Cambridge 2000: references


There are a few valuable references on buildings in Cambridge:

(1) An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Cambridge, Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (1959, second impression 1988, Her Majesty's Stationery Office). This is a comprehensive work focussing mainly on buildings in central Cambridge.

(2) The Buildings of England: Cambridgeshire, Nicolaus Pevsner (second edition, 1970, Penguin Books). This is not quite so comprehensive but is more readable and covers many buildings outside of the city of Cambridge. All in all the best reference on Cambridge architecture.

(3) Cambridge Architecture, Tim Rawle (1985, Trefoil Books; republished 1993, André Deutsch). This has hundreds of black and white photographs of mainly academic buildings, and useful maps of the colleges. An excellent book.

(4) Cambridge New Architecture, Nicholas Taylor and Philip Booth (third edition, 1970, Leonard Hill Books). This is a gem of a book. It mostly details Cambridge buildings, including private houses, which were built between 1950 and 1970. Unfortunately no later edition was produced.

(5) Cambridge Architecture Post 1945, edited by Bob Bowman, David Emond and David Thurlow (2001, Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry). This is a welcome update to the above books, with listings and small colour photos of around 200 buildings.

(6) Spalding's Directory of Cambridge (1874-1940) and Kelly's Directory of Cambridge (1948-1975). This series of books contains lists of all Cambridge addresses, from which some date information can be inferred. Most amazingly in the older volumes the names and occupations of the residents were also listed.

Other references worthy of note:

(7) The Architectural History of the University of Cambridge, Robert Willis and John Willis Clark (1886, reprinted 1988 in three volumes, Cambridge University Press). Comprehensive but with few illustrations and because of its age missing many buildings.

(8) Cambridge Architecture: A Concise Guide, Nicholas Ray (1994, Cambridge University Press). This covers mainly academic buildings.

(9) Cambridge Town Trails, Mac Dowdy (1983, EARO Resource and Technology Centre). This covers many buildings in central Cambridge, mostly non-academic.

(10) Cambridge: A Concise Guide to the Town and University, John Willis Clark (twelfth edition, 1947, Bowes and Bowes). This covers mainly academic buildings.

(11) Architectural Guide to Cambridge and East Anglia since 1920, Charles McKean (1982, ERA Publications Board, RIBA Eastern Region). This covers some buildings in Cambridge.

(12) Cambridge Street-Names: Their Origins and Associations, Ronald Gray and Derek Stubbings (2000, Cambridge University Press). This covers most (obviously only pre-2000) Cambridge streets, and although it is fairly poorly structured, it has a lot of information in it.

(13) Rus in Urbe: Chaucer Road and Latham Road: The History of Two Rural Roads in Cambridge, Jane M. Renfrew, Magnus A. Renfrew and John K. Rose (1996, SOLACHRA). This covers in amazing detail the history of the buildings and many of the residents of these two roads (which are suburban, rather than rural), and also the Southacre estate in between.

The book by Taylor and Booth has the following quotation: "Meanwhile, congestion grows worse in Cambridge and the university and city alike are being strangled by the ever-increasing traffic. ... Unless action is taken quickly, there will be no further reprieve." This could have been written today. In the 1970s the government was occasionally willing to build new roads or improve existing ones, and currently that is no longer the case.