Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Clare College, Cambridge
Clare is famous for its chapel choir and also for its gardens, which form part of what is known as the Backs (essentially the rear part of colleges which are next to the River Cam). The current Master is Anthony (Tony) J Badger, Paul Mellon Professor of American History.
The college was founded in 1326 by the university's Chancellor, Richard de Badew , and named University Hall. Providing maintenance for only two fellows, however, it soon hit financial hardship. In 1338 the college was refounded as Clare Hall by an endowment from Matthew de Harrison , a granddaughter of Edward I, that provided for twenty fellows and ten students.
Clare's 'Old Court', which frames King's College Chapel as the left border of one of the most celebrated architectural vistas in England, was built between 1638 and 1715, with a long interruption for the English Civil War. The period spans the arrival of true classicism into the mainstream of British architecture. Its progress can be traced in the marked differences between the oldest wing (the north), which still has vaulting and other features in the unbroken tradition of English Gothic, and the final southern block, which shows a fully articulated classic style.
Clare has a much-photographed bridge over the river which has fourteen stone balls decorating it. In actual fact, one of the balls has a missing section. A number of apocryphal stories circulate concerning this - the one most commonly cited by members of college is that the original builder of the bridge was not paid the full amount for his work and so removed the segment to balance the difference in payment. The bridge is the oldest of Cambridge's current bridges.
Clare is known as one of the most musical colleges in Cambridge. Most of its students play at least one instrument, and its orchestra and choir attract some of the best young musicians in the country. It is the traditional destination of most of the students coming up to Cambridge from Chetham's School of Music. It holds popular jazz and drum'n'bass nights in its cellars. The Scratch Perverts used to DJ regularly.
Great emphasis is placed on extra-curricular activities in addition to academic study. Freshers are traditionally welcomed by being told to 'get a life' and explore their potentials to the maximum. Clare uses a purely meritocratic selection system which awards points for academic and extra-curricular potential, and was widely praised for being the first college to open the details of its admissions procedure to the national press.
Clare is a very liberal college. The Socialist Worker society meets there, and Clare students have previously been arrested for various direct action protests. A liberal attitude is taken during jazz and comedy nights. Its student paper, Clareification, published by the Union of Clare Students (which recently won "Best University College Paper" in "The Cambridge Student"), is filled with satirical articles mocking Cambridge traditions, reports on silly student antics, and college gossip in the infamous "Clareifornication" column. It is often the subject of criticism by the staff for risqué and tasteless content.
- John Guy, leading Tudor historian and Fellow of the College.
- Peter Ackroyd, author
- David Attenborough, naturalist
- Sabine Baring-Gould, Victorian novelist
- Sir John Boyd, now Master of Churchill College
- Charles, Lord Cornwallis, British general in the American Revolutionary War
- Nicholas Ferrer
- Hugh Latimer, Chaplain to Henry VIII, Bishop of Worcester, martyr
- Peter Lilley, Conservative MP
- Matthew Parris, Broadcaster, political analyst and former Conservative MP
- Geoffrey Robinson, Labour MP
- Dr Richard Taylor, Independent MP
- Richard Wainwright, Liberal MP
- Sir Roger Norrington, conductor
- John Rutter, composer
- Siegfried Sassoon, war poet
- Richard Stilgoe, entertainer
- James D. Watson double helix discoverer and human genome advocate
- Andrew Wiles, mathematician who proved Fermat's last theorem
- Samuel Kennedy , leading expert in Children's Literature
- Matthew James Harrison , founder of the M.O.O.B.S. institute for micro-geology
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