Capturing Cambridge
  • search
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

St Michael (Michaelhouse Centre)

History of St Michael Cambridge

Pevsner writes: A smallish, extremely attractive church almost entirely of the early C14.

More information can be founded on Wikipedia.

The Michaelhouse Centre takes its name from the original Michaelhouse which was the second college to be founded in Cambridge in 1323. However, after 1546, in response to the demand by Henry VIII, it merged with a number of smaller hostels to form Trinity College.

The following picture shows the annual ritual of beating the boundaries of the parish, here in 1845 along the banks of the Cam.

Beating the boundaries of St Michael’s Parish

In 1849 Josiah Chater records in his diary a fire at the church and his assistance in passing buckets of water. The fire started at quarter to eleven and was extinguished before 1 o’clock. The water came from a pump in Trinity College kitchen and when this began to fail a double line of helpers created through New Court down to the river and back again. The fire had started in the flue of the church’s heating stove.

1849 St Michael’s Fire


St Michael’s (c.1907)

St Michael’s (2022 photo by DG)

27/9/1962 St Michael’s Church in Trinity Street is “an intolerable disgrace”, says the Vicar of St Mary the Great, its sister church. Now there are plans to turn it into a modern parish hall with kitchen for meetings while the east end will become a small chapel for prayer. The massive restoration scheme will cost £10,000 and to promote it the church will be flood-lit. The youth club will give a show on the lines of a ‘Review’ and operate a ‘talent scheme’ where young people will be given money to be taken away and multiplied. (Cam.News)


Do you have any information about the people or places in this article? If so, then please let us know using the Contact page or by emailing

Dear Visitor,


Thank you for exploring historical Cambridgeshire! We hope you enjoy your visit.


Did you know that we are a small, independent Museum and that we rely on donations from people like you to survive?


If you love Capturing Cambridge, and you are able to, we’d appreciate your support today.


Every donation makes a world of difference.


Thank you,

The Museum of Cambridge