QUEEN’S COLLEGE from the Private Walk.
Drawn by William Westall, aquatint engraving by John Bluck. Published in A History of the University of Cambridge, its Colleges, Halls, and Public Buildings by William Combe, published by R. Ackermann in 1815.
A bridge, first created in 1555, from the Bowling Green on the left to the Grove on the right, had already been removed in 1793.
A poor rendering of the Mathematical Bridge can be seen in the distance.
J. Burford Del.; S. Sparrow Sculp.
Through the arch of the Mathematical Bridge can be seen the wooden bridge of Small Bridges Street (former name of Silver Street): under that bridge can be seen barges loading and unloading at the mills beyond.
This is one of the two earliest known photographs of Queens’, or perhaps even the earliest known photographs of any part of the University. According to the inscriptions, the photographs were taken by Thomas Craddock (1811–1893), while an undergraduate at Queens’ around 1850. They were presented to the college in April 1930 by Joseph Yelverton Dawbarn (1856–1943, matric 1874).
Craddock was baptised Thomas Cradock at St Peter’s, Wisbech, on 31 Jul 1811. William Dawbarn was born in Wisbech in 1819. They became life-long very close friends. While in Wisbech, Craddock, in association with Samuel Smith and Edward Johnson, became interested in photography. Craddock exhibited his photographs at the 1851 Great Exhibition, at the 1855 exhibition of the London Photographic Institute, and at the 1855, 1856, 1857 exhibitions of the London Photographic Society. At the 1855 LPS exhibition, one of his photographs was entitled Mathematical Bridge, Queen’s College, Cambridge: presumably this one. Craddock was an undergraduate at Queens’, 1850–56, presumably as a mature student, graduating B.A. in 1856. Meanwhile, in 1843 William Dawbarn married Elizabeth Yelverton of Liverpool: all their children were given Yelverton as middle name. Around 1860, Dawbarn moved from Wisbech to Liverpool to manage the business of his late father-in-law. Not long after, Craddock was listed as undergraduates at Cambridge, all three at Queens’ College, just as Craddock had been. Dawbarn died 26 May 1881 at Liverpool. Craddock died 9 April 1893 at Liverpool, having amassed a personal library of over 2800 books, and other collections. According to the 1930 account of Joseph Yelverton Dawbarn, son of William Dawbarn, Craddock bequeathed to him some of those items, three of which (two photographs and an illuminated manuscript) Joseph presented to Queens’ College in April 1930.
[History of Wisbech and Neighbourhood, during the last fifty years — 1848–1898, by Frederic John Gardiner, p. 30; William Dawbarn: A Victorian Life, by Walter F. Yeo]
It follows from the above history that the above photograph cannot have been taken after 1855, making this the earliest known photograph of Queens’ College.
The deck of the bridge can be seen to be stepped: it was later converted to sloped form in the repairs of 1866. For more details, see the page on the Mathematical Bridge.
This was one half of a stereoscopic pair.
First published in Picturesque Europe, Vol. 2, 1877.
The moon is shown low in the north, an impossible alignment!
This view of the riverside and bridge was first published in the Architectural History of the University of Cambridge, by Willis & Clarke, 1886, Vol. 2, p. 20, but possibly drawn earlier.
Note that the watergate from the President’s garden to the river is shown, but the present railings are not shown: instead there is a solid wall.
CAMBRIDGE, FROM THE CAM.
Amongst the anachronistic changes are (a) the omission of the 17th century northern extension of the garderobe; and (b) the presence of casement windows instead of sashes in the oriel window.
The view through the arch of King’s College bridge shows the central arch of Clare College bridge beyond, and through that can just be distinguished a pier of Trinity College bridge.
To the left can be seen Queens’ Ditch, and crossing the ditch can be seen the flat bridge to Erasmus’s Walk along the north edge of Queens’ Green. This provided a walking route from the Mathematical Bridge, alongside the river to the tip of the Grove, then left, across the bridge and along Erasmus’s Walk to reach the Backs. The bridge was removed in 1936 [Conclusion Book, 1936 Oct 7], and Erasmus’s Walk is now overgrown and lost.