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FIRST COURT

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The majority of the college buildings at Christ's College, Cambridge University are arranged around four courts, with most of the original early 16th century buildings forming First Court, including the chapel, Master's Lodge, college hall and Great Gate Tower. During the 18th century the buildings were refaced in Ketton stone, this included work by Robert Grumbold in 1714 and James Essex in 1760-1 and 1766. The Master's Lodge was refronted 1769-70. During the 19th century Bodley and Garner extended and modernised the library in 1895-97 and in 1899 restored the chapel. The college hall was rebuilt by George Gilbert Scott junior in 1876-79. A restoration of the Master's Lodge took place in 1911.

Charles Darwin studied for a Bachelor of Arts degree at Cambridge University between 1828 and 1831, and stayed in rooms on the first floor of First Court. His rooms consisted of a sitting room and a small bedchamber equipped with chamber pot and a water jug and bowl for washing. The rooms have been altered considerably since Darwin's time, but in 2009 were being restored to their early 19th century appearance and opened to the public as part of Charles Darwin's bicentenary celebrations. In the rooms there is a memorial to Charles Darwin; a Wedgwood medallion of Darwin's portrait below which is a jasper panel.

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