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Part/component area of: Backs, The


Brief description of site

The gardens of St John's College, which occupy about 5 hectares, follow a similar layout to many of the other Cambridge colleges. The gardens are divided into large lawned areas known as the courts: First Court, Second Court, Third Court and Merton Court, most of which are bisected by paths. The gardens also feature separate, more enclosed areas: The Master's Garden, The Fellows' Garden and the Scholars' Garden. Of particular note is the 'Bridge of Sighs' which connects New Court to Third Court.

Brief history of site

St John's College was founded in 1511 on the site of the suppressed Hospital of St John the Evangelist. The college was developed during the 16th and 17th centuries, three courts being built axially from east to west. Lancelot Brown was consulted in 1772, although little detail is known about his influence on the college grounds. New Court was built in the 1820s and in the late-19th and early- to mid-20th century two new courts were built north of First and Second Courts.

Location information:

Address: St John's College, Cambridge, CB2 1TP

Locality: Cambridge

Local Authorities:

Cambridgeshire; Cambridge

Historical County: Cambridgeshire

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 154 Grid Ref: TL447588
Latitude: 52.2084 Longitude: 0.116264


Centre of Cambridge.

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

The site is open throughout the year, at weekends only in winter.

Key information:

Form of site: college garden

Purpose of site: ornamental garden

Context or principal building: college

Site first created: 1511

Main period of development: 16th century

Survival: Extant

Site Size (Hectares): 9

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