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Notes on the Geography of The United Kingdom: Cambridge: Antique and Modern

We'll take a walk here along Trumpington Street, then drive over to Silicon Fen, as it's sometimes called. We'll go, in other words, from hoary tradition to blazing innovation.

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Odd place to start? Maybe, but Trumpington Road parallels the River Cam and runs past most of the university's colleges. Here, we're just south of the parade that's about to begin. The Judge Institute is a modern creation, opened in 1994 after the deep renovation of what had been Addenbrooke's Hospital, which opened on this site in 1863 and is now on a new one.

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John Outram planned the conversion, sustained by a gift of 8 million pounds from Paul Judge. Donors have rights, don't you know.

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Trumpington Street just south of the university is still surprisingly modest for a town with such a global reputation.

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Then, still on Trumpington, comes the university's Fitzwilliam Museum, begun in 1834 by the same architects (Bosevi and Cockerell) who brought you the National Gallery.

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Next door, the Chapel of Peterhouse College. It was begun in 1628. Step inside?

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Ahem!

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The chapel is behind us. These buildings are older than they look. Peel away the ashlar facing, applied in 1754, and there's a building from the 1400s. The sober Robert Willis, writing in the immense Architectural History of the University of Cambridge (1886), says that this court "appears to be extremely modern but is substantially the medieval College."

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Chapel door.

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The seats are from 1632, the year of the chapel's consecration

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Continuing north: on the right are the Red Buildings of Pembroke College, designed in the 1870s by the prominent Alfred Waterhouse. Beyond them is Bishop Wren's Chapel, from 1665. It's the oldest classical chapel in Cambridge, as well as the first completed building of Christopher Wren. It's named, however, for Bishop Matthew Wren, whom the Commonwealth had imprisoned for 18 years. During that time he vowed to build a chapel if he ever had the chance.

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Inside Pembroke Old Court, with the chapel on the right and college library in the center.

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One panel of a grim reminder of World War I.

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The library, too, is a Waterhouse product from the 1870s. See the statue in the shade?

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William Pitt the Younger graduated at age 17 and became prime minister at 24. The statue was in London until 1969.

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We're looking across Trumpington and at the entrance of Corpus Christi College.

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Sorry to be such a nuisance.

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Instructions to the hoi polloi.

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Across the lawn: Corpus Christi Chapel, a recent addition, added only in 1823 to a design by William Wilkins, who's buried inside.

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Kitty-corner up King's Parade, the Kings College Chapel (1441-1551) rises behind the much newer entrance gate, designed by the ubiquitous Wilkins, 1823.

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Inside the court and looking back to the entrance gate.

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The famous chapel was begun by Henry VI. He was subsequently deposed and killed, but the chapel was finished anyway. Then the site froze for three centuries, until the building on the left appeared.

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It's the Gibbs Building, built in the 1720s. Gibbs had proposed three buildings to form a court with the chapel, but only this one, on the west, was built. Ssh!

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Behind the college: the Backs, extending to the River Cam.

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From the Cam back toward the chapel and Gibbs Building (on the right).

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The west facade of the Gibbs Building.

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The chapel from the northeast; on the right is part of the Senate House, also by Gibbs in the 1720s.

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Next to the north is Gonville and Caius College. Here, Caius Court with the bell tower designed by Dr. Caius himself in the 1560s. A medical doctor, he paid for putting the college back on its financial feet.

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He also designed and paid for three gates, a Gate of Humility for new students, a Gate of Virtue for continuing ones, and this, the Gate of Honor, used since the 1570s for students at graduation.

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Celebrity faculty.

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The Tree Court of Gonville and Caius, built in the 1860s to a design by Alfred Waterhouse.

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Henry VIII stands watch over Trinity College's Tudor Gate. It was he who created the college by merging two preexisting ones.

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The gate seen from the court.

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Trinity Court, looking to the south gate.

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The fountain once supplied the college with water.

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On the north side of the Great Court is Trinity Chapel, completed in 1567.

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The chapel's anteroom has this statue of a calculating Isaac Newton.

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Francis Bacon, bored.

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A great admirer of Bacon, Thomas Macauley sits opposite him.

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Apart from his admiration of Bacon, Macauley was instrumental in anglicizing India. The statue is by Thomas Woolner, one of whose specialities was sculpting major figures of the British Empire.

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Trinity Street, an extension of Trumpington. Alias the A1134.

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A couple of blocks farther north, the Cam at the Magdelene St. Bridge.

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Downstream, the river curves east and widens here above the Jesus Lock; Jesus College is off to the right.

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Not everyone in this town breathes Latin. We've jumped a mile and a bit to the northeast. Still plenty green, but the road here is a perfect circle, which tells you that there's an engineer in the vicinity.

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Welcome to Cambridge Science Park, a product as you see of Trinity College in 1970.

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Looks rustic but isn't.

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Here's Paradigm Therapeutics, based here and in Singapore; also, NCE Discovery, providing medicinal chemistry services.

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This is a sign.

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Up a notch: this is signage.

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NAPP, which develops pain management medicines, and Bard Pharmaceuticals.

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More signage.

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We've jumped across the A1309 to the Cambridge Business Park.

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Here's CSR, which makes single-chip wireless devices.

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More signage.

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Next door, the Golden Hind pub.

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Adjoining it: Lovell Road, whose houses are unlikely to appear in promos for either high-tech or classical Cambridge.

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Housing for ordinary folks or blokes.


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