The Beginnings of Newnham College

974 Words Feb 2nd, 2018 4 Pages
However, pioneering liberals are nothing if not persistent and in 1871 Newnham College was formed by philosopher Henry Sidgwick, a fellow at Trinity, along with his future wife Eleanor Balfour, local suffragist Millicent Garrett Fawcett, and the college’s first principal Anne Clough. ‘The Association for Promoting the Higher Education for Women in Cambridge’ had done a lot of lobbying but was considered high-minded by Sidgwick for totally ignoring such practical considerations as student accommodation. To this end he set up Newnham Hall Company Ltd with the stated aim of building an approved boarding house.

Started life as a hostel

Originally situated at 74 Regent Street, the college was a hostel for five women who wished to attend university lectures, a privilege granted at the discretion of the lecturer. Following an increase in demand the hostel moved to Merton House at Queen’s Road, then settled at its current home at Newnham in 1875.
As with many colleges there was no master building plan, but a haphazard development around the original E-shaped, Basil Champney’s red brick designs constructed between 1873 and 1913 – the first World war bringing an end to this phase of building. Basil was at Trinity at the same time as founder Sidgwick and when he failed to get a first, he turned his attention to…

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