Clare College, Cambridge

From Academic Kids

Template:Oxbridge College Infobox Clare College is a college of the University of Cambridge, the second oldest surviving college after Peterhouse.

Clare is famous for its chapel choir and also for its gardens, which form part of what is known as the Backs (essentially the rear part of colleges which are next to the River Cam). The current Master is Anthony (Tony) J Badger, Paul Mellon Professor of American History.



The college was founded in 1326 by the university's Chancellor, Richard de Badew, and named University Hall. Providing maintenance for only two fellows, however, it soon hit financial hardship. In 1338 the college was refounded as Clare Hall by an endowment from Elizabeth de Clare, a granddaughter of Edward I, that provided for twenty fellows and ten students.

The college was known as Clare Hall up until 1856, when it changed its name to Clare College. (A new Clare Hall was founded by Clare as a postgraduate institution in 1966).

The front of Old Court
The front of Old Court
Missing image
Clare Bridge, over the River Cam

Clare's 'Old Court', which frames King's College Chapel as the left border of one of the most celebrated architectural vistas in England, was built between 1638 and 1715, with a long interruption for the English Civil War. The period spans the arrival of true classicism into the mainstream of British architecture. Its progress can be traced in the marked differences between the oldest wing (the north), which still has vaulting and other features in the unbroken tradition of English Gothic, and the final southern block, which shows a fully articulated classic style.

The college's chapel was built in 1763 and designed by James Burrough. Its altarpiece is Annunciation by Cipriani.

Clare has a much-photographed bridge over the river which has fourteen stone balls decorating it. In actual fact, one of the balls has a missing section. A number of apocryphal stories circulate concerning this - the one most commonly cited by members of college is that the original builder of the bridge was not paid the full amount for his work and so removed the segment to balance the difference in payment. The bridge is the oldest of Cambridge's current bridges.

College life

Clare is known as one of the most musical colleges in Cambridge. Most of its students play at least one instrument, and its orchestra and choir attract some of the best young musicians in the country. It is the traditional destination of most of the students coming up to Cambridge from Chetham's School of Music. It holds popular jazz and drum'n'bass nights in its cellars. The Scratch Perverts used to DJ regularly.

Great emphasis is placed on extra-curricular activities in addition to academic study. Freshers are traditionally welcomed by being told to 'get a life' and explore their potentials to the maximum. Clare uses a purely meritocratic selection system which awards points for academic and extra-curricular potential, and was widely praised for being the first college to open the details of its admissions procedure to the national press.

Clare is a very liberal college. The Socialist Worker society meets there, and Clare students have previously been arrested for various direct action protests. A liberal attitude is taken during jazz and comedy nights. Its student paper, Clareification, published by the Union of Clare Students (which recently won "Best University College Paper" in "The Cambridge Student"), is filled with satirical articles mocking Cambridge traditions, reports on silly student antics, and college gossip in the infamous "Clareifornication" column. It is often the subject of criticism by the staff for risqu and tasteless content.

Famous alumni

External links

Colleges of the University of Cambridge Arms of the University

Christ's | Churchill | Clare | Clare Hall | Corpus Christi | Darwin | Downing | Emmanuel | Fitzwilliam | Girton | Gonville and Caius | Homerton | Hughes Hall | Jesus | King's | Lucy Cavendish | Magdalene | New Hall | Newnham | Pembroke | Peterhouse | Queens' | Robinson | St Catharine's | St Edmund's | St John's | Selwyn | Sidney Sussex | Trinity | Trinity Hall | Wolfson


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