Magdalene College

Punting outside Magdalene College

Photo by [Duncan]

About Magdalene College

Magdalene College, established in 1428, but re-founded officially in 1542 under the name ‘College of St. Mary Magdalene.’ The college originally acted as a Benedictine hostel for student monks and was then known as Buckingham College.

However, when the monarchy of England separated from the papacy in 1534, the monasteries endured dissolution. Buckingham College had remained in active status though, which allowed the new owner Thomas Audley to re-establish the college as Magdalene College.

The college name is commonly pronounced ‘Maudlyn,’ which reflects the original spelling ‘Maudelyn’ in reference to Thomas Audley’s last name. Later documents presented the name as ‘Magdalen,’ and the ‘e’ was added to the end in order to differentiate Magdalene College from Magdalen College at Oxford University.

Magdalene College Fellows & Alumni

Magdalene boasts a sense of adventure in the personalities of its members, and that intrepid nature has gone on to inspire graduates of the college to explore the world. For example, the BBC foreign editor John Simpson, who reported on the Fall of Kabul in 2001, graduated from Magdalene. Himalayan climber George Mallory and missionary Robert Keable also remain members of the college’s history.

Nelson Mandela, an anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African president, entered into Magdalene College’s list of honorary fellows in 2001. He joins the likes of other honorary fellows at Magdalene including T.S. Elliot and Thomas Hardy.

Magdalene College Grounds

Magdalene College by Paul Glazzard

Photo by Paul Glazzard.

Magdalene College sits across the River Cam and down from Castle Hill, Cambridge. When the college acted as a monastery before 1542, the River Cam functioned as a barrier keeping the monks away from the temptations of the Cambridge town. Magdalene now has buildings on both sides of the river and includes four main sections: the main site, The Village, Quayside, and Cripps Court.

After building up the college’s campus, most students at Magdalene can now walk to the classroom buildings from residential accommodation in a comfortable two to three minutes.

Magdalene College Contact & Location

Magdalene Street, Cambridge CB3 0AG
Tel: +44 1223 332100
Fax: +44 1223 462589

[pw_map address=”Magdalene Street, Cambridge”] is not affiliated with the University of Cambridge.