Sunday, 24 October 2010

King's College Cambridge. Pt.1

For our first stroll around Cambridge here we will be visiting King's College. There are 31 colleges in all, the oldest being
Peterhouse 1284 and the newest Robinson 1974.
The young King Henry VI laid the foundation stone of 'The King's College of our Lady and St. Nicholas in Cambridge'
on Passion Sunday 1441. King's was one of his two 'royal and religious' foundations, the other being Eton College.

Tourists do not enter by the front gate (we did that some years ago as guests of one of the students)but make our way to the right and through the chapel first.

King's is the chapel from which one can enjoy the 9 lessons and carols at Christmas on TV.

It is worth noting that each college has it's own chapel and these Cambridge chapels are not some great cathedral but purely a chapel for the use of the students

King Henry went to great lengths to ensure that his college, and in particular it's chapel, would be without equal in magnificance in either Oxford or Cambridge.
 It took nearly a century to complete this chapel, and after Henry's murder in the Tower of London in 1471, the completion was made possible through the patronage of subsequent  kings

All the stained glass windows tell a story
Upper windows - Old Testament - Lower - New Testament

Alan about to enter through the portals of the dark oak screen which houses the organ and was a gift from Henry VIII, and bears his initials and those of Anne Boleyn, his Queen. This dates between 1533, when Henry married Anne and 1536, when he had her executed.

Choir stalls
There are even carvings underneath the seats

Looking back towards the brass lecturn surmounted by a small statue of Henry VI, a gift of Robert Hacomblen, Provost 1509-28.

Another gift to the college 'The Adoration of the Magi' painted by Rubens in 1634
I have a copy of this in my bedroom
and love it

There are many Lady chapels and memorials along the sides of the chapel

Centuries of wear to the step

Bronze plaque in the exhibition hall depicted St. George slaying the dragon 

Having left the chapel we are now in one of the courtyards looking towards the fountain surmounted by a statue of Henry VI, the 'boy king' above the symbolic figures of Religion and Learning.

A view onto the street outside
Chapel from outside

We are now walking through the grounds and down to the River Cam. A number of the colleges back on to this river

We have walked a lot today and are grateful for a short stop on this seat

and are now ready to make our way outside and look for a welcome cup of tea

Main chapel entrance on the inside of the grounds of course

Hope you enjoyed your tour
Do come back for several more 


Patsy said...

I did enjoy this Sunday morning trip with you both.

Anonymous said...

Dear Barbara, I certainly always associate Christmas Eve with the nine essons and carols from King's College. Indeed Christmas would not be the same without this most beautiful of English traditions.

I have never visited King's College so have found your tour and information most interesting and look forward to more.

Needled Mom said...

Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. We have visited there and it was nice to be reminded of the stunning beauty of the area. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

I can imagine how great that cup of tea must have been after so much walking.

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Barbara

Lovely pictures and the glass windows are breathtaking!

Tracy :)

Teresa said...

Reading through this and enjoying each photo two words kept coming to mind, majestic and excellence. The serenity of the river behind the colleges is so striking next to the amazing architecture of those buildings. The excellence of even just the carvings underneath the seats is so beautiful, such rich history. I would really enjoy taking the time to look at the pictorial accounts of the stained glass. Oddly enough, the way the years had worn down that step moved me the most. Thank you for sharing this, Barbara.

Teresa said...

Reading through and looking at the photos two words came to mind, majestic and excellence. The magnificence of the architecture is wonderful. The serenity of the river behind the buildings was so peaceful. The excellence of just the carvings on the bottom of the seats is outstanding, and such history. The photos are all so vibrant. Oddly enough, the one that moved me the most was the step worn by time. Thank you so much for sharing this, Barbara.

Susan said...

How beautiful, Barbara. I hope, someday, I will be able to walk in your steps through this wonderful place. Susan

Lorrie said...

What beautiful architecture - so ornate. And all that wood carving makes me think of the craftsmen who spent their lives on such buildings. Another beautiful tour, Barbara - hope you found your cup of tea!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I will be sure to come back for another tour. That was just a wonderful way to spend time on a Sunday afternoon. I appreciate a look at your country through your eyes. I enjoy bot the sights and the nuggets of history. Although I've heard of the colleges, I didn't realize that all the colleges were together like that. I hope your Sunday has been as blessed as mine!

Vee said...

Thought that I should take off in the midst of this and read more about Henry VI. It was all very confusing and so I'm not sure that it added much to my experience other than to know that his lasting achievement was this very place you are showing us today. It's always enjoyable seeing these historic sites and knowing that they are still very much in use today. Love that Ruebens, too! How nice that you have a copy. I was struck by how very large it is in comparison to the is a wonderful presence.

melissa said...

These photos are just astounding. And the stained glass...I'm speechless. :) I went to a local art exhibit a few years back and there was one piece of Henry VIII's and it was a wooden rosary...intricately carved (during his Catholic period!). But compared to what you've was nothing.

Thanks so much for the tours you share. I always love coming here! :)

Gwendolyn said...

What can I say? I'm blown away with your attention to detail and your amazing photography! Thank you for laying each visit out in orderly fashion for us! I've always wondered about historic Cambridge. The next best thing to a visit ourselves - except I'd love to take the tour with you!

Charm and Grace said...

Barbara, it's been too long, but I surely did enjoy this tour of King's College. After having drawn the chapel there, I can really appreciate the rich and elaborate architecture. Carvings under the choir seats... wow. And love that the windows above/below depict old and new testaments. Good to see a picture of you and Alan enjoying yourselves at Jamie Oliver's restaurant. Lovely as always, and your photography simply superb!


Vicki said...


Willow said...

The pictures are breathtaking. I can only imagine what it was like to see all these in person. Thanks for the wonderful post.


La Petite Gallery said...

I am still gasping, what grandeur is really overwhelming.
Wish I had see that when I was in Londom. I did do the river tour through the locks and I think a town called Brideshead, or something like that. Thank you so much for this grand tour.

Willow said...

Thank you for this visit with you. I hope someday to visit Cambridge in the flesh but until then, I can enjoy seeing King's College through your lens.

Judith said...

now where to begin when making a comment? you have packed so much in in one post!! lol the photos are awesome and ceilings in the church are just 'out of this world' and you are quite right 'The Adoration of the Magi' painting is indeed breathless. Take care, Judith

Sara said...

Barbara, thank you for the Cambridge tour. I was reminded of some of the places CT and I visited....has it really been over a year ago?

Adrienne said...

I'm almost speechless! The chapel is magnificent. Thank you for the tour. Praying for you.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

A beautiful place...and a wonderful tour guide. Thanks for taking us along!

*Ulrike* said...

Wow! I love all of it, but especially the stained glass windows.

duncan said...

Always fun to see yourself in someone else’s photos. You have 4 gardeners working in the background Martin, John, Ray and Duncan. The lawns are not at there best as we were suffering from Cock Chaffer Grub damage.
duncan ( the one in the blue overalls)