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Clare College was founded in 1326 and is currently the second oldest constituent college of Cambridge University. Lady Elizabeth de Clare, granddaughter of King Edward I, provided the original endowment, which allowed for no more than 15 scholars or ‘fellows’ and included the estates of ‘Great Gransden and Duxford.’
Clare College is best known for its chapel choir, gardens, and beautiful architecture. Known as “The Backs,” the gardens overlook the River Cam, located behind the college. Clare’s famous Old Court frames King’s College Chapel, which represents a highly celebrated and photographed piece of architecture in England.
The bridge connecting the Old Court and the Memorial Court has 14 stone balls that make it one of the most photographed sites at Cambridge. The oldest on the campus, the bridge designer is said to have not completed the embellishment in protest of proper payment.
Clare College is famously musical with a world-renowned choir that has performed internationally. Most of the students play musical instruments and often involve themselves in the Clare College Music Society. Students have the ability to keep a piano in their room in order to practice, a rule that most colleges at Cambridge follow.
Hosting an endowment of about €65 million, Clare has a popular presence at Cambridge University. In 1972, it became one of three colleges to admit female undergraduates. The college continues a tradition of liberal and progressive practices and has won praise for transparency during the admissions process.
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