HENRY VIII’S CHAIR LEG
The Great Gate at Trinity College has a statue of Henry VIII that dates back to the early 1600. The statue originally showed Henry holding an orb in one hand and his sword in another. For many years it was believed an irreverent student swapped the sword for the chair leg sometime in the nineteenth century. Only recently did we discover that it was actually a window cleaner who placed the chair leg in the hand of the statue.
The window cleaner noticed that the sword was missing around 30 years ago, he assumed that the Cambridge Night Climbers, a group of students who are known for scrabbling up the University’s buildings, must have taken it. He decided to replace the sword with a chair leg, which is still there today.
FOOTBALL BORN IN CAMBRIDGE
Football really started taking off in public schools in the 1800s but whenever one school wanted to play another, they ran into huge problems. Each school had their own rules for football, some would even let you control the ball with your hands, some schools would play on small pitches, while others would play on huge pitches. Playing other schools was virtually impossible.
In 1848, teachers from a range of schools met at Trinity College to discuss how they could solve the problem, they agreed that they needed to have one set of rules for every school. The meeting produced what became known as the Cambridge Rules.
In 1863, The FA was formed, a committee drew up a new revision of the Cambridge rules, and once the rules were agreed on they were published in the press, therefore becoming the national rules of football.
NO DOGS ALLOWED
The famous poet Lord Byron was a great lover of animals, but his choice of pet while studying at Cambridge University was a little unusual.
In 1805, Lord Byron became a student at Trinity College, the only problem being that pet dogs were banned. He was so annoyed by this that he decided to have a tame bear as a pet instead. He argued that as bears weren’t specifically mentioned in their statutes, the college had no legal grounds for complaint.
OLIVER CROMWELL’S HEAD
Oliver Cromwell the Lord Protector studied at Sidney Sussex College. When he died in 1658 he was buried in Westminster Abbey. Three years later Charles II exhumed his body and beheaded it.
In 1960 his head was interred in a secret burial in the location of Sidney Sussex College, only a few people are aware of the exact location.
WINNIE THE POOH
Cambridge University has over 100 libraries. The Wren Library at Trinity College has the manuscript of Winnie the Pooh. Both A A Milne and his son, Christopher Robin Milne, studied at Trinity.
Francis Crick and James Watson announced their discovery that DNA contains genetic information at The Eagle Pub on February 28th, 1953.
THE FAB FOUR
The Beatles performed in Cambridge twice, on both occasions at the Regal. The first time they performed was on Tuesday 19th March 1963, when they were performing as a support act for Chris Montez and Tommy Roe. Their playlist on the night consisted of: Love Me Do, Misery, A Taste Of Honey, Do You Want To Know A Secret, Please Please Me, I Saw Her Standing There.
The Fab Four returned later that year on Tuesday 26th November, this time headlining the night. People queued outside the Regal from 10:00 am and the famous four had to be escorted into the building by police. Records show that over 4,000 people turned up on the night. Their setlist included: I Saw Her Standing There, From Me To You, All My Loving, You Really Got A Hold On Me, Roll Over Beethoven, Boys, Till There Was You, She Loves You, Money (That’s What I Want ) and Twist And Shout.
THE 14 STONES OF CLARE COLLEGE
Clare College boasts 14 stone balls, well almost 14. Rumour has it that the college believed the builders did a poor job and therefore decided to pay them less. In retaliation, the builders removed a quarter of one of the stones, so there are really only 13 3/4 stones.