Christ’s College was first established as God’s House in 1437 by William Byngham, and was refounded as Christ’s College in 1505 by order of a Royal Charter from the King. The College is often described as an oasis of calm in the heart of the city, including beautiful herbaceous borders and tranquil gardens laid out over four courts.
The college is noted for producing two of Cambridge’s most famous alumni: in 1625, the College admitted John Milton, one of the greats of ‘English’ literature, and in 1828, the college admitted Charles Darwin, the renowned scientist who published ‘On the Origin of Species’ some thirty years later.
Sidney Sussex College
Sidney Sussex is located in the very heart of Cambridge. Founded in 1596 Sidney Sussex is a very well-kept secret – whether it is Elizabethan brickwork, charming Cloister Court, the haunting Chapel, exquisite Rococo Hall, medieval cellars or beautiful ancient gardens – they all lie behind a rather self-effacing wall of Roman cement. Sidney’s history is an even better-kept secret including the precise point at which Oliver Cromwell’s head is buried.
As one of the smaller Colleges, Sidney Sussex has a strong community spirit and is known for its warm and friendly welcome to visitors.
St Catharine’s College
St Catharine’s College was founded in 1473 by Robert Woodlark. He had spent nearly twenty years buying up tenements in what is now Queens’ Lane until he had a site large enough to accommodate the little hall which he called ‘Saynt Kateryns Hall of Cambridge’. Two years later, on 16 August 1475, the hall was incorporated, by charter of King Edward IV, as a college for a Master and three or more Fellows: “a perpetual college … forever to remain”.
The college is nicknamed “Catz”. The college is located in the historic city-centre of Cambridge, and lies just south of King’s College and across the street from Corpus Christi College. The college is notable for its open court (rather than closed quadrangle) that faces towards Trumpington Street.
Queens’ College is one of the oldest and largest colleges of the university, founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou (the Queen of Henry VI, who founded King’s College), and has some of the most recognisable buildings in Cambridge. The college spans both sides of the river Cam, with the world famous Mathematical Bridge connecting the two sides.
The college is noted for producing a plethora of notable personalities, including heads of government and politicians from various countries, religious leaders, astronauts and Oscar nominees. Among its distinguished alumni include Erasmus, Stephen Fry, Abba Eban and T.H.White.
Murray Edwards College
Murray Edwards was founded over 60 years ago and takes its name from the colleges first president Dame Rosemary Murray, and the largest personal donation a Cambridge College has ever received in the University’s 800 year history; £30m from alumna Ros Edwards and her husband Steve Edwards. It is one of only three women-only colleges in the UK.
Known for its permanent collection of modern and contemporary female-only art, Murray Edwards College is set in 14 acres of award-winning gardens and features unique modern architecture including a notable domed dining hall. Distinguished alumni include Dame Barbara Stocking, formerly Chief Executive of Oxfam GB.