Sidney Sussex College


Sidney Sussex College

Photo by David Purchase.

About Sidney Sussex College

Referred to as the well-kept secret at Cambridge University, Sidney Sussex College was founded in 1596 by Lady Frances Sidney, the Countess of Sussex. It established just after the Protestant Reformation in England, and therefore opened explicitly in support of the protestant seminary.

Considering subject specialties, Sidney Sussex College teaches the necessary subjects as a part of Cambridge, but excels in engineering, history, and law. Students can also participate in societies while in attendance including the Duns Scotians Theology Society, the Medical and Veterinary Society, and the Punting Society.

Sidney Sussex has a smaller student membership compared to the other Cambridge colleges. However, new additions to the college like the Cloister Court in 1890, have allowed more undergraduates to attend the college. Its size preserves the close-knit, classical tradition of the university, while also producing notable alumni.

Sidney Sussex College’s coat of arms is derived from Lady Frances Sidney’s. It depicts a blue and gold porcupine (the emblem of the Sidney family).

Sidney Sussex College History & People

Lady Frances took part in the court of King Henry VIII in the mid-16th Century. She also acted as Lady of the Bedchamber for Henry’s daughter Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth I. Upon her death and leaving no children, Lady Frances Sidney willed £5,000 to the University of Cambridge to establish Sidney Sussex College.

Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England in the 17th Century, attended Sidney Sussex College. History remembers Cromwell as a military leader with an aggressive approach to foreign policy, especially regarding England’s relationship with Ireland and Scotland. John E. Walker, a 2002 Noble Laureate in Chemistry, also attended Sidney Sussex.

Sidney Sussex College Grounds

Visitors to Sidney Sussex can walk through the well-kept gardens that have grown up over the course of several centuries. The garden’s layout used to exist in a rigid structure with hedges and pathways that restricted the movements of visitors. Now, the trees provide a luxurious canopy and edges no longer enclose students who wish to relax and enjoy the informal atmosphere between classes.

Sidney Sussex College Contact & Location

Sidney Street, Cambridge CB2 3HU
Tel: +44 1223 338800
Fax: +44 1223 338884

[pw_map address=”Sidney Street, Cambridge CB2 3HU”] is not affiliated with the University of Cambridge.