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Twentieth century and later: New buildings - construction, 1908-[1970]

Reference Code: GBR/0269/DCAR/1/2/4

Scope and Contents

Records concerning actual and physical construction of buildings; encompassing estimates, specifications of works, bills of quantity, correspondence and plans. Some of these records were given bursarial records series numbers and have therefore been listed together.


  • Creation: 1908-[1970]

Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

General administration files are generally closed for 30 years from date of creation, once transferred to Archives, but longer closure periods may apply.

Please ask the College Archivist about more recent records relevant to a particular research area, which may not yet have been published online but may be open for research (by appointment).

Biographical / Historical

After the Barry editions it was not until the end of the 1920s that the prospect of building again became a real possibility. During the first decade of the twentieth century the number of undergraduates increased and the need for more student accommodation became evident. Plans were drafted by C G Hare but the appeal for funds turned out to be a failure because of the outbreak of the First World War. In 1929 the Master and Bursar were authorised to consult Sir Herbert Baker (1862-1946) re new additions for the College and in 1930 another appeal was launched for funds. The Quadrangle was to be extended to the north with two blocks of rooms in line with the east and west ranges and closed by continuous building on the north side containing a library and chapel. There was enough money eventually to make a start, in 1931, on the residential blocks at the north east & west corners but no further funding until 1950 by which time Baker was dead. His partner, Alex Scott, modified the design and completed the north range, the money raised from the sale of the College estates coupled with the Graystone bequest. In 1931, when the Baker buildings were opened, new gates onto Tennis Court Road given in memory of CS Kenny, by his daughters, also opened. It was a further gift from Agnes Kenny which made possible in 1960-1 the building of the two blocks between the Baker building and Tennis Court Road known as Kenny Court (designed by Baker & Scott). After this came the enlarging of the hall and rebuilding of the kitchens and construction of a new SCR (designed by Prof WG Howell). These buildings were opened in 1969 by the Duchess of Kent. In 1985/6, the Howard Building, a lecture theatre and series of public rooms, was built through generosity of the Howard Foundation. This faces Kenny Court, and was designed by Quinlan Terry, an exponent of classical architecture. In the early 1990s Howard Court was completed with a residential building. Erith & Terry were also commissioned to design the Butterfield Building which provides a JCR and bar, and the Maitland Robinson Library. This library, the first purpose built in Downing's history, was opened in 1993.


c. 10 archive box(es)

c. 250 item(s) (c. 250 single plans)

17 folder(s) (17 plan folders / rolls)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bursarial Function. Note that much of the later 20th century records were created by the Domestic Bursary (as a sub-division of the Bursary). This functions of this office were divided amongst other departments [notably Maintenance] in the early - mid 1990s.



Repository Details

Part of the Downing College Repository

Downing College Archive
Downing College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 1DQ United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 762905