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Downing College

History of Downing College

The Baker and Scott Buildings, and the Chapel are designated Buildings of Local Interest.

Rattee and Kett worked with architects Sir Herbert Baker and Scott on various parts of the college including the chapel which was completed using Ketton Stone.

Further information about the history of the buildings in the college can be found here:

A particular feature of the college is The Heong Gallery.

Downing College and surrounds circa 1840

1845 Romilly records in his diary for 22nd June 1845:

There was a very good Horticultural Exhibition in Downing: an imitation of the Round Church. a Lilliputian garden and fountain, were among its attractions: there was a collection of electro-typed flowers…

Ed. note: With its profusion of flowers and plants, Litchfield’s tent for ices and refreshments, and the presence of a band, the show was a great success. Three glass cases sent in by a Captain Ibbetson attracted much attention with their copper flowers ‘formed by an improved electrotype process whereby their form and growth are most curiously preserved,’ and a Mr Catling was awarded a special prize of thirty shillings for his model of the Round Church decorated with flowers. Members of the British Association were admitted on their ticket; ordinary admission from 2 to 5pm was half a crown and a shilling in the evening.

1851 East Lodge

William Webster Fisher, 51, professor of medicine, b Westmoreland

John H Fisher, 56, visitor, vicar of Kirkby Lonsdale, b Westmoreland

Emma Howe, housekeeper, 38, b Norfolk

William Smith, 15, footboy, b Wisbech

William Webster Fisher

Fisher was a leading figure in the development of neuroscience at Cambridge University. (See M Weatherall, Gentlemen, Scientists and Doctors, pub 2000 p58.)


Thomas Worsley, 83, Master of the College, b Yorks

Katherine, 77, b Yorks


Frederick Howard Marsh

Frederick Howard Marsh, 71, professor of surgery, b Suffolk

Violet Susan, b 43, b Scotland

Ellinor Dalrymple Hay, sister in law, 49, b London

Rosalind Mary Mitchell, 59, hospital nurse, b Wales

Nellie Stewart, 29, cook, b Wales

Sarah Brown, 33, parlourmaid, b Newton

Hilda Taylor, 20, housemaid, b Stretham

Lilian Watts, 17, housemaid,  b Barrington




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