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Madingley Road, Number 6


A private garden designed by J. J. Stevenson in 1886 for professor Alfred Marshall. The garden featured a revolving summer house operated by a cogged mechanism to allow it to be easily rotated. The garden featured a large lawn, island shrub beds and mature tress.

Today this secluded garden remains very much as it was when the house was built. Enclosed by dense tree planting the vegetable plot and fruit trees are still maintained. Climbers scramble up to the balcony and the lawn falls away from a gravel path to small island shrub beds. The house and garden now form part of Lucy Cavendish College.

Balliol Croft, number 6 Madingley Road, was designed by John James Stevenson in 1886 for Professor Alfred Marshall who is known as 'The Father of British Economics'. For several years it was the only house along Madingley Road and the site was chosen chiefly for its mature trees. With his professorship at Cambridge came seven hundred pounds a year. His wife Mary Paley Marshall recorded in her book `What I Remember' that they 'felt like rolling in wealth'. The house had a study on the first floor and a balcony overlooking the garden.

Later a large revolving summer-house, 'the ark' was devised with special cogs and wheels by which it could be easily turned from inside. Marshall loved the lawn and trees, cared little for flowers, but he took a special interest in the vegetable garden. He wrote to his wife once: 'I have always held that a kitchen garden at its best is more picturesque than a flower garden at its best. There is more depth and serenity and unconsciousness.'

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • Island Bed
  • Lawn
  • Tree Feature
Key Information



Principal Building

Domestic / Residential