Trinity College

Trinity College information

Cambridge , United Kingdom
Trinity St
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The largest of Cambridge's colleges, Trinity is entered through an impressive Tudor gateway first created in 1546. As you walk through, have a look at the statue of the college's founder, Henry VIII, that adorns it. His left hand holds a golden orb, while his right grips not the original sceptre but a table leg, put there by student pranksters and never replaced. It's a wonderful introduction to one of Cambridge's most venerable colleges, and a reminder of who really rules the roost.

As you enter the Great Court , scholastic humour gives way to wonderment, for it is the largest of its kind in the world. To the right of the entrance is a small tree, planted in the 1950s and reputed to be a descendant of the apple tree made famous by Trinity alumnus Sir Isaac Newton. Other alumni include Francis Bacon, Lord Byron, Tennyson, HRH Prince Charles (legend has it that his bodyguard scored higher in the exams than he did), at least nine prime ministers (British and international) and some 32 Nobel Prize winners.

The college's vast hall has a dramatic hammerbeam roof and lantern, and beyond this are the dignified cloisters of Nevile's Court and the renowned Wren Library . It contains 55,000 books dated before 1820 and more than 2500 manuscripts, including AA Milne's original Winnie the Pooh . Both Milne and his son, Christopher Robin, were graduates.

Henry VIII would have been proud to note, too, that his college would eventually come to throw the best party in town, the lavish May Ball in June, though you will need a fat purse, and a friend on the inside, to get an invitation.