Christ's College, Cambridge

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Christ's College

Christ's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.

With a reputation for high academic standards, Christ's College has consistently finished in the top ten colleges in the Tompkins Table in recent years, dropping to 13th place at the end of the 2009/2010 academic year.


College history

The college grew from God's House founded in 1437 on land now occupied by King's College Chapel. It received its first royal licence in 1446. It moved to its present site in 1448 when it received its second royal licence. It was renamed Christ's College and received its present charter in 1505 when it was endowed and expanded by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII.


The original 15th/16th century college buildings now form part of First Court, including the chapel, Master's Lodge and Great Gate tower. The gate itself is disproportionate: the bottom has been cut off to accommodate a rise in street level, which can also be seen in the steps leading down to the foot of L staircase in the gate tower. The college hall, originally built at the very start of the 16th century was restored in 1875-1879 by George Gilbert Scott, the younger. The lawn of First Court is famously round, and an impressive wisteria sprawls up the front of the master's lodge.

Second Court is fully built up on only three sides, one of which is formed by the 1640s Fellows' Building. The fourth side backs onto the Master's garden.

The Stevenson Building in Third Court was designed by J. J. Stevenson, in the 1880s and was extended in 1905 as part of the College's Quadcentenary. In 1947 Professor Richardson designed the second building, the neo-Georgian Chancellor's Building (W staircase), completed in 1950. Third Court's Memorial Building (Y staircase), a twin of the Chancellor's building was completed in 1953 for £80,000.[2] Third Court is also noted for its display of irises in May and June, a gift to the college in 1946.[3]

The controversial tiered concrete New Court (often dubbed "the Typewriter") was designed in the Modernist style by Sir Denys Lasdun in 1966-70, and was described as "superb" in Lasdun's obituary in the Guardian.[4] Design critic Hugh Pearman comments "Lasdun had big trouble relating to the street at the overhanging rear".[5] It appears very distinctively in aerial photographs, forming part of the northern boundary of the college.

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