Cambridge Places to See
Cambridge Places to See
During examination time - from mid-April to mid-June - access to the colleges is sometimes limited. Most notable of the colleges are Christ's College, where Milton is said to have written Lycidas, refounded by Lady Margaret Beaufort in 1505; Clare College - do see 'The Backs' from Clare and Clare Bridge, the first of its kind in Cambridge; Corpus Christi, founded by two of the merchants' guilds in 1352; Downing College, the latest college, eventually finished in a Grecian open-plan form in 1969; Emmanuel College, on the site of a Dominican Friary which has a chapel by Wren; King's College, whose glorious chapel with its fan-vaulted ceiling above and the carved screen and choir stalls below, as well as stained glass is the loveliest building in Cambridge, famous for its choir which, in term, sings for Evensong (except on Mondays); Magdalene College which was a home for Benedictine monks who came to study in 1428 and has the Pepys Library with his desk and bookcases and diaries; Peter house College, the oldest, 1281, originally two small houses; Queen's College, where Erasmus, the Renaissance scholar, studied in 1510 and spread the fame of Cambridge across Europe; St John's College which has the famous Bridge of Signs (1831) and Sidney Sussex College, where the head of Oliver Cromwell is thought to lie buried; Trinity College, the original King's Hall, founded by Edward III in 1336, but refounded by Henry VIII as Trinity College and the largest college with over eight hundred students and Trinity Hall - the only college known as a Hall, which distinguishes it from the other Trinity. The Backs - are sweeps of green down to the willow-edged water. (Access by the back gate of King's College). They are enjoyed either by walking along them very slowly, sitting and watching the world go by or by taking a punt and poling one of these flat-bottomed craft for yourself. The students punt with deceptive nonchalant ease and, because they have spread the river floor of The Backs with gravel, there are few who get stuck up the pole with the punt drifting away beneath them anymore. (Pity). Punts, rowing boats and canoes are available for hire.
The later and more modern colleges are Girton, Huntingdon Road; Newnham, Sidgwick Avenue; Selwyn, Grange Road; Churchill, Storey's Way; Fitzwilliam, Huntingdon Road; Robinson at Grange Road where the first undergraduates were admitted in 1979; and Homerton in Hills Road.
And don't miss the university's Botanic Gardens off Bateman Street. Primarily a garden for research purposes, it is open to the public, as are the greenhouses from time to time in the after-noons. Gardens open every weekday and on Sundays during the summer.
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, closed Mon-days, is one of the finest museums in the country. Houses Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities; collections of porcelain and paintings from early Italian to French Impressionists.
The Folk Museum, Castle Street, closed Mondays. Collected from the city and surrounding countryside, all sorts of things from tools, kitchen equipment, toys and furniture; also Scott Polar Research Institute, Lensfield Road, open Monday-Saturday afternoons. Memorabilia from Captain Scott's journey to the South Pole. Also worth visiting are University Museum of Zoology, Downing Street, Open All Year - weekdays only; Museum of Classical Archaeology, Sidgwick Avenue, Open All Year, closed Sunday; Whipple Science Museum, Free School Lane, open Monday-Friday afternoons; and Kettles Yard Art Gallery, Castle Street, open afternoons.
And don't miss the Round Church, one of very few round churches in the whole country; Great St Mary's, the University church by Market Hill and St Bene't's, the oldest church in the city with its stone Saxon tower. Botanic Garden, Bateman street, open summer weekdays and Sunday, is primarily a garden for research purposes.
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