Magdalene College Arms
(32) Magdalene College stands on the E. side of
Magdalene Street, between the river and Chesterton
Lane. The walls generally are of clunch with an external
facing of red brick, now for the most part faced with
stucco; the dressings are of clunch. Only the W. front
of the Pepys Building is of Ketton stone ashlar. The
roofs are slate and tile-covered. For descriptive purposes
in the following account the Chapel is taken to be
orientated due E. and W.
As the result of representations made to Henry VI
that monks from Crowland (or Croyland) were sent to
Cambridge to study canon law and theology but,
because of the lack of a hostel for the Benedictine order,
were compelled to lodge with seculars, the Abbot in
1428 obtained Letters Patent for the establishment of a
hostel for them in two houses on the far side of the Great
Bridge, on the site of the present college (L.P. 6. H VI,
2, m 21). Abbot Litlyngton, the applicant for the grant,
died in 1469 and, according to the continuator of the
Croyland Chronicle writing seventeen years later, his
successor John de Wisbech (Abbot 1470–76) 'erected
chambers convenient for repose and study in the monks'
college of Buckingham' ('Historiae Croylandensis
Continuatio' (1458–9) in T. Gale and W. Fulman Rerum
Anglicarum Scriptorum Veterum (Oxon. 1684), I, 560).
A condition of the grant was that other Benedictine
houses should be able to build rooms for their monks.
The establishment, though named the 'hostel called
Monks' place' in a deed of 1472, was known as Buckingham College certainly from 1483, as then recorded in
the Cambridge Borough accounts, but the exact connection with Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
(executed 1483), or possibly his grandfather the 1st
Duke, and the indebtedness to the family is unknown;
the Dukes of Buckingham are reputed to have been
benefactors of Crowland.
Dr. Caius (1510–73, student 1529–33) states that it
was this Duke Henry who 'made a beginning' of the
buildings of the college, in brick, which were continued
by the monks, 'different monasteries building different
portions; thus Ely one chamber, Walden a second, and
Ramsey a third'. The date the sister monasteries contributed is not recorded.
As a result of this combined effort and with aid from
the 3rd Duke of Buckingham, by the time of the
dissolution of the College in 1539 a court with ranges on
at least three sides had been completed, with the Hall
in the E. range, a Chapel in the E. half of the N. range
with perhaps chambers, including the Prior's room, in
the rest and chambers occupying the S. range; probably
the N. part of the W. range also was built. These
buildings survive and form the major part of the
existing First Court. Subsequent alterations have endowed them with greater architectural unity than they
at first perhaps possessed, but it seems that the separate
monastic camerae never had the diversity of appearance
of those built in similar circumstances, and which survive largely unaltered, at Worcester College, Oxford.
The North Range, containing the Chapel, is of the
late 15th century. The South Range is of similar date;
here the blocks served by the separate staircases vary
slightly from one another and appear to have been built
as separate entities, thus corroborating Caius' statement.
Further, the former existence of a doorway in the N.W.
corner of the Court carved with the arms of Ely
Cathedral priory, as recorded by Cole in 1777, seems to
indicate a like origin for the N. part of the W. range.
According to an account of the College prepared for
the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Cambridge in 1564, the
Hall in the East Range was built in 1519 by Edward, 3rd
Duke of Buckingham (executed 1521). The structural
evidence indicates a rather earlier date for the remainder
of the range, where the Kitchens formerly stood,
though this has been considerably altered from time to
time. It seems that the space available immediately S. of
the Chapel was restricted and that a Hall of the size
required could be built there only by projecting the bay
containing the screens-passage into the northern end of
the part of the range already standing.
Endowment of the College ceased at the Dissolution
in December 1539. The grant to Thomas, Lord Audley
of Walden, Lord Chancellor, to refound the College
was made on 3 April 1542; the new dedication was to
St. Mary Magdalene. Audley died in 1544 and a Return
of the King's Commissioners of 1546 shows the foundation to have been in a state of extreme poverty, precluding any building activity (P.R.O. E 315/440).
On the occasion of Queen Elizabeth's visit in 1564,
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, Audley's sonin-law and great-grandson of Edward, 3rd Duke of
Buckingham, promised the College £40 a year towards
completion of the Court. This must apply to the incomplete West Range (see above). How far building had
progressed by the time of his execution in June 1572 is
unknown and the evidence of the stylised representation
of the College in Richard Lyne's plan of 1574 is ambiguous. Hamond in 1592 shows the Court entirely
enclosed. In 1585 Sir Christopher Wray, Thomas
Parkinson and Edward Lucas had contributed some £18
towards the cost of the new gates; at the same period,
expenses recorded in the Audit Books for paving the
Gatehouse suggest that it was incomplete. Tradition
attributes to Wray the Renaissance surround to the W.
archway of the Gatehouse.
In an agreement dated 16 July 1587 between Wray
and the College it is stated that he had lately at his own
expense 'erected and new builded a portion of building'
in the College; the terms of the agreement imply three
storeys with four chambers each, twelve chambers in
all. Tradition locates them in the E. range, S. of the
Hall, but, further to the evidence of an earlier date for
that fabric, exigences of space point rather to completion
of the W. range and a remodelling of the existing N. end
of the same.
Between 1733 and 1756 the interior of the late 15th-century Chapel was transformed to the Classical style,
chiefly during the last two years of the period and under
contract with Jeremiah Robinson, who prepared the
designs. In 1754 the E. window had been blocked and in
1756 William Collins was paid for the relief panel, now
in the Library, for the reredos. Between 1847 and 1851
the interior was again restored and most of the 18th-century additions were abolished; the flat plaster ceiling
and the sets of attic-rooms contrived above were removed, the E. window was reopened and the wainscoting renewed. The work was supervised by John
Buckler and cost some £2,000. At the same time a
vestibule, with the Master's pew above, was converted
into the present Ante-chapel by removing the S.
entrance-doorway and replacing the E. wall of the
vestibule by an oak screen. A new approach-passage was
made by shortening the room to the W. now containing
part of the College Library.
The Hall of 1519 was wainscoted in 1585 and a
louvre built between 1586 and 1588. In 1714 £265 was
spent on almost complete internal renovation, including
a new ceiling, which may indicate that at this time the
sets of rooms still over the Hall were first contrived
between the original trusses.
The Combination Room is first recorded in 1712 when
the floor above the Kitchen and Butteries was fitted to
accommodate it. It was refitted in 1757; after 1810 the
sash-windows in the W. wall, and on the floor below,
were replaced by a single large four-light window. The
Library is shown by Loggan in c. 1690 in the roof over
the Chapel, but the date it was placed there is unknown;
in 1733 it was moved to the room in the external N.W.
angle of First Court and c. 1850 to the present position
W. of the Chapel, in the dining-room and drawing-room of the old Master's Lodge.
The Master's Lodge was formerly in the N.W. corner
of First Court; considerable extensions to it on the N.,
no longer standing, of which the dates are not recorded,
are shown in Loggan's engraving of the College; they
enclosed a small courtyard and a stable-yard beyond;
the N. boundary-wall of the last in part survives. The
accommodation was also extended by appropriating
the rest of the N. range of First Court eastward as far as
the Chapel. In 1834 it was decided to build a new
Master's Lodge and Edward Blore was asked to prepare
designs, but in the event John Buckler was the architect
employed. Work was begun in 1835 to the N. of the
site, adjoining Chesterton Lane; the foundation-stone
was laid by H.R.H. Prince George of Cambridge.
The changes in the appearance of First Court between
the late 17th century, see Loggan's view, and the present
time were effected in 1702, in 1759–60 when the walls
were faced with stucco, and between 1812 and 1815.
In this last period, though the stucco was renewed, the
recorded expenses are disproportionately heavy, and
this fact, together with the known survival of plain
eaves to within a short time before (see Harraden's view
of the College dated 1810), suggests that it was also the
period when the eaves were replaced by battlements, no
change of this kind being recorded at a subsequent date.
In 1955, (fn. 1) removal of the stucco facing and the battlements was begun; the E. side has been stripped and
made good and the roof, now tiled, continued down to
a slight eaves-cornice; this last is of stone and entirely
new; similar work on the S. side is half completed
(Summer 1956). The S. front to the river and the
W. front to Magdalene Street were restored in 1873
and 1875 respectively by F. C. Penrose, the first after
demolition of cottage properties standing between it
and the river.
Beyond First Court only two buildings still surviving
were added to the College in the 17th century, the Pepys
Building forming the E. side of Second Court and,
between it and the river, the timber-framed brewhouse,
the latter built in 1629 and subsequently much altered.
The Pepys Building, originally called the New Building,
houses the Samuel Pepys library. Subscriptions for an
extension to the College were solicited as early as 1640.
No records of the beginning and completion of the
Pepys Building survive and the evidence for dating it
is largely incidental. By tradition it was begun during
the Mastership of John Peachell, 1679–90, and completed
during that of Gabriel Quadring, 1690–1713. A letter
of 29 November 1679 to Pepys from John Maulyverer,
Fellow, reads 'we had made a tender of it before this
time' if subscriptions had not been so slow in coming
in. 'We have not yet finished the inside, and I know not
when we shall'. Thus it may have been begun while
James Duport was Master, 1668–79, who is said to have
given £235 towards it. In 1698–9 considerable payments
were being made to Francis Percy, contractor and carver.
Pepys contributed during Duport's Mastership, and
subsequently, and in his will in 1703 bequeathed his
library conditionally to Magdalene, to 'be in the New
Building there', which seems to imply completion.
The architect also of the Pepys Building is unknown,
but in 1677 Robert Hooke prepared a 'draught of
Maudlin College' for Dr. Burton (Hooke's Diary in
Walpole Soc. Papers (1936–7) XXV, 25 March 1677). It
may be that he redrafted only the W. front of an older
design prepared some time after c. 1640, the inference
being that money then solicited was for this building;
this would explain the curious dichotomy between the
front and the rest of the building.
Pepys' library, contained in his own bookcases, was
installed in the room occupying the whole of the first
floor of the central block in 1724. In 1834 it was moved
to the old Master's Lodge, to the ground-floor room
next W. of the Chapel; about 1847 it was transferred
to the new Master's Lodge and in 1853 back to the Pepys
Building, to the first-floor room in the S.E. wing made
fire-proof in 1879, where it remains.
Work done in the present century includes the
addition in 1908–9 of a Kitchen block S. of the original
Kitchen and Bright's Building designed by Sir Aston
Webb on the S. side of Second Court. In 1911 A. C.
Benson, then President and later (1915–25) Master,
formed the Old Lodge, N. of the old Master's Lodge, by
combining a number of small early 19th-century
buildings and adding to them Benson Hall along the
street front; in the same year the ceilings of the Hall and
Combination Room were elaborated.
The Junior Combination Room was formed in the S.W.
corner of First Court in 1923 and extended westward
in 1935 but this area has recently been entirely remodelled
and a new stair inserted. In 1926 the passage-way between the Ante-chapel and the Library was panelled
and in 1928 carved shields-of-arms of Benedictine
monasteries were inserted over the doorways in First
Court from the designs of Kruger Gray.
Further accommodation provided in the present
century on the opposite side of Magdalene Street
includes Benson Court and Mallory Court. The former
was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, but only the W.
range was built, between 1930 and 1932. Mallory
Court consists of a miscellany of buildings largely of the
19th century, some remodelled in 1924 and others
recently. The Magdalene Street houses are now (1957)
being converted into undergraduates' rooms.
Magdalene College in the 15th-century foundation
was the only house of regular studies in Cambridge provided at first exclusively for Benedictine monks; the
buildings of this period survive although to some extent
obscured by later refacing and refitting. The S. range
of First Court retains an exceptional example, almost
intact, of the mediaeval arrangements of students' rooms,
consisting of one large chamber with small studies
opening from it. Stucco and battlements gave to First
Court the appearance, unique among Cambridge
colleges, of a work of the early 19th-century Romantic
movement; they are now being abolished (1956). The
heraldic painting and the staircase in the Hall are unusual.
The Pepys Building is of considerable architectural
interest and the Pepys library within is most notable,
apart from its historical, literary and bibliographical
importance, for the quality of the fittings. The relief-panel formerly in the Chapel reredos is a notable piece
Architectural Description—In First Court (112½ ft. by
80 ft.) the West Range contains the Gateway well to the S. of
centre. It is of two storeys with attics. The E. wall is mostly
faced with Roman cement and has clunch dressings; the W.
wall, to the street, is of red brick entirely refaced in 1875, with
freestone dressings. The roofs are slate-covered. Entrance to
the College has been from this direction certainly since 1574
and no doubt from the foundation, and the development of
the range so far as it is ascertainable is outlined above. A thick
cross-wall immediately N. of the Porter's Lodge may indicate
the extent of the building of the first foundation. The rest of
the range to the S. is of the second half of the 16th century and
financed in building probably by the 4th Duke of Norfolk and
Sir Christopher Wray, the earlier northern part being remodelled at the same time.
The W. arch of the Gateway is largely original, of c. 1585,
with a chamfered semicircular arch on square responds with
moulded imposts; the stone surround has flanking Roman
Doric pilasters with enriched caps on pedestals supporting a
full entablature with triglyphs and flower-like paterae in the
metopes. The oak door, for which contributions were received
in 1585, is hung on old strap-hinges; it is in two leaves, of
thirteen and twelve linenfold panels on the face and latticeframed behind, with a wicket in the N. leaf. The E. arch has
chamfered freestone jambs and a moulded four-centred head
of clunch with a restored label (p. 394); over it is an achievement-of-arms of Richard Neville-Griffin, 3rd Lord Braybrooke, added between 1852 and 1854 (Plate 202). The
Gatehall (22¼ ft. by 11¼ ft.) has a modern doorway and
modern three-light window in the N. wall and a modern
doorway in the S. wall.
The E. side of the W. range has a plain plinth and embattled
parapet. On the ground floor the doorway to staircase 'A' has
been completely restored and over it is a modern shield-of-arms
of Ely Cathedral priory; the original doorway was probably
some 4 ft. further S. where is a blocking below the adjacent
window. The doorway to staircase 'B' has much weathered
square jambs, a hollow-chamfered four-centred arch in a square
head and a label; over it is a modern shield-of-arms of Crowland Abbey. The four windows of two and three lights, as
shown on the plan, have four-centred openings in square heads
with sunk spandrels and labels and are all of the second half of
the 16th century; the glazing of the northernmost is set in
modern oak framing. On the first floor is a range of seven
two and three-light windows of similar character to the foregoing, the three to the S. being symmetrically placed over the
three southern openings below. On the roof are five 18th or
19th-century flat-roofed dormer-windows.
The W. side, to Magdalene Street, retains almost exactly the
fenestration shown in Loggan's view of the College, c. 1690.
On the ground floor is a range of ten two-light windows and
a single-light window, and on the first floor of twelve two-light windows, all similar in character to those on the E. but
entirely renewed externally. The changes since Loggan, excluding intermediate changes, among them the insertion of a
Gothic doorway opposite doorway 'A', are the replacement
of three small single-light windows on the ground floor by
the third two-light window from the N., the abolition of
a fourth small single-light window further S., and the entire
rearrangement and renewal of the dormer-windows; these
last, eight in number, are of 1873. The great shafted chimneystacks were rebuilt in the same period.
The N. and S. ends are gabled; the brickwork and stone
dressings were very extensively renewed in 1875 and 1873.
In the N. end is a modern doorway, under a modern porch,
set in an area of 15th-century brickwork extending up to
include on the first floor a restored 15th-century two-light
window with cinque-foiled openings and a pierced spandrel in
a four-centred moulded head with original relieving-arch.
Further W. are two altered and restored windows of the 16th
century set in brickwork of the same period; the first, on the
ground floor, is of four lights, and the second, on the first
floor, of three lights; both are of similar character to those of
similar date described above. In the S. end, which retains
original brickwork showing only up to the first-floor level,
are four windows and a loop-light; the two on the ground
floor, of one and two lights both transomed, are similar to the
other 16th-century windows in the range but smaller and
entirely restored externally; the oriel-window on the first
floor and the window in the gable are of 1873.
The Interior of the W. range contains the Porter's Lodge N.
of the Gateway, college offices at the S. end of the first floor
and, for the rest, sets of chambers. Alterations at the N. end
including readjustment of the staircase may account for the
displacement of doorway 'A' and this, as indicated above,
occurred either during or before the late 16th-century work
on the range; further, the blocked light adjoining the second
W. window from the N. on the first floor suggests either a
displacement northward in 1875 of one of the two-light
windows shown by Loggan or, accepting an earlier date for
the alteration, the existence here of a three-light window
antedating Loggan's view. Most of the rooms have been
modernised, but they retain a number of exposed chamfered
ceiling-beams; some 18th-century flush-panelled doors to the
sets remain. In the N.W. corner of the northernmost room is a
late 15th or 16th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and
moulded four-centred head opening into a cupboard, perhaps
originally a garderobe. In the N. wall of the room next S.
of the Gateway are traces of a former doorway with four-centred head, now blocked, opening into the Gatehall.
On the first floor the northernmost room has the greater
part of the E. wall lined to within about 2 ft. from the ceiling
with panelling of c. 1600, in five heights with enriched frieze-panels. The main room N. of staircase 'B' has an 18th-century
panelled dado and six-panel doors. The timber-framing of the
partition between this staircase and the room to the S. is
exposed on the S. side.
The North Range contains the Chapel and Ante-chapel to
the E. divided by a narrow passage-way from the Library
next to the W. on the ground floor. It is of one and two
storeys with attics. Over the Library are a Fellow's rooms and,
in the attics, sets of undergraduates' rooms. The walls are
of brick very extensively refaced in the 19th century and with
the S. side of the range, W. of the chapel, faced with Roman
cement. It was built in the second half of the 15th century,
after 1470, and has subsequently been much altered. In addition
to the alterations to the Chapel already described, in 1876 the
upper part of the W. gable was entirely rebuilt, incorporating
a niche containing a figure of the patron saint. After the
completion in 1835 of the new Master's Lodge, a staircase-wing
of unknown date projecting northward from the old Master's
Lodge in the W. half of this range was demolished; the
Library was transferred to the present position, into the former
dining-room and drawing-room, and new windows to light
it were inserted towards the Court; further, the first floor of
the old Lodge was converted into sets of chambers.
The Chapel (63½ ft. by 20 ft. including the Ante-chapel
10 ft. wide) has restored stone quoins to the N.E. angle. The
E. end is gabled and the whole of the upper part has been refaced or rebuilt. The E. window is entirely renewed; it is of
five cinque-foiled ogee lights with tracery in a four-centred
head and replaces that, presumably of similar design, bricked
up in 1754 and uncovered again in the restoration of 1847–51.
The N. and S. walls have plain plinths and eaves; on the S. a
modern two-stage buttress marks the W. end. The Chapel is
lit from each side by three three-light windows; they replace
mediaeval windows and are all of the mid 19th century except
perhaps most of the jambs of the N.E. window.
The Interior of the Chapel, as a result of the mid 18th and
mid 19th-century restorations, retains no original features
except the roof. In 1847 removal of the 18th-century plaster
ceiling exposed the roof to the Chapel. Removal of the
panelling at the same time revealed four niches at the E. end
with remains of canopies. The Roof is divided into eight bays
by collar-beam trusses with braces forming high four-centred
arches; these last spring from moulded wall-plates and have
pierced tracery-panels in the spandrels; standing on the collars
are king-posts supporting longitudinal braces forming four-centred arches below the ridge-piece. The principals, up to the
collar, the collar-beams, the braces and the single purlins are
moulded. The rafters are laid flat and have the extra support
of tall vertical ashlar-pieces.
Magdalene College, Plan
Fittings—Door: in W. entrance, of oak, in two leaves, front
with window-tracery panelling, latticed and enriched back,
1847–51. Floor-slab: In Ante-chapel, of William Gretton,
S.T.P., 1813, Master, black marble. Glass: In E. window,
figure subjects in each light, (1) St. Mary Magdalene anointing
the feet of Christ (Plate 36), (2) The Deposition, (3) St. Mary
Magdalene, (4) the three Maries and St. John, (5) 'Noli me
tangere', all with kneeling angels below bearing inscribed
scrolls referring to the respective scenes, and canopies and geometrical patterns above, given in 1850, designed by Pugin and
made by Messrs. Hardman of Birmingham. Niches: four; two
flanking E. window, with side-standards, three-sided canopies
and tall gabled and crocketed spires; two in N. and S. walls, at
E. end, similar to the foregoing, but with lower spires, 1847–51,
containing modern statues. Panelling: on N. and S. walls over
the stalls, of oak, panels with cinque-foiled heads divided into
bays by buttress-like standards and with continuous cornice
carved with paterae, 1847–51, in the Gothic style. Reredos: see
Library below. Screen: between Chapel and Ante-chapel, of
oak, central opening with cusped and crocketed four-centred
arch with pierced traceried panels above containing carved
shields of France and England quarterly and Stafford, rest of E.
side with two return-stalls under elaborate traceried canopies
and all surmounted by a cornice carved with Royal and
Stafford heraldic devices and brattishing, W. side panelled in
two heights of tracery-headed panels, 1847–51, in the Gothic
style. Stalls: against N. and S. walls, with return-stalls for the
Master and President against screen, arranged as shown on plan,
of oak, with shaped and moulded arm-rests with moulded
cappings, desks with tracery-panelled fronts and panelled ends
with carved poppy-heads, 1847–51, in the Gothic style. (see
Screen). Pavement: of stone flags set diagonally with small black
marble squares at the corners, the payment of £47 was made
to Thompson, 2 September 1755; at E. end, modern.
W. of the Chapel-block, approximately in the centre of the
S. side of the N. range, is a doorway renewed in 1925; this
replaced a window in the mid 19th-century alterations;
beyond are five rectangular windows lighting the Library,
with splayed heads and jambs, inserted either in or about 1834
when the Pepys library was moved here or 1847 when the
College library was installed. On the first floor are seven
much-weathered windows of the second half of the 15th-century, with some repairs; the first, third and fifth are of a
single two-centred light, the others of two lights with a pierced
spandrel in a four-centred head; any cusps they may have had
have been removed. On the roof are four flat-roofed dormer-windows renewed in the 18th or 19th century.
On the N. side, W. of the Chapel-block, the door to the
passage-way and the window above are modern and set in
patchings of brickwork later than the rest. Much of the wall
further W. is hidden by later additions; these are partly of
one storey only, and in the exposed upper wall-face are
traces of the W. jamb and springing of an original window
close W. of a modern two-light window; further W., beyond
a modern window set in a recess and impinging upon the blocking of an old doorway is a much restored original window of
two pointed lights with a pierced spandrel in a four-centred
head. The three late 16th-century chimney-stacks have had the
upper parts rebuilt in the 19th century.
The Library (51¾ ft. by 20½ ft. overall), next W. of the
passage-way adjoining the Chapel-block and occupying the
drawing-room and dining-room of the former Master's Lodge
has an extension of 1927 entered through a doorway in the N.
wall of the E. room. The modern fireplace in the E. room has
slips of 19th-century blue and white tiles; the overmantel is
made up of fragments of carved 'Jacobean' woodwork,
including arabesques, a perspective-arched panel, terminal
figures and enriched and coupled attached columns. The wide
doorway between the two rooms is of reset 18th-century
material, with fluted Ionic pilasters in antis supporting a plain
frieze and dentil-cornice; the double doors are each of six
fielded panels. The W. room contains against the W. wall
much of the reredos of 1756 (Plate 203) removed from the
Chapel in the restoration of 1847–51, including the plaster
relief-panel of the Maries at the Sepulchre after the Resurrection, for which William Collins was paid £31 10s. on 21 May
1756. The panel is flanked by fluted Ionic columns supporting
an entablature with guilloche-ornament on the soffit, scrolled
acanthus on the frieze and a dentil-cornice. The fireplace has an
overmantel made up of carved fragments, some perhaps old,
with four panels containing cartouches painted in modern
times with shields-of-arms.
The S. windows of the Library contain heraldic and other
glass reset in 1916. It is presumably that (except 4 below)
mentioned by Cole in the windows of the Gallery in the
Master's Lodge, probably the long building shown by Loggan
with an oriel-window. The arms etc. are as follows: E. window,
(1) quarterly of sixteen, Neville, Clarence, Pole, Hastings,
Earl of Warwick, Beauchamp, Monthermer, Montagu,
Peverel, Hungerford, Clare, Spencer, Moels, Moleyns,
Botreaux and Cornwall, for Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of
Huntingdon, K.G., but with the quarters misplaced and some
back to front, all in a strapwork cartouche with a coronet;
(2) five apparently unrelated quarterings including the arms
of William Bruges, Garter King of Arms, 1415–50, and (unidentified 17), in a strapwork cartouche with a coronet.
Second window, (3) of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset,
quarterly of six, Seymour marriage augmentation, Seymour,
Beauchamp of Hache, Esturmi, Mackwilliam, and Coker,
in a strapwork cartouche with a coronet; (4) the Tudor Royal
arms in a strapwork cartouche with a crown above and two
ostrich feathers below, and motto, 19th-century. Third
window, (5) the figure of St. Lawrence in chasuble and amice
holding book and gridiron; (6) kneeling angel in robe holding
sceptre, book above. Fourth window, (7) quarterly of eight,
Vere, Trussell, Colbrooke, Archdeacon, Sergeaux, Badlesmere
(damaged), Sanford, and Bulbeck; (8) of William Somerset,
3rd Earl of Worcester, Somerset quartering Herbert and
Woodville, with Garter and coronet. Fifth window, (9)
nimbed figure of a king holding a cross; (10) nimbed
figure of St. Edmund the Martyr, with book and arrow. The
above, (5), (6), (9) and (10) late 15th-century, much restored, the remainder, except (4), late 16th-century.
The passage-way immediately E. of the Library is lined with
modern panelling incorporating four 18th-century Corinthian
pilasters on pedestals from the English church of St. Mary at
On the first floor, the E. room is lined with mid 18th-century panelling with a moulded dado-rail; the contemporary
doors are of two panels. Adjoining it on the W. are a bedroom
and lobby and, beyond, a sitting-room, which has the N. and
W. walls and part of the S. wall lined with reset oak panelling
of c. 1600. A late 16th-century clunch fireplace in the N.
wall has moulded jambs and a four-centred arch in a square
head with a cornice-shelf above; the overmantel is made up
of 17th-century and modern materials. W. of the sitting-room,
in the adjoining bedroom and passage, the 15th-century
moulded wall-plates on the outer walls are exposed.
The East Range is of one and two storeys with attics, with
the N. half containing the Hall, the S. half the Butteries with
the Combination Room on the first floor, and a continuous
run of attics from end to end. It is of red brick, consisting of
bricks of 9 × 4½ × 2 ins., four courses measuring 11 ins., with
clunch dressings and ashlar quoins to the S.E. angle. The roofs
are slate and tile-covered. The Hall is said to have been built
in 1519 in an account of the College written some forty-five
years later; the part S. of the Hall is of a different build and
slightly earlier. In 1586 the Hall was wainscoted at the expense
of Edward Lucas and was repanelled in 1714, when 'new ceiled
and paved and glazed'; the Combination Room having been
formed in the present position in 1712, the double staircase to
it from the Hall was contrived in the same period.
The Hall (25 ft. by 56½ ft. including the Screens 6¼ ft. wide)
has brick plinths continued from the adjoining buildings but
stepped up from the Chapel, a simple stone eaves-cornice to
the E., a gabled N. end, and an embattled parapet to the W.
(but see historical introduction). On the N. is a single-storey
modern annexe. The Hall is lit by three windows on each
side. Those on the E. are of early 16th-century style, being
of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a
label, but much restored. Those on the W. are in the main
original; the northernmost is of four cinque-foiled and
transomed lights in an elliptical head with a label with
carved headstops, that to the S. defaced; the other two
windows are similar in design to those opposite but shorter
and with 19th-century carved headstops to the labels. The
original W. doorway to the screens-passage has moulded and
shafted jambs with moulded caps and bases and a moulded
four-centred arch under a square label with trefoiled spandrels
carved with paterae; over it is a 17th-century carved achievement of the Audley arms within a Garter with lion supporters
and the motto 'Garde ta foy' in a panel with flanking scrolls
(Plate 202). The restored doorway at the opposite end of the
screens-passage has moulded jambs, four-centred arch and label;
above it, formerly lighting the gallery over the screens and
now blocked by panelling inside, is a late 15th-century
window of two four-centred lights with a pierced spandrel in a
four-centred head. Just N. of these two features a change in the
kind of brick used for the walling is marked by a distinct
almost vertical mortar joint; this doubtless indicates the end of
the earlier part of the range. Removal of the stucco facing of
First Court (1955) has revealed a gallery window and mortar
joint, generally similar to the foregoing, in the W. wall.
On the ridge of the Hall roof, centrally over the screens-passage, is a lead-covered timber lantern built after 1810,
probably between 1812 and 1815. It is in three rectangular
diminishing stages surmounted by an octagonal spire with a
weather-vane. In the lowest stage are clock-faces to E. and W.
and in each face of the two upper stages four and three-light
windows respectively, in part blocked with boarding.
The Interior of the Hall (Plate 199) has a flat plaster ceiling
with enrichments of 1911. Above the ceiling the original timber
roof remains largely intact; it is in seven bays, the seventh
representing the penetration into the earlier building. The six
N. bays are divided by pairs of principals with cambered collar-beams stiffened by arched braces; the principals, collars, braces
and two purlins on each side are moulded (p. 396) and the
collar in the fifth truss is embattled. Dividing the sixth and
seventh bays, is a seventh truss similar to those just described
but built against and forming a fascia to a robust plainer truss
belonging, with the truss now in the S. wall, to the earlier
building beyond to the S. The centre part of the Hall floor is
paved with stone flags set diagonally with small square blocks
of slate at the angles, the sides with plain paving, laid in 1714.
The walls are lined up to sill-level and to some 3 ft. higher on
the N. wall behind the dais with panelling of 1714; this has a
plain panelled dado, a moulded dado-rail, and large bolection-moulded and fielded panels between the rail and the crowning
cornice. Behind the dais it is divided into three bays by reused
late 16th or early 17th-century carved fragments made up into
Ionic pilasters with carved cherub-heads and pendent bunches
of fruit on the shafts; in the bays, fixed to the head-rail, are
modern cartouches painted with the arms of (a) Crowland
Abbey, (b) Audley, for the College, (c) Stafford. The whole
of the face of the N. wall above the panelling, up to the ceiling,
is painted with an elaborate armorial (Plate 202) with trompe
l'œil marbled Corinthian columns at the sides supporting a
draped cornice. Centrally placed in a painted framing is an
achievement of the Royal arms of 1707–14; to each side are two
smaller achievements, one above the other: E., upper, of
Thomas, Lord Audley of Walden, with a coronet and Audley
beast supporters, lower, of Sir Christopher Wray; W., upper,
quarterly of Stafford, i Woodstock, ii Bohun of Hereford,
iii Bohun of Northampton, iv Stafford, in a Garter with a
coronet and swan supporters, lower, of Howard, with a
coronet and lion supporters. The painting was cleaned and
restored in 1949.
The double staircase at the S. end of the Hall (Plate 199) is
arranged as shown on the plan, with short returns of the
panelling from the side walls screening the half-landings and
upper flights. The stairs have close moulded strings, turned
balusters, moulded handrails and square newels. The Screen
and gallery-front contained between the staircases have an
elaborate central feature made up in part of reused materials of
the late 16th or early 17th century and incorporating a single
doorway. This last is set in panelling contained within an arch
with rounded head, moulded archivolt and imposts and a
tympanum carved with ribbons and a cartouche containing the
painted arms of the See of Ely. The arch is flanked by enriched
Ionic pilasters, similar to those behind the dais, and elaborate
foliage carving of the early 18th century in the spandrels. The
elaboration of the gallery-front above consists of fragments including terminal figures, niches and a central cartouche. The
flanking bays of both screen and gallery have bolection-moulded panelling similar to that of 1714 elsewhere in the Hall
and repeated on the reverse of the gallery-front.
The gallery over the screens-passage has an open screen of
three bays between it and the Hall, with the pilasters dividing
the bays based, structurally, on the gallery-front already
described. The pilasters support a deep cornice below the ceiling.
The wide centre bay contains an elliptical arch and the narrow
side bays, at the head of the stairs, contain semicircular arches,
all with moulded archivolts, key-blocks, moulded imposts and
plain responds. The whole may be later than the woodwork
below and represent a remodelling of 1757 when the Combination Room beyond was refitted. The gallery itself is lined with
bolection-moulded panelling, similar to that in the Hall, with
dado, dado-rail and entablature; flanking the doorway in the
centre of the S. wall are pilaster-strips with fielded panels in
the shafts, and reset above the doorway is a late 16th-century
carved achievement-of-arms of Edward Lucas.
The Hall windows are mostly filled with 19th and 20th-century heraldic glass, but in the centre E. window is a small
16th-century shield of the arms of Audley impaling Grey
quartering Hastings, Valence, Quincy, Astley, Woodville,
Bonville, and Harrington for Thomas, Lord Audley, and his
second wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas, 2nd Marquess of
Dorset; this was given to the College by Cole in 1776 (Monumental Inscriptions from Cambridgeshire, edit. Dr. W. M. Palmer,
278). In the N.W. window is the shield of Cust quartering
Brownlow dated 1833, for John Hume, son of John, 1st Earl
The screens-passage is lined with 18th-century panelling in
two heights of panels. The N. side is divided into bays by
panelled pilasters and additional supports to the superstructure; over the doorway in the centre is a carved cartouche,
perhaps modern, with a faded painting of the College arms.
S. of the Hall-block, the external brickwork of the E. wall
is much patched. The plinth and eaves are continuous from the
Hall. S. of the doorway to the screens are two modern cellarwindows interrupting the plinth and on the ground floor five
one, two and three-light windows, all of the 16th century
except the southernmost, which is modern; they have four-centred or elliptical openings in square heads with sunk spandrels and moulded labels. On the first floor are three irregularly
spaced windows, the first two similar to that over the screens
doorway, the third similar to those below but of four paired
lights with a heavy centre mullion. The W. side has the plinth
and embattled parapet continued from the Hall (but see
historical introduction) and contains one large four-light
transomed window; the latter is a 19th-century copy of the
N.W. window in the Hall, with the upper part lighting the
Combination Room, the lower part a service-passage. Traces
of earlier windows show in the newly exposed brickwork.
The S. end of the E. range has the ground floor concealed
by modern additions; the red brick upper part has been refaced
in modern times and the large chimney-stack at the apex of
the gable rebuilt. On the first floor are two restored late 15th-century two-light windows with four-centred heads and
similar to the others of the same date in the N. and E. ranges;
on the second floor are three late 19th-century windows.
The Interior of the E. range S. of the Hall block has been
almost entirely modernised on the ground floor and rearranged;
only the ceiling-beams remain to show the position of the
Butteries and the central passage between them. The kitchenfireplace formerly against the S. wall has been removed and
the fireplaces above supported on steel joists. The Kitchen is
now in the modern annexe on the S.
The Combination Room (Plate 201) (24¾ ft. by 21¼ ft.) on the
first floor, adjoining the gallery over the Hall-screens on the S.,
is first referred to in this position in 1712. In 1757 it was completely refitted at a cost of £166. Newling was paid £93 for
the wainscoting and floor, and Woodward for carving scrolls
and the moulding round the fireplace. The plaster ceiling is of
1911. The walls are entirely lined with wainscoting with a
moulded dado-rail, tall ovolo-moulded panels, and a modillioncornice with dentil-like fret. The door-case in the centre of the
N. wall has an architrave, pulvinated frieze and pedimented
cornice; the cases to the doors in the E. wall are with plain
friezes and modillion-cornices. The fireplace has Portland stone
slips within an enriched wood architrave-moulding with
scrolled frieze and cornice-shelf. The overmantel contains a
modern oil-painting on copper of the College, after Loggan, in
a framing with foliated side-scrolls and a pedimented cornice.
The subsidiary cornices in the room generally match the main
cornice in design and enrichment. The woodwork throughout
is of 1757. The windows contain early 19th-century heraldic
glass consisting of four shields-of-arms surmounted by
coronets; from the N., of (a) Lord Audley of Walden; (b)
Lord Braybrooke, quarterly (i) Griffin, (ii) Brotherton, (iii)
Howard, (iv) Audley of Walden; (c) Stafford, Duke of
Buckingham, Woodstock quartering Stafford; (d) Griffin
quartering Neville of Raby quarterly with Neville of Bulmer,
for Richard Neville-Griffin, 2nd Lord Braybrooke.
The remainder of the S. end of the E. range is divided into
two rooms. The Small Combination Room (14¼ ft. by 18½ ft.)
to the E., approached through a narrow wall-passage from the
Combination Room, has an open timber ceiling with a
chamfered beam running N. and S. and a second of heavy
scantling against the E. wall; the joists have been widened in
modern times by the addition of roll-mouldings on either side.
The walls are lined to within 2 ft. of the ceiling with panelling
of c. 1600, of five panels in the height with an enriched frieze
and small cornice; it is made up with some modern work.
The clunch fireplace in the S. wall has stop-moulded jambs
and four-centred arch in a square head with sunk spandrels.
The oak overmantel supported on fluted Doric side-pilasters
on panelled pedestals is in three bays divided and flanked by
terminal figures; in each bay is a round-headed panel enriched
with arabesque and the bracketed frieze is similarly enriched.
The panelling, previously in No. 25 Magdalene Street (Monument (205)), was inserted in 1919.
The cloakroom adjoining the Small Combination Room on
the W. retains a clunch fireplace with ovolo-moulded jambs
and flattened three-sided head.
The main roof is original, in six bays divided by trusses
simpler than those over the Hall, with the main timbers plain
or only chamfered and the alternate trusses without braces.
Only the E. half of the southernmost truss and part of the next
survive. A seventh bay on the N. is now in the Hall block,
over the screens-passage, and the trusses flanking it are referred
to above with the Hall roof.
The South Range is of two storeys with attics. The N. side is
faced with Roman cement and has clunch dressings; the river
front is of red brick with entirely renewed stone dressings;
the infilling of the walls is clunch. The roofs are slate-covered.
It contains sets of chambers and was built in four sections in the
second half of the 15th century, after 1470, the features of windows, doorways and fittings varying slightly from one section
to another. The westernmost section was remodelled or rebuilt
with the W. range in the 16th century. The attic rooms were
added probably in the 18th century. At an unknown date all
the external heads of the windows towards First Court were
raised by the insertion of another stone-course at the springing,
but leaving the rear-arches undisturbed.
The N. side has the plinth and embattled parapet continued
from the flanking ranges (but see historical introduction). In
the S.W. corner of the Court is a projecting stair-turret.
The extent of the differing sections is indicated on the plan.
The E. doorway has chamfered jambs and a moulded four-centred arch with a moulded label (p. 393), the second
doorway moulded jambs and four-centred arch with traceried
spandrels, the third doorway moulded jambs and segmental-pointed arch with traceried spandrels, and the fourth doorway, in the stair-turret, with chamfered jambs and four-centred arch with sunk spandrels in a square head; the last
three are under square moulded labels. The windows are of
one, two and three lights as shown on the plan; they have two
or four-centred openings in square heads with sunk spandrels
and labels, unless otherwise described below. The E. three
windows had reveals of two hollow-chamfered orders, but the
inner order has been cut away on the reveals thus creating
eccentric openings. The next four have moulded reveals; the
last of the four being in a different section of building has
ogee heads to the lights. The eighth window has ogee lights
similar to those in the preceding window.
Since the previous paragraph was written, removal of the
stucco-facing in 1956 has revealed over the entrance to staircase 'F' a blocked opening, nearly square, with a rough
segmental brick head, and over the entrance to staircase 'E'
a small recess with a 15th-century clunch cinque-foiled head,
possibly reset, and a Roman cement panel in the back with the
modelled initial and date A 1813. Furthermore, a rough vertical
joint in the brickwork has been disclosed close E. of the latter
In the first floor is a range of thirteen windows, including
that to the stair-turret, placed above the openings below,
except the ninth, tenth and eleventh which are set closer
together; these last have elliptical openings whereas the rest
have four-centred openings; all have moulded heads and
reveals under square labels. The reveals and heads of the
ground and first-floor two-light windows in the second section
are being wholly renewed (1956).
The stair-turret is of two stages externally and three storeys,
the uppermost stage rising above the adjacent parapets and
embattled. The ground and first-floor wall-openings are
described above; in the third stage is a single light window
similar to that below.
The S. side was restored by Penrose in 1873, the wall
heightened and the upper part of the chimney-stacks rebuilt.
It has a chamfered plinth. Straight joints in the brickwork
between the two chimney-stack projections towards the E.
and in the plinth further to the W., where indicated on the
plan, show the extent of the four sections of the building. The
windows in the S. ends of the E. and W. ranges are described
above; for the rest, all the windows are of one and two lights,
except a four-light window on the first floor immediately
W. of the E. projecting chimney-stack, mostly with four-centred openings in square heads with labels, and all entirely
restored externally; four of those on the ground floor at the
western end are transomed. At first-floor level, close E. of the
second projecting chimney-stack from the E., is a stone outlet
from the lavatory-recess described below.
The Interior of the S. range has been extensively modernised
on the ground floor. Some of the two-centred rear-arches to
the N. windows, at a lower level than the outer heads, as
already described, remain visible. The open timber ceiling (p.
396) of the room E. of staircase 'D' is divided into four panels
by heavy moulded cross and longitudinal beams mitred with
similarly moulded wall-plates; the heavy joists are roll-moulded and laid flat. The main room on the opposite side of
the staircase and approached from the entrance to staircase 'C'
is similarly ceiled; the room opening from it on the W.
contains a fireplace of the mid 18th century, with eared
surround, plain frieze and cornice-shelf and modern eared
overmantel enriched with rosettes and garlands.
On the first floor, the set W. of staircase 'F' has been modernised. The set W. of staircase 'E' was restored in 1952 and the
original features left exposed. It retains the original arrangement of one large common room, with lavatory and garderobe,
with small studies opening from it, one on the E., two on the
W.; one of the last is now incorporated in the adjoining set.
The partitions are timber-framed and retain their doorways
to the studies and staircase and much of the original plaster
filling between the studs; the plaster is decorated with a simple
geometrical patterning scored on the surface. The doorways
have slightly restored elliptical heads. The clunch infilling of
the outside walls is exposed and the fireplace on the S. wall has
chamfered jambs and a square moulded head under a brick
relieving-arch. Immediately E. of the fireplace is a lavatoryrecess with chamfered jambs and four-centred head with sunk
spandrels; the sill, 2¼ ft. above floor-level, has a dishing with a
central knob protecting the drain-holes; the sill, which
originally projected, is now hacked back flush with the wallface; the outlet shows externally. Close E. of the recess is a
doorway to a garderobe in the thickness of the wall; it has
been damaged but retains a chamfered elliptical head and iron
staples for door-hinges fixed in the S. end of the adjoining
Over the whole set is an open timber ceiling with moulded
cambered cross-beams supporting a simply moulded longitudinal beam (p. 396). The N. and S. wall-plates are moulded
and embattled, the E. and W. plates only moulded.
During the restoration of these rooms and behind the later
wall-plaster were found miscellaneous Latin exercises in blackletter on vellum and paper and also fragments of late 17th-century wall-paper with a figure of a man in contemporary
dress. The splays of the N. windows are covered with graffiti,
mostly mediaeval, including names, often repeated, and some
imperfect verses. Among the names are John Comberton, John
Clopton, Bryngton, W. Walsingham, John Fryer, T. Highfield, Webster (Augustine Webster was B.A., 1509, possibly
the Prior of Beauvale), Nicholas Merley five times, once in
Greek, (a Nicholas Marley or Morley, B.D. 1506–7, D.D.
1516–7, is recorded). Among the verses are '[Thomas] hoc
ca[m]po de celso' (Highfield), 'q[ui] bon[us] e[st] vir,'
(illegible) 'tertio [com]posuit anglic[us] e[st] p[ro] gene[re],
mu[n]do monachu sic (?) compar i[n] isto ne[m]pe joco'; and
'O q[uam] formosu[m] Robert[us] e[st] lep[os] Antru[m]'
(Cave), 'om[n]ib[us] i[n] reb[us] nullus ei s[e]c[un]dus (?)'.
The rooms in the third section, each side of staircase 'D',
have open timber ceilings lower than that of the preceding
section. Each ceiling has a stop-chamfered longitudinal beam
and moulded wall-plates. The fourth, westernmost, section
has been remodelled and in part rebuilt. The bedroom to the
N.E. now encroaches into the third section but the wall-plates
defining the original extent of the latter show in the ceiling;
immediately W. of the cross wall-plate is a late 16th-century
chamfered ceiling-beam. The room adjoining on the S. and
the room at the S. end of the W. range contain chamfered
ceiling-beams; between these two rooms is a narrow storeroom, which perpetuates the position of a former staircase.
In Second Court (95 ft. by 104½ ft.), the Pepys Building (Plate
200), on the E., is of three storeys with attics and a cellar under
the central block. It is a half-H on plan with the two wings
extending eastward and rectangular stair-towers in the two reentrant angles. The main W. front is of finely finished ashlar
and the other walls are of red brick with stone dressings; the
roofs are tiled. The little known of the building is outlined
above, it is in the main a work of the last quarter of the 17th
century. Loggan's view of c. 1690 shows none of the existing
carvings on the W. front, and although it is to be inferred from
the title that the engraving anticipated completion of the building (cf. Loggan's view of Clare College), some of the enrichments would seem to be later additions. The Pepys Library was
not installed here until 1724 after the death of John Jackson,
Pepys' nephew, and then largely at the expense of Arthur
Annesley, 5th Earl of Anglesey.
The W. front (Plate 200) is in effect symmetrical although
with slight irregularity in the setting-out, a peculiarity present
in the layout of the whole building. The face of the central
block is in five bays with an open arcade on the ground floor,
an accentuated middle bay, plat-bands at first and second-floor
levels, the lower moulded, a crowning frieze and cornice, and a
balustraded parapet. On each flank are gabled projections both
with rusticated quoins at the angles, a continuation of the
moulded plat-band, and a chimney-stack at the apex; these
projections express architecturally the wings lying behind;
immediately over their inward facing slopes are secondary
three-quarter gables flush with the face of the central block and
with stacks at their apices.
The arcade (Plate 213) consists of a semi-elliptical arch in the
centre and semicircular arches to each side springing from
columns and half-round responds with moulded caps and bases;
the archivolts are moulded and have very shallow keystones
carved with animal and human masks. The six centre spandrels
between the arches and the lower plat-band are carved in bold
relief with elaborate acanthus foliage and two blank cartouches
all applied and attached to the wall by iron dowels. Flanking
the centre arch are Roman Doric pilasters, their caps mitred
across the bay as an entablature with 'Bibliotheca. Pepysiana.
1724' painted on the frieze; superimposed on the Doric pilasters
are plain Ionic pilasters on panelled pedestals rising the full
height of the two upper storeys and supporting architraves
and returns of the main frieze and cornice. At either end of
the back wall of the arcade-walk are plain openings to staircases.
The first-floor windows of the central block are of two
rectangular stone-mullioned and transomed lights with narrow
moulded architraves, entablatures and sills. The middle window
has extra elaboration of side-scrolls, a pulvinated frieze with
central panel, console-brackets supporting the cornice and a
curved pediment containing a cartouche painted with the arms
of Pepys quartering Talbot and flanked by swathes of flowers.
The second and fourth windows have male busts, after the
antique, in light-coloured stone standing on the flat cornices.
The end windows have pulvinated friezes and tall triangular
pediments containing cartouches painted with the arms of
Wray on the N. and Peckard quartering Ferrar (Master 1781–
97) on the S. The aprons below these five windows are
elaborately carved with drapery, garlands and cherub-heads,
that under the centre window, of rather different character
from the others, enclosing a panel inscribed with Samuel Pepys'
motto 'Mens cujusque is est quisque'; all have the appearance
of being cut on shallow slabs and reset. The painted heraldry
and the motto are of the late 18th or early 19th century. The
second-floor windows, of two rectangular stone-mullioned
lights, have narrow architraves and sills; they are contiguous
to the main frieze and cornice, which break forward over them.
The main balustraded parapet above, which is divided into six
bays by narrow pedestals with panelled dies, stops against the
The gabled flanking projections are alike; both have two
windows on each floor, all of two rectangular stone-mullioned
and transomed lights with architraves similar to those described
above and with entablatures over the first-floor windows.
The kneelers of the gables are cut to the section of a coved
The brick E. side has continuations of the plinth and first-floor plat-band returned from the W. front, but in brick with
stone dressings, flush stone quoins at all salient angles, stone
window-openings and a coved eaves-cornice in plaster. The
wall-face above the plat-band is set back behind that below.
The two wings, the two stair-towers and the middle part of
the wall of the central block are gabled to the E., but the walls
of the last three rise well above eaves-level before the start of
the gables; below the middle gable at eaves-level is a relieving-arch two courses deep and of shallow curve spanning the whole
width of the bay. On the ground floor, the windows in the
wings, as shown on the plan, are of two rectangular transomed
lights; the others are of two lights placed high in the wall;
in the E. wall of the S. stair-tower is a modern doorway. All
the first-floor windows, over those below, are similar to those
just described in the wings. Those in the top stages of the stairtowers and the pair in the middle gable again are of two lights.
All these windows have narrow architraves. In the roofs are
The N. and S. ends are alike, with continuations of the plinth
and first-floor plat-band from the E. side, and a coved plaster
cornice; in the centre the main wall is continued up through
the roof to form the front wall of a gabled dormer-window.
The arrangement of the ground-floor windows shown on the
plan is repeated on the first floor; the windows are similar to
those in the E. end of the wings. In both the dormers is a four-light stone-mullioned window.
The Interior was extensively modernised in the 19th century.
After the removal of Pepys' library in 1834, the first floor of
the central block (21 ft. by 55 ft.) was divided by the insertion
of partitions to form sets of rooms. The original fittings
remaining in situ in the building include the two staircases,
some chamfered ceiling-beams and a fireplace-surround. The
staircases have close moulded strings, turned balusters, moulded
handrails and square newels. The fireplace-surround in the
N.W. ground-floor room has the slips faced with English
18th-century blue and purple delft tiles; it is of stone, with an
architrave flanked by small panels of alternating design and
mitred round a single panel in the head, a frieze with modern
inscription 'Fay bien crain rien', and a cornice. The late 17th-century wood overmantel has a bolection-moulded panel with
panelled side-pilasters. The walls of the same room are lined
with pieced-out panelling with dado-rail and heavy cornice.
In the S. wing, the windows in the N.E. room have 18th-century panelled soffits, splays and seats and in the S. wall is a
glazed door hung in two leaves on old hinges; the S.W. room
has a panelled dado, small wood cornice and six-panel door,
all of the 18th century.
On the first floor, in the N. wing, the E. room is lined with
18th-century panelling in two heights of panels with a cornice;
the early 19th-century fireplace has a reeded surround with
rosettes in squares at the corners. The W. room contains a mid
18th-century fireplace-surround brought from Elsworth and
inserted in modern times: it has grey marble slips, a carved
wood architrave-moulding and scroll-brackets supporting a
cornice-shelf. In the central block, the N. room is lined from
floor to ceiling with late 17th-century bolection-moulded
panelling with moulded dado-rail and cornice; that on the N.
wall is in three heights of panels, on the other walls in two
heights. The fireplace-surround in the same room is an addition
and probably modern. In the S. room is a wood bolection-moulded surround to the fireplace, probably of the late 17th
The Pepys Library is in the S. wing, in the E. first-floor
room. It contains twelve bookcases, of red oak, in all probability those referred to in Pepys' diary under 24 August 1666,
'then comes Sympson to set up my other new presses for my
books'. They are all alike, with a squat lower section for folios
and a tall upper section with shelving for quarto and octavo
books, both with glazed doors hung in two leaves. Each case
has a plinth-mould, a moulded offset between the two sections
and a cornice, all elaborately carved and the last with a cartouche in the centre, painted with a class number. Two of the
cases have angle-pieces, both consisting of a Corinthian pilaster
surmounted by a small urn, to fill the gap between the upper
sections when two cases are placed together at a right angle;
to fill similar gaps when the cases are placed together in line,
four tall bevelled mirrors in wood frames with shaped and
carved heads are preserved. Matching the cases is Pepys' flat-topped, pedestal writing-desk, with drawers, glazed doors to
the pedestals, and enriched mouldings. The fireplace in the
same room has a wood bolection-moulded surround and the
windows have shutters of fielded panelling.
Extending N. from the N.W. angle of First Court are a
number of two-storey buildings arranged round a small courtyard, which incorporates parts of 19th-century cottages etc.
previously on the site. Their building, remodelling and unification in 1911–12 was the work of A. C. Benson (President).
They now contain sets of chambers. They include a length of
some 60 ft. of 17th-century brick walling running parallel
with and 78 ft. from the N. wall of the N. range of First Court.
The Master's Lodge stands beside Chesterton Road. It is of
three storeys, with walls of grey-brown bricks and stone
dressings. The foundation-stone was laid on 8 July 1835; John
Buckler was the architect. It is built in a spare Tudor style.
The plinths and parapets are plain. The stone-mullioned
windows have square heads and labels; those to the principal
rooms on the ground floor and to the staircase are transomed.
The main front is to the S. while the main entrance is through
a porch on the W.; over the porch entrance are carved a Tudor
Rose and a portcullis.
Inside the house the rooms are lofty and well-proportioned.
In the Drawing-room, to the S.E., over the double-doors to
the Dining-room, is a reset early 17th-century overmantel in
two bays divided and flanked by coupled Doric columns
supporting a dentil-cornice with scrolled cresting; in the bays
are geometrical panels and, below, the shelf and frieze are
enriched with arabesques. On each leaf of the double-doors are
fixed two cartouches, probably of the 19th century, painted
with the arms of (a) the 1st Lord Braybrooke, quarterly of
Griffin, Brotherton, Howard and Audley, (b) the 3rd Duke
of Buckingham, Woodstock quartering Stafford, (c) Audley,
(d) the 2nd Lord Braybrooke, quarterly of Griffin, and Neville
of Raby and Neville of Bulmer quarterly. In the base-panels
are linked addorsed profile-busts of women and angels, probably also 19th-century. In the Dining-room is a mid 19th-century fireplace-surround in the French taste of the mid 18th
The high Boundary-walls, perhaps of the late 16th century,
enclosing Second Court on the N. and S., are of rough ashlar
and rubble, largely reused, with chamfered plinths on the outer
sides, that on the N. ragged, and the upper parts rebuilt in
brick. The E. end of the N. wall has been rebuilt at an angle
to leave access to a late 17th-century doorway adjoining the
Pepys Building; this has rusticated head and jambs, moulded
architrave, and plain frieze and cornice surmounted by a ball-finial on a pedestal flanked by ramped scrolls. In the W. end
of the N. wall and in either end of the S. wall are three doorways, all alike and that to the S.E. probably of the late 18th
century, with square heads, moulded architraves and stone
panels above. The three panels contain recut inscriptions,
'Unum sufficit', 'Omnes honorate fraternitatem diligite', and
'In dies ad diem' the first and last apophthegms, the second
from the Vulgate (I Peter ii, 17).
The wall continuing N. from the W. front of New Building,
dividing the Master's Garden from the Fellows' Garden, and
shown by Loggan in c. 1690, is of rubble; it extends about
half-way to Chesterton Lane and is then continued by a
In the boundary-wall to Magdalene Street, 24½ ft. N. of the
N.W. external angle of First Court, is a late 16th or early
17th-century doorway with moulded jambs, four-centred
head and square label; it is in the position of that shown by
Loggan and no doubt the same, but reset in a length of rebuilt
For the Range of houses on the W. side of Magdalene Street
owned and partly in use by the College, see Monuments (201–
For the Earthwork in the Fellows' Garden, see Preface p.