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Old Divinity School, St John’s Street

History of Old Divinity School, Trinity Street

St John’s Street, Old Divinity School site pre 1878 (MoC 25.46)

This building existed on the site prior to the building of the Divinity School in 1878. Note the old church yard, the name on the wall and the large chimney stack on the far left which still survived.

The Divinity School was built by Basil Champneys in 1878-9 following a competition in 1876. Pevsner describes it as early Tudor, ‘the treatment lively and not at all pedantic, staircases at both ends, each an intricate play of stone shafts and vaults – forerunners of Champneys’ Rylands Library at Manchester.’

When the foundations were being dug, the ground was found to be full of skeletons of bodies thrown in at the time of the Black Death, mid 14th cent.


Thomas Hammond, 50, curator, b Surrey

Ann, 45, b Fulham

Frederick, 16, clerk to robemaker, b Cambridge

Thomas, 14, apprentice to chemist, b Cambridge



Thomas Hammond, 70, custodian, b Surrey

Annie Chapman, 44, housekeeper, b Cambs


Frederick Harris, 45, attendant Cambridge University, b Oxford

Louisa, 45, b Cambridge


Selwyn Divinity School

Canon Henry Barclay Swete DD, Regius Professor of Divinity

Frederick Harris, attendant

J F Miller and Sons, Wine Vaults


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