Queen’s College

mathematical bridge

Founded by two Queen’s in the mid 1400s, the college is linked by the world famous Mathematical Bridge. There is a magnificent medieval Old Hall.

The badge of the college has a wild boar’s head, which was the badge of King Richard III. His wife, Anne Neville was a college patron. The Old Court was built by Reginald Ely, a master mason. The Old Llibrary houses nearly 20,000 manuscripts and books. It also contains a very old celestial globe. Walnut Tree Court was completed in 1616. And indeed there is a Walnut Tree in the square.

The Mathematical Bridge is rumoured to have been built by Sir Isaac Newton without using any nuts or bolts. It is said, in the past ambitious students tried to take the bridge apart to find out. Supposedly they couldn’t put it back together again, so had to add nuts and bolts. It is a good story, but not true. The bridge is made of oak by James Essex the Younger in 1749. It decayed and had to be rebuilt in 1905, although teak instead of oak was used. A hand rail was added to help the Queen Mother cross when she visited.

Students call the older side of the bridge, the ‘dark side’, and the newer, the ‘light Side’. It has a reputation for being a more relaxed and open college, with strong sports, music and drama support.

Notable past students include Erasmus (humanist theologian), Stephen Fry (comedian) and Lord Falconer (former Lord Chancellor).

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