United Kingdom

Gonville & Caius College

Gonville & Caius College is one of the oldest Cambridge colleges, founded in 1348.

Gonville & Caius sundial, Senate House Passage

I had been wanting to see the inside of the college for a while, having walked past the outside for years. So I went for a wander around one sunny lunchtime. There was a lot of building work going on over the front entrance to the college, but the porters’ lodge was open and friendly, and I could walk right in.

Gonville and Caius College sits in a square surrounded by Trinity Lane, Trinity Street and Senate House Passage, in the heart of the ancient university quarter.

The front courtyard: Tree Court, Gonville and Caius College.

Summer foliage at Gonville and Caius.

These open doorways intrigued me, as they are split over two levels.

This old, impressive vine shelters a doorway into a turret.

Tree Court.

The centre point of Cambridge was historically Great St Mary’s Church, and this is still a key site today, as students of the University are meant to live within 10 miles of Great St Mary’s. Gonville & Caius (pronounced Gonville & ‘keys’) lies very close to this University church, and is also adjacent to the old church of Michaelhouse.

Vine and lantern, Gonville & Caius.

The ramps around college are the first clue that a particular famous cosmologist works here.

The central location of Gonville & Caius is also testified to by its neighbouring Senate House, where student graduations take place.

The medieval building, wall and sundial of Gonville and Caius, with the white Georgian facade of Senate House behind.

K Staircase: Professor Stephen Hawking’s name is listed on the offices here.

Gonville & Caius is a small and compact, pretty college, with an ancient history.  It is also a highly successful college. It is currently the strongest college at rowing, and has been the home of Professor Stephen Hawking for most of his Cambridge career.

Caius Court.

The sundial, from inside the college. This sundial fits into the ancient boundary wall of Gonville and Caius College. The University’s Senate House sits behind the wall.

The medieval boundary wall of Gonville and Caius, with Senate House behind.

Flower bed beside the college chapel.

Gonville Court.

An event was taking place in the third courtyard (Gonville Court) when I visited.

Arched doorway, Gonville and Caius.

Find out more about Gonville and Caius:

College website: http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/

Site map for the College’s Old Courts: http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/location/old-courts

5 thoughts on “Gonville & Caius College

  1. I really enjoyed this tour, and I just watched the Hawking movie last night so your photos here were especially moving.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Jet. Gonville and Caius is a beautiful college. Yes I watched the Theory of Everything too, it was a very good and emotive film. I don’t know if you noticed that in the film the college setting they used for Hawking’s college was St John’s, rather than Caius. You may also be interested in the post on Trinity Hall, which was the college where Hawking began his PhD.

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