Clare College Cambridge

Living in College

                                                                                                            Photograph by Steve Highfield

At Clare's centre is its elegant Old Court, which contains the Great Hall and the Buttery as well as Common Rooms for graduate and undergraduate students.  It is unique among the Cambridge colleges founded before 1800 in having maintained its architectural integrity and resistance to later accretions; apart from an early nineteenth-century facelift, which enlarged the windows and introduced a few touches of Regency taste, it has remained true to its seventeenth-century self.  Old Court is an exquisite small example of the traditional Cambridge court, enclosed on all four sides and open to the sky. 

Set back from Trinity Lane, the small entrance forecourt is fronted by gateposts carved in 1673 and iron gates, by Warren, dating 1713-15.  The heart of the College, Old Court houses the Chapel, Hall, Master’s Lodge, the Buttery, the combination rooms, the Bursary and Tutorial administrative offices as well as a number of Fellows rooms and student accommodation.

Cross the river over the stone footbridge and you come to Memorial Court home to the Library and Lerner Court. The College's Colony, where many second-year students live, is about 10 minutes walk away and there are also several residential houses in the city.