Exterior of King's College Chapel. 1841. Drawn by F. Mackenzie; steel engraving by J. Le Keuk. From Thomas D. Atkinson. Cambridge described and illustrated: being a short history of the Town and University. Macmillan, 1897.

A Victorian History and Description of the College (1870)

King's College. —This was founded, in 1441, by Henry VI. It occupies a central situation, consisting of two courts, partly Italian, partly later English; and forms the finest group of buildings in the town. The hall measures 102 feet by 36; the library, 93 feet by 27- the chapel, 316 feet by 45t. The last is esteemed the best specimen of later English in the kingdom; was mainly built in 1441-1530, partly built in last century, and partly restored by Wilkins in 1826; has eleven pinnacles on each side, and four octagonal towers at the corners; and commands, from the leads, an extensive panoramic new, reachmg on one side to Ely cathedral. The pmnacles are 101 feet high, and rise from buttresses including a range of chantries between their projections, The towers are 1464 feet high, and capped with cupolas. the side windows, twenty-four in number, are nearly 50 feet high, and filled with scripture subjects in stained glass of the time of Henry VIII.; the doors are very fine; the roof is stone, groined, with fan-tracery, in twelve compartments, without the support of a single pillar, the largest and richest of its kind in England; the stalls and screen are of the 17th century; and the altar-piece is the Descent from the Cross by Volterra.

The college enjoys special privileges; and ha3 46 fellowships, 48 scholarships from Eton, 39 livings, and an income of £26,857. Eminent men educated at it were Archbishop Rotherham, Bishops Aldrich, Close, and Pearson, the martyr Frith, the chronicler Hall, the poets- Waller, P. Fletcher and Anstey, the mathematician Oughtred, the historian Coxe, the antiquary Cole, Jacob Bryant, A. Collins, Sir John Cheke, Sir F. Walsingham, Sir W. Temple, Sir R. Walpole. Sir W. Draper, Horace Walpole, and Lord Camden, — John M. Wilson

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Scanned image and text by John van Wyhe. Formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Wilson, John M. (John Marius). The imperial gazetteer of England and Wales: embracing recent changes in counties, dioceses, parishes, and boroughs: general statistics: postal arrangements: railway systems, &c.; and forming a complete description of the country. 8 vols. Edinburgh: A. Fullarton, 1870.Internet Archive online version of a copy in the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. Web. 27 October 2022.

Created 7 October 2011

Last modified 28 October 2022