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Clare College, Cambridge

Clare College was founded in 1326 and endowed a few years later by Elizabeth de Clare, making it the second oldest surviving college at the University of Cambridge. After the Lady Clare, a granddaughter of King Edward I, endowed it, the foundation was known as Clare Hall up until 1856, when it changed its name to Clare College. (A new Clare Hall was founded by Clare as postgraduate institution in 1966). Clare is famous for its chapel choir and also for its gardens, which form part of what is known as the Backs (essentially the rear part of colleges which are next to the river River Cam). The current Master is Prof. A J Badger.

Clare's ‘Old Court’, which frames Kings College Chapel as the left border of one of the most celebrated architectural vistas in England, was built between 1638 and 1715, with a long interruption for the English Civil war. The period spans the arrival of true classicism into the mainstream of British Architecture its progress can be traced in the marked differences between the oldest wing (the north), which still has vaulting and other features in the unbroken tradition of English Gothic, and the final southern block, which shows a fully articulated classic style.

Clare has a much-photographed bridge over the river which has fourteen stone balls decorating it.  In actual fact, one of the balls has a missing section.  A number of apocryphal stories circulate concerning this - the one most commonly cited by members of college is that the original builder of the bridge was not paid the full amount for his work and so removed the segment to balance the difference in payment.

Famous alumni

External links