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Colleges of the University of Cambridge

Lucy Cavendish College

Lucy Cavendish College Library
College name Lucy Cavendish College
Named after Lucy Cavendish
Established 1965
Admittance Women only aged 21 or over
President Professor Janet Todd
Undergraduates 110
Graduates 110
Location Lady Margaret Road
Lucy Cavendish College heraldic shield
College website
Boat Club website
Lucy Cavendish College Library

Lucy Cavendish College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. It is a women-only college, which admits only postgraduates and mature undergraduates aged 21 or over.

The college was founded in 1965 by women researchers and lecturers of the University of Cambridge who felt that women were not thoroughly represented within the university. It was originally known as the Lucy Cavendish Collegiate Society. It moved to its current site in 1970, was granted consent to call itself "Lucy Cavendish College" in 1986, and finally gained the status of a full college of the university by Royal Charter in 1997.[1]

The college is named in honour of Lucy Cavendish (1841-1925), who campaigned for the reform of women's education.



The roots of Lucy Cavendish College are traced to The Dining Group which sought to provide the stimulation of high table conversation to its members who were not Fellows of Colleges.[2] At the time there were only two women's colleges in Cambridge, and these were not enough to accommodate the large numbers of women recruited to teach and provide academically based services.[3]

The first president of Lucy Cavendish College, from 1965 to 1970, was Anna McClean Bidder, one of the founding members of The Dining Group and a zoologist specializing in cephalopod digestion;[3] this accounts for the presence of the nautilus shell in the college crest.[4]

Anne Bidder was succeeded by Kate Bertram until 1979, Phyllis Hetzel[1], Dame Anne Warburton (the first female British ambassador in 1976), Baroness Pauline Perry, and Dame Veronica Sutherland.

The current and 7th President of Lucy Cavendish is Professor Janet Todd who took up the post in September 2008.

Buildings and grounds

For the first few years of the College's existence it occupied rooms in Silver Street and then Northampton Street until it moved to its current site in 1970 on the corner of Madingley Road and Lady Margaret Road, near Westminster College and St John's College, which provided some of its land.[5]

The majority of the buildings, including Warburton Hall and the Library were completed in the 1990s.[5]

In 1991 the college bought Balliol Croft, a neighbouring house to its grounds and former home of the famous economist Alfred Marshall and his wife Mary Paley Marshall, with whom he wrote his first economics textbook. The building was renamed Marshall House in his honour and used for student accommodation until 2001 when it was converted back to its original layout and used as the President's Lodge.[6]

Student Body

Lucy Cavendish has one of the most internationally diverse student bodies in the University community. It has about 220 students divided equally between Undergraduates and Graduate students. The college web site claims that "Students from every corner of the UK mix with students from around the world. Students with ‘Access’ qualifications interact with students who have studied for A-levels and the International Baccalaureate. Former bankers, singers, journalists and police officers mix with recent graduates of universities from around the world. Women come at any age to study any subject offered by the University."[7]

Notable staff and alumnae

  • Tag Gronberg, Reader in the History of Art and Design at Birkbeck College, University of London
  • Anna Gannon, Author of The Iconography of Early Anglo-Saxon Coinage
  • Elizabeth Speller, Author of Sunlight on the Garden: a family in love, war and madness
  • Louise Foxcroft, Author of The Making of Addiction: The 'use and abuse' of opium in nineteenth-century Britain
  • Elena Ambrosiadou, Entrepreneur, Hedge-Fund Specialist, and Financier
  • Pamela Bradley, Assistant Secretary at IMF
  • Kelly Smith, Author
  • Karen Powell, Author
  • Caron Freeborn, Author
  • Margrit Fauland-Blackburn, Editor of Drawbridge
  • Pauline Dawes, Managing Director for SOMI Trailers
  • Shevaun Wilder, Theatre Producer
  • Gill Saxon, Writer

Honorary Fellows

See also Category:Honorary Fellows of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge


  1. ^ "Statutes for Lucy Cavendish College in the University of Cambridge".  
  2. ^ "Papers of the Dining Group 1951-1966".$-search-results.cfm?CCODE=1696.  
  3. ^ a b Warburton, Anne (9 October 2001). "Anna Bidder obituary". The Independent.  
  4. ^ "The College shield of arms: The Crest".  
  5. ^ a b "Lucy Cavendish College Site and Buildings". Lucy Cavendish College.  
  6. ^ "Cambridge 2000 - Lucy Cavendish College: Madingley Road: Marshall House (Balliol Croft)".  
  7. ^ "Lucy Cavendish College Information". Lucy Cavendish College. http://  

External links

Coordinates: 52°12′40″N 0°6′37″E / 52.21111°N 0.11028°E / 52.21111; 0.11028 (Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge)


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