Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lenten Pilgrimage, Part Two: St John's College, Cambridge

New Court (1831)

Cambridge, England

Although not quite as well known as "that other college with a choir" (King's), St John's boasts some of the most beautiful buildings in Cambridge. The choir and organ sound always magnificent in the jewel-like chapel interior reminiscent of Sainte-Chapelle, Paris. St John's has been educating students in liberal arts and theology since 1511, and now teaches a range of subjects. 

William Wordsworth was a notable Johnian. His rooms were not quite as expected...

  'The Evangelist St. John my patron was:
Three Gothic courts are his, and in the first
Was my abiding-place, a nook obscure;
Right underneath, the College kitchens made,
A humming sound, less tuneable than bees
But hardly less industrious; with shrill notes
Of sharp command and scolding intermixed.'

• • • • • • • • • •

Key scenes for the film "The Theory of Everything" were shot at St John's, and Cambridge locales including King's College Chapel. Look for the green lawn and majestic Gothic revival architecture of St John's in the film's May Ball scenes. Filming locations and official trailer are HERE

Read about the college and its architecture HERE

Listen to the choir HERE


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The road to St John's: Trinity Street

The Great Gate at St John's, completed in 1516.

Chapel interior (1868)

Elegant calligraphy, brilliant words

Lady Margaret Beaufort, College founder and mother of King Henry VII (portrait by Roland Lockey).
Jabob Wood, an early Fellow, is buried here.

View of the Chapel from First Court, which dates from 1511-20.
The 'new' Chapel, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, was built in 1868.

Major benefactor — The Countess of Shrewsbury graces Chapel exterior.

Second Court, built after 1599

Cambridge's own Bridge of Sighs

New Court (1831)

The eagle, symbol of the Saint, is poised for flight atop New Court entrance.