King's College

Venue Type & Location


Site Name: King's College
Location: Cambridge
County: Cambridgeshire
Location Type: Town - in town at determined location

Performance Spaces


King's College is located on the W side of the former High Street (now King's Parade). The original court of the medieval foundation lay between Milne and School Streets.

The medieval hall was near the E end of the N range.

Performance History

Performances by touring entertainers are recorded at King's College from 1448 until 1637.

Current Status

Most of the old court is now demolished although other buildings remain in use as King's College.

History of the Venue

1441 Site behind the public schools on School Street purchased and conveyed to Henry VI for a new college.

1443 King's College founded by Henry VI. Buildings (never finished) erected on 3 sides with the schools on the E.

1446 Foundation stone of the chapel laid.

1449 Larger site purchased extending from High Street to the river.

1536 After years of disrupted building activity, the chapel was completed.

1562 Medieval hall extensively rebuilt.

1634 Further improvements made to the hall.

1730 New block designed by James Gibbs completed.

1824--8 Buildings completed in Perpendicular style by the architect William Wilkins.

1829 Old court sold to the University.

1835 Old court designated for demolition to make room for the new library. Part of S and W fronts and gate preserved when demolition halted in 1836.

1871--3 New building added facing King's Parade designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

1885--1909 3 smaller courts completed to the S and W.

20th c. Further buildings added.

Record Source

REED Cambridge 1.31--671

Bibliographic Sources

  • Atkinson, Thomas Dinham. Cambridge Described and Illustrated: Being a Short History of the Town and University. London: Macmillan & Co., 1897.
  • Cooper, Charles Henry. Memorials of Cambridge. 3 vols. Cambridge: Macmillan & Co., 1860–6.
  • Little, Bryan. The Colleges of Cambridge 1286–1973. Bath: Adams & Dart, 1973.
  • Lyne, Richard. Plan of Cambridge. London: Richard Lyne, 1574.
  • Nelson, Alan H. Early Cambridge theatres: college, university, and town stages, 1464–1720. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994.
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus. Cambridgeshire. The Buildings of England. London: Penguin Books, 1999.
  • Roach, J.P.C. The Victoria History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely. Victoria History of the Counties of England. 10 vols. London: Institute of Historical Research, 1938–.
  • Royal Commission on Historical Monuments England. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Cambridge. 2 vols. London: Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, 1959.
  • Willis, Robert, and John Willis Clark. The Architectural History of the University of Cambridge, and of the Colleges of Cambridge and Eton. 4 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1886.