Chronology

before 1446 Andrew Dokett was already Principal of St Bernard’s Hostel on a site now occupied by the New Court of Corpus Christi College. He was also Rector of St Botolph’s, the church of the parish within which Queens’ College lies.
1446 Dec 3 Andrew Dokett obtained a Charter from King Henry VI to found St Bernard’s College on a site now part of St Catharine’s College.
1447 Aug 21 First Charter revoked. Andrew Dokett obtained a new charter from King Henry VI to found St Bernard’s College on the present site of Old Court and Cloister Court.
1447-8? Petition of Margaret of Anjou to her husband the King to have the foundation and naming of the new college. Second Charter returned to the King and the lands of St Bernard’s College surrendered to him.
1448 Mar 30 Letters Patent from King Henry VI to Queen Margaret granting her the lands of St Bernard’s College and licence to found a college.
1448 Apr 15 Charter of Queen Margaret to found the Queen’s College of St Margaret and St Bernard.
1448 Apr 15 Sir John Wenlock, Chamberlain to Queen Margaret, lays the foundation stone at the south east corner of the chapel.
1448 First part of Old Court completed: the Library, Chapel, E stairs, Gatehouse, A stairs and part of B stairs.
1449 King Henry VI gives £200 for the buildings.
1449-50 Old Court completed: remainder of B stairs, C stairs, Kitchens, Hall.
1454 Chapel licensed for services.
1460? Riverside buildings erected, now part of President’s Lodge.
1465 Queen Elizabeth Woodville becomes Patroness.
1475 First Statutes given by Elizabeth Woodville.
1475 Land west of the river (between the Cam and what is now Queens’ Ditch) purchased from the Town. The southern boundary of this land was a new east-west ditch from the Cam to the stream running down from Newnham Mill, thus making the new land into an island. The causeway between the new ditch and the mill pool was known as Small Bridges, later known as Silver Street.
1477 First endowment by Richard Duke of Gloucester.
1484 Death of Andrew Dokett. In his will, he bequeaths to the College his garden (opposite the main gatehouse of Queens’), later known as the Tennis Court Garden. This had been part of the land put together for the original St Bernard’s College (see 1446). He also charged the College with the upkeep of his Almshouses close by, on what is now Silver Street. He also bequeathed St Bernard’s Hostel to the College after the death of his executors.
1484 Magnum Journale begun.
1484 Second endowment by Richard Duke of Gloucester, now King Richard III.
1485 All endowments from Richard III and Anne Neville taken away by King Henry VII.
1495? Cloister walkways built, thus creating Cloister Court.
1501-2 Canvas hangings decorate Hall.
1506 First visit of Erasmus.
1510-15? Second visit of Erasmus.
1529 Statutes confirmed by Pope Clement VII
1531-2 Linenfold panelling erected in Hall.
1533 Brewhouse built.
1534 St Bernard’s Hostel (see 1484) sold to Corpus Christi College.
1538 Carmelites surrender their monastery site, purchase by college completed in 1544.
1539 Gardens and walks laid out on island west of the river.
1545 Brick wall built around President’s Garden, on former Carmelite land.
1548 Screens passage and gallery created to isolate Hall from through traffic.
1548 Chapel walls ordered to be whitewashed.
1551 Boundary wall between Queens’ and King’s built, incorporating wall of former Carmelite chapel.
1553 Fellows’ Garden laid out (now Erasmus Lawn).
1555 A bridge made from bowling-green to grove west of the river.
1559 Chapel High Altar taken down.
1560 Payments for “Master’s Upper Chambers”. Possibly attics of Lodge?
1564 Buildings erected in Pump Court on what is now the site of Essex Building.
1575 Grant of Arms by Robert Cooke, Clarencieux King-of-Arms.
College arms erected in stone over entrance to screens passage in Old Court.
1595 - 1602? Probable date of erection of (or adaptation of earlier building to form) present Long Gallery.
1612 Library lecterns converted to bookshelves, by Andrew Chapman.
1616-18 Walnut Tree Building erected.
1637 Date of casting of the Chapel Bell.
1638 Queens’ constructs a “Stagehouse” on Queens’ Lane, roughly opposite the Chapel, on land which had probably been part of the original site intended for St Bernard’s College. There is academic dispute as to whether this stagehouse was a theatre, or a store-house for the dismountable stage referred to below (1640).
1640 Inventory of dismountable stage or theatre used in Hall, with instructions for re-assembly.
1642 Sundial erected in Old Court on the south wall of the chapel.
1642 College sends all its silver to help the King. President emprisoned by parliamentarians.
1643 William Dowsing spoils the Chapel.
1644 President (Edward Martin) and all Fellows ejected.
1655 Queens’ leased to the University land (including the 1638 stagehouse) on the corner of Queens’ Lane and Silver Street, on which the University Printing House would be constructed. Part of this land had probably been part of the original site intended for St Bernard’s College.
1655 Date of casting of the Dinner Bell.
1660 Edward Martin restored as President, and some ejected Fellows restored.
1661 Chapel restored.
1667-72 Orchard on island site enclosed by brick wall (present site of Cripps Court).
1676 St Catharine’s Hall wished, in order to put up a new Master’s Lodge, to lease a ten foot wide strip of land 36 yards long from the north side of the Tennis Court Garden bequeathed to Queens’ by Andrew Dokett (see 1484). Queens’ were unsure that they have the legal power to do this.
1677 Queens’ engaged Sir Isaac Newton to give an opinion on how much light would be blocked from the Chapel window by the proposed new building of St Catharine Hall.
1677 King Charles II wrote to Queens’ in support of the request from St Catharine’s Hall.
St Catharine’s built their new Masters’ Lodge on the ten foot strip of land.
1684 With King’s College, a path called Erasmus’s Walk was constructed along the northern edge of Queens’ Green, alongside the ditch separating the Green from King’s. This is probably also the date of construction of a bridge from the northern tip of the Grove across Queens’ Ditch to Erasmus’s Walk on Queens’ Green.
1685 Many repairs and renovations in Old Court, probably completely reroofed. Dormer windows made regular. Oriel window repaired. Great gate altered (probably this was when the present wicket gate was cut in the northern leaf of the gate, instead of the smaller wicket in the southern leaf).
1685 Loggan draws his view of college.
1685-6 Queens’ lease to St Catharine’s the 10-foot strip of land asked for in 1676.
1686 Combination Room panelled by Austin.
1695 Date of flagstone in cloister under Long Gallery enscribed I. Poley, Burſar. Not a gravestone!
1696 The University erect a new Printing House on the site of the stagehouse (see 1638) leased from Queens’ (see 1655). There is an academic dispute as to whether the new Printing House incorporated the former stagehouse, or whether it was an entirely new building after the stagehouse was demolished. In 1697 Queens’ received rent of £1 10s. “Of the Vicechancellr for ye University for the new printing-house formerly ye Stage house.”
1697 Stables built on island site.
1704 Queens’ pays for the Materia Medica cabinet of John Francis Vigani, Professor of Chemistry. Vigani left Cambridge in 1708, and Queens’ retained the cabinet.
1707 Queens’ re-leased to St Catharine’s the 10-foot strip of land (see 1676) for 20 shillings per year.
1707 University stopped using the 1696 Printing House for printing; it became a warehouse.
1711 Stone frames and sash windows inserted in oriel window of Audit Room.
1716 University passed the disused 1696 printing house (see 1707) as a Lecture Room to the Professors of Anatomy and Chemistry.
1729 Queens’ re-leased to St Catharine’s the 10-foot strip of land (see 1707) together with another strip 8 feet wide on average 123′ 6″ long taken from the north of the Tennis Court Garden, at a combined rent of £2 per year.
1732-4 Hall re-panelled and decorated in classical style, to the design of James Burrough.
Wrought iron screen and gates by Jonas Jackson.
Former linenfold panelling (see 1531) removed to the servants’ hall of the President’s Lodge.
1733 A clock erected, and sundial newly painted.
1749-50 Wooden bridge built between Cloister Court and island site by James Essex the Younger to the design of William Etheridge.
1751 The 1729 lease to St Catharine’s was renewed in the same terms.
1756-60 Buildings of 1564 demolished. New building erected in classical style, to the design of James Essex the Younger.
1761 Offices erected in President’s Garden adjacent to Long Gallery, to replace offices lost when 1564 building demolished.
1766 Large portraits put up in Hall of Erasmus, Elizabeth Woodville, Thomas Smith.
1772 Library enlarged by absorbing part of a set between the Library and the Chapel.
1773-5 Chapel altered in classical style to the design of James Essex. Flat ceiling installed, east window lowered. Burial vault constructed.
1774 Windows in Old Court ordered to be scraped (that is, have their cusps removed).
1777 Fire in Walnut-Tree Building, upper floors rebuilt 1778-82.
1782 Mr Milner given permission to build a Chemical Laboratory in the Stable Yard adjoinyng to the Coal House.
1786 At some point in or after 1786, the Professor of Chemistry abandoned using the Lecture Room shared with the Professor of Anatomy (see 1716). The building was now known as the Anatomical Schools.
1789 A dispute arose with St Catharine’s Hall over terms for the renewal of the lease (see 1751) of the strips of land to the north of the Tennis Court Garden. Lease eventually granted.
1791 New staircase built for President’s Lodge.
1793 Bridge from Bowling-Green to Grove removed.
1795 Feb College badly flooded, reportedly waist-deep in the cloisters.
1799 St Catharine’s Hall seek an Opinion from the Attorney General. In order to avoid any further disputes over leases, St Catharine’s had offered to purchase the two strips of land (see 1789) from Queens’, but Queens’ had named a price of £530, for an estimated area of 252 sq yds. Stalemate.
1804 Old chapel bell-tower demolished, new library extension built, clock-tower erected on roof of library.
1813 Queens’ resolves to end the dispute with St Catharine’s (see 1799). The two strips of land plus all the rest that remained of the old Tennis Court Garden were sold to St Catharine’s for £1372.
1813 The Town Corporation grant to Mr Robert Brown the land on the Small Bridges causeway between the road and the ditch forming the southern boundary of the 1475 island purchase, on Fee Farm of £3 per year (see 1841).
1819 Queens’ sells the Printing House and site (see 1655) to the University for £750.
1819? Battlements erected in Old Court.
1819-22 Stained glass by Charles Muss inserted in Hall (removed 1854-8) and Combination Room.
1820 Library re-roofed and repaired.
1822 Paint removed from oak panelling in the Audit Room.
1822 Statutes and Interpretations collected, edited, printed and bound by G.C. Gorham.
1823 Form of Service for Commemoration of Benefactors edited, printed and bound, probably also by G.C. Gorham. The name of the college is spelt Queens’ with the apostrophe after the s, the earliest instance of this seen in print.
1823-6 New furniture purchased for the President’s Lodge from Mr Elliot Smith.
1823 Battlements added to Walnut Tree Building. Great Gate re-roofed.
1827 Catalogue of Library by T.H. Horne published. The name of the college is spelt Queen’s, with the apostrophe before the s, throughout (see 1823 and 1831).
1831 The spelling of the college’s name in the calendar changes from Queen’s to Queens’ (see 1823)
1831 Earliest known record of the college Boat Club.
1831 The time of Dinner moved from 3 o’clock to 4 o’clock.
1833 Assumed date when the Professor of Anatomy vacated the Anatomical Schools (see 1786) and moved to new University accommodation.
1835 Gas lighting installed.
1836 Queens’ re-purchased (see 1819) Old Printing House and site from the University for £3600.
1836 Queens’ sold site of Old Printing House (see 1655) , Anatomical Schools (see 1786) and Dokett Almshouses (see 1484) to St Catharine’s Hall for £7965 2s. 10d.
1836 Queens’ erected almshouses on site now occupied by Dokett Building, to replace those sold.
1836 Date enscribed on decorative chimney stacks over Old Hall.
1837 Rooms D1 and D2 under the Library were appropriated to the use of the Library.
1838 Party walls erected as a fire precaution.
1840 Significant alterations in the Library. Probably the 1804 building was internally altered and the present staircase built, with a new doorway into the Lower Library (see 1837).
1841 The ditch parallel with Silver Street connecting Queens’ Ditch to the main stream of the Cam was filled in and thus the former island site was no more. Presumably by this time Queens’ had acquired the land between the ditch and the road (see 1813), comprising houses known as Nos 1 and 2 Newnham, and a builder’s yard.
1845 Flat ceiling of Chapel removed, present coved ceiling built in imitation of old.
1846 Flat ceiling of Hall removed; new roof, bell-tower and louvre created to the design of Dawkes.
1846-8 Stained glass inserted in East and North windows of Chapel (removed 1925).
1848 Clock-tower erected to the design of Raphael Brandon (taken down 1909).
1854 Oriel of Hall restored, new stained glass inserted by Hardman.
Old glass by Muss (see 1819-22) moved to President’s Lodge.
1854 Choral services re-introduced in Chapel.
1857 Paint removed from oak panelling in the Long Gallery.
1857-9 Side windows of Hall raised in height with new tracery to the design of John Johnson, architect, and new stained glass by Hardman of Birmingham.
Possible date of erection of battlements over Hall in Cloister Court.
1858-61 Chapel completely restored by G.F. Bodley.
1860 Statutes reformed: Fellows allowed to marry, and not required to be in holy orders, under certain conditions.
1861-2 New fireplace in Hall by Bodley, overmantel tiles by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.
1862 New tiled floor in Hall.
1862 St Bernard Society (debating club) founded
1863 Saying of Grace before and after Dinner introduced or revised.
1864 Eleven coats of arms over Hall fireplace designed by Philip Webb.
1864 Date of tower clock mechanism, by T. Cooke & Sons of York.
1865 Present High Table and chairs purchased.
1866-7 Wooden bridge rebuilt with slopes instead of steps.
1867 History of College, Part 1, 1446-1560, by W.G. Searle published.
1868 Queens’ leased the house(s) on the corner of Silver Street and Trumpington Street to W.M. Fawcett, who built a large new house there (now a tailor’s shop). The lease did not provide, as earlier leases had done, that the best room or lodging in the house should be reserved for the Rector of St Botolph’s. This was not a problem at that time, as the Rector was a resident Fellow, but would become one later.
1871 History of College, Part 2, 1560-1662, by W.G. Searle, published.
1871-2 Further minor changes to Chapel to the design of G.F. Bodley.
1873 Lawn for out of door games prepared on land west of the river.
1873 Ford Madox Brown designs tiles to be made by Morris & Co. of Margaret of Anjou and Elizabeth Woodville, incorporated into overmantel in Hall.
1874 Fives Court constructed. Survived, though disused, until Cripps Court constructed.
1875 Hall decorated to Bodley’s design by F.R. Leach.
1875 East frontage of Old Court restored by W.M. Fawcett.
1881 Amalgamated Clubs created out of the tennis, cricket, and rugby clubs.
1881 Jointly with St Catharine’s, Queens’ bought a sports field at the corner of Newnham Road and Barton Road.
1883 College assumed responsibility for furnishing student rooms. Previously a student purchased from the previous tenant, and sold on to the next.
1884 First soccer match played by College.
1884 St Margaret Society founded.
1885 New lecture room made (presumably west of river).
1886-7 Friar’s Building erected to the design of W.M. Fawcett. First occupied October 1887.
1888-91 New Chapel erected to the design of G.F. Bodley.
Three stained glass windows by Hardman moved from south windows of old Chapel to new.
New stained glass in east and north windows by Kempe. Organ by J.J. Binns.
1892 After closure of the old Chapel, it was agreed to send the choir stalls to Little Eversden, the oak lectern to Sandon, and two of the choir desks to Oakington. The reredos was moved to St Mark’s, Barton Road.
1892 New student rooms made on E staircase following the removal of the organ loft for Old Chapel.
1896-8 College connected to main sewerage system and sewers laid throughout college.
1897 Central heating and electric lighting installed in President’s Lodge, to the design of T.D. Atkinson.
1897 Side panelling in new Chapel extended to east end.
1898 Friars’ Gate made.
1899 Ante-Chapel floor relaid, with tablets, etc. (? presumably the Old Chapel)
1899 Boar’s Head shields and Eagles made for iron gates to Silver Street.
1899 Electric lighting installed throughout college by Messrs Drake & Gorham.
1900 Linenfold panelling (see 1531) moved from old servants’ hall (see 1732) to the President’s Study above the Combination Room.
1901 Boiler installed for heating Chapel, Library and Hall. (Presumably this is the underground boilerhouse in Walnut Tree Court adjacent to the Munro Room).
1903 Alterations made in the riverside buildings of the President’s Lodge, to the design of Thackeray H. Turner.
1903 Water mains and fire hydrants installed throughout college.
1905 Wooden bridge completely rebuilt.
1907 Northmost almshouse demolished and site sold to King’s College.
Queens’ bought Sports Ground on Barton Road from King’s College.
1907 First telephones installed for the President, Senior Bursar, and Porters’ Lodge.
1909 Battlements removed from Hall, N and W sides of Old Court.
Brandon clock-tower demolished and replaced with present one 1910, to the design of C.G. Hare.
1909 WCs and bicycle sheds erected.
1909 New iron bridge over ditch from tip of Grove to Queens’ Green (see 1684). Iron guard under bridge to prevent boats passing up the ditch.
1909 Ground floor rooms of Walnut Tree Court repaired and restored.
1911 Set now known as Cloister 2 created, and adjacent WCs.
1911 Long Gallery plaster removed, finished in half-timbered style, to the design of C.G. Hare.
1911-12 Almshouses (1836) demolished. Dokett Building erected to the design of C.G. Hare. First occupied October 1912.
1912 Plaster ceiling removed from President’s Study, revealing rafters.
Plaster ceiling removed from Combination Room, revealing rafters.
Paint removed from oak panelling in Combination Room.
1912 Kitchens enlarged. Staircase I, Erasmus Room and attics above altered.
1914 Telephone exchange installed, with extensions to all Fellows.
Pay telephone installed in the Bernard Room (now Erasmus Room).
1923 New plaster ceiling to Long Gallery to the design of C.G. Hare.
Cloisters beside President’s Lodge kitchen given studwork appearance.
1925-6 Old Chapel: remaining stained glass taken down and sent to Little Eversden. Panelling removed. Floor made flat. Made into Lecture Room.
1926 Battlements removed from E and S sides of Old Court.
1926 First Junior Common Room created in the Bernard Room (now Erasmus Room), under the management of the Committee of the United Clubs.
1932 New gates made from yard to Silver Street (demolished 1935).
1932 Kennett Library bequeathed to College and made into Oriental Library in attics above the Library.
1934 Interior of E staircase, Old Court, gutted and rebuilt to the design of G.C. Drinkwater. Porters’ Lodge moved from south side of gate tower to north. Drinkwater was to be the architect of Fisher Building (see 1936), and many design features of his work in E staircase can be seen again in Fisher.
1935 Railings removed from front of College in Queens’ Lane.
1935 May Nos 1 and 2 Newnham, the builder’s yard (see 1841) and all other buildings west of the river (except that destined to become the Fitzpatrick Hall) demolished.
1936 Small exchange of land with Borough Council to permit Silver Street to be widened, and for College to straighten its boundary with Queens’ Green. Queens’ Ditch was filled in from Silver Street back to its present end-point, and converted to conduit.
1936 Fisher Building and Squash Courts erected. Former stables (see 1697) converted to Fitzpatrick Hall. All to the design of G.C. Drinkwater. Fisher Building first occupied October 1936.
1936 Bridge from tip of Grove to Queens’ Green removed. Posts and chain put across ditch.
1937 Junior Common Room moved into Fitzpatrick Hall.
1938-9 Essex Building underpinned after the river had washed away its foundations.
The college planned to demolish Essex Building to allow Silver Street to be widened, and erect a smaller building by Drinkwater. Plans for Silver Street vetoed by Ministry of Transport.
1947 Fisher Building flooded. River wall collapsed.
1949 Queen Elizabeth (wife of King George VI and later to become the Queen Mother) becomes Patroness.
1950 Start of conversion of Friars’ Building from 2 sets to 4 bedsits per landing.
1951-2 Old Chapel fitted out as War Memorial Library.
1951? Louvre by Dawkes (see 1846) removed from Hall.
1952 New Chapel decoration restored by S.E. Dykes Bower.
1957 Kitchens refitted, and expand into the bedroom of C2.
1959 North Room and Middle Room created behind the Fitzpatrick Hall.
1959-60 Erasmus Building erected to the design of Basil Spence. First occupied October 1960.
1961 Hall decoration repainted.
1961 June 5 Formal opening of Erasmus Building by H.M. The Queen Mother, Patroness.
1964 New Pavilion completed at Sports Ground, Barton Road.
1964 Erasmus Room refitted and furnished as an overflow Hall.
1965 Former Lower Library (see 1837) made into a new extension of the Combination Room, and named the Munro Room.
1965 Old Court lawns altered, planting beds made, and court repaved.
1965 Hot and cold running water introduced into Old Court. Central heating also.
1967 South eastern tower of Old Court, at junction of Queens’ Lane and Silver Street, rebuilt.
1968 Council of the College Union, and JCR Committee, created and assumed the organisational role of the Committee of the United Clubs (which ceased to exist), plus new representational roles.
1969 College Bar opened in ground floor of Fitzpatrick Hall.
1969 College converted from 200 to 240 volt electricity, and from town to natural gas.
1969 A student demonstration (against guest regulations and gate hours) in Cloister Court resulted in a snowball shattering an ancient piece of stained glass in the Long Gallery.
1970 Cripps Court Phase 1 started, to the design of Powell, Moya & Partners.
Orchard wall of 1667-72 demolished except for northern side, which survived.
1971 Fitzpatrick Hall demolished.
1971 Oriental Library converted to Law Library. The Kennett collection was sent on loan to the Oriental Studies Faculty.
1974 Oct Cripps Court Phase 1 (AA to DD and most of EE) completed, first students move in.
1974-6 Central heating installed in Fisher Building.
1975 The Porters’ Lodge moved from Old Court to Fisher Building.
New JCR and Bar opened in Cripps Court.
1978 May Gardens and Grove flooded, Cripps Court basement flooded.
1979 Jan Cripps Court Kitchens and Dining Hall open (first part of Phase 2 to complete).
1980 Partial collapse of river wall of Grove.
1980 Four student rooms in Friars’ Building converted to baths, WCs, and showers.
1980 Oct Admission of women.
1981 The remainder of EE and the whole of FF staircase completed, first occupied April 1981. Buttery and Shop open.
1983 Cripps Court launderette, toilets and Angevin Room completed. Phase 2 complete.
1983 Cloister staircase stripped back to studwork and redecorated as half-timbering, and a blocked doorway to the President’s Lodge re-opened.
1983 Substantial repairs to Long Gallery, including complete replastering. President’s Lodge re-roofed. President’s Housekeeper’s Flat extended. Visitors’ Cloakroom extended into old offices.
1983-4 The BBC film a series on Queens’, a Cambridge College.
1983-4 Room C1 restored to residential use after having been part of the old kitchens.
1985 Essex Building roof re-slated.
1985 Cripps Court Phase 1 re-roofed.
1986 June Boathouse demolished. New Boathouse started.
1986 July Squash Courts demolished. Cripps Court Phase 3 started, to the design of Bland, Brown & Cole.
1987 Feb Boat Club move into new Boathouse.
1988 July Owlstone Croft purchased. Block A and part of Block B first occupied October 1988.
1989 Cripps Court Phase 3 completed. The new theatre is called the Fitzpatrick Hall.
1989 Oct Remainder of Owlstone Croft Block B occupied.
   ... more to come