Peterhouse, founded in 1284, remains the oldest college at the University of Cambridge. Established by Hugo de Balsham, the Bishop of Ely, and granted the Royal Charter by Edward I, the college is registered as a charity, offering opportunities for students to study, research, and support their community.
As one of the smaller colleges at Cambridge, Peterhouse has continued to grow and survive for more than 700 years with the help of several benefactors. Matthew Wren and John Cosin contributed the Chapel building in the 1600s, Bernard Hale established a still operating fund in the 17th Century for Organ Scholars, and William Stone in the 20th Century has provided funds for members to obtain fellowships and studentships.
Peterhouse has a tradition of focus in the academics both for arts and sciences. Several student societies at the college offer lectures, bring visiting scholars, and host forums. The Perne Club has invited lecturers like Germaine Greer, the History and Politics societies bring scholars like David Starkey and Michael Portillo, and the Kelvin Club engages students in discussions about the current math, science, and technology changes.
Members of Peterhouse, known as ‘Petreans,’ have appeared throughout history in political, social, and scientific movements. Innovator Charles Babbage, a Petrean, developed the difference engine that inspired the modern computer. Petrean Sir Frank Whittle invented the jet engine. Finally, the bassist for Radiohead, Colin Greenwood, is a member of Peterhouse.
The gardens at Peterhouse (the Grove, the Fellow’s Garden, and the Scholar’s Garden) allow students a quiet, secluded site to study and relax during the warmer months of the term. Faculty and students at Peterhouse refer to the Grove informally as Deer Park because deer occupied the site in the 19th Century. However, after a bout of illness following WWI, the college removed the deer.
Peterhouse Contact & Location
Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RD
Tel: +44 1223 338200
Fax: +44 1223 337578
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