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New Hall, Cambridge


Cambridge's third college for women founded in 1954. The college was sited on The Orchard erected by George Darwin's younger brother, Horace, in 1882. The gardens consist of lawned courts, topiary yews, canals, pools and specimen trees. Some of the previous layout survives.

Today the white domed hall and the library enclose Fountain Court which is at a level below the main access corridor. Here is a water landscape of canals, reflecting pools, and a central fountain.

Orchard Court is completely grassed. No paths cross the lawns which run to the walls of the buildings, now edged with shrubs. The yews, beech and sycamore are from the previous garden. In the Fellows' Garden an octagonal timber summerhouse, originally from The Grove garden next door, is shaded beneath yews and specimen trees. Near the dining hall is the stone urn from the Barlow's garden.

To the west, the college owns one half of the stables originally standing in the The Grove garden. The sundial on the stables has recently been repainted. Also in the grounds is the garden around No 69 Storeys Way, which has a vista from its south door across a croquet lawn surrounded by yew topiary and mixed herbaceous planting with shrubs. From the lawn a narrow path edged with viburnums leads down towards a semi-circle of clipped yew. Paths then diverge into an orchard where the trees are covered with mistletoe.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details


New Hall is Cambridge's third college for women founded in 1954 which now has new premises along Huntingdon Road designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bonn in 1962.

The site chosen was The Orchard, erected by George Darwin's youngest brother Horace in 1882. Once the home of Nora Barlow, Charles Darwin's last surviving grandchild, who with her sister Ruth gave the house and garden for the site of New Hall. Nora Barlow selected a lime-green and pink pom-pom aguilegia which is named after her. The garden around The Orchard was extensive; to the south was a flight of steps from the terrace with flower beds either side down to a large sunken lawn surrounded by clumps of shrubs and trees growing along a steep bank. In the centre of the lawn was a large stone vase.

Features & Designations


  • Pond
  • Pool
  • Terrace
  • Lawn
  • Herbaceous Border
  • Ornamental Canal
  • Croquet Lawn
  • Topiary
  • Specimen Tree
  • Summerhouse
  • Fountain
Key Information




recreational / sport

Principal Building




Open to the public