Newnham Grange

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Gwen Raverat home Cambridge.jpg
Blue Plaque

Newnham Grange (njuːnʌm gɹeɪndʒ) is a Grade II listed building on Silver Street, Cambridge and next to the River Cam and The Backs. Since 1962 it has been part of Darwin College, Cambridge.

History and residents[edit]

The building was built in 1793 for the family of Patrick Beales, a local corn and coal merchant and twice Mayor of Cambridge. After the death of Beales's daughters, the house was bought by George Darwin and his wife Maud Darwin in 1885. The Darwins extensively remodelled the house. The Darwins had five children:

Sir George died in 1912, and after the death of his wife, the house subsequently passed to Sir Charles Galton Darwin and his wife Katharine Pember Darwin. They had the following children:

Lady Maud Darwin died at the house in 1947.[1] After Sir Charles Darwin's death in 1962 the house was donated by the family for the foundation of Darwin College in 1964.

The house is extensively described and illustrated in Gwen Raverat's childhood memoir Period Piece: A Cambridge Childhood,[2] which has a chapter describing the house and flooding from the River Cam.

Lady Margaret Keynes also published a book about the house, House by the River: Newnham Grange to Darwin College[3]

In 2003 a Blue Plaque commemorating Gwen Raverat and Period Piece was unveiled at Newnham Grange by Gwen's daughter Sophie Gurney, with Sophie's son William Pryor and Erasmus Darwin Barlow and his wife Biddy in attendance.[4]


  1. ^ Lady Darwin (Obituaries) The Times Friday, Feb 07, 1947; pg. 7; Issue 50679; col D
  2. ^ Gwen Raverat Period Piece
  3. ^ Margaret Keynes House by the River: Newnham Grange to Darwin College
  4. ^ The Darwinian, Issue 4, 2003 [1]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°12′03″N 0°06′50″E / 52.20086°N 0.11393°E / 52.20086; 0.11393