Capturing Cambridge
  • search
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Pitt Building University Press

History of the Pitt Building

General Information of the Cambridge University Press and the Pitt Building can be found on Wikipedia.

Listed Building 1126282

There were buildings on the site that preceded the erection of the Pitt Building. These spread between Mill Lane and Silver Street.

Pitt Press circa 1840


1836: The diarist Romilly moved from a cold damp room in the Divinity School to a ground floor room at the south-east end of the Pitt Press Building in Trumpington Street. The William Pitt the younger Memorial Committee, having surplus funds after paying for a statue of Pitt in Hanover Square London, had offered the University a large sum ‘for the erection of a handsome building connected with the University Press.’ The Press buildings were completed in 1833 and since 1834 had housed the 248 paintings and 33 drawings and prints bequeathed to the University by David Mesman. These were moved to the Fitzwilliam in 1848. (See Romilly diaryJuly 1842 editor’s note)


1846: 6 Dec. Josiah Chater reports in his diary a fire here caused by boards placed on top of a chimney to prevent it smoking.



Richard Sibley, 60, resident superintendent of the University Press, b London

Eliza, 57, b Bristol

Helen Hughes, visitor, 14, b London

Rebecca Phillips, 26, servant,  b Oakington

Pitt Press 1851, from Rock and Co, Views of Cambridge


1881: University Pitt Press

E Burrell, 58, printer electrotypist, b Cambridge

Emma, 54, b Cambridge

Alfred, 32, printer compositor, b Cambridge

Edwin, 26, assistant librarian, b Cambridge

Mary Ann, 24, b Cambridge

Ernest, 18, printer picker, b Cambridge

Kate, 13, b Cambridge

William Watts, visitor, 70, accountant, b Dorset

Rebecca, 61, b Surrey

Rose Maud, 4, b Stoke Newington


Pitt Press circa 1917


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