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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Report', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Cambridge, (London, 1959) pp. xxvii-xxxi. British History Online [accessed 25 April 2024]

In this section


Report to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty

May It Please Your Majesty.

We, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions connected with, or illustrative of, the contemporary culture, civilisation and conditions of life of the people of England, excluding Monmouthshire, from the earliest times to the year 1714, and such further Monuments and Constructions subsequent to that year as may seem in our discretion to be worthy of mention therein, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation, humbly submit to Your Majesty the following Report on the Monuments of the City of Cambridge, being the twenty-first Report on the work of the Commission since its first appointment. As in the County of Dorset the Commissioners have adopted the terminal date 1850 for the monuments to be included in the Inventory of the City of Cambridge.

2. We desire humbly to submit to Your Majesty our deep feelings of loyalty and devotion in this our first Report since Your Majesty's Accession.

3. We have to thank Your Majesty for the appointment of the Most Honourable the Marquess of Salisbury, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, as a Member and Chairman of the Commission under Your Majesty's Royal Sign Warrant dated 30th December 1957 on the resignation of the Right Honourable the Earl of Ilchester. We have also to thank Your Majesty for the appointment of Mr. Godfrey Allen under Your Majesty's Royal Sign Warrant dated 9th June 1952, of Professor H. C. Darby, Mr. Christopher Hussey, Mr. C. A. Ralegh Radford and Mr. John Summerson under Your Majesty's Royal Sign Warrant dated 3rd July 1953 and of Professor J. G. D. Clark and Professor Francis Wormald under Your Majesty's Royal Sign Warrant dated 6th March 1957 to be Members of the Commission, and for the appointment of Your Majesty's Lieutenants in the Counties of Cambridge and Dorset and in Wiltshire to be Members of the Commission during the surveys of these Counties.

4. It is with great regret that we record the loss to the Commission of the Right Honourable the Earl of Ilchester, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, Chairman of the Commission since 19th October 1943, who has resigned by reason of ill-health. The Commission owes a deep debt of gratitude for his guidance and wisdom. We have also to record the severe loss suffered to the Commission through the deaths of Sir Alfred Clapham, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, Knight of the Order of the Garter, Member of the Order of the British Empire, Doctor of Laws; Mr. A Hamilton Thompson, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Doctor of Letters, Doctor of Laws, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Emeritus Professor of History in the University of Leeds; Sir Charles Peers, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Doctor of Letters, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; Major J. G. N. Clift; and Mr. B. H. St. J. O'Neil, Master of Arts, Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries, who had been appointed under His late Majesty's Royal Sign Warrant dated 30th November, 1950. We have further to record the loss to the Commission by resignation of Sir Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler, Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, upon whom has been conferred the Decoration of the Military Cross, Doctor of Literature, Doctor of Letters, President of the Society of Antiquaries, Fellow of the British Academy.

5. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our enquiries into the City of Cambridge, an area in which we have recorded 341 monuments. The investigation of this City was begun when the office of the Commission was moved to Cambridge in the year 1940. A disastrous fire in 1945 destroyed a large part of the records of the Commission, including almost all the work already done on the City itself. This misfortune, together with the extension of the Commission's terms of reference to include monuments after 1714, entailed a new beginning of the work on a much enlarged scale.

6. Following our usual practice we have prepared an illustrated volume containing a full Inventory of the monuments of the City, which, under the advice of the Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury, will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication.

7. Little alteration has been found necessary in the order and method of describing the monuments included from that pursued in the description of the monuments of the City of Oxford, except that certain kinds of later monuments have been treated as group monuments, such as terraces of houses designed as one building and even in certain instances whole areas of contemporaneous development. This system of grouping monuments explains the small increase in the number recorded, 341 as compared with 293 in the City of Oxford. The detailed Inventory is introduced by the usual Sectional Preface.

8. The University of Cambridge is peculiarly fortunate in the historians of its architecture. The great work of the late Professor Robert Willis, Master of Arts, Fellow of the Royal Society, and the late Mr. John Willis Clark, Master of Arts, was published in 1886. This work has been invaluable as a basis for the Commission's survey of the University and College buildings. Cambridge is also fortunate in the existence of a remarkable series of early maps, those of Hamond 1592, Loggan 1688, Custance 1798 and Baker 1830 being worthy of special mention.

9. As in previous volumes, the descriptions of monuments have been referred for revision to the heads of each College, the incumbents of churches, and to the owners of the principal domestic buildings, and we are satisfied that no important monument dating from the earliest times to the year 1850 has been omitted.

10. Our special thanks are due to the Vice-Chancellor of the University, the heads of Colleges, to the incumbents of the various parishes, and to the owners of houses for valuable assistance in our investigation. We are furthermore indebted to the Mayor and Corporation of Cambridge for their help and more particularly for information about their Civic Plate and collection of Weights and Measures and to the Committee of the Victoria County History for much helpful collaboration. We offer our sincere thanks to Mr. J. W. Goodison, M.A., of the Fitzwilliam Museum, for advice as to the attribution of pictures; to Mr. J. Saltmarsh, M.A., Vice-Provost of King's College, who has put his time and unequalled knowledge of the College history most generously at the disposal of the Commission; to Mr. K. Harrison, M.A., of King's College, for advice and assistance in the descriptions of the stained glass there; to Mr. Arthur Oswald, M.A., for allowing us to use his transcripts of King's College Muniments; to Dr. Sidney Smith for helping us with his knowledge of the building accounts of St. Catharine's College, and to Father de Gaiffier of the Society of Bollandists, Brussels, the Rev. David Knowles, Regius Professor of Modern History, and Dr. F. J. E. Raby of Jesus College for their help with inscriptions.

11. We humbly recommend to Your Majesty's notice the following monuments in Cambridge as 'especially worthy of preservation':


(77) Cambridge Castle, motte, 11th-century, and Civil War defences.

University Buildings

(16) Senate House, begun 1722 from the design of James Gibbs, with fine original fittings and decorations.

(17) Schools Building, dating from the 14th, 15th and 18th centuries, and the Cockerell Building of 1837.

(18) Fitzwilliam Museum, 1837, from designs by George Basevi, the interior retaining decorations by this architect and by C. R. Cockerell.

(19) Observatory, 1822, an example of the revived Greek style adapted for special scientific purposes.


(23) Christ's College, dating from the 16th century. Chapel; Fellows' Building, 17th century; Gatehouse, Master's Lodge, Antechapel and First Court ranges, with 18th-century refacing from designs by James Essex.

(24) Clare College, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Chapel, Hall, Combination Room, Bridge, etc. Painting in Chapel by Cipriani (1727–1785).

(25) Corpus Christi College, dating from the 14th century. Old Court; gallery connecting to St. Benet's Church; stained glass in 19th-century Chapel.

(26) Downing College, early 19th century, from designs by W. Wilkins.

(27) Emmanuel College, dating from the 16th century, embodying work of the 14th century. Additions of the 17th and 18th centuries including the Chapel from designs by Sir Christopher Wren, 1666. Painting in reredos in Chapel by J. Amigoni (1675–1752).

(28) Fitzwilliam House, dating from c. 1700; street front and staircase 1727.

(29) Gonville and Caius College, dating from the 14th century. Additions begun in 1565.

(30) Jesus College, formed 1496 from monastic buildings dating from the 12th and early 13th centuries. Chapel, Hall, Gatetower, etc.; 19th-century Chapel fittings by A. W. Pugin.

(31) King's College, dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. Chapel, fittings and stained glass. Gibbs' Building, 1724–42; Bridge, 1819, and screen to King's Parade, 1824, from designs by W. Wilkins.

(32) Magdalene College, dating from the 15th century. Hall, Combination Room, monastic camerae.

(33) Pembroke College, dating from the 14th century. Old Chapel remodelled in the 17th century; New Chapel from designs by Sir Christopher Wren, 1663.

(34) Peterhouse, dating from the 13th century. Hall; Library and Chapel, 17th century; Burrough's Building, 1742; Master's Lodge, 1702.

(35) Queens' College, dating from the 15th century. Gatehouse, Hall, old Chapel, Cloister Court, President's Gallery.

(36) St. Catharine's College, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

(38) St. John's College, dating from the 16th, 17th and 19th centuries. Gatehouse, First, Second and Third Courts, containing Long Gallery and Library; New Court, from designs by Rickman, 1826. Old Bridge, 1709.

(39) Sidney Sussex College, dating from the 16th century. Painting of the Nativity by G. B. Pittoni (1687–1767) in the Chapel.

(40) Trinity College, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, embodying 14th and 15th-century work. Great Gate, King Edward's Tower and Queen's Gate, Hall, Chapel, Fountain, Nevile's Court; Library from designs by Sir Christopher Wren, 1676. Bridge by James Essex, 1763.

(41) Trinity Hall, dating from the 14th century. Library, late 16th-century, containing original fittings; facing of Front Court by James Burrough, 1742–5.


(44) Parish Church of the Holy Sepulchre, dating from the 12th century, one of the five surviving round churches in this country. The 19th-century restorations under the auspices of the Cambridge Camden Society are of interest.

(48) Parish Church of St. Benet, dating from early in the second quarter of the 11th century, with a tower-arch of that age.

(49) Parish Church of St. Botolph, dating from the 14th century. West tower, 15th century; fontcasing, 17th century.

(51) Parish Church of St. Edward the King, dating from the 13th century, with late 14th-century arcades of unusual character, and distinguished floor slabs.

(53) Parish Church of St. Mary the Great, dating in its present form from 1478–1519.

(54) Parish Church of St. Mary the Less, dating from the 14th century, with remains of a 12th-century west tower.

(56) Parish Church of St. Michael, dating from the 14th century. An unusual plan combining the uses of a Parish church with those of a University college chapel.

(59) Parish Church of St. Andrew, Cherry Hinton, dating from the 13th century, with a fine chancel of that age.

(60) Parish Church of St. Andrew, Chesterton, dating from the 13th century, with rebuilding in the 14th and 15th centuries; 15th-century Doom painting.

(61) Parish Church of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, Trumpington, rebuilt in the early 14th century. The Trumpington brass is one of the earliest in the country.

(62) Stourbridge Chapel, dating from the middle of the 12th century. Originally the chapel of a Leper Hospital.

(65) Wooden figure of St. Andrew crucified, designed and presented by A. W. Pugin in 1843 to the first R.C. church designed by him, now in the Church of our Lady of the Assumption and the English Martyrs.

Secular Buildings

(107) No. 13 Trinity Street, of the late 18th century with an early 19th-century shop-front.

(114) Nos. 30 and 31 Trinity Street, two houses built together to a uniform design in the middle of the 18th century. No. 30 has a fine late 18th-century shop-front.

(120–31) Nos. 4 and 6 to 22 King's Parade, forming a group of great importance to the city. Individual houses have features of interest but the group quality transcends any individual feature in importance.

(133–6) Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9 Benet Street have all at one time formed part of the Eagle Inn. The finest surviving example of one of the great Cambridge Inns.

(142–3) Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Free School Lane; a group of three late 16th-century timber-framed houses, Nos. 1 and 2 being of the same build.

(145) Houses in Peas Hill, now combined to form a hostel for King's College, including an early timber-framed house remodelled in the 17th century and later. They retain a number of important features including the local device of transeptal dormers.

(146) Central Hotel, Peas Hill; a group of buildings combined in the late 17th century to form an Inn. It retains a good brick front of 1727 and mid and later 17th-century interior features.

(150) No. 5 Market Hill, a 17th-century timber-framed house with rare ironwork and fine plasterwork of 1688 on the first floor.

(159) Rose Crescent, a small consistent development of the early 19th century surviving remarkably complete.

(188–9) Nos. 15 and 16 Bridge Street and Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 4a Jordan's Yard, a group of late mediaeval town houses of a type of which few survive in the city, retaining original detail.

(197) Old Vicarage, Thompson's Lane, a timber-framed house of the 16th century retaining much of its original form and character.

(199) No. 30 Thompson's Lane, a fine and well-preserved town house of c. 1820.

(201–11) No. 1 Northampton Street and Nos. 13 to 31 Magdalene Street, a row of timber-framed and plastered houses comparatively little altered structurally. Nos. 25 and 25a form the bestpreserved timber-framed house of the 17th century of any pretension in the city.

(222) 'Little Trinity', Jesus Lane, the most distinguished small 18th-century house in the city both for its outside and its interior finish.

(223) No. 32 Jesus Lane, a house of the mid 18th century.

(244) Fitzwilliam Street, Nos. 1–12, No. 14 and Nos. 16–24, also No. 29a Trumpington St., a development dating from c. 1820.

(246) No. 15 Fitzwilliam Street, a distinguished medium sized house of c. 1825.

(248–50) Nos. 1 to 5 Benet Place, Lensfield Road, a fine early 19th-century group with good ironwork.

(258–60) Park Terrace, a comprehensive scheme of 16 houses facing Parker's Piece. A good example of the best type of early 19th-century development.

(266) Nos. 4 to 20 Maids' Causeway, the most architecturally distinguished part of an extensive development of the early 19th century.

(270) Abbey House, Newmarket Road, a 16th-century house enlarged in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

(279) Wanstead House, Hills Road, a substantial house incorporating fittings from Wanstead House, Essex, c. 1720, the first great example of the 18th-century Palladian movement.

(292) Merton Hall, Queens' Road, dating in considerable part from c. 1200.

(305) Chesterton Tower, Chesterton an official residence built for an ecclesiastic in the mid 14th century.

(324) Trumpington Hall, a dignified country house dating from the early 18th century.

(325) Anstey Hall, Trumpington, dating from the late 17th century, with a notable front.

(329) The Old House, Trumpington, a good example of a small brick country house of the late 16th century.

(336) 'Green Man' Inn, Trumpington, a timber-framed house dating from the 15th century.

12. We desire to express our acknowledgement of the good work accomplished by our Executive Staff as a whole and especially by Mr. A. R. Dufty, Sec.S.A., A.R.I.B.A., the Editor of the Inventory, Miss V. M. Dallas, M.B.E., F.S.A., Mr. E. A. R. Rahbula, O.B.E., M.C., F.S.A., A.R.I.B.A., Mr. R. W. McDowall, M.A., F.S.A., Dr. P. Eden, F.S.A., Mr. S. D. T. Spittle, M.A., F.S.A., A.R.I.B.A., and Mr. F. T. A. Power, M.C., B.E.M., who were particularly concerned with the making of the Cambridge City Inventory, and also by Dr. E. A. Gee, F.S.A., Mr. H. C. Bowen, M.A., Mr. R. A. H. Farrar, M.A., F.S.A., Mr. W. E. Barbour-Mercer, M.A., Miss M. W. Baldwin, M.A., F.S.A., Mr. J. T. Smith, M.A., F.S.A., and Mr. M. H. Braude. We desire also to put on record our regret at the death of Mr. A. T. Phillips, M.C., F.S.A., one of our Principal Investigators, and our appreciation of his services to the Commission.

13. Our Assistant Editor, Miss V. M. Dallas, in 1953 completed 25 years service with the Commission. The Membership of the Order of the British Empire which Your Majesty conferred upon her in 1954 was acknowledgement of her valuable services.

14. In 1955, at the request of the Ancient Monuments Board of the Ministry of Works and various other learned bodies, the Commission undertook to make emergency surveys of monuments of Prehistoric and early Historic periods threatened with destruction by recent developments in techniques of agriculture, forestry, mining, etc. In undertaking this new commitment Your Commissioners were influenced by the consideration that no organisation comparable to the National Buildings Record existed to record this early and extremely vulnerable material. In the course of 1956 work was begun on this task up to the limit of the augmented staff allowed to enable the survey to be done without adversely affecting the preparation of the County and City Inventories.

15. The next Inventory of the Commission will deal with the monuments of the south-eastern part of the County of Dorset, being the second of the four volumes it is proposed to devote to that County. Your Commissioners would like to record the great debt which they owe to the late Colonel Drew, Curator of the Dorset Museum, whose service to the Commission in its work in Dorset went far beyond anything that his membership of the Prehistoric and Roman Committee on Dorset and Wiltshire could have implied.


SALISBURY (Chairman)