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Known by students as Sidney Sainsbury's, due to its central location!

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Sidney Sussex College was founded in 1596 by Frances Sidney, the Countess of Sussex. It is informally known as just Sidney, although many students call it Sidney Sainsbury’s. This is due to the nearby branch of Sainsbury’s supermarket, reputedly the most frequented supermarket by all students of Cambridge due to its central location!

The College of the Lady Frances Sidney Sussex, Established 1596
Source WikiMedia (PD)

College Motto

God preserve me from calumny
Originally Sidney Sussex College was founded openly as an extremely Puritan institution. It seems to have slipped a bit from those original values however, now boasting the cheapest student bar in Cambridge. However it has excelled traditionally in History, Engineering and Law. Its history society claims to be the longest running history society in Cambridge, being founded in 1908. Sidney Sussex College students have also made up the winning teams for TV show University Challenge in 1971, 78 and 79. The 1978 winning team even went on to win the Champion of Champions competition in 2002.

Sidney Sussex Gatehouse

The Chapel
Oliver Cromwell is one of the college’s most famous alumni, although due to his father becoming ill, he never graduated. He has left one permanent reminder though….his head is buried under the college’s chapel - Cromwell died in 1658 but 3 years later, after the restoration of the monarchy, Cromwell’s dead body was dug up and hanged. His head was cut off and displayed on a spike outside Westminster until 1685. It then changed hands several times before being buried at a secret location in the College grounds in 1960.  Cromwell clearly wouldn’t have been impressed with the college’s motto Dieu me Garde de Calomnie which means God preserve me from slander!!

Inside the Chapel

The bell on the Chapel tower
Photo © chelmsfordblue (CC)

Hall Court
A trip to Sidney Sussex allows you to see a prominent University College, whilst not straying far from the city centre and is home to a number of pleasant buildings and beautiful gardens.

The branch of Sainsbury's opposite the college entrance, from which the college affectionately gets its nickname, Sidney Sainsbury's!
Visitor Information
The college is open to visitors daily, 9am to 5pm. Entrance is FREE. Tel: 01223 338 800

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