King's Hall

Venue Type & Location


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


Located between the River Cam and Trinity Street (formerly High Street), NW of the church of St Mary's on the Market, the King's Hall site became part of the new foundation of Trinity College in 1546.

The hall was located in the S range of the cloister court, with the buttery adjacent to the S and the kitchen also at the low end in the E range.

Performance History

Performances by touring entertainers are recorded at King's Hall from 1361 until 1538.

Current Status

Mostly demolished.

History of the Venue

1317 King's Hall initiated by a grant from Edward II to maintain scholars selected by the king.

1336 Large house owned by Robert de Croyland purchased by Edward III as a permanant home for scholars facing the lane from High Street towards the river.

1337 King's Hall founded by Edward III.

ca. 1350 More lands acquired to the N and W of the river.

ca. 1375--1425 Larger complex built on a new site around a small 4-sided court. The hall was likely completed ca. 1390.

1428--32 King Edward's Tower built facing S.

1464 Chapel construction began.

1518--35 Gate tower built (now the Great Gate of Trinity College).

1546 King's Hall dissolved in favour of the new foundation of King's College by Henry VIII. Part of its site was used for the new college but Trinity College also incorporated some of the older buildings.

mid-1550s Hall, butteries and chapel in the N range demolished to make way for the new Trinity chapel.

early 17th c. Further demolition to make way for the construction of the Great Court.

Record Source

REED Cambridge 1.6--114

Bibliographic Sources

  • Atkinson, Thomas Dinham. Cambridge Described and Illustrated: Being a Short History of the Town and University. London: Macmillan & Co., 1897.
  • Little, Bryan. The Colleges of Cambridge 1286–1973. Bath: Adams & Dart, 1973.
  • Nelson, Alan H. Early Cambridge theatres: college, university, and town stages, 1464–1720. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994.
  • 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–.