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Founded by 2 former Queens, this college is famous for its old court and rickety wooden bridge

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Mathematical Bridge
Cloister Court
Old Court
Presidents Lodge
Sun & Moon Dial
Queens’ College was founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou. She was the Queen of Henry VI. It was then refounded in 1465 by Elizabeth Woodville, the Queen of Edward IV, and hence the College is named Queens’ plural.

The Queens' College of St Margaret and St Bernard, Established 1448

College Motto

May this house flourish

The Entrance to Queens' College from Queens' Lane

The Gatehouse as seen from the Inside of Queens' College

Arches lead to a series of pretty Courts, including Old Court, Cloister Court & Walnut Tree Court

Did You Know?

Queens’ College has beautiful buildings on both sides of the river Cam. The older part on one side is affectionately referred to by students as The Dark Side, and the newer part as The Light Side!
One of the college highlights is The Old Court dating back to the colleges’ foundation. It is thought that it was designed by master mason Reginald Ely, and is yet another fascinating historic court within the cities plethora of medieval architecture. Its President’s Lodge is the oldest building on the banks of the River, having being built in around 1460. The college itself is one of only 2 at the university that has its main site on both sides of the river (the other being St John’s).

The Old Court and Presidents Lodge, dating from 1448
The College is also famous for its unique and rare Moon Dial. It was painted onto one of the college’s walls in 1733 and although Isaac Newton is often accredited, the designer remains unknown. The timepiece and accompanying table can be used to calculate the time based on the moons shadows. Experts however, now identify that the moons motion is so irregular that the time given would have rarely been accurate! It has been suggested that it was more commonly used to practice calculations that to tell the time. One thing is for sure…..don’t set your watch by it!!

Queens' clock tower and sun and moon dial

A close-up of the sun and moon dial
The most famous structure of all at Queens’ is the Mathematical Bridge. One of the most photographed sites in Cambridge, the legend goes that it was built by Isaac Newton without nuts or bolts. Then some students tried to take it apart to see how he had accomplished such a mathematical feat, but then of course they couldn’t put it back together again and that’s why the bridge has nuts and bolts in it today. However, the real story is that the bridge was built, including nuts and bolts, by James Essex in 1749, over 20 years after Newton died. If it had ever been without fixtures, mathematicians have now worked out that the weight of students crossing it would have made it collapse anyway.

The Mathematical Bridge, built in 1749. The best views are from Silver Street bridge

Queens' Dining Hall

Some famous alumni include theologian Erasmus, and popular actor, writer and comedian Stephen Fry, who graduated from Queens' in 1981
Photo © Matt Lee (CC)
Visitor Information
Queens College is open to visitors daily, but times and entry charges do vary according to the time of year. Tel: 01223 335 511

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