Corpus Christi College
(25) Corpus Christi College stands on the E. side
of Trumpington Street, between the churches of St.
Benet and St. Botolph. Some initiative was taken by the
Guild of Corpus Christi in obtaining land here for a
college shortly before the middle of the 14th century.
The union of the Guilds of Corpus Christi and the
Blessed Virgin Mary c. 1350 for the purpose of furthering the foundation was recognised by Royal Letters
Patent in 1352; the licence for founding the College and
appropriating the church of St. Benet was granted on
the same date, 7th November 1352.
The Old Court was finished under the first two
Masters, Thomas Eltisley (1352–76) and Richard Treton
(1376–7). The South Range contained the Hall with the
Master's Lodge to the E., and the East, North and West
Ranges contained chambers, with the gateway in the N.
range. There was no original chapel; the parish church
of St. Benet served the purpose until, under Dr.
Thomas Cosyn, Master (1487–1515), a chapel was
built on the S. side of the chancel together with a
gallery-approach to it from the College with a gateway
below. During the same Mastership the walls of the
Court began to give way and buttresses were added at
the expense of Elizabeth, Duchess of Norfolk; ten buttresses were built and others were added subsequently,
probably in 1615. During the 16th century garrets
were inserted in the ranges. A gallery projecting southward from the old Master's Lodge in the S. range was
built under Matthew Parker, Master (1544–53) later
Archbishop of Canterbury. The early history of the
College and buildings is recorded in John Josselin's
Historiola drawn up for Archbishop Parker. General
repairs were undertaken in 1648 and further repairs in
1686; probably at this last date the S. range was repaired.
Sash-windows were inserted in the 18th century and
the gateway was rebuilt in 1757.
Corpus Christi College Arms
A separate College chapel, some 25 yards S. of the
Old Court buildings and adjoining the S. end of the
Master's gallery, was begun in 1579 at the charge of Sir
Nicholas Bacon and the porch on the N. side was
added by his widow in 1583–4. The stone came from
Thorney Abbey and Barnwell Priory. The original
library was in the E. range of the Old Court next to
the Master's Lodge. In 1747 designs were produced for
a new court by the Rev. R. Masters and James Essex,
architect. One was conservative; the other, as finally
drafted in 1773, distinguished by a great Ionic portico,
involved much demolition. Neither materialised and
the addition was not made until the following century.
The New Court was begun in 1823 from the designs
of William Wilkins, and it involved the destruction of
the Master's gallery, the chapel, the pensionary and the
S.W. angle of the Old Court where the new Hall was
built. The new Chapel in the E. range occupies the
approximate site of the Elizabethan chapel and the old
Hall has become the Kitchen. The Gatehouse is in the W.
range, the new Library in the S. range and the Master's
Lodge occupies the southern part of the E. range. The
Chapel was extended to the E. in 1870. In 1920 an attic
storey under a mansard roof was added to the W. and
part of the N. ranges and in 1929 to the S. range; in
1931 the Butler Library was formed beneath the eastern
half of the main Library. Recently a floor was inserted
in the old Hall and the ground floor divided up into
kitchen offices. The old Combination Room was
entirely redecorated and a new fireplace inserted in 1915
to the designs of T. H. Lyon. The ranges to Stable Yard
were rebuilt to the designs of G. R. Dawbarn in 1931
to provide a new Combination Room, the work
including a reconstruction of the gate to Trumpington
Street. The Junior Combination Room was extended
The College is remarkable for the retention of the
greater part of the original mid 14th-century buildings
ranged round a court, which is thus the earliest enclosed
college court surviving in the University; the early 16th-century gallery connecting it with the church of St.
Benet is an unusual feature comparable with that between Peterhouse and the church of Little St. Mary.
Wilkins' New Court of 1823 is an important example of
Gothic revivalism, for the most part in a late 15th-century style, applied to a severely formal plan. Amongst
the fittings the early 16th-century Rhenish glass in the
chapel is outstanding. Many of the rooms in the Old
Court contain 17th and 18th-century panelling of
comparatively simple design and good quality.
Architectural Description—The New Court (129 ft. by
158½ ft.) is built mainly in Ketton stone ashlar with some white
brick; the roofs are slate-covered. It was begun in 1823 and
finished in 1827, being undertaken in three stages: first the W.
range, the S. range and the Lodge, second the Chapel and E.
range, and third the Hall. Phipps and Ward of London were
the contractors. All the battlements have recently been reconstructed in Ketton and Clipsham stone.
The Gatehouse in the centre of the West Range has a moulded
plinth, strings and embattled parapets; octagonal turrets at the
four corners are continued up above the main parapets and
also embattled. It forms the centrepiece of a symmetrical
composition including the full length of the W. range, both to
the street and to the court. The archway from the street is four-centred and moulded, with traceried spandrels and a label with
stops carved as angels holding shields-of-arms of the See of Ely
impaling Mawson on the N. and the See of Canterbury
impaling Parker on the S.; on the first floor are two two-light
transomed windows with four-centred openings in ogee heads
flanking a niche with tall gabled spire that continues up between the two two-light square-headed windows on the second
floor. The embattled parapet is panelled. The main gate is of
oak and in two leaves, each with four traceried panels in two
heights, with a wicket in the N. leaf. The three upper stages of
the flanking turrets are panelled. The archway to the court is
moulded and four-centred; above it on the first floor is an
oriel-window, with three transomed and four-centred lights
on the face and one on each canted side, supported on moulded
corbelling; on the apron-wall is a carved shield-of-arms of the
College and the parapet-wall is panelled. The Gatehall (29 ft.
by 18¾ ft.) is covered by a fan-vault in two bays; in each bay
is a central panel enclosing a shield, of the Deanery of Ely
impaling John Spencer, Master and Dean of Ely (died 1693),
and of the College.
The remainder of the W. range is of three storeys with
modern attics; the plinth and the strings below the two upper
ranges of windows are moulded and the parapets embattled;
the parapet-strings are enriched with paterae carved with
shields-of-arms of the College, charges from the College arms,
badges, grotesque heads, etc. On the W. front (Plate 128), both
end bays, being the ends of the N. and S. ranges, have octagonal
turrets at each side and a two-storey oriel-window corbelled
out at first-floor level and flanked by ogee-gabled and pinnacled
niches; the ground-floor windows in the N. bay are later
insertions. Between the Gatehouse and each end bay are ranges
of six two-light cinque-foiled windows on each floor, those to
the ground floor with square heads and those to the upper
floors with four-centred heads; all have labels and the first-floor windows are transomed. The E. front to the court is
similar in character to that to the W. but without the end bays
and accentuation of the first-floor windows and with the
openings on each floor grouped in threes so that the entrance
doorways to the sets of chambers are each placed centrally
in a minor symmetrical composition. The Interior of the W.
range retains some original fireplaces; the stone staircases have
their original plain iron balusters.
The East Range (Plate 115) has in the centre the Chapel
running at right angles to it; the remainder of the range is of
two storeys and contains some of the College offices and
Fellows' rooms to the N. and the Master's Lodge to the S.
The W. front is symmetrically designed, with the Chapel
accentuated by greater height and flanking turrets; the rest of
the front is in the nature of a screen-wall linking the Chapel
with the larger flanking units in the composition, the main N.
and S. ranges; at the N. and S. ends the front is returned
forward to form salient angles in order visually to strengthen
the corners adjacent to the abrupt change of height in the
buildings, which occurs almost immediately westward.
The W. front of the Chapel is in two stages, the lower
slightly in advance of the upper and with a cresting of pierced
and quatre-foiled diagonal panels, the upper with a pierced
arcaded parapet and with carved foliage bosses on the parapet
string. The gable-end set some way back is of 1870, when the
new roof of steeper pitch was inserted. The flanking turrets are
both in three stages and finish in a corona of pinnacles surrounding a short spire; each has in the face of the lowest stage
a niche with ogee head, buttressed side-standards and pinnacles
containing a standing figure, of Sir Nicholas Bacon on the N.
and Matthew Parker on the S., both given in 1913; the upper
stages are panelled. The W. doorway has shafted jambs, a four-centred outer arch with traceried spandrels in a square head,
deep panelled splays and a smaller inner arch. The W. window
is of five cinque-foiled ogee-headed lights with vertical tracery
in a four-centred head with a label.
The flanking fronts of the range have moulded plinths and
embattled parapets and each is divided into four bays by
buttresses in two weathered stages with modern pinnacles. All
the doors and windows have four-centred heads with labels;
the ground-floor windows are of two cinque-foiled four-centred lights with a pierced spandrel and the first-floor
windows of three cinque-foiled four-centred lights with vertical
tracery. The salient corners are uniform in treatment, each with
a W. doorway similar to the other doorways in the court and
with a two-light window with vertical tracery above it on the
first floor; the N. projection contains a porch, the S. a lobby;
the W. doorway to the latter is blocked and may always have
been a dummy. The same elevational treatment is repeated on
the short return-walls joining the E. range to the N. and S.
The remainder of the Chapel, with the fittings, is here
described before proceeding with the rest of the range of which
it forms the centrepiece. The Chapel (90¼ ft. by 25½ ft.) is of
seven bays and has a single storey Ante-chapel (10 ft. by 19½ ft.)
structurally divided from it; the organ-chamber above the
latter is open to the Chapel. The side walls are of ashlar and
white brick with stone dressings. The two eastern bays are
additions of 1870 designed by A. W. Blomfield and the whole
of the roof is of this date, replacing a ribbed vault. At the
same time all the buttresses were added or rebuilt; from
their design it is clear the intention was to face the brickwork
of the original walls with ashlar, but this was never completed.
The five-light E. window, the three-light windows in the
eastern bays on both sides and the other features of the extension are of 1870. The next three bays on both sides, being the
three easterly bays of the Chapel of 1824–7, each contain
a window of three trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in
a two-centred head with a label; the westernmost window
on each side is transomed. Internally the five original bays are
divided by grouped shafts on tall plinths rising to chamfered
wood blocks carrying the wall-posts; at first the shafts were
shorter and supported the ribs of the former vaulting, being
heightened in 1870 when the vault was demolished and the
present roof erected.
Below the window-sills in the fourth and fifth bays from the
E. is an arcading of cinque-foiled ogee-headed panels under a
band of quatre-foiled circles with a moulded cornice carved
with paterae; similar panelling in the third bay, largely concealed by stalls, begins lower down. The wall-panelling in the
sixth and seventh bays is in two tiers and carried higher than
that further E. and with a moulded crowning-cornice carved
with vine scrolls; it is divided by gabled and crocketed
standards set diagonally; the lower tier has sub-cusped ogee
trefoiled heads with trefoils in the spandrels, the upper tier
with coupled cinque-foiled ogee heads with sunk spandrels.
The wall-panelling is continued across the W. wall, the upper
tier forming the gallery-front. The doorway from the Antechapel has moulded jambs and splays and a four-centred
opening in a square head with a label on the W. The wide
arch between the Chapel and Organ-chamber is moulded and
four-centred and with shafted jambs with moulded caps; the
barrel-vault W. of it is four-centred and panelled. In the S.
wall of the Ante-chapel the doorway to the Master's Lodge
has moulded jambs and a four-centred head.
Fittings—Bell: of 1792, with relief of Crucifixion, by I. B.
Fitton. Communion Table: with gadrooned and bulbous legs
with Ionic caps, gadrooned and carved frieze, late 16th-century, top modern. Floor-slabs: (1) of John Spencer, S.T.P.,
1693, Dean of Ely and Master, black marble square set diagonally; (2) of John Lamb, S.T.P., 1850, Dean of Bristol and
Master; (3) of Philip Douglas, S.T.P., 1822, Master; (4) of
William Colman, S.T.P., 1794, Master; (5) of John Barnardiston, S.T.P., 1778, Master; (2–5) are white marble octagonal
slabs. Glass: The third and fourth windows in the N. and S.
walls contain large figure subjects in Rhenish glass, probably of
the Cologne region, mainly of c. 1510–15, said to have
been acquired by Wilkins, the architect; the half-length figures
at the base of the lights generally do not appear to belong. The
glass in the tracery is 19th-century, of the date when the earlier
glass was inserted in the main lights. In third N. window (Plate
118)—main subject, 'Ecce Homo' with architectural background, figures of Jews, in foreground child kneeling, and
inscription 'Tolle crucifige'; in background two small scenes
of the Scourging and the Crowning with Thorns; head of the
main figure of Christ renewed; at base of lights, half-length
figures of St. Philip (?), St. Simon (?) and St. James the Great,
by a different hand from the main subject and later; in tracery,
angels holding shields-of-arms of Wilkins, Mawson, See of
Ely, and Shelford. Fourth N. window,—main subject (Plate
118), the Nativity with small angels kneeling round head of
Child, the Virgin behind, St. Joseph on left, shepherds and ox
and ass, all in flamboyant architectural framing; at base of
lights, a bearded Evangelist probably St. Matthew, St. Bartholomew and St. Matthias, head renewed, similar to those in
previous window; in tracery, Apostles and shields with two
quarters of the College arms. Third S. window— main subject,
Death of the Virgin attended by Apostles, with inscriptions in
black letter: 'Que est ista ascendens de deserto deliciis affluens'
and 'Ista e[st] speciosa inter filias H[i]rusalem (qu)e nescivit,'
from the office of the Assumption (see Vulgate, Canticle of
Canticles viii, 5 and Book of Wisdom iii, 13); at top of
middle light, the Assumption, with the Virgin borne aloft
by six angels to God the Father (Plate 132), and of E. light,
St. Thomas receiving the Virgin's girdle from an angel
(Plate 132); at base of lights, perhaps St. Clement holding
an anchor, St. Joseph with halo inscribed 'Sc. Joseph. nutritor
Jhū', and St. Barbara, these perhaps belonging to the main subject panels; in tracery, angels holding shields-of-arms of Powys,
See of Canterbury, Parker, and Wilkins, and badges of the
College. Fourth S. window (Plate 118)—main subject, the
Virgin and Child with St. Anne behind, on left St. Mary
Cleophas with her sons. SS. Simon, Jude, James the Less and
Joseph Justus, on right St. Mary Salome and her sons, SS.
James the Great with a staff and John with a cup; six men
seated in the background without symbols, on the analogy of
paintings of the Cologne School of similar iconography, may
probably be identified as Joachim and Joseph in the middle
light, Cleophas and Alphaeus in the left and Salomas and
Zebedee in the right; head of Virgin and architectural canopy
renewed; at base of lights, half-length figures of St. Peter, St.
John (Plate 132) and St. Andrew; in tracery, figures of
Apostles and shields charged with quarters of the College arms.
The Nativity and the three Maries were moved from the
original E. window when the Chapel was lengthened;
according to the Rev. John Lamb (1831), they were bought by
the College; from his account (Masters' History of the College
etc.) it seems that the 'Ecce Homo' and the Death of the Virgin
were given by Wilkins and that the tracery-lights above and
the half figures below the 'Ecce Homo' were given by the
Rev. T. Shelford. In W. window—large figures of the Virgin
and four others, now obscured by the organ built in 1855,
purchased and presented to the College by eighty-two donors
when the Chapel was built; in tracery, shields-of-arms of the
See of Canterbury, Parker, the College, Lamb, and others concealed, 19th-century.
Corpus Christi College, Plan
Painting: as altar-piece, framed painting on canvas of the
Virgin and Child with the child John the Baptist holding scroll
on right, two women on left, 18th-century copy of a 17th-century original of the Roman school. Pavement: of square
stone flags with smaller black marble squares, one slab with
traces of defaced inscription, probably in part from the old
chapel where it was first laid from a bequest of John Spencer,
Master, in 1694, and later mentioned by Cole. Stalls: At W.
end, as shown on plan, of oak, all with curved and moulded
tops to the shaped and scrolled divisions and moulded misericordes, two on S. side missing, early 16th-century. Desks with
double posts at ends, those to the rear turned and surmounted
by turned terminals, those to the front with taller and enriched
terminals, c. 1600, but the upper half of the square posts below
are 19th-century renewals; the fronts extensively altered and
the upper panels inserted. Against S. wall, in third bay from E.,
canopied stalls in four bays with fluted columns with enriched
caps supporting enriched flat arches with human and lion-masks
over the columns and an entablature with gadrooned and
bracketed frieze and modern cornice; backs in two heights of
panels, the upper with enriched arches, the lower with a geometrical pattern of subsidiary panels, modern seats; from the
Elizabethan chapel in which the woodwork was contracted for
by Robert Gardiner of 'Havarell', carpenter, in 1579, but not
completed until the turn of the century, with much 19th-century and modern repair. The N. group is a modern copy.
The remainder of the E. range N. of the Chapel has a white
brick E. front with ranges of five windows on each floor; they
have square heads and contain double-hung sashes. The
interior is generally plain. The Master's Lodge, S. of the Chapel
and built at the same time as the rest of the E. range, is of two
storeys with an embattled parapet; the walls are of white
brick with stone dressings and the windows are stone-mullioned. It has a symmetrical front to the S. embracing the
three principal rooms, with an office-wing and a conservatory
adjoining it on the E. The symmetrical front is demarcated by
an embattled octagonal turret on the E. and a square projecting block on the W. Each of the three rooms has a S. bay-window with embattled parapet; the centre bay, an insertion
of 1892, is semi-octagonal, the other bays are three-sided,
each having three four-centred and transomed lights on
the face and one on the return; the intermediate windows are
square-headed. On the first floor are alternate three and two-light square-headed windows. The square projection at the W.
end has a two-light window on each floor. Adjoining the S.
side of the E. office-wing is a single-storey conservatory; this
last has a S. arcade of four bays comprising continuously
chamfered arches with four-centred heads and an embattled
parapet. The E. end is covered by a 19th-century wooden
treillage with two-centred arches and quatre-foiled spandrels.
The office-wing has segmental-headed windows and a timber
eaves-cornice. The E. side is partly screened by the wall
bounding Free School Lane. The W. front faces New Court
and is described above. On the N. side are 19th-century and
modern additions containing service rooms.
The Interior of the Master's Lodge contains a number of
original features. The Drawing-room and Dining-room both
have panelled dadoes and moulded plaster cornices enriched
with leaf and egg-and-dart ornament. The fireplaces are of
stone and marble, with panelled pilasters at the sides and
moulded shelves. In the E. french-window in the Dining-room
are two circular panels of heraldic glass, of the College
impaling Spencer, with a band below inscribed 'I[ohn]
Spencer. Mag. Coll. 1667', and of the Stuart Royal arms,
18th-century and reset in 19th-century borders. In the E.
window of the Spencer Room, next S. of the Ante-chapel,
are also the following two shields-of-arms: of Sir John Cust,
died 1770, with Cust quartering Brownlow and with an
escutcheon of Payne and, below, the Speaker's mace with the
inscription 'Prolocutor Dom. Com. 1761', and of Sir Brownlow Cust, 1st Baron Brownlow, son of the above, died 1807,
with Cust quartering Brownlow and Payne and with an
escutcheon of Bankes. and lions below supporting a shield
charged with a cypher and surmounted by a coronet; both
shields-of-arms are of the early 19th century. The staircase has
stone steps and plain wrought-iron rails.
The North Range contains the Hall on the the first floor
towards the E., with the Combination Room on the W.; it is
of two and three storeys with attics. The contract for the
building was entered into in 1825 and the Society dined in
Hall in 1826. Signs of the junction between the two stages of
building, the Hall range and the W. range, are visible in the
S. wall towards the W. end. The Hall-block has octagonal
turrets at the eastern angles and the N. and S. sides are divided
into bays by buttresses in three weathered stages. The S. side is
of Ketton stone ashlar and the plinth, strings and parapet are
continued round from the E. front of the W. range; it is in
five bays with the fifth occupied by the oriel. The oriel rises
the full height of the building; it is semi-octagonal with short
returns and treated uniformly with the rest of this side of the
Hall-block but with thinner buttresses on the angles. On the
ground floor, below each Hall window and in each face of the
oriel, is a single cinque-foiled light in a square head with a label.
The Hall (61½ ft. by 26½ ft.) is lit from both sides by large
windows, one to each free bay, each being of two double-transomed lights with cinque-foiled four-centred heads below
the transoms and with vertical tracery in a four-centred head;
the wall-string mitres over the head as a label. The three
windows in the oriel are uniform in design with the other
Hall windows but narrower and with the labels butting into
the angle-buttresses. The N. side is of white brick with stone
dressings; the buttress-plinths, the strings and parapet are
similar to those on the S.; the fifth bay is occupied by a rectangular stair-tower which is incorporated in the S. end of the
W. range of the Old Court.
The Interior of the Hall has an open timber roof in five bays
with each bay sub-divided into two by moulded principal
rafters. The principals form four-centred arches the full width
of the Hall; under them are hammer-posts with octagonal
pendants supported, without hammer-beams, on curved braces
standing on semi-octagonal corbels some distance below the
wall-head, the spandrels so formed containing pierced tracery.
Springing from the hammer-posts are braces to the ridge,
forming four-centred arches, and longitudinal braces to the
purlins. All the main timbers are moulded, the rafters are
exposed and the cornice at plate-level is enriched with
paterae. The opening into the oriel has shafted jambs with
moulded caps and bases and a four-centred arch with traceried
spandrels; opposite, in the N. wall, is a similar wall-arch. The
side-walls of the oriel are panelled, in repetition of the window-tracery design, and in each angle is a vaulting-shaft with
moulded base and cap supporting an elaborate vault with
moulded ribs and carved bosses. The doorway to the Combination Room has moulded jambs and a four-centred arch in a
square head with traceried spandrels. The E. doorway has
moulded and shafted jambs and, for the rest, is similar to the
foregoing, but larger; above it is a window of five cinque-foiled and transomed lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head.
Above a low plinth round the room the walls are lined with
linenfold panelling contemporary with the building; it is
finished with a cornice at the level of the window transoms.
Fixed to the panelling over the doorway to the Combination
Room are three carved shields-of-arms of c. 1600 from the old
Chapel; they are of (a) Manners quartering Roos, Espec,
Belvoir or Trusbut, Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, Berkeley,
Lisle, Lisle, Holand, Tiptoft, Holand, Wake, Vaux, Daubeny
or Tony, and Clare, (b) the College, (c) Jegon, and have been
recoloured. Surmounting the panelling in the middle of the
W. wall is a carved and painted achievement of the Royal
arms (Plate 53) set in a frame with Doric side-pilasters
enriched with swags of fruit and flowers suspended from
masks and supporting an entablature with small cartouches
over the pilasters; below, between the pedestals of the pilasters,
is a cherub with outstretched wings. The achievement and
the frame are of c. 1660 but the arms are of 1814–37.
All the windows contain heraldic glass. It was inserted in or
about 1828, except in two windows, which were not so filled
until after 1860. Some of the shields-of-arms were previously
in the old Hall where they were transferred from the old
Chapel shortly before 1744. They are of the early 18th century,
with some earlier shields in the E. window and the oriel;
the rest, including those in the second, third and fourth bays in
the N. and S. sides, are of c. 1828 and by S. C. Yarrington of
Norwich. He restored the old shields and made the new ones
together with their setting; this last consists of quarries painted
either with foliation or with badges, initials or heraldic
charges. The names of donors are recorded in Latin at the foot
of the lights and their shields are set in the tracery.
N. wall—in easternmost window, (a) See of Ely impaling
Mawson, (b) Deanery of Hereford impaling Castle, (c) See
of Lichfield impaling Bowstead, (d) See of London impaling
Fletcher, (e) See of Gloucester impaling Sydall, (f) See of Ely
impaling Gunning, (g) See of Canterbury impaling Tenison,
(h) See of Rochester impaling Allen. In second window,
(i) Yorke, with date 1828, (j) See of Ely impaling Yorke,
with date 28, (k) Lamb, with date 1822, (1) Douglas, with
date 1795; upper E. given by Philip, 3rd Earl of Hardwicke,
1828, lower E. by John Lamb, S.T.P., Master, 1828, lower W.
by Philip Douglas, M.A., son of a former Master, 1828; in
tracery, small shields of Lamb, Yorke twice, and Douglas. In
third window, (m) Cust quartering Brownlow and Payne,
with a scutcheon of Bankes, with date 1828, (n) Cust quartering
Brownlow, with a scutcheon of Payne, inscribed '1761 Prolocutor Dom. Com.' and with Speaker's mace, (o) See of
Lincoln impaling Greene, with date 1750, (p) See of Ely impaling Mawson, with date 1724; upper E. given by John, 1st
Earl Brownlow, 1828, lower E. by Peter Sandiforde, S.T.P.,
1828, lower W. by George D'Oyly, S.T.P., 1828; in tracery,
small shields of Sandiford, Cust impaling Brownlow twice,
and D'Oyly. In fourth window, (q) See of Canterbury
impaling Herring, with date 1747, (r) See of Canterbury
impaling Tenison, (s) See of Ely impaling Greene, with
date 1698, (t) Deanery of Ely impaling Spencer, with date
1667; upper E. light given by Thomas Herring, S.T.B.,
1828, lower E. by Thomas Greene, S.T.B., 1828, lower W. by
Edmund Addison, S.T.B., 1828; in tracery, small shields of
Greene, Herring, Addison and Bradford. The main shields in
the second, third and fourth windows are all in cartouches
with inscribed panels below containing the dates, some
E. wall—in E. window, ten shields-of-arms arranged in two
rows and framed in cartouches of varying designs; upper row,
(a) Beauchamp quartering the Earldom of Warwick for
Henry, Earl of Warwick, (b) Scrope quartering Neville, (c)
the College, (d) Scrope impaling Neville, (e) De la Pole
quartering Wingfield (reversed); lower row, (f) Bendlose, (g)
Colville, (h) tricorporated lion of Edmund, 1st Earl of Lancaster, (i) Eltisley, (j) Christchurch, Canterbury; (a) and (e) are
mediaeval and possibly (b) and (d), (c) c. 1828, and the rest
of this date or later.
S. wall—in easternmost window, (a) See of York (modern)
impaling Sterne, (b) See of Canterbury impaling Parker, (c)
See of Norwich impaling Jegon, (d) Wishart, (e) Deanery of
Bristol (?) impaling Lamb, (f) See of Canterbury impaling
Herring, (g) Deanery of Ely impaling Spencer, (h) the College.
In second window, (i) See of Canterbury impaling Parker, with
date 1544, (j) City of Norwich, with date 1828, (k) City of
Canterbury, with date 1828, (1) Town of Thetford, with date
1828; lights each given by the place named; in tracery, small
shields of Norwich twice, Canterbury and Thetford. In third
window, (m) Bacon, with date 1577, (n) Wilkins, with scroll
inscribed 'A Sacro Aedium Architect, 1823' (Plate 36), (o)
Yorke quartering Meller impaling Cust, with scroll inscribed
'Philip Yorke. Armr. de Erthig Com: Denbigh', (p) See of
York impaling Sterne, with date 1623; upper E. light with
donor's inscription 'E. don, S. C. Yarrington Vitr. Tinct. Artif.
18..', lower E. given by Simon Yorke, lower W. by Copinger
Hill, M.A. 18..; in tracery, small shields of Yorke, Hill quartering Copinger, Wilkins and non-heraldic shield for Yarrington.
In fourth window, (q) See of Norwich impaling Jegon, with
date 1590, (r) See of Rochester impaling Bradford with date
1716, (s) Colman, with date 1778, (t) Barnardiston, with date
1764; upper E. light given by Henry William Blake, M.A.,
lower E. by Peter Sandiforde, S.T.P., lower W. by the same,
1829; in tracery, Sandiford twice and Porcher.
In oriel-window (Plate 119)—in S.E. light, (a) Moptyd,
(b) blank, (c) achievement of Roger, 5th Earl of Rutland, with
unicorn supporters and motto, in twenty quarters, Manners,
Roos, Espec, Belvoir or Trusbut, Daubeny, Tony, Vaux,
Badlesmere, Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, Berkeley, Lisle,
Lisle, Tiptoft, Clare, Charlton, Holand, Holand, Wake, and
St. Leger, (d) achievement of Lucas quartering Morrow, given
by Edward Lucas, 1587; in middle light (e) the College,
(f) Henry, 1st Duke of Lancaster, late 14th-century, royal
crest 19th-century, (g) See of Canterbury impaling Parker,
(h) Butts quartering Bacon; the last two shields are in strapwork frames, (g) inscribed 'Mundus Transit' and with the
initials 'M.P,' and a monogram below, (h) inscribed 'Bacon
Butts' and with the date 1553; in S.W. light, (i) Butts, (j)
Edward the Confessor, (k) See of Canterbury impaling
Grindall, with date 1583, (1) Russell quartering Delatour,
Muschamp, Heringald, Froxmore, Wyse, Sapcott, and Seamark, for Francis, 2nd Earl of Bedford, in a Garter and with
a coronet above; in tracery-lights, arms of Lucas quartering
Morrow thrice, Lucas crest four times, France and England
with a label, monogram as in (g), red rose royally crowned,
fleur-de-lis royally crowned, arms of Jegon. (c) and (d) late
16th-century in later settings; (e) 1828, (f) late 14th-century,
both in settings of 1828; (g) and (h) mid to late 16th-century,
the second in later setting derived from that of the first; (i)
16th-century; (j) mediaeval in 19th-century setting; (k) late
16th-century with impaled arms and setting of the late 18th-century; (1) 16th-century in late 18th-century setting.
Approach to the Hall is on the E. by a straight flight of stone
stairs with the W. containing-wall continued up to form a
pierced panelled parapet to the landing. The 19th-century
barrel-vaulted ceiling, probably of plaster, is of pointed
segmental form and decorated with Gothic-style panelling.
The N. staircase-window contains a miscellaneous collection of
small panels of foreign glass painted with scenes, emblems and
shields-of-arms, including, in E. light, Christ appearing to St.
Mary Magdalene, Lot's escape from Sodom, St. Paul at Athens;
in centre light, a foreign shield-of-arms supported by a bull and
a windmill, a pastoral scene, a fragment with two men wearing
birettas, one nimbed, an emblematic figure of Fortune; in W.
light, Joseph in prison, an angel holding a shield-of-arms,
St. Ursula arriving at Cologne, late 15th, 16th and early 17th-century.
The remainder of the N. range W. of the Hall-block has a
S. elevational treatment similar to that of the adjoining front
of the W. range but with a single-light window on each floor
close in to the angle and contained in a slight projection
running the full height of the building. The N. face contains
two and three-light windows but is largely concealed by later
additions. The old Combination Room (21¼ ft. by 28 ft.) on the
first floor was almost wholly altered in 1915 when also a new
fireplace-surround was inserted.
The South Range contains the Butler Library on the ground
floor and the main Library on the first floor, with chambers to
the W. The size of the building, by approximating to that of
the N. range, maintains the general balance in the design of the
Court. The N. side and the western part of the S. side seen
from the main road are of Ketton stone ashlar, the rest is of
white brick. At the N.E. corner is an embattled octagonal
turret. On the N. side, the moulded plinth, lower string and
embattled parapet are returned at the same level as on the
opposite range, but the upper string and the buttresses present
on the N. range are omitted; the ground-floor windows are of
two cinque-foiled lights in square heads with labels and the
entrance-doorways are similar to those to the chambers in the
W. range. On the S. are two shallow rectangular projecting
bays rising the full height of the original building; the ground-floor windows are of one and two lights with four-centred
openings in square heads with labels, except the three to the E.
which are modern.
The main Library (87 ft. by 21 ft.) (Plate 116) is lit from both
sides by windows of three transomed lights with an upper
transom and vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a label.
The interior has a ceiled roof largely of plaster divided into
seven bays by trusses with braces forming four-centred arches
springing from wall-posts supported on polygonal moulded,
traceried and embattled corbels; each bay is ceiled at the level
of the braces with panelling in moulded framing comprising
three main panels in the length, eight from N. to S., and each
sub-divided into three smaller panels; the wall-posts and braces
of each truss are enriched with carved paterae in a wide continuous casement-moulding and the brattished wall-plates are
elaborately decorated with open flowers and seed-pods. The
arched openings to the S. windows in the second and sixth bays
have shafted jambs and four-centred heads. Amongst the
fittings, the oak wall-cases, with polygonal corner-posts with
moulded bases and caps and traceried end panels, are subsequent
additions, and the small standing cases were added at different
times between 1873 and 1883. At the W. end are original oak
fitted cupboards with panelled lower doors, metal-latticed
upper doors, panelled styles and cornice.
Approach to the Library is on the E. by stone stairs with a
cast-iron balustrade of Gothic design; on the S. wall of the
stairhall is a white marble memorial-tablet to William Wilkins,
the architect, 1839.
In the New Court are four original cast-iron lamp-standards
with octagonal posts, traceried stays, and octagonal glazed
lanterns with finials and decorative pierced and crested
ventilators of sheet metal.
The Old Court (113 ft. average by 80 ft. average) (Plate 115)
is of stone rubble with clunch dressings; the roofs are tiled.
The ranges are of two storeys with attics and have simple
eaves-cornices. The old Hall, now the Kitchen, is in the S.
range; westward from it, the remainder of the S. range was
rebuilt in 1825–6 and contains the present Hall. The old gateway is in the N. range.
The North Range of the Old Court fronts mainly on St.
Benet's churchyard; linking it with the chapel on the S. side of
the church is the gallery (Plate 114) built by Thomas Cosyn,
Master (1487–1515). The N. front, the original main entrance-front of the College, has windows corresponding to those
shown in Loggan's engraving (c. 1688) but much or entirely
restored externally. E. of the gallery the original rubble
walling is exposed and on the ground floor are three square-headed windows, the two eastern probably representing
original features, and the third perhaps later; the upper
floor has two windows, probably original, and both of
two cinque-foiled lights, the eastern in a square and the
western in a four-centred head; in the roof are two gabled
dormers. The front W. of the gallery also has the original
rubble walling exposed; on the ground floor are six windows,
all shown by Loggan, which, from the E., comprise two
single-light windows with square heads of the 17th century, a
two-light window with four-centred openings in a square head
of the 16th century, a window with timber three-light frame
of the 16th or 17th century, a square-headed 16th or 17th-century window, formerly of two but now of three lights, and
a square-headed 17th-century window.
On the first floor are six windows, as in Loggan's engraving, comprising two original windows, both of two
cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head, Loggan shows the
second square-headed, two small single-light windows, the
eastern with a square head and probably of the 17th century
and the western with an elliptical head and probably of the
16th century, and an original window with the head altered
from four-centred, as in Loggan, to square; the sixth window
is of the 15th century, with a three or four-centred head and
with the mullion and cusping removed.
At the W. end of the N. front, adjoining the modern range,
is the slightly projecting bay containing the entrance-archway
rebuilt in 1757. The bay is ashlar-faced and finished with a
cornice. The opening has rusticated jambs and round arch;
above it is a round-headed window also with rusticated jambs
and arch. The roof has a series of six gabled dormer-windows
differing from those in Loggan and probably all reconstructed
in the 18th century; over the entrance is a larger dormer with
three windows and apparently modern. Beyond the modern
range, W. of the churchyard, is the gabled end of the W.
range; it has an 18th-century window on the first floor and
another in the gable.
The S. front of the N. range, towards the Court, is rough-cast and divided into seven bays by six two-stage buttresses, all
probably of the late 15th century. On the ground floor, in the
W. bay, is a modern doorway in an ashlar feature and an original doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head. In
the next bay is the round-headed S. entrance of 1757 to the
former gateway, with plain responds, imposts and keystone,
and set in the blocked four-centred archway of the original S.
entrance. In the third bay is a modern window incorporating a
modern inscription-panel and in the fourth are two windows,
the western original and of one trefoiled light, the eastern of
two lights in a square head. The fifth bay has a window of two
two-centred lights in a four-centred head, an original window
of one light with the cusping removed and now with an elliptical head and, further E., a doorway similar to that in the first
bay; the three are original except the door jambs, which are
modern. In the sixth bay are three windows probably all original; the first is a single-light, the second a two-light window and
both are similar respectively to those in the preceding bay
except that in the second the original mullion has been replaced
by an 18th-century or later mullion continued up to the head;
the third window has double-chamfered jambs and now has a
plain square head. In the seventh bay is a window similar to the
two-light window in the fifth bay. On the first floor of the S.
front the W. bay has a modern window forming part of the
feature below and further E. is a 16th or 17th-century window
with double-chamfered jambs and square head with the mullion
removed. In the second bay is a two-light original window
similar to that in the fifth bay of the lower floor. In the third
bay are two modern windows. In the fourth bay is an original
window with double-chamfered jambs and square head,
perhaps once of two lights and altered; in the fifth bay are two
similar windows, the first of two lights, the second of one light,
and between them is a modern sundial; further E. is a single-light window, similar to the other in the bay but shorter. In
the sixth bay are two two-light windows renewed in freestone
and a single-light window similar to the easternmost in the fifth
bay. In the seventh bay is an original window similar to that
below. The attics have thirteen 18th-century dormer-windows,
each of two lights with flat tops and cornices.
The Interior of the N. range has, in the easternmost set of
ground-floor rooms entered from 'N' stair, on the W. side of
the lobby, a portion of original timber partitioning capped by
a moulded wood cornice. The main room has plain 18th-century panelling with a bolection-moulded panel over the
fireplace. The bedroom has similar panelling but the S. wall is
a partition of 16th or 17th-century moulded vertical panels.
On the first floor the E. main room has some early 17th-century panelling in the window-recess and a half-round 18th-century cupboard in the S. wall. Recent removal of brick filling
from a recess in the E. wall has revealed a damaged 15th-century painting of the Crucifixion on the original plaster; it
retains parts of the cross and figure with the Virgin and a lilypot and a scroll above inscribed 'Attendite et videte' (Lamentations i, 12); the preceding scroll, probably inscribed 'Omnes
qui transitis', has been entirely destroyed. The S. partition of
the bedroom is of late 16th or early 17th-century panelling.
The sets of ground-floor rooms off 'O' stair include, to the
E., a main room with 18th-century panelling with a cornice
and, to the W., a main room and bedroom with similar
panelling. The eastern rooms on the first floor include a main
room lined with fielded 18th-century panelling with a dado-rail and cornice; this room gives access to the gallery connecting the N. range with St. Benet's church (see Gallery below).
The western set has a main room lined with 18th-century
fielded panelling with dado-rail and cornice, an eared architrave round the fireplace, two old recessed bookcases, one
with 17th-century panelling at the back, and a half-round
china-cupboard in the W. wall. On the landing is some early
17th-century panelling with reeded and fluted enrichment.
The doorway to the rooms next E. of the gateway retains an
original N. jamb and the main room retains the original
clunch splays and the segmental chamfered rear-arch to the
small window in the S. wall; the 18th-century fireplace in the
same room has an enriched eared architrave and entablature
with carved rococo scroll-work in the frieze; the overmantel
has panelled pilasters with an eared panel in the middle and the
sides of the chimney-breast are lined with early 18th-century
bolection-moulded panelling. The set above, E. of 'P' stair,
includes a main room partly lined with 18th-century panelling;
on the wall S. of the fireplace are remains of late 16th-century
painted decoration on the plaster (Plate 58) consisting of a
white flower with foliage on a red ground with a bird, perhaps
a peacock. The bedroom has exposed timber-framing stepped
up in two stages as a bulkhead over the staircase. The attics
of the range have a diagonal tie-beam across the N.W. angle
of the N. and W. ranges, with curved and chamfered braces.
The East Range overlooks Free School Lane, which bounds
the site on the E. It has the gabled end of the S. range at the S.
end and the roof is hipped at the N. end. Adjoining the gabled
end is a much lower gabled annexe representing an ancient
feature but itself of the mid 19th-century. The main gable has a
parapet with a much weathered beast carved on the N. basestone and a seated dog, largely restored, upon the apex. The N.
end has original quoins of Barnack stone, the main walls of
the front being in small 14th-century rubble. The E. end of the
S. range has on the ground floor a modern two-light window
and a small restored window; on the first floor is a much
restored window of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a
four-centred head with a label, and, in the gable, a small
blocked rectangular window, all restored, and a modern two-light window.
In the rest of the E. front of the E. range the windows are all
modern restorations. Those on the ground floor have square
heads and some have modern blocking; the arrangement and
the number of lights are shown on the plan. On the first
floor, from the S. are a two-light window with a square head,
now blocked, a window of two cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head, another similar but blocked, two windows both
of one square-headed light and now blocked, another three
windows similar to the second window, and a single-light
window with cinque-foiled opening in a square head. On the
roof are nine 18th-century dormer-windows.
The front to the Old Court is rough-rendered and divided
into four bays by buttresses similar to those of the N. range,
but they are probably those added in 1615 as the ashlar seems
later in character. The ground floor has, in the N. bay, an
original doorway similar to those in the N. range; it has
moulded jambs and two-centred head; further S. is a single-light window with a square head probably altered in the 17th
century and in the second bay are a two and a one-light
window similarly altered, and now with modern heads. In the
third bay are two original windows, one of a single cinque-foiled light in a pointed head, much weathered, and the other
of two cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head. In the
fourth bay are three, all probably original but only the first
intact; it is of one cinque-foiled light in a pointed head; the
second, also a single light, has been altered in the 17th century
and has a square head; the third has a four-centred head with a
17th-century mullion run up the full height. Between the
single-light windows is an original doorway similar to that in
the N. bay but with the jambs repaired in brick. At the S. end
of the wall is a wall-arch of half four-centred form, to give
space for a window in the S. range.
On the first floor of the W. front, the N. bay has a rectangular stone window perhaps of the 17th century; in the same bay
is a sash-window and in the next bay are two sash-windows, all
of the late 18th century. In the third bay is a single-light window, probably original but with a later, or altered, square
head; further S. is a late 17th-century window of three lights
with square stone mullions, moulded architrave and sill. In the
fourth bay are four windows, the two first of stone and of one
and two square-headed lights respectively; both are probably
of the 17th century; the other two windows are both of the
late 17th century and of two lights with solid timber frames and
timber architraves. In the roof are eight flat-topped dormer-windows; except for two recently reconstructed, they are
probably of the 18th century.
The Interior of the E. range contains sets of rooms served by
two stairs, 'M' and 'N'. The framing of the original S.
enclosure of 'M' stair and N. enclosure of 'N' stair is exposed.
The main ground-floor room N. of 'M' stair has an 18th-century dado and cornice and a late 17th-century bolection-moulded surround to the fireplace. On the first floor the N.
main room has 18th-century bolection-moulded panelling on
the N. wall and in the E. wall the reveals and segmental rear-arch of an original window; the main S. room is lined with
early 17th-century panelling, of six panels in the height, with a
fluted frieze; the fireplace has fluted and reeded side-pilasters
supporting a fluted and reeded entablature with an overmantel
of two bays divided and flanked by Ionic pilasters, similarly
enriched, under an entablature with fluted frieze; in the
two bays are two ranges of arched panels with guilloche-ornament and leaves in the spandrels.
The main ground-floor room S. of 'N' stair is lined with
18th-century panelling with dado-rail and cornice. On the first
floor, the main N. room is lined with 18th-century fielded
panelling with dado-rail and entablature, the fireplace having
an enriched and dentilled shelf; it has a half-round 18th-century china-cupboard in the E. wall and in the lobby is some
early 17th-century panelling. The stair to the attics has close
strings, turned balusters and moulded handrail of the mid 18th
century. In the attics, the room S. of the stair contains on the E.
and W. walls a dado of early 17th-century panelling with an
arabesque frieze; the fireplace has fluted Doric side-pilasters
and a cornice enriched with arabesque.
The West Range is rough-cast on the E. side towards the Old
Court. The same side is divided into five bays by two-stage
buttresses, no doubt added, with those of the N. range, late
in the 15th century. The S. bay was rebuilt with the new Hall
in 1825–6. The ground floor of the rest of the E. side has, in
the second bay from the S., two original windows, the first of
two cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head, and the second
a single pointed light now without cusping. In the third bay
are two original windows, but the first with a 16th or 17th-century square head to the two lights; the second has two
pointed lights in a four-centred head but no cusping. In the
fourth bay is a central original doorway, partly repaired, with
moulded jambs and two-centred head; flanking it are two
original pointed windows without cusping. In the last bay are
two windows, the first of the late 17th or 18th century, of
stone and of two lights with a square head; the second window
is original and of a single light with a cinque-foiled head.
The first floor of the E. side has, in the second bay, two
windows, the first original and of two pointed lights in a four-centred head, the second probably of the 15th century and of
two four-centred openings in an elliptical head with the
mullion continued up across the sunk spandrel. In the third
bay are two 18th-century and in the fourth bay three early
19th-century double-hung sash-windows, the two in the third
bay with renewed architraves. In the last bay are two windows,
the first of the late 15th or early 16th century and of three lights
with four-centred openings in a square head, and the second a
single rectangular light with double-chamfered reveals, now
much weathered. Lighting the attics are seven 18th-century
dormer-windows each of two lights with flat tops and cornices.
The 19th-century southernmost bay is three storeys high
and with an embattled parapet continued round from the new
Hall; the eaves of the range are carried across the wall-face and,
below, the wall is rough-cast to match the rest of the facing
and, above, of brick with stone dressings. The E. doorway
is a recent conversion from a window; the E. windows on
the first and second floors are both of two cinque-foiled
lights with a pierced spandrel in a four-centred head with a
The W. side of the W. range faces for part of the length on
Hostel Yard and has much patched and altered buttresses.
The lower part of the walling, where not covered by modern
work, is in thin 14th-century rubble; the upper part seems to
have been rebuilt, perhaps in the 16th century, mainly with
rough blocks of stone but including some reused ashlar. The
N. angle is covered by a modern addition; S. of this on the
ground floor the wall has been refaced and contains a 19th-century window. In the next bay is a stone window of three
lights with a square head and probably of the 16th century.
In the third bay the wall has been much refaced and contains
two modern windows and a modern doorway, the latter
corresponding to the doorway in the fourth bay of the E.
front. The fourth bay has original walling now screened by a
later building; southward the rest is of 1825–6.
On the first floor of the W. side, the N. bay has two 18th-century sash-windows in the W. end of the N. range; in the
second bay are two 16th or 17th-century brick windows of
one and two lights respectively with rounded heads to the
lights. In the third bay is a modern doorway opening to a
modern external gallery and two 17th or 18th-century two-light windows with solid frames. The attics have a large
gabled dormer with an 18th-century casement-window in the
N. bay and six small 18th-century dormers with two-light
The Interior of the W. range contains sets of rooms. On the
ground floor, the main room at the N. end is lined with plain
18th-century panelling with a dado-rail on the W. wall, the
fireplace having a bolection-moulded surround and bolection-moulded panel above. The middle main room is panelled as
the N. room but the late 17th-century fireplace is of stone with
plain side-pilasters and a debased entablature with moulded
centre-panel. On the first floor, the middle room is lined with
early 18th-century bolection-moulded panelling with dado-rail and cornice and the fireplace contains an early 19th-century
cast-iron basket-grate; the lobby contains some reset early
17th-century panelling with reeded frieze. The S. room has a
fireplace with an 18th-century eared surround, fielded panels
on the chimney-breast and a heavy cornice above. The attics
retain no features of interest.
The South Range is old from the 19th-century staircase in the
middle eastwards; the old part contains the original Hall, now
the Kitchen, and the W. part is occupied by the new Hall
designed by Wilkins and already described. On the N. front,
towards the Old Court, the E. bay formed part of the original
Master's Lodge; on the ground floor it has an original doorway, now disused, with hollow-chamfered and probably
altered jambs and a two-centred head with a label; to the E.
are two two-light square-headed windows of stone; they have
jambs of two hollow-chamfered orders and the external heads
were altered in the 17th century. W. of the doorway is a 16th
or 17th-century single-light window with brick jambs and a
square stone head. On the first floor are two windows of the
17th century, probably inserted in 1667; the eastern is of two
lights with a timber mullion and architrave; the western is of
the same material and of five lights, the centre light having a
semicircular head and key-block carved with a cartouche and
the side lights a transom continued to form imposts for the
springing of the arched head in the centre; it has been restored.
Below this second window, on a modern bracket, is a 19th-century carved wood figure of a pelican in her piety.
The next three bays front the old Hall and have three
original two-stage buttresses. In the easternmost bay is an orielwindow different from that shown in Loggan and entirely
rebuilt early in the 18th century, with chamfered plinth and a
parapet with moulded string and chamfered coping; almost
filling the N. face is a window of five double-transomed lights
in a square head. The other two bays have each an original
window, said to have been raised between 1487 and 1515 and
enlarged c. 1597, of four transomed and two-centred lights
with pierced spandrels in a four-centred head with a label.
Lighting the attics are five modern flat-topped dormer-windows. The E. end of the range is described with the E.
The S. side of the range, E. of the E. range of New Court,
is faced with stock brick; it has a wood cornice and a modern
buttress at the E. end leaving the line of the original quoined
angle visible a few inches further to the E. The facing seems to
be of the late 18th century, except that of the upper part of the
W. end which appears to be rather earlier, and that of the E.
annexe of the time of Wilkins. In the ground floor are four
sash-windows with iron grilles of the late 18th or early 19th
century; the upper floor contains three sash-windows of the
same period as those below and a fourth, in the area of earlier
brick facing, with a flush frame and architrave. The upper floor
of the annexe has a single sash-window. In the roof are four
small hipped dormer-windows of two lights.
The Interior of the old part of the S. range has, at the E. end,
the former Master's Lodge of which the ground floor now
forms part of the kitchen-offices. The room E. of the old Hall,
now divided up by light partitions, has an original hollow-chamfered rear-arch to the E. window in the N. wall and the
adjoining opening in the passage has a similar rear-arch; in the
S. wall are three original openings with rear-arches similar to
those in the N. wall; the easternmost opening has an 18th-century window inserted; the middle one was a doorway and
the westernmost a window but both have been blocked. The
N. doorway in the W. wall of the same room is concealed
by recent blocking. The other rooms have no features of
On the first floor, the easternmost room contains some early
17th-century panelling made up with modern work; it has
guilloche-ornament on the top-rail and over the fireplace are
three enriched arched panels. The next room to the W. is lined
with 18th-century fielded panelling with dado-rail and dentilcornice, the fireplace having a modern surround and an
enriched eared panel above with shell and scroll ornaments.
The room to the N.W. was refitted in 1667, during the
Mastership of John Spencer, 1667–93, when the large window
was probably inserted; it is lined with panelling consisting of
large panels in moulded framing with a dado-rail and bracketed
entablature, the fireplace having panelled side-pilasters and
central and side-panels in the entablature; the overmantel is of
two bays with moulded panels and panelled pilasters; the two
doorways have projecting doorcases with panelled entablatures and broken pediments with small volutes on either side
of central pedestals; one of the doors retains original wrought-iron fretted hinges. The room has recently been restored after
a fire which destroyed some of the woodwork.
The old Hall (35 ft. by 27¼ ft.) was divided into two storeys
in 1946 by the insertion of a reinforced concrete floor; the
upper floor is the Kitchen and below are serving and kitchen-offices divided by modern partitions. When the western half
of the range was rebuilt in the 19th century the Hall was cut
short by a wall then built approximately on the line of the
former screen. It is now of three bays and has an original roof
of trussed-rafter type, ceiled and plastered between the trusses,
with moulded braces, forming arches below the principals,
that spring from carved stone corbels some 5 ft. below the wall-head. The stone corbels are carved with angels, some crowned,
holding shields and musical instruments, but they are now
boxed-in just above the modern floor. A S. oriel-window,
opposite that on the N., was blocked by the building of New
Court. Some of the heraldic glass seen in these windows by
Carter, c. 1753, is now in the new Hall. The new Hall is
approached by the 19th-century stair immediately W. of the
The Gallery (Plate 114) between the N. range of Old Court
and St. Benet's church was built during the Mastership of
Thomas Cosyn (1487–1515) and is of stone and brick and of
two storeys, the gallery itself being on the first floor, with a
gatehouse and a room on the ground floor. On the E. the stone
outer archway of the gatehouse has moulded responds and a
four-centred arch with a label and a brick relieving-arch;
above it is a window of three lights with four-centred openings
in a square head. N. of the archway is a two-stage buttress;
beyond, on the ground-floor is a single-light window with a
two-centred opening in a square head. On the first floor are
two windows similar in detail to that over the archway but of
two lights; between them is a niche with cinque-foiled-ogee
head and crocketed finial immediately below a small single-light window. All the foregoing features are much restored
On the W., the inner archway of the gatehouse is similar to
that on the E.; above it is an 18th-century patch of brickwork
no doubt representing a former window. N. of it is a twostage buttress; beyond this are two single-light windows on
the ground floor with four-centred openings in square heads.
On the upper floor are two two-light windows similar to those
on the E.; between them is a niche with an enriched corbelbracket, pinnacles and a three-sided canopy with a ribbed vault.
The S. face of the projecting stair-turret on the N.W. shows
flush with the S. aisle wall of St. Benet's and contains a small
light with rounded head.
In the Interior the gatehall retains the springers of a quadripartite vault with moulded ribs and moulded corbels in the
angles. The N. wall has been extensively patched and rebuilt;
it may have contained a way through to the church. The
ground-floor room has a southern compartment adjoining the
gatehall with thick side-walls and a ceiling of barrel form,
all perhaps due to the subsequent addition of a brick lining;
in the N. wall is a doorway to the vestry of the church, but
now partitioned off from it, with chamfered jambs and a two-centred head; in the E. wall the existing window is flanked
by two blocked windows. The stop-chamfered ceiling-beams
are exposed. The stone staircase from the church to the gallery
has a lower doorway with rebated jambs retaining staples in
the N. jamb and a four-centred head; the upper doorway has a
chamfered rear-arch. The gallery has a three-sided ceiled roof
and, at the N. end, over the S. wall of the church, an arch of
irregular form and of two chamfered orders, probably that
inserted, according to Josselin, in 1569. The room over the
vestry of St. Benet's is lined with 18th-century panelling with
dado-rail and entablature, the fireplace having an eared surround with a dentilled cornice.
Preserved in the University Museum of Archaeology and
Ethnology are two mid 16th-century oak roundels carved
with profile heads said to have come from the College.
The New Buildings, five adjoining houses on the E. side of
Trumpington Street, between the College and Benet Street,
were first offered on forty year leases as private houses in 1826.
They are of three storeys with basements and now contain
shops on the ground floor and sets of rooms for undergraduates above; the walls are of grey brick with stone
dressings and the roofs are slate-covered. Invitation to tender
for building them was advertised by the Bursar in 1825; the
plans were then with Mr. Walter, Wilkins' clerk-of-works
for the New Court of the College.
They form a terrace, with the W. fronts designed in
Gothic style; each house has a projecting bay, two storeys high,
with an embattled parapet; the main parapet rises in a gablet
over each bay and is embattled between them. The doorways
have four-centred inner and square outer heads with labels.
The windows are of three lights with stone mullions, the labels
of those on the upper floor continuing across the wall-face
as a moulded string. Bounding the basement-areas are cast-iron
railings with octagonal uprights with trefoil-headed finials, a
double head-rail and standards with cusped panels on the face
and with lobed finials; they are continued in front of later
buildings round to St. Benet's churchyard. The N. and S. ends
of the terrace adjoin later buildings, and the E. face is of plain
brickwork with double-hung sash-windows and modern doorways.
Inside each house is a small entrance-lobby. No. 56 Trumpington Street retains the original wooden doorway between
the lobby and stair-passage; it has a four-centred head framing
a fanlight above an embattled lintel and is fitted with a door
with two glazed and cusped upper panels, a deep lock-rail
divided into three cusped panels, and four plain lower panels.
The staircases, each rising round a small well, have plain square
balusters and turned newels. The rooms have been much
altered and adapted to their present uses.