Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Sidney Sussex College was founded in 1594 by Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex, who had been dead for 5 years! The story goes that the Countess left 5000 pounds in her will for the founding of a new college at Cambridge. In the event that the funds were not sufficient to found a college, the money was to go to Clare College.
The money did indeed prove insufficient, but the Countess's executors went ahead with a new college, making up the shortfall out of their own pockets. The original aim of the college was to prepare clergy for Church of England service.
One amusing sidenote is that by the terms of the Countess's will, all graduates of her college were to be termed her "issue" (i.e. her children).
The site used was a former Franciscan Friary, owned since the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Trinity College, which had used the friary buildings as a source of building materials. Trinity was compelled to sell the site only after Elizabeth I herself brought her influence to bear.
The most famous student at Sidney Sussex College was Oliver Cromwell, who spent as brief year here in 1616. In 1960 the college received a rather macabre gift of Cromwell's head. It was buried with great secrecy in the antechapel, and its precise location remains closely guarded.
About Sidney Sussex College
Address: Sidney Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, CB2 3HU
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Website: Sidney Sussex College
Phone: 01223 338 800
Fax: 01223 338 884
OS: TL451 587
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Christ's College, University of Cambridge - 0.1 miles (Historic Building)
Trinity College - 0.2 miles (Historic Building)
Cambridge, All Saints - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
Round Church, Cambridge - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
Gonville and Caius College - 0.2 miles (Historic Building)
St Johns College - 0.2 miles (Historic Building)
Jesus College - 0.2 miles (Historic Building)
Cambridge Arts Theatre - 0.2 miles (Theatre)
Nearest Accommodation to Sidney Sussex College:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Tourist Information Centre
Tel: 01223 791 500
Alternate Tel: 01223 791 501 (Tours)
Closed Sundays November - March