; elsewhere the building has a panelled parapetwall divided into bays by pedestal-like projections.
The pavilions have fluted Corinthian pilasters at the angles, spaced as the bays of the colonnade, framing a half-domed niche rising from a string enriched with guilloche-ornament; below the string is a panelled dado and above the niche a square panel containing a wreath; between the capitals of the pilasters are carved chimaerae facing a candelabrum. The return-fronts of the pavilions are wider than their street-fronts, with anglepilasters and two square attached fluted Corinthian columns in the centre framing an opening the full height of the order; steps flanked by carved lions on pedestals lead up to these secondary porticos and give lateral access to the colonnade.
The back wall of the colonnade (Plate 82) is divided into five bays by plain round attached columns and fluted pilasters and recessed in the three bays behind the main portico. In the centre bay is the main entrance doorway with side-pilasters with capitals carved with acanthus foliage, an entablature with enriched cornice and frieze inscribed 'Munificentia Ricardi Vicecomitis Fitzwilliam A.D. MDCCCXVI' in Roman capitals, and a semicircular tympanum above carved in low relief with Phoebus in his chariot. The side bays contain plain round-headed niches above a string decorated with guilloche-ornament and the end bays have continuous panels of carved acanthus foliage between the capitals of the order. Flanking the main entrance-door are two original pedestals now supporting plaster casts of Donatello's St. George and David.
The main doors are of bronze in two hinged and panelled leaves with framing enriched with Greek frets; above the door and in rectangular openings below the flanking niches are three bronze grilles decorated with pierced net-pattern and acanthusfoliage, all designed by E. M. Barry, 1872–5.
The elaborate plasterwork of the portico and colonnade was carried out probably during 1842, the contract being with 'Messrs. Baker, Mr. Nicholl and Messrs. Hutchinson'. The portico has a plaster frieze of scrolled foliage with putti completed later, presumably in 1843; the ceiling is divided into twenty-one deeply sunk coffers by beams enriched with plaster leaves, fruit, flowers and guilloche-ornament; the coffers are similarly enriched with egg-and-dart and Greek fret-ornament and with a large open flower in the centre of each. The ceilings of the colonnade are more simply coffered. The treatment of the interior of the pavilions is generally similar to that of the portico and colonnade.
The S.W. front is divided into a wide centre and two narrower flanking bays by coupled fluted Corinthian pilasters on moulded plinths; the main entablature breaks forward over the pilasters. The windows on the ground floor are uniform in detail; the middle window is of three lights divided and flanked by pilasters with acanthus caps and an entablature pedimented over the centre light; to each side is a single-light pedimented window, and the window in each flanking bay is again tripartite but with some blocking. On the upper floor are five shallow round-headed niches above a string enriched with guilloche-ornament.
The N.W. and S.E. fronts are similar, but the latter is now partly covered by later buildings; each has at one end the return of the front pavilion and at the other coupled fluted Corinthian pilasters; the three three-light windows on the ground floor and niches on the floor above are similar to those of the S.W. front.
Interior: On each floor are five galleries arranged round the staircase-hall, those on the upper floor being, architecturally, the more important; below the portico and staircase-hall are store and service-rooms. Work was not begun on the decoration of the interior until 1844; the fittings included below date from 1844–8 unless otherwise described.
Basevi specified the style of the lower rooms to be Grecian Doric. The N.E. gallery has on the S.W. wall a plaster achievement-of-arms of the founder; round the room is a plaster cornice and the ceiling is panelled. The N.W. gallery, under Gallery II, is divided into three bays by square panelled Roman Doric columns on pedestals supporting a trabeated plaster ceiling with the arms of the University in a wreath in the centre and guilloche-enriched panels in the end bays. The middle S.W. gallery is divided in length and width into three bays by fluted Roman Doric columns and panelled pilasters on low pedestals supporting an enriched trabeated ceiling; in the ceiling-panels down the centre of the room and contained within wreaths of bay-leaves are the arms of the University and Fitzwilliam. The S.W. gallery is generally similar to the N.W. gallery but with modern openings into the new extension.
The Library, under Gallery V, has the three internal walls lined from floor to ceiling with oak bookcases; presses with panelled ends project from the N.W. wall and have enriched cornices returned across the same wall; above cornice-level the wall-cases are recessed and divided into bays by panelled pilasters spaced to coincide with the projecting presses below. The external wall is lined with oak panelling, with fluted columns flanking the windows and panelled pilasters between the window-lights. The white marble fireplace (Plate 51) has scrolled side-brackets supporting a moulded shelf and the steel grate has applied brass enrichments; above is a mirror in a gilt frame surmounted by a carved cartouche with the ostrich supporters of the Fitzwilliam arms, scroll-work and a coronet under a segmental head; the whole is flanked by panelled pilasters supporting an enriched pedimented entablature.
The design for the Staircase-hall (67¾ ft. by 46¾ ft.) was modified by both the architects employed on the building after Basevi and the extent of the work of each is only broadly definable. It now consists of a central stair-well with two flanking flights of stairs rising to a balustraded landing which returns round the two sides of the hall to form balconies; the balconies are separated from the stair-well by open screens of Composite columns and square attached columns, each of three bays; the columns and their responds on the walls behind the screens support lintels from which rise semicircular barrel-vaults with their outer ends pierced to form lunettes providing clearstorey lighting from the sides. Over the stair-well is a large circular cove and lantern with Hermes figures against the drum and a balustraded walk. The marble door-case of the entrance to the main gallery at the head of the stairs has flanking caryatides modelled upon those of the Erechtheion supporting an enriched architrave and cornice. The doors to the side galleries are plainer but have elaborate cartouches above containing the arms of the University against a pedimented backing. The wallbays on the upper level round the entire hall contain niches, twelve in all, with small flanking Ionic columns and curved pedimented entablatures. Below the balconies secondary flights of stairs lead down to the lower galleries. The floors are laid with elaborate tesselated pavements based upon Roman models.
Drawings preserved in the museum show that the form of the upper part of the hall, including the barrel-vaults, is part of Basevi's original design excepting the cove and lantern; the cove survives from Cockerell's dome and the lantern is by Barry. On Cockerell's drawings are definite indications that he designed the existing plaster enrichment of the tunnelvaults; presumably the whole decorative treatment of the ceiling, excluding the lantern, is his.
Basevi's design shows three caryatid doorcases; of these only the one at the entrance to the central gallery was executed, but not until later; the figures are signed and dated 'Wyon Sc., 1874', presumably E. W. Wyon.
Cockerell, besides altering the staircase, certainly changed the material of the large columns of the screens from marble to granite; this Barry retained while reverting in the main to Basevi's arrangement for the staircase. The niches in Basevi's design were plain with round heads, similar to those on the outside of the building; Cockerell proposed tabernacle frames for them of somewhat neo-Greek character and the present Italianate ones are presumably by Barry.
A wide variety of marble and polished stone was used in the internal decoration by Cockerell, but important changes in the colour scheme were made by Barry; the general predominance of reds in the colouring is almost certainly due to him.
On the upper floor, Gallery I (26½ ft. by 46 ft.) has a dado of scagliola marble and the walls are each divided into three bays by panelled Composite pilasters supporting plastered ceiling-beams with enriched soffits. It is lit by three glazed domes with shallow moulded plaster drums enriched with foliage and female masks. In the N.E. wall is a panelled apsidal recess with plaster enrichment of banded garlands of leaves, fruit and flowers over the archivolt of the semi-dome.
Gallery II (26¾ ft. by 39½ ft.) (Plate 79) has scagliola doorways and dado and panelled scagliola pilasters with caps carved with honeysuckle and acanthus supporting arches with scroll-work on the soffits. The dome has panelled pendentives and a plaster Medusa-head in the centre of the lantern above. The N.E. doorway has an eared architrave and flanking pilaster-strips and consoles supporting an entablature with laurel-leaf frieze. The S.E. doorway has panelled side-pilasters with enriched caps supporting a semicircular over-door with plain plaster tympanum.
The central Gallery III (67½ ft. by 38 ft.) was altered in 1932 by the insertion of bulkheads to form display-bays and a narrow wall-gallery above; at the wall-head is a plaster-cast of the Parthenon frieze, no doubt that bought on Basevi's recommendation from the Trustees of the British Museum in 1837 for this position. The plaster ceiling is original and of much elaboration, consisting of a deep cove rising to a long rectangular lantern (Plate 83); the cove has a network of diagonal panelling divided into bays by vertical bands enriched with spirals of acanthus foliage, the corner bays containing amphorae and foliage. The lights in the vertical side-walls of the lantern are divided by enriched pilasters with winged figures on pedestals in front and, in the corners of the lantern, standing plaster candelabra. The roof of the lantern is panelled and coffered and has three small domed lights with enriched pendentives.
Galleries IV (26¾ ft. by 39½ ft.) and V (26½ ft. by 46 ft.) are generally similar to Galleries I and II respectively. Gallery IV has a modern opening to the new extension. Gallery V contains, in the apsidal recess, an allegorical representation of Academic Glory (Plate 81), a white marble standing figure of a woman, signed and dated 'Iohannes Baratta fecit Florentiae anno MDCCXV', which was bought at the sale at Cannons by Peter Burrell, M.B., and presented by him to the University, probably in 1745. It first stood in the Senate House.
The Boundary-wall of the site to Trumpington Street has a stone balustrading on a moulded plinth divided into bays by pedestals and protected on the outer face by chevaux-de-frise on scrolled cast-iron brackets; the pedestals flanking the gates are larger than the others and the two centre pairs have wreaths carved on the dies; the whole is of 1841–2.
(19) Observatory, 250 yards N. of Madingley Road to the W. of the city, stands on a low hill and is orientated true S. It is of two storeys with cellars and attics. The walls are of brick faced with Bath stone ashlar and the base is of Devonshire granite; the roofs are covered with lead and Westmorland slates and the dome with copper. It was built in the Doric style in 1822–3 by John Clement Mead whose designs were chosen in competition with those of twelve other architects; there are minor later additions. The contractors were Munday and Bushell and the cost was some £16,340 exclusive of the site and planting it.
The building is of interest as an example of the use of the revived Greek style for a structure intended for scientific purposes. The compromise between orthodox architectural theory of composition, particularly in the placing of the dome, and scientific convenience has had a curious effect on the plan.
Architectural Description—The original building is symmetrical and consists of a central rectangular block, with a tetrastyle pedimented Doric portico on the S. and a copper dome on a square attic in the centre, connected by short ranges containing work-rooms with the Observer's house on the E. and the Deputy Observer's house on the W. (Plate 86). The columns of the portico stand on a stylobate of three steps and in the back wall is a central entrance-doorway with moulded architrave of remarkable fineness tapering towards the head; the door is in two panelled leaves with frames enriched with circular paterae and with a grille of net-pattern above; the portico ceiling is plainly coffered. Round the base of the dome is a decorative cresting of free-standing metal stars.
The elevations generally are divided into bays by broad intermediate and angle anta-strips, which interrupt the frieze of the Doric entablature carried round from the portico; the wall-surfaces between the anta-strips are rusticated with horizontal channellings. The principal ground-floor windows have moulded tapering architraves with flat or pedimented entablatures.
The S. fronts of the E. and W. ranges are both symmetrical, with a wide bay in the centre and narrow flanking bays demarcated by paired anta-strips ending, above the main cornice, in small segmental-headed panels; the low pedimental parapet of the centre bay contains a carved symbol of Osiris. The narrow vertical spaces between the anta-strips of the W. range were originally pierced, the loop-like openings so formed interrupting the main cornice and continuing across the roof to provide an unobstructed field of observation from the interior of the building down to the meridian-mark, Grantchester church tower. The central windows are dummies and the small single-storey buildings projecting N. and S. from the W. range were added c. 1870.
The main N. front has a projecting block in the centre, containing the Anemometer room, with an attic storey lit by low horizontal windows; in the re-entrant angles are small single-storey buildings and the upper parts of these mask semicircular windows which light the central block; for the rest the treatment is generally similar to that of the S. front.
The Observers' houses have the main fronts facing E. and W.; they are generally similar in character to the main building but some lightening of the monumental treatment is obtained by omitting the main Doric frieze, continuing the rustication only up to the first floor and increasing the size of the windows and omitting their architraves, except of those over the entrances; the entrance-doorways are in heavy stone surrounds of slight projection with wide flanking anta-strips and entablatures. The french-window above the E. doorway has a cast-iron balustrade contemporary with the building.
The Interior contains in the middle block a wide circular passage with deep alcoves on the diagonals and, occupying the whole of the centre area, a massive pier rising the full height of two storeys, to form the base for the telescope in the Observation room above in the dome. The Anemometer room to the N. has a groined roof with a central rectangular opening; the floor is sunk and approached by the stair on the W. and the walls have shallow recesses rising the full height of the building; in the S. wall at first-floor level is an iron balcony.
In the E. range the Library is the full height of the building and has a segmental vaulted ceiling. The Observer's study has a chimney-stack containing a number of apparently superfluous flues, which it appears from Mead's description were intended to take the smoke from the fires in the Deputy Observer's house on the W.; the fireplace-surround is of marble and contemporary with the building.
In the W. range are the Mural Circle room, now divided into two storeys, and the Transit room; the loop-like apertures intersecting the S. wall and roof of both rooms and originally fitted with sliding shutters are in part blocked; two monolithic Portland stone bases for the transit instrument remain.
Some 70 yards to the S.W. is the Northumberland Dome, with walls of white brick and a copper-covered dome, built c. 1838 at the expense of the 3rd Duke of Northumberland; the dome has been reconstructed subsequently. It consists of an instrument room, octagonal internally and square externally, with a small E. annexe containing a vestibule and workshop.
The grounds were laid out at considerable expense and remain largely unaltered; entrance from Madingley Road is through a gateway with cast-iron gates decorated with net and circle patterns and stars and hung from granite piers flanked by railings and smaller piers on a quadrant plan.
(20) Botanic Garden in the S. part of the city, E. of Trumpington Road, was transferred here between 1846 and 1852 from the site on the E. of Free School Lane where it was first formed in 1762 on land earlier occupied by the Austin friars.
Description—On the old site and now reset in the Cavendish Laboratories, near where it previously stood, is an early 17th-century stone archway which was used as an entrance-gate to the gardens from Free School Lane; it has a round-headed opening, moulded archivolt and keystone carved with a human mask, fielded spandrels and small coupled Tuscan columns flanking the head and supporting a deep entablature breaking forward over the keystone and columns; all below the springing is modern.
On the new site, at the centre of the W. boundary, is a pair of wrought-iron gates of c. 1765, with closely spaced uprights, elaborate scroll-work and cut-sheet foliage, hung between rather plainer side-panels and with a semicircular overthrow with scrolled cresting; all are between rusticated stone piers, probably of the same date, with moulded plinths and cappings. These were removed from the old site where they formed a second entrance to the garden from Downing Street.
Brooklands Lodge, cottage, in the S.W. corner of the garden, beside Hobson's Brook, is of two storeys, with white brick walls and low-pitched slate-covered roofs. It was built in the first half of the 19th century, before 1830, when the land belonged to Brooklands and before Brooklands Avenue was continued westward to join Trumpington Road; it is now incorporated in the Botanic Garden. On the W., the central entrance is at first-floor level, being approached from the embankment; the doorway has a four-centred head with traceried fanlight. The windows are of two four-centred lights with a pierced spandrel in a four-centred head and the glazingbars are similarly traceried (Plate 309).
(21) University Library between Queens' Road and Grange Road was built between 1931 and 1934; it contains a number of 17th and 18th-century bookcases removed from the old University Library in the Schools Building for which they were made.
Description—The earliest bookcases, formerly consisting of fourteen full cases and two end cases, were made to house Archbishop Bancroft's library which came to the University in 1649 and stood in the S. room, now the Council Room, of the Schools. They now stand in the S. gallery on the ground floor of the new building (Plate 43) and number thirteen and two end cases. They are of oak and deal, the sides are in two bays of shelving with centre and side-pilasters, steps and a deep dentilled entablature; the entablature is continued round the cases and has triglyphs over the pilasters and small curved and straight pediments with frieze-panels below over the centre of each bay and on the ends; the ends have side-scrolls and are panelled in two heights, the lower with round-arched panels enriched with jewel-ornament and flowers, the upper with plain panels in moulded framing.
In 1715 George I presented to the University the library of Dr. John Moore, Bishop of Ely; for it John Austin made the oak cases completed by 1719 and set up originally in the W. room, now in part the Syndicate Room of the Schools. They are now in the N. and S. galleries on the first floor of the new building (Plate 43). The sides have plain shelving; moulded plinths and plain entablatures are continued round the cases which have curved pediments over the ends; the ends are in two heights of fielded panels in bolection-moulded framing and have a cartouche on the frieze. At the ends of the galleries are enclosures originally for MSS. formed by enriched panelled partitions with plinths and entablatures returned from the cases; they are hung with doors in two leaves with shaped and scrolled top-rails and panels carved with very elaborate pierced scrolls and foliage incorporating the Royal arms and the Royal cypher each in a Garter under a crown. The cases incorporate some modern work and the panelling on the walls between them is modern.
Between 1731–4 the Regent House was fitted up as a library by James Essex sen. The classes consisted of projecting cases with short wall-cases between them and the windows; they now comprise seven projecting cases and two end or wall-cases, with minor modern restorations, reset in the N. gallery on the ground floor of the new building (Plate 43). They have open fixed shelving with space for folios below a moulded dado-rail, moulded plinth and entablature with enriched cornice; plinth, dado-rail and cornice are continued round the cases and the entablature, supplemented with modern work, returns across the wall-face between them; the ends have a bolection-moulded dado, a central panel with moulded frame continued to form a scrolled pediment with scallop-shell finial and a small top panel containing a carved Royal cypher or Royal arms in a Garter beneath a crown all framed in mantling; the centre panel opens to show a shelf-list. The ends of the two wall-cases were later altered; they have two heights of panelling with a sloping rail between, which supported a reading-desk. (See English Faculty Library, p. 18, for another of these cases.)
The East Room of the Schools was rebuilt between 1754–8; an agreement for the new cases for it was not made until 1787, with Charles Humfrey, carver, of Cambridge; they were completed in 1790 and consisted of eight complete and four half cases of oak. The complete cases, except four corner cases, are now distributed between the Bradshaw, Anderson and MSS. Rooms in the new building and have been augmented in number by modern cases made to match them. They have moulded bases, small moulded dado-rails on the ends and dentil-cornices; the ends are divided into four moulded panels. (See under Schools Building: East Room, for the four corner cases, p. 14.)
The wrought-iron Gate at the entrance from Burrell's Walk is from the Rectory Manor House, Enfield, Middlesex, where it was erected by J. G. Nightingale between 1722 and c. 1750. Restored in 1910, in 1921 the gate was taken to the Victoria and Albert Museum whence it was removed to the present site in 1935. The house was demolished in 1927. The gate is divided horizontally and vertically by central bands of scroll-work and hung between wrought-iron standards with finials; the overthrow has bay-leaves and berries framing a shield-of-arms of Nightingale in the centre. (See the Gateway to the Fellows' Garden, Trinity College, p. 244.)
(22) University Press stands on the W. side of Trumpington Street, between Silver Street and Mill Lane. The older buildings, arranged round three sides of a quadrangle, are of three storeys, with walls of Ketton stone ashlar and white brick and slate-covered roofs. Acquisition of this site for the Press was begun in the 18th century; but most of the land, in the centre and to the S., previously the Cardinal's Hat inn, was bought in 1821, and on this part new buildings to the design of James Walter were completed by Spicer Crowe, the builder, by 1827; of these there survives the printinghouse, now forming the W. side of the Press quadrangle. The N. side, designed by Edward Blore to match Walter's work, was built in 1831–2.
The range fronting Trumpington Street and forming the E. side of the quadrangle is known as the Pitt Building and was built from the funds over-subscribed in 1802 for a statue of William Pitt in London; the offer to expend them thus was made by the committee of the London Pitt Club in 1824 and the extra land required was obtained by 1830. The building, to Blore's designs, was begun in 1831 and opened in 1833; the ashlar facing has since been much renewed, and between 1934 and 1937 the wings N. and S. of the central tower were reconstructed internally, the fenestration was altered and all the labels were removed, with consequent change of character. Shortly before, the iron railings were removed from the front of the building.
The centre feature of the range to Trumpington Street, which alone has largely retained the original character, is an interesting example of the phase in 19th-century architectural taste when the possibilities of reviving the early Tudor-Gothic style were being explored.
Architectural Description—The main street-front of the Pitt Press of 1831–3 has a thin facing of ashlar. The design is symmetrical, with a large tower in the centre and flanking wings (Plate 128). The tower is of three stages with a stair-turret on the N.W. and the wings are set back and each divided into three unequal bays by buttresses in three weathered stages with tall pinnacles above.
The tower has a moulded plinth, angle-buttresses in three weathered stages ending in pinnacled standards and a pierced embattled parapet with gabled and crocketed pinnacles at the corners. The entrance-doorway is four-centred, with continuous moulded outer and inner arches separated by wide panelled splays and a vaulted soffit; flanking it are tall niches with ogee heads and crocketed finials. Above the arch is a lofty three-sided oriel on moulded corbelling carved with a shield of the University arms, added in 1937, and with an embattled and pinnacled parapet and ashlar ogee-shaped crocketed roof; in each face is a two-light and double-transomed window with cinque-foiled openings and tracery in a two-centred head under an ogee crocketed label. These windows light the 'handsome room' referred to by the London Pitt Club committee and intended for the meetings of the Press Syndics, but from 1848 to 1934 occupied by the University Registrary. In the centre of the top stage is a niche with ogee crocketed head and finials flanked by loop-lights; the N. and S. faces of the upper stages contain single-light windows with cinque-foiled openings in square heads under moulded labels. The chimney on the N. was added in 1893.
The N. and S. wings have moulded plinths continued from the tower, strings at first and second-floor sill-levels and embattled parapet-walls; the one and two-light ground floor windows have had the tracery and labels removed and the upper windows have been similarly altered and widened to include two and six lights. The N. and S. ends are generally similar to the E. fronts; the second retains the original fenestration but with the labels and cusping removed.
The W. front is of white brick with some stone dressings. The tower-buttresses are corbelled out above the level of the wings and the doorway in the ground stage of the tower, with chamfered four-centred head and label, is flanked by two transomed windows with cinque-foiled openings in four-centred heads; both windows are prolonged by modern openings broken through below the original sills. Above is a four-light double-transomed window with similar head under a label, and the top stage is divided into two heights containing respectively a three and a two-light window. The wings have plain brick parapets and original sash-hung and modern windows.
The West Range of the quadrangle completed in 1827 is of three storeys with basement; the walls are of white brick with stone dressings. On the E. the centre bay projects slightly and contains a central doorway with a window on each side divided and flanked by stone pilasters supporting an entablature. All the windows have plain openings with double-hung sashes and the sills are continued across the front as strings. The S. front of the North Range, built in 1831–2, is uniform with Walter's design for the front of the W. range but without the central projection. The remaining faces of the building are masked by later additions.
The Interior of the Pitt Press building contains a central entrance-hall with vaulted ceiling with moulded ribs and foliated bosses; the doorways to the N. and S. wings have moulded jambs and four-centred heads. The room above has an original timber roof divided into six bays by principals with curved braces forming four-centred arches. The oriel-window has shafted and panelled jambs and vaulted roof.
The N. and S. wings have been remodelled but the latter retains on both the ground and first floors six original iron columns with shaped capitals supporting the two chamfered beams carrying the floors above.