The Faculty of Divinity, a theological faculty, was once housed in the beautiful building in front of St. John’s. The building is richly decorated, but the details almost seem suffocating. The neogothic building was designed by Basil Chempneys and built between 1878 and 1879. Although predominantly neogothic, it has incorporated many styles and influences in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1960s, a new building was completed for the faculty. It left the last rooms of the old faculty in 2000. Since then, the building has been in control of St. John's College and used for different purposes. The building is usually not open for visitors.
St. John’s is one of the most outstanding Colleges in Cambridge. It was founded in 1511 by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. Her coats of arms can still be seen on the “Great Gate” facing St. John’s street, which is the oldest part of the college. The core of the college consists of three main courts and while the “First” and “Second” courts mainly consist of Tudor architecture, the “New Court” close to the cam is Neogothic. Notable parts include the “Bridge of Sighs”, inspired by the original “Bridge of Sighs” in Venice and the “Kitchen Bridge”designed by Christopher Wren. The 16th century dining hall and the19th century chapel are architectural masterpieces as well. With 50 metres of height, the chapel tower is Cambridge's tallest building. Please also note the building in front of the College which now belongs to St. John's and was the old Faculty of Divinity (see separate tip). St. John’s is the third largest college in terms of membership, after Trinity and Homerton. Although it is the wealthiest of all of them, it does not have the same elitary tradition as Trinity. However, St. John’s has brought out 8 nobel prize winners. Other notbale alumni include William Cecil, advisor of Queen Elizabeth I., John Couch Adam, discoverer of Neptune and the well-known author Douglas Adams.
St. John's has a long-standing rivalry with neighbouring Trinity College, both large colleges with an outstanding history. One of the most famous stories goes about the absence of a clock in St. John's court. Trinity's clock however has a double-tone chime. That means that it sounds one time for Trinity and one time for St. John's...
As of 2011, the entry fee was 4.00 (concessions 3.00, children under 12 for free). Please note that some parts may be temporarily closed for public and that the college itself may close for visitors during the exam period. Therefore, please check out my tip about visiting the colleges for further details.
Another beautiful College, this one founded in 1511 by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII.
The Tudor college is famous for its neo-gothic Bridge of Sighs.
The college chapel, has an impressive tower designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1869. The annual Cambridge and Oxford boat race began in 1829, when St John’s challenged Oxford.
THE COLLEGE IS OPEN....
Usually from 10 am to either 3 or 5pm
•Children under 12: free
•Children (12-17): £2.00
I don't know what was on, but ALL COLLEGE'S WERE CLOSED IN JULY even though they say they are open all year. Obviously, something was on, but we don't know what!
St John's is the second largest of the Cambridge Colleges and was founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII. A statue of her can be seen in the First Court. The First Court was built in the sixteenth century.
The Chapel was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott - look out for the stained glass windows with the words 'juniores collegi alumni' appearing immediately underneath the damned being shovelled into the flames of hell! It also contains the tomb of one of the first fellows of the College. He appears on top in his academic robes and beneath as a emaciated corpse.
The Chapel Court is an architectural mishmash of Victorian, 1930s and modern architecture. The new College Library was completed in 1994
Second Court was built at the turn of the 17th Century. An oriel window in the north range contains a stained glass portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria, whose engagement to King Charles I was arranged by a treaty signed in that room.
Third Court was built in the 17th Century and is connected to New Court on the other side of the river by the 'Bridge of Sighs' - a covered bridge resembling the famous bridge in Venice.
If you cross the river and enter New Court, you encounter another example of modern architecture in the form of the Cripps building, which may come as something of a shock.
St John's College is part of the University of Cambridge and founded on the site of St John's Hospital in the 16th century. Today, it has a long list of achievements including possessing one of the finest collegiate choirs in the world.
The entrance or main gate of the college is amazing, with a statue of its patron saint, St John the Baptist and the college's coat of arms.
I've been to a few evensongs but my favourite by far is the evensong performed by St John's College choir. Go there on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 6.30pm to hear the the choir sing the most hauntingly uplifting hymns- you dont have to be religious or anything as there is a bench at the back for visitors who are just dropping in.
Btw, in my opinion, these guys beat King's college choir hands down!
As you enter the college through the front gate you can still see the signs of the hospital that once stood on the site of this college.The chapel is 19th century and the stained glass windows depict scenes of the life of Christ St John is always shown in deep red and green.
In the New Court across the river is the Bridge of Sighs and this connects the New court to the third court. As much as I tried the only resemblence to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice is the fact that it is covered!
When I first saw the 'Bridge of sighs' in Venice I commented (a bit too loudly for my travelling companion) "It's all right I suppose, but not as nice as the one in Cambridge"
The Cambridge version was inspired by that very bridge, and as a smaller-scale replica it elegantly crosses the water at St John's college.
Entry to St John's college varies, but expect to pay Two Pounds 20p or more in the summer season.
St John's College is the second largest College at Cambridge. It was founded in 1511 by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII. Today the College has about 120 Fellows, 530 undergraduates and 280 graduate students. The total current membership of the College, comprising in essence all those who have studied At St. John's, stands at around 12,000.
The Bridge of Sighs was inspired by the famous bridge in Venice over which condemned prisoners sighed as they were led to their deaths! It can be best viewed from St John's Old Bridge. This bridge was designed by Henry Hutchinson in 1827, and presumably built in 1831 along with New Court.
This vast college is one of the largest in Cambridge and consists of a number of quads built at different periods. It was founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort who left the land on which the college buildings were later built. St. John's stands on both sides of the Cam with Cripps Court linked to the old quads by the picturesque Bridge of Sighs. The chapel and gardens are magnificent and all-in-all the college is an absolute must-see for any visitor to Cambridge.
The Bridge of Sighs in St. John's College is one of Cambridge's most enduring images. It was built in the 19th Century and, like the bridge of the same name in Oxford, modelled on the original Bridge of Sighs in Venice.
As with all of the colleges, avoid visiting at peak times. It'll only be a huge mess of backpacks and tour guides.
Not as spectacular or famous as King's Chapel, but equally as impressive and very nice inside, St. John's Chapel is well worth a visit.