St. Catharine's College

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Cambridge. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1959.

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'St. Catharine's College', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Cambridge, (London, 1959) pp. 179-187. British History Online [accessed 23 April 2024]

St. Catharine's College

St. Catharine's College Arms

(36) St. Catharine's College stands on the W. side of Trumpington Street bounded on the N. by part of King's College, on the S. by part of Silver Street and on the W. by Queens' Lane. The ranges generally are of three storeys with attics. The walls are of brick with stone dressings and the roofs are tile-covered. It was started in 1473 by Dr. Robert Woodlark, the third Provost of King's College, who had begun the acquisition of the site in 1459. According to his Memoriale Nigrum (in College Muniment Room) he founded and built it at his own expense to the honour of God, the most blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Catharine, virgin. Until recent times it was known as St. Catharine's Hall. The original buildings were ranged round a small court adjacent to Milne Street, now Queens' Lane, on the western part of the present site, and were subsequently extended by the addition of a second court on the S.

In 1626 Dr. John Gostlin, Master of Gonville and Caius College, had bequeathed the Bull Inn to St. Catharine's Hall and in 1631–2 Dr. Gostlin's Court on part of this property where it adjoined the original court on the N. was enclosed. In the accounts for 1634–5 to 1636–7 entries occur for the building on the W. side of the new court, now Walnut Tree Court. This range, which is the only one of the earlier buildings of the College to survive, is that to Queens' Lane projecting northward from the N.W. corner of the existing main Court.

Towards the end of the third quarter of the 17th century rebuilding the College was begun. The remarkably complete accounts for the work survive. Dr. John Lightfoot was Master at the beginning, but the inception of the scheme is attributed to Matthew Scrivener, vicar of Haslingfield (who entered Pensioner in 1639 and died in c. 1688), and the furtherance of it to the energies and liberality of Dr. John Eachard (Master 1675–97). The ranges to the main Court, excepting Ramsden Building, were completed by the end of the century, though fitting the Chapel continued into the early years of the 18th. No architect's name is recorded but early in the work small payments were made to one Elder, surveyor, from London, and to Robert Grumbold 'for surveying', In regard to the Chapel, £2 4s. was paid 'to Mr. Talman the King's controller for advice' in April 1696 and most of the payments for it were receipted again by Robert Grumbold.

From February 1673–4 to February 1676–7 some £3,103 was spent and the Hall, wainscoted by Cornelius Austin, in the North Range is known to have been complete and in use at Whitsuntide 1675. The Master was lodged, temporarily, in this range.

By January 1678–9, with a further expenditure of £1,524, probably most of the West Range and South Range were built. The curiously contrived change in height between the N. and S. ranges and the W. range may be explained on the N. by the incorporation of an older building, but on the S., the plan of the junction and the continuous roof and architectural unity of the S. end of the W. range indicate a difference in phases of construction and that the W. range preceded the S. range. This and the ill-arranged juxtaposition of windows in the S.W. corner of the main Court may result from a belated readjustment of the S. range to avoid any substantial encroachment upon the Queens' College property lying immediately to the S., because of lack of confidence in the terms of the lease of it sought by St. Catharine's College. Entries in the accounts for 1676 are self-explanatory: shortly after Lady Day 'payment to Howard for pulling down five weeks' work', on 18th October 'pulling down next Queens' and work done inside the second building'. The Queens' Lane front of the W. range is known to have been finished by November 1679, but this is a terminus ad quem, though entries for plasterers' work and joinery suggest that completion of the interior was delayed until September 1687.

From 1678–9 to November 1681 an expenditure of £1,101 included for Library fittings and furnishings for the Master's Lodge, Dr. Eachard being housed in the N. range until his Lodge in the S. range was ready. From 1681 to September 1687 £3,217 spent included retrospective payments to tradesmen, considerable interest on money borrowed, and costs of appeals for funds. Work seems to have ceased between 1687 and 1694; the further sum of £1,673 incurred after 1687 is again chiefly the interest on money borrowed.

Between 1694 and January 1696–7 the Chapel was structurally completed; an abstract of accounts for the latter date includes 'for finishing down the pediment of the east end of the Chapel at last'. Various expedients, including the sale of plate, were made to meet the deficit in the building-funds, but the money bequeathed by Eachard who died in 1697 and the response to an appeal for contributions in January 1698–9 resulted in a sufficient improvement in the financial position for the Chapel fitting to be begun. Taylor, a London joiner, was paid 'for a draught of the wainscot', though an agreement for it, to be exactly like that in Christ's College Chapel, to be finished before Christmas 1703, was made with John Austin. Thomas Woodward was the carver. The Chapel was consecrated on 1st September 1704 by Simon Patrick, Bishop of Ely. The present organ was installed between 1893 and 1895.

In 1743 Mrs. Mary Ramsden, who died in 1745, bequeathed her estates to the College, directing in her will that ground lying between the College and Trumpington Street should be bought for a new building for Skerne's Fellows and Scholars. Ramsden Building, first called Yorkshire Building, begun in July 1757 on the S. side of the Court, balancing the Chapel block, was the outcome of her bequest. By College order of February 1757 it was agreed to seek Burrough's advice on the project, but no payment to him is recorded and James Essex, who had already submitted plans some years earlier (Audit accounts, 1753–4), was the architect employed. The contract for the brickwork was with Simon Barker of Cambridge. The estimated total cost was £7,300. The building seems not to have been occupied at the earliest before July 1772.

The Court thus completed on three sides was opened out on the fourth by demolition of the adjacent Trumpington Street houses and bounded by railings with a central Gate some distance eastward; at the same period stables were built S. of the present Bull Hostel in a position immediately N. of the modern Hobson's Building.

Loggan's engraving of c. 1688 of the proposed College shows the E. side of the Court enclosed by a range containing the Library and with a central gatehouse, whereas at that time only the buildings bordering the W. half of the Court had been completed. The Chapel and Ramsden Buildings built subsequently follow in mass and position, though not in detail, the scheme adumbrated in Loggan, but the E. range was never built. In 1753, only shortly before the clearance described above, Carter indicates (Edmund Carter, History of the University, p. 199) that a library-building on the E. was still proposed. The reason for these proposals is indicated in Loggan's plan of Cambridge, where the E. side is shown to front a narrow lane behind the houses lining Trumpington Street. The main approach, from the beginning of Woodlark's foundation in Milne Street, had been from the W. and doubtless so remained. Thus the present vista from the E. contrived in the 18th century represents a complete reorientation of approach.

The project for an E. range being abandoned, the upper floor of the Hall block was opened out and fitted for the Library between 1756 and 1763 at the expense of Dr. Thomas Sherlock, Bishop of London.

In 1868, under the supervision of W. M. Fawcett, the windows of the N. range W. of the Chapel were changed to the Tudor-Gothic style and an oriel-window in similar style added to the Hall. In the following year the Hall was newly panelled in oak. The cost of these changes was £1,770. A new Master's Lodge designed by the same architect was built in 1875–6 S. of the former Lodge, in the angle formed by Silver Street and Queens' Lane. The old Lodge was then used as Fellows' chambers until converted into undergraduates' sets in 1921.

No major works were undertaken again until 1930 when Hobson's Building, containing sets of chambers, was built some 12 yards E. of the Chapel, forming the N. side of a forecourt to Trumpington Street. In 1949 the Porter's Lodge of c. 1765 on the S. side of the forecourt was demolished and his accommodation provided in a new block, Woodlark Building, on the same site and designed in symmetry with Hobson's Building. A new Combination Room with a choir-room below was built in 1932 on the N. side of the Hall, on the site of the old choir-room, and at the same time the old Combination Room over the Buttery and screens-passage was opened to the Hall.

In 1933 Gostlin's House, a small range containing chambers, was built close N.E. of the Chapel, and in 1935 an old house, known as Sherlock Building, S. of Ramsden Building, was pulled down and replaced by John's Building completed in 1936, a change involving the destruction of the 19th-century swimming-pool.

Bull Hostel fronting Trumpington Street next N. of Hobson's Building consists of sets of chambers in the former Bull Hotel, which was converted to College use in 1948. The Black Bull Inn is mentioned in a conveyance of land for the College in 1460; in 1626 Gostlin gave the property to the College who entered into possession by 1630. The contract for the existing building with a Mr. Bennet was entered into in 1828; the cost was £7,683. Additions have been made subsequently.

At St. Catharine's College the unaltered ranges built between 1673 and 1687 and the Chapel finished by 1704 are good examples of the plainer work of their periods, with notable compositions forming frontispieces to the Gateway in the W. range. In designing the Ramsden Building, Essex exercised care and discretion to maintain the balance of the Court. The Chapel contains woodwork of very high quality. Much original panelling remains in the W. range of the main Court; and the W. range of Walnut Tree Court has an exceptional staircase.

Architectural Description—The main Court (193 ft. average by 111 ft.) is bounded on the N. by the Chapel, Hall and Buttery, on the S. by Ramsden Building and a range of chambers, formerly the Master's Lodge, and on the W. by a range containing a central Gateway and sets of chambers. To the E. is a dwarf wall with railings and central gate which now extends between modern buildings; these last present a symmetrical appearance to the street and flank a forecourt formally arranged with grass and paving.

The Chapel (70½ ft., including the Ante-chapel, by 25¾ ft.), at the E. end of the N. range, has a loft in the roof above. The walls are of brick with rusticated stone quoins and stone dressings. In the main, the structural work was in hand from 1694 to 1697. Payments were made to Coolege and Archer, the London brickmaker, Howard the bricklayer, and Robert Grumbold for stone and mason's work. An appeal for contributions towards the cost of completing the building was issued in January 1698–9 (see historical introduction) and the consecration took place in September 1704. It has a brick plinth with moulded stone capping, a moulded string at sill-level, and a stone modillion-cornice pedimented over the E. wall. This last has a central blind window flanked by smaller niches, all with panelled side-pilasters or pilaster-strips supporting console-brackets under pediments and with brick aprons of slight projection, extending from sill to plinth, in flat stone surrounds. The window is of two transomed panels with a bolection-moulded architrave and a plain frieze and segmental pedimented cornice. The stone semidomed niches have shell heads and triangular pediments, their side-pilasters standing on pedestals that are based upon the string and flank brick panels. In the wall over both niches is a brick panel in a bolection-moulded stone surround. The slopes of the main pediment are lead-covered and extend back to meet the hipped end of the steeper-pitched roof of the Chapel. In the tympanum is a stone cartouche flanked by palm-leaves.

The Chapel and organ-gallery over the Ante-chapel are lit by four windows on each side; these are similar to the E. window-feature but with triangular pediments; the apron below the S.W. window is supplanted by the S. doorway (Plate 211). The latter is approached up four steps; it is square-headed and has an architrave with stepped keystone, attached three-quarter Ionic columns at the sides with short Ionic pilaster-like returns and an entablature with modillion-cornice but no frieze. The door is in two leaves, each of four bolection-moulded panels. In the apron below the N.W. window is a doorway smaller and simpler than the foregoing, with a plain stone architrave and containing a door of two bolection-moulded panels; close above is a two-light stone-mullioned window. In the roof are four two-light dormer-windows to the S. with triangular timber pediments, the centre two with leaded casements, the others with wood louvres; to the N. are two ventilators and a dormer-window.

The Interior of the Chapel is lined to sill-level with panelling; above, the walls are plastered and have modern enriched panels above the window-heads. The elaborately modelled entablature at the wall-head is largely modern, only the modillioncornice being original. The original plaster ceiling is divided into five panels in the length and three in the width by moulded trabeations. The Ante-chapel is lined with panelling; the panelled and enriched plaster ceiling is modern. The roof of the Chapel has king-posts with struts and raking queen-posts; it is entirely plain.

Fittings—The fittings, unless otherwise described, are original. Bell: in roof, in W. dormer, one, inscribed 'H 1654'. Communion-rails (Plate 7): in two short lengths, of oak, with moulded top and base-rails carved with acanthus foliage, twisted enriched balusters, and panelled standards at the ends.

Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In Ante-chapel— on W. wall, (1) of Henry, son of Henry Moore, S.T.P., 1729, white marble wall-tablet with side-pieces, cornice and shaped apron with a cartouche painted with the arms of Moore; (2) of Francis (Darcy), 1705, wife of Sir William Dawes, Bt., S.T.P., Master, standing grey marble wall-monument with long Latin inscription, flanking pilaster-strips, supporting a simplified entablature with exotic fluted enrichment in place of the architrave and surmounted by an urn flanked by garlands on a pedestal with the painted shield-of-arms of Dawes with Darcy in pretence, the whole on a pedestal-base with gadrooning and shaped side-pieces; (3) of John Eachard, S.T.P., 1697, Master, white and grey marble wall-tablet with Latin inscription extolling his benefactions and restoration of the College buildings, with scrolled side-pilasters with acanthus caps, shaped apron and cornice surmounted by flaming urns and a cartouche with the carved and painted arms of the College impaling Eachard. Floor-slabs: In Chapel—at E. end, (1) of Kenrick Prescot, S.T.P., 1779, Master, black marble paving-stone; (2) of Susanna Eyre, 1782, white marble paving-stone. In Antechapel—(3) of John Addenbrooke, M.D., 1719, Fellow, of slate, with shield-of-arms of Addenbrooke impaling Fisher.

Panelling, Reredos, Screen and Stalls: These are all integrated into the overall design for the woodwork fittings in the Chapel prepared, it seems, by Taylor of London; they are the work of John Austin and Thomas Woodward (see also historical introduction). The oak bolection-moulded Panelling, from ground to sill-level, has an enriched entablature interrupted only on the E. wall, by the reredos, and with the cornice turned in a segmental pediment over each of the two W. return-stalls; at the eastern end it is articulated over Corinthian pilasters which divide and flank the three end panels on each side-wall. The pilasters stand on pedestals; their neckingmouldings are continued across the three bays and returned over paired panels on the E. wall to enclose a band of elaborately carved, pierced and undercut foliation (Plate 33); the capping of the pedestals is continued equally as a moulded dado-rail dividing the two heights of panels. The rest of the panelling westward is in two heights above fixed benches.

The Reredos (Plate 214) has a large central panel with enriched bolection-moulded frame and coupled Corinthian columns at each side standing on pedestals and supporting a full segmental pedimented entablature; this last is articulated round entablature-blocks continued up through the pediment to form pedestals for pairs of crowning urns. The frieze is inscribed 'Sursum Corda' in the centre and enriched with palm-branches on the entablature-blocks; the recessed part of the tympanum is carved with a laurel wreath and looped palm-branches. Flanking the reredos are small scroll-brackets springing from the top of the panelling.

The Screen has the panelling continued from the side-walls and is surmounted by the gallery-front. In the centre is the semicircular-headed arched opening from the Ante-chapel, with enriched archivolt and imposts and elaborate carved foliation in the spandrels. To each side are the Master's and President's stalls; these both have Corinthian columns and pilaster-responds supporting entablature-blocks and open segmental pediments with carved and pierced foliage in the recessed tympanum; the enriched bolection-moulded panels at the back are flanked by slender panelled pilaster-strips and the seats have scrolled arm-rests. The gallery-front flanking the modern organ-case has a top-rail carved with acanthus, symmetrically turned balusters and pedestals with panelled dies. The rest of the Stalls are arranged as shown on the plan; the front desks are modern. The benches have shaped supports and, at the easternmost ends, scrolled arm-rests projecting from the panelling. The close-panelled fronts have scrolled ends carved with foliage.

In the Ante-chapel, bolection-moulded panelling on the reverse of the screen is divided into five bays by Corinthian pilasters on panelled pedestals supporting an enriched architrave; the cornice is turned in a segmental pediment over each of the bays flanking the archway. The panelling elsewhere is modern. Paving: of black and white marble squares, black marble steps. Reredos (see Panelling). Screen (see Panelling). Seating: In Ante-chapel, two oak benches with scrolled and carved supports (see also Stalls, under Panelling).

The rest of the North Range, W. of the Chapel, contains the Hall rising through two storeys, with the Buttery on the ground floor and the old Combination Room on the first floor to the W. The whole of the third storey is occupied by the Library. In the attics are sets of chambers. It is part of the work begun in February 1673–4; the Hall was opened at Whitsuntide 1675 and this may mark the completion of the whole, for in the same year Cornelius Austin was paid for wainscoting the old Combination Room and the room above for Dr. Eachard, as well as the Hall.

The Hall-block has stone quoins to the S.W. angle where it overtops the lower range. The S. side has the plinth, cornice and roof continuous with those respectively of the Chapel. In the plinth are there original blocked two-light windows and a stone inscribed 'May VII MDCLXXIIII', possibly the foundation-stone, which was found 'a few years ago' (G. F. Browne, St. Catharine's College, 1902) under the Hall steps and, after lying loose, reset in the present position in 1936. The sills of the Hall windows are continued as a moulded string returned over the heads of the S. doorway to the Screens and the window to the Buttery; these features and all the other S. windows below the eaves are of 1868, when also the Hall orielwindow was added. Below the uppermost windows are patchings of 19th-century brickwork and below the old Combination Room and Buttery windows are remains of projecting brick aprons. In the roof are five original two-light dormer-windows with triangular and segmental timber pediments alternately and containing fixed leaded lights and casements.

The N. side has a projecting staircase-bay towards the W. end; low modern additions mask the wall to E. and W. It has a plinth and a slight stone cornice at the level of that to the Chapel. Original flat brick relieving-arches with brick platbands above survive over the two 19th-century Gothic windows to the Hall. The three windows to the floor above are original, of two stone-mullioned and transomed lights with moulded architraves and sills. In the main wall W. of the staircase-bay, on both the ground and first floors, is an original two-light window, the lower altered and in part blocked, and each with a flat brick relieving-arch and plat-band above; the original window on the top floor is of two lights with a transom, as before. The staircase-bay has stone quoins and continues up above the main eaves-level to finish in a hipped roof with small eaves-cornice. The doorways in the N. and E. walls have stop-chamfered jambs and four-centred heads; that in the N. wall may be an insertion. In the wall above are four original windows lighting the landings; the first two are similar to the ground and first-floor windows just described but with transoms, the third window is elliptical with a moulded stone surround and an outer ring of radiating bricks, the fourth is of two lights.

The Hall (39 ft., excluding the Screens 7¼ ft. to 10½ ft. wide, by 21 ft.) retains no ancient features except, fixed to the 19th-century screen, an oak cartouche carved with the arms of the College impaling Crosse, for Thomas Crosse, Master 1719–36, and, in the oriel-window, two panels of enamelled glass with figures of the Almighty and St. Paul. These are dated 1598 and 1600 respectively and have small attendant scenes, the former of the Sacrifice of Abraham and Jacob's ladder, the latter of the Good Samaritan. Both have elaborate repaired borders and are set in modern scroll-work frames. On the N. side of the N. wall of the Buttery and opposite are lengths of reset early 17th-century panelling, the first in five heights of panels with a reeded frieze, which has been copied in the 19th-century panelling in the Screenspassage, the second of miscellaneous pieces. In the Buttery are exposed chamfered ceiling-beams. The staircase is original up to second-floor level; it rises round an open well and has turned balusters, close moulded strings, moulded handrail and square panelled newels with moulded and carved foliated pendants; against the walls, up to the first floor, is a tall dado with two heights of panels, the lowest wall-newel similarly being doubled in height. The staircase has subsequently been continued up to the attics in pine, blocking the oval window, probably in the mid 18th century. The Hall bell in the roof over the W. end of the range is uninscribed.

The old Combination Room (23 ft. by 21¾ ft.), now a diningannexe to the Hall, retains the bolection-moulded panelling for which Cornelius Austin was paid in 1675; it is of two panels in the height separated by a dado-rail, and with an entablature against the ceiling. The fireplace in the W. wall has a moulded stone surround in a later wood frame with cornice-shelf; the overmantel contains a bolection-moulded panel flanked by panelled pilasters supporting returns of the main entablature. An arcaded opening was pierced through the E. wall above the dado in 1931.

St. Catharine's College, Plan

The Library (63½ ft. by 22¾ ft.) occupies the third storey remodelled and fitted for the purpose between 1756 and 1763, the plasterwork being by Clark, the woodwork by Woodward. It is of five bays and divided into three parts by cross-walls. The central compartment of three bays has an enriched plaster dentil-cornice and panelled ceiling of geometrical design with the soffits of the framing containing key-pattern ornament. In the middle is a foliated boss in a rococo setting of acanthus and ribbons all within an octagonal panel surrounded by radiating panels. The walls are lined with oak bookcases which have panelled ends and entablatures with enriched cornices; cartouches reset on the architraves are painted with the classletters. Two cases now without their cornices project at right angles from each side wall. All the wall-cases were heightened in the 19th century by the addition of five shelves. The doorway from the stair has an enriched ovolo-moulded architrave and contains a six-panel door. Each of the cross-walls contains in the centre a timber-cased archway with semicircular head, moulded and enriched imposts and archivolts, key-block and panelled soffit and responds. The two end compartments have plaster dentil-cornices and simply panelled ceilings; the walls are lined to two-thirds of their height with bookcases with panelled ends and entablatures as before, the last returned to form the imposts of the archways just described, and with the class-letters in their original positions on the frieze. The cases on the E. and W. end walls are both divided into three bays by panelled pilasters, with the entablature pedimented over the middle bay and with leaves carved in the tympanum; in the W. tympanum is also the shield-of-arms of the College impaling Sherlock and with the remains of a pelican in piety in the place of a crest. In the flanking bays on the W. wall are doorways containing six-panel doors.

The attic-rooms extend over the two W. bays only and contain some old doors. Further E. the original roof is accessible; the trusses are of king-post type with struts to the principals. The king-posts stand on collar-beams with arched braces to the foot of the principals, these last being tied in by the beams in the ceiling of the rooms below.

The West Range of the main Court was begun and completed in the late 17th-century rebuilding scheme for the College. The shell was finished by 1679 at the latest but the internal fitting was probably not completed until 1687. It contains a Gateway, central to the Court, accentuated by frontispieces, and sets of chambers approached by staircases 'C' and 'D'. The walls are of red brick in English bond with stone dressings, the frontispieces of ashlar, and the roofs are tile-covered. It is of three storeys with attics but considerably lower than the N. and S. ranges. Alterations in 1955 disclosed a short length of the foundation of the E. wall of the earlier range (see plan).

The E. side (Plate 211) is generally symmetrical in effect; the W. side, demarcated by rusticated quoins, has the Gateway occupying the sixth of thirteen bays. The openings are arranged as shown on the plan and constant vertically, windows on the upper floors taking the place of the doorways on the ground floor. The Gateway contains a Gatehall (20 ft. by 10¼ ft.). The E. frontispiece (Plate 229) is of two superimposed orders, Tuscan and Corinthian, the columns being inset about a diameter. The archway has an elliptical head with rusticated voussoirs and scroll-keystone, moulded imposts and plain responds against the flanking attached Tuscan columns; these last have short pilaster-like lateral returns and support an entablature returned over them and over the arch keystone. The Corinthian order frames the first and second-floor windows, the lower window of two stone-mullioned and transomed lights with apron and triangular pediment on console brackets, and the upper of two stone-mullioned lights with apron and architrave. The head of the upper window rises above the level of the Corinthian architrave and this and the frieze are omitted from the crowning entablature, leaving the columns supporting entablature-blocks with short lateral returns; the modillioncornice has a broken segmental pediment articulated over the entablature-blocks and framing an elaborate cartouche carved with the arms of the College.

The W. frontispiece (Plate 211) is in two stages, with a high rusticated lower stage with cornice forming a classical basement below a lofty Ionic order with a pediment. The basement contains the archway to the Gatehall, with elliptical head with keystone, moulded imposts and plain responds against flanking square projections forming pedestals to the two Ionic pilasters above. These last rise through two storeys and flank the first and second-floor windows. The windows are similar to those at the same respective levels in the opposite side but the lower window has a segmental pediment. Again the architrave and frieze of the crowning entablature are omitted to make way for the upper window and the main triangular pediment is articulated over the entablature blocks.

The W. archway is hung with original oak panelled doors of two leaves with strap-hinges; each leaf contains six rectangular bolection-moulded panels and three more shaped panels filling the quarter oval of the head. The Gatehall is entirely plain.

The remainder of the W. range to N. and S. has a brick plinth with moulded stone capping, a stone plat-band at first-floor level and a stone modillioned eaves-cornice surmounted, on the W., by a blocking-course; all are interrupted by the frontispieces; the wall up to and including the plat-band represents a classical basement. The ground-floor windows are of two mullioned lights, and the first and second-floor windows of two mullioned and transomed lights, all with narrow moulded architraves and sills; the first-floor windows are given main accentuation by the addition of plain stone friezes and cornices. The square-headed doorways in the E. wall, to staircases 'C' and 'D', have rusticated stone jambs and graduated voussoirs. In the roof, to E. and W., are dormer-windows with timber triangular and segmental pediments alternately leading outwards from the frontispieces and coterminous with the bays below; they contain two-light casements with the original leaded quarries. The two brick chimney-stacks on the roof-ridge although rebuilt are similar to those shown by Loggan in c. 1688 and have an arcading of semicircular-headed panels on the sides. The N. end of the roof is gabled, the S. end hipped; the subsidiary ridged roof linking the last to the gable-end of the S. range is a later addition. Three of the lead rainwater down-pipes are old. The S. end of the W. range overlooks the Fellows' Garden; it is a unity in design, with rusticated stone quoins at both angles and horizontal features continued round from the W. side. On the ground floor is a square-headed doorway with a stone architrave intruding into an area of brick patching, presumably in the place of a destroyed window; it is hung with an old panelled door. The windows, one remaining on the ground floor, but now blocked, and two on each of the upper floors, are similar to those at the same levels respectively on the W.; the dormer-window is flat-topped.

The Interior of the W. range has the N. part of the ground floor, beyond staircase 'D', given up to kitchen-offices; the original dividing-wall between it and the Kitchen in the earlier range adjoining on the N. has been removed and the upper parts supported on steel joists. One of the rooms next to the Gatehall on the N. served as the Porter's Lodge while the main entrance to the College was from the W. Rooms on all floors contain exposed stop-chamfered ceiling-beams and those on the first and second floors retain much original oak panelling.

The staircases are original, with close moulded strings, moulded handrails, turned balusters and square panelled newels, these last, in the N. stair, being capped by returns of the handrail and, in the S. stair, having ball finials and turned pendants. The doors from the landings to the sets of chambers are generally, on the ground and first floors, of six fielded panels, and on the second floor of two bolection-moulded panels.

Off staircase 'D', on the first floor, the main S. room has a timber cornice and an original fireplace with moulded stone surround flanked by wood pilaster-strips on panelled pedestals supporting an entablature with central frieze-panel; superimposed panelled pilaster-strips flanking a bolection-moulded panel and supporting a duplication of the entablature below, but with a heavier cornice, form the overmantel. On the second floor, the main N. room has a cornice, fireplace and overmantel similar to those just described.

Off staircase 'C', on the ground floor, a cupboard in the N. lobby has a reused early 17th-century door of eight panels. On the first floor, the N. room has a cornice, fireplace and overmantel similar to those described above. A closet W. of the stair has the walls partly lined with reused early 17th-century panelling with arabesques carved in the frieze. The S. room is lined with bolection-moulded panelling in two heights, with moulded skirting, dado-rail and cornice. The two doorcases flanking the fireplace in the N. wall project slightly and have bolection-moulded architraves, shaped panelled friezes, and broken segmental pediments framing small pedestals; they are hung with doors of two bolection-moulded and fielded panels. Refixed over the doorway in the S. wall is an 18th-century carved shield-of-arms of Lever (?). The projecting fireplace has a marble bolection-moulded surround and wood overmantel containing two similarly moulded panels. In the W. window are quarries painted with birds and flowers, perhaps of the 18th-century. The room adjoining on the S. is lined with panelling similar to the foregoing. The southernmost room has a dado of similar moulded panelling and a timber cornice. On the second floor, the N. room contains a fireplace and overmantel similar to that in the room below. The S. room (Plate 201) is lined with bolection-moulded panelling as before but with an entablature with bolection-moulded panelling in the frieze. The slightly projecting doorcases flanking the fireplace in the N. wall have entablatures with central panels imposed on architrave and frieze and broken pediments framing small pedestals. The wide doorway in the S. wall is hung with a door in two leaves, each leaf having a bolection-moulded base-panel and eight glazed panels above. The fireplace has a stone surround in a bolection-moulded frame with a cornice-shelf; in the overmantel is a similarly moulded panel. In the bedroom of the same set is an original built-in cupboard with glazed doors and an entablature with panelled frieze. The attics retain some old moulded plank doors. The roofs here and elsewhere, unless otherwise described, have robust cambered collar-beams.

The South Range of the main Court is of two periods: the narrower western half, formerly the Master's Lodge, a part of the late 17th-century rebuilding, was completed probably by 1681; the eastern half, Ramsden Building, was begun in 1757 and apparently not occupied until 1772. The latter, designed by James Essex, is of the same height and in similar materials to the range opposite. It is longer than the Chapel block, which it balances, and projects slightly on the Court side, more on the S. At the angles are rusticated quoins; the modillioned eaves-cornice is continuous. The N. side is symmetrical, the openings being as shown on the plan, with short flights of steps to the doorways to staircases 'A' and 'B' in the third and sixth bays; the windows on the floors above are regularly arranged over the ground-floor openings. The doorways have architraves against plain stone surrounds and cornices with segmental pediments which interrupt the stone plat-band at first-floor level. The stone-mullioned two-light windows are transomed on the ground and first floors; they have narrow architraves and moulded sills, those on the first floor with plain friezes and cornices, and conform to the pattern of the original windows elsewhere in the College. In the roof are five dormer-windows with timber triangular pediments and fitted with two-light casements. The S. side is generally similar to the foregoing but of six unequal bays, with a window in each bay on each floor. The E. end is a replica of the E. end of the Chapel.

The Interior of Ramsden Building contains sets of chambers, the planning of all floors being constant. The original staircases rise in continuous flights between floors and have close moulded strings, thin turned balusters, moulded handrails and square newels. The main ground and first-floor rooms retain original plaster dentil-cornices; those on the second floor and all the bedrooms have plain cornices; some contain early 19th-century fireplaces with reeded stone surrounds with roundels at the corners and plain shelves. The doorways have simple architraves and are hung with doors of six fielded panels, except in the attics where they are of four panels.

The rest of the S. range westward, which contains cellars, has a plinth continued from the adjoining buildings and rusticated stone quoins to the angles of the western end where it overtops the W. range. The N. side is of eight bays, with a plat-band at first-floor level, and a modillion-cornice returning round Ramsden Building. The stone doorway in the sixth bay has an architrave in a panelled surround and a segmental pediment; in the opening the styles of the door-frame are in the form of responds with moulded imposts supporting a semi-circular arch with panelled tympanum; the door is of six panels. In all the other bays on the ground floor and throughout above are stone-mullioned two-light windows, those on the ground and first floors transomed, similar in detail to the original windows elsewhere in the College. The cellar windows appearing in the plinth are of two lights but without projecting architraves. In the roof are eight dormer-windows similar to those on the opposite range. The chimney-stacks are similar to those of the W. range. The S. side has a square lead eavesgutter supported on a small stone bed-mould. The sixth bay, as shown on the plan, projects slightly to within approximately 3½ ft. from the eaves where it is weathered back in brick; in it is a doorway with stone architrave and, above, are two two-light mullioned and transomed windows lighting the landings. The windows on every floor in all the other bays are similar to those in the wall opposite but without the friezes and cornices over those on the first floor. On the roof are eight dormer-windows with triangular pediments. The chimney-stack is modern or rebuilt. At the junction of the wall with the end wall of the W. range is an old lead rainwater down-pipe with a moulded head below each of the two eaves-cornices.

The Interior now contains undergraduates' rooms. On the ground floor, the Junior Combination Room (33½ ft. by 19½ ft.) to the E. has an original timber cornice. The room adjoining on the W. is lined with bolection-moulded panelling of c. 1700 with dado-rail and cornice. The room W. of the staircase is lined with early 18th-century panelling with dado-rail and cornice, with a contemporary door of six fielded panels; in the overmantel is a bolection-moulded panel and the fireplace has a moulded and eared stone surround with roses carved in the angles. The staircase is original, with close moulded strings, turned and twisted balusters, except down to the cellar where they are only turned, moulded handrail and square newels; the last were capped by returns of the handrail and had turned pendants, but these have been displaced by the later insertion of panelled supporting posts between the newels. From ground to first floor is a dado of bolection-moulded panelling.

On the first floor the small room and passage immediately E. of the staircase are both lined with original panelling similar to that in the room next described; the fireplace in the first has an original bolection-moulded stone surround. The room W. of the staircase, now divided by a modern partition, is lined with late 17th-century panelling with dado-rail and cornice. The fireplace has a moulded stone surround in a heavy bolection-moulded wood frame with a cornice-shelf and a panelled overmantel with panelled pilaster-strips at the sides supporting an entablature; the cornice is that continued from the flanking panelling and the architrave and bed-moulding return over the pilaster-strips. The architraves of the doorways and the panelled doors are original. The panelling and framing members throughout are bolection-moulded. The second floor and attics retain some original woodwork and bolection-moulded fireplace-surrounds.

Walnut Tree Court, N.W. of the main Court, is bounded on the W. by a range extending northward from the W. range already described. This is the earliest surviving building of the College. The Court was walled in 1631–2 and the cost of materials for the 'New Building' first appears in the accounts for 1634–5 when expenses amounted to £260; the latest entries, for red ochre, sand, bricks at 1s. 10d. a hundred, and for mending the tiling, occur in 1636–7. Some structural features may indicate a heightening of the range by a full storey, but necessarily before c. 1688, the date of Loggan's view which shows three storeys. It is of three storeys with attics and built of red brick with stone dressings. The southern end contains the Kitchen rising through two storeys; the chambers in the rest of the range are approached from staircase 'E' in Walnut Tree Court.

The exterior has a plinth with moulded stone weathering and plain stone-capped parapets to E. and W. The E. side is symmetrical, in five bays but with the ground floor of the southernmost bay masked by a modern addition. The symmetry indicates the extent to which this side was covered by the range preceding the present late 17th-century Hall block. At the level of the first floor is a moulded stone string; above the first-floor windows is a ragged set-back of the wall-face and, it seems, a change in the brickwork. The central doorway has chamfered stone jambs and a four-centred head. In the flanking bays and in every bay on the upper floors is an original stone three-light window with hollow-chamfered head, reveals and mullions in a casement moulding; the uppermost windows have stone cornices. The ground-floor window S. of the doorway has been converted into a doorway in modern times and the southernmost is blocked by the modern addition. The two-light dormer-windows have timber entablatures and hipped roofs. The two lead rainwater-pipes with moulded heads are old.

The N. end is gabled and has plain stone quoins, except where the wall forming the N. side of the Court adjoins. It has been refaced to two-thirds of the height, presumably when the adjoining gatehouse seen in Loggan's engraving was demolished. The chimney-stack at the apex is corbelled out from the wall-face below the start of the gable; it and the two other stacks on the roof-ridge have panelled sides but only the moulded brick corbelling is not rebuilt.

The W. side, to Queens' Lane, has moulded stone strings at first and second-floor levels and returns of the quoins at the N.W. angle. It is in seven bays, with a three-light window in each bay on each floor; one has subsequently been converted into a doorway. The windows have been altered in profile of moulding, and perhaps in height to accord more nearly with the later windows further S.; they have wave-moulded heads, reveals and mullions. In the roof is a range of two-light dormer-windows with timber cornices and hipped roofs. The two lead rainwater-pipes with moulded heads are of the 18th century.

The Interior has been largely modernised on the ground floor where it retains only chamfered ceiling-beams and, in the N. end of the E. wall of the Kitchen, a doorway with a 17th-century timber frame. The early Kitchen (19½ ft. by 21 ft. average) has been enlarged in modern times by the removal of part of the S. wall and heightened by extending it through the floor above. Doubtless it has been in this position since the new Hall block was completed in 1675, but perhaps not from the first, for Hamond's map seems to show the earlier Hall much further E.

The original staircase rises in single flights between the floors, turning round a rectangular newel-post; this last stops short at the second-floor floor-level. On the ground floor, the face of the post has a base-panel and abutting-pieces at the sides with shaped tops, and, at the head, a pendant carved in relief below a frieze and dentil-cornice continued across the stair-lobby in the form of a pelmet with pendants at the ends and flanking the newel-post (Plate 42). On the first floor, on the face of the post is a diminishing Ionic pilaster on an enriched pedestal and supporting an entablature below the ceiling in the form of a pelmet as before. Some further elaboration of the staircase setting is provided by sinking the field of the inner faces of the mullions etc. of the window lighting the landing. Many of the outer doors to the sets are old; one on the first floor is original, with moulded ribs planted on the face to form panels.

On the first floor, the room N. of the stair, now with modern partitioning forming a passage on the E., has the fireplacesurround made up with Roman Doric side-pilasters with enrichment of damask-like design, brackets, a foliated frieze with carved masks and a dentil-cornice. A door-case in the W. end of the S. wall, similar to that next described now fronts a cupboard. The entrance to the set has on the inside, and balancing the foregoing before the passage was made, a projecting door-case with an arabesque-enriched frieze flanked by similarly enriched brackets supporting a dentil-cornice. Reset on the external wall of the passage is a length of 17th-century carved panelling. The room S. of the stair has a fireplacesurround also made up, with panelled Roman Doric side-pilasters supporting a dentil-cornice and with late 17th-century pierced scroll-finials above, not in situ; in a central panel over the fireplace has been placed a cartouche carved with the College arms and with reset scrolls below. The four projecting doorcases are similar to the doorcases in the set opposite, but one is partly modern. The walls are lined with 18th-century panelling and, reset in the corners immediately under the cornice, are four late 17th-century carved scrolls, similar to those over the fireplace. All the above woodwork, unless described otherwise, is contemporary with the building, but extensively reset and with modern repairs. On the top storey are some old doors. In the attics the chamfered roof-principals are exposed; the roofs are of collar-beam type. 'R.L. 1634' is cut on one of the timbers (Robert Long entered Pensioner 1633) and, accepting the probability of re-use of materials in any heightening of the range, this may indicate how early the building was occupied.

The late 19th-century Master's Lodge contains some old fittings reset. The Dining-room is partly lined with panelling of c. 1600 said to have come from Cromwell House at the Castle End, Cambridge; the overmantel incorporates some early 16th-century linenfold panels, three early 17th-century terminal figures and reeded panels. The Master's Parlour is lined to within 2 ft. of the ceiling with early 17th-century panelling at one time in the Buttery; it is five panels high with a jewelled entablature divided into bays by foliated brackets. The old door is of ten panels, each sub-divided saltirewise. All the woodwork is made up with later and modern material.

The main Court is enclosed on the E. by Railings with a central Gate and on the N.E. by a screen-wall; a similar wall in line with the S. wall of Ramsden Building bounded the S.E. corner until 1949. This arrangement is perhaps attributable to James Essex and entries in the Audit accounts for 1779–80 of payments to Fuller, £169 for railings, £73 for a gate, are doubtless in connection with it. The Gate has two ashlar piers which have recently been entirely rebuilt to the previous design; they are square on plan, with Roman Doric pilasters clasping the angles and supporting full entablatures with small wheels, for St. Catharine, carved in the metopes, and large ball-finials; on the dies between the pilasters are lions' heads with rings in their mouths and pendent foliage. The wrought-iron gate is in two leaves hung with short fixed lengths with plain uprights, two bands of scroll-work and elaborate scrolled cresting, the last incorporating a wheel in the central pyramidal feature on the overthrow. The railings extending N. and S. rise from a brick dwarf wall with stone plinths and capping; they have plain uprights with shaped spear-finials and are divided into bays by stouter coupled uprights with urn-finials.

The N.E. screen-wall is of brick with stone dressings; it has panelled stone pilasters at either end and a central doorway with architrave and side-pilasters supporting console-brackets under a pedimented entablature.

The Railings and their stone plinth along the Queens' Lane boundary of the College on a strip of land first leased in 1680, were set up in 1759; they were given by Dr. Thomas Sherlock, Master 1714–9, who by codicil to his will, 1760, devised money for their upkeep. The railings consist of arrow-headed uprights threaded through a plain top-rail and are divided into bays by stouter paired uprights; these last are in the form of slender Roman Doric columns on pedestals with flaming urnshaped finials decorated with gadrooning. (fn. 1)

The brick Boundary-wall to Queens' Lane, S. of the W. range, is of the late 17th or early 18th century. It has a central gateway with plain piers and, at each end, a stone doorway with architrave, pulvinated frieze and pedimented cornice; the northernmost is hung with a contemporary six-panel door.

Bull Hostel to the N.E. of the College, fronting Trumpington Street, now contains sets of chambers. The history of the property and the present building is outlined above with that of the College buildings. It is of four storeys, with attics added in 1926. The walls are of white brick with ashlar facing to the street; the roofs are slate-covered. All the windows are double sash-hung. The advertisement for tenders for rebuilding the Black Bull Inn appeared in the Cambridge Chronicle for 15th February 1828, and according to the issue of 17th October of the same year work was in hand.

It consists of a rectangular block to the street and a W. wing; late in the 19th century extensions were made to the latter on the S. The former yard is largely occupied by a modern dining-hall. The E. front, of eight bays, is symmetrical from the northernmost bay to the penultimate bay on the S.; these two bays project slightly the full height of the building. The whole of the ground floor, except the southernmost bay, is rusticated. At the first floor is a balcony with cast-iron balustrade extending the length of the front excepting the end bays; under the second-floor windows is a plat-band, and at the wall-head is a cornice and blocking-course. The doorway, central in the symmetrical design, is under a porch with detached square columns and pilaster-responds supporting a simplified entablature. The ground-floor windows with elliptical heads in the projecting bays and the first-floor windows above them are wider than the rest and contain tripartite timber frames; all the first-floor windows have architraves and cornices, but those above have architraves only. The window-feature in the S. end bay is of the later 19th century and may replace an arched carriage-way. The other sides of the building have plain sash-windows.

The Interior contains the main rooms on the E. with a central hall-passage on the ground floor giving access to the stairhall on the W. The S.E. room has been extended into the later addition but is now sub-divided into offices. The main rooms on the first floor have also been sub-divided in recent times. All contain original enriched plaster cornices. The staircase is elliptical within a rectangular hall, with cast-iron balustrades and a mahogany handrail.

The Houses, 68, 69a and 70 Trumpington Street, S. of Woodlark Building, were taken into the College enclosure in 1933; except for the ground-floor rooms let for shops, they contain sets of chambers. The first, rebuilt in 1852, was bought for £900 in 1821, the second in 1894, the third in 1871. W. of No. 70 is a small early 17th-century building, of two storeys, with plastered timber-framed walls and tiled roofs. In the S. wall is a 17th-century jettied window, now blocked and converted into a cupboard, with moulded bressummer and cove below, retaining the original chamfered frame of five transomed lights; it has been heightened to two storeys by the addition of a dormer-window in the 19th century. The main ground-floor room, now divided by a modern partition to form an entrance-passage on the N., is lined with contemporary panelling five panels high, with frieze-panels enriched with arabesques. Some similar frieze-panelling remains in situ in the shop-store further E. On the first floor is further 17th-century panelling; an original stop-chamfered tie-beam and some timber-framed partitioning are visible.


  • 1. These fine railings were removed in 1956.