Audit Room

Audit Room pre-1897
The Audit Dining Room is part of the President’s Lodge in the riverside building.

The building was erected perhaps in the 1460s, and is internally much altered since that time. The rooms within it seem originally to have been used for distinguished visitors, and it does not seem to have become part of the President’s Lodge until the time of Henry VIII.

This view was taken before 1897, when the new President, Dr Ryle, made many changes in the Lodge, including restoring the original fireplace here. These works were superintended by the architect Thomas Dinham Atkinson, grandson of the former Fellow Thomas Dinham Atkinson (c.1792–​1865).

Audit RoomThe same view roughly 50 years later, in 1947.

In the far corner is the clock given by Edward East.

The fireplaces seen above have been stripped out and the original exposed again. Panelling has been removed from around the stone windows.

The panelling is early 17th century, and possibly the gift of Humphrey Tindall, President 1579–1614. As seen in the Long Gallery panelling, there is a lion’s head motif in the top frieze. In earlier times, the panelling was painted: the paint was removed in 1822. Some of the furniture was purchased in 1822–3.

Audit RoomThe Audit Room in 1947, looking NW.

The bay window over the River Cam was said to have been made or renewed in 1711, stonework being paid for by the college, the glass and woodwork paid for by the President, Dr Henry James [MSS Cole, quoted AHUC, Vol. 2, p. 27]. However, the external stonework is of a design typical of a century earlier [RCHM Vol. 2, p. 176].

The large portraits of the two women are something of a mystery, as no connection is known between them (or their families) and the college, and I have my doubts about the authenticity of their identities as claimed by the labels on the frames. The portraits arrived in college before 1790.

PhotoA modern photograph of the Audit Dining Room.

The bay window stained glass

Photo of Audit Room stained glassThe coats of arms in the bay window are hung from wires on the inside of the glass, rather than being part of the glazing itself. Most of them appear to have been moved here from elsewhere, probably the Old Hall stained glass of 1819–​22, but the bottom three were probably made for this location.

Only a few pre-21st century Presidents (those who were also Bishops) are shown in this window: the main sequence is on the Long Gallery oriel window.

Key to the heraldry in the bay window of the Audit Dining Room
William Glyn
President 10
Bishop of Bangor
John Fisher
President 3
Bishop of Rochester
Queens’ College Anthony Sparrow
President 22
Bishop of Exeter
Bishop of Norwich
John Davenant
President 16
Bishop of Salisbury
Edward IV &
Elizabeth Woodville
William Chaderton
President 14
Bishop of Chester
Bishop of Lincoln
Joanna Ingaldesthorpe
Benefactrix 1491
Margery Roos
circa 1478
Henry VI &
Margaret of Anjou
  Herbert Ryle
President 33
Bishop of Exeter
Bishop of Winchester
 John Eatwell
President 41
Frederic Chase
President 34
Bishop of Ely

Further reading

1886: The Architectural History of the University of Cambridge, by Robert Willis and John Willis Clark, Volume 2, pp. 26–​7. (OCLC 6104300)

1949: The President’s Lodge, Queens’ College Cambridge, in The Antique Collector, Vol. 20, No. 3 (May–​June 1949), pp. 69–​76. (ISSN 0003-5858)

1959: An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Cambridge, by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England), Part II, pp. 176–​7. (online version)

2016: The Heraldry of Queens’ College, Cambridge, by David Broomfield.