Capturing Cambridge
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Downing Site

History of Downing Site

General information on this location can be found on Wikipedia.

Designated Building of Local Interest: Sir William Hardy Building

Alma Mater, Downing site

At the entrance on Downing Street is the University emblem, the Alma Mater. Cambridge Inscriptions Explained by Nancy Gregory (2006) explains the meaning of this in detail:

The foster-mother herself is the alma mater … and the college or university is seen as feeding the student just as a nursing mother feeds a baby.

She carries a radiant sun in one hand, a wine-cup in the other and battlements on her head Look closely and you can see raindrops falling into the cup. Around the whole emblem are the Latin words which mean literally ‘Hence light and sacred draughts.’




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