Talk:Girton College, Cambridge

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Former good article nominee Girton College, Cambridge was a Social sciences and society good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 7, 2011 Peer review Reviewed
October 6, 2011 Good article nominee Not listed
June 15, 2012 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee


I'm possibly going to make some more changes to this page, as it seems like a slightly random collection of things and not a lot of fact.

The site was purchased originally, not rented from Trinity College (I'm not sure who it was bought from, but it wasn't Trinity). There is no evidence at all the site was designed as a madhouse. If anyone would like to provide any evidence for that it can go back in, but from the various histories of the college I've never heard such a thing.

That "unoffical song" I believe must have only existed for a short time, as I went to Girton and never heard it. Also do we care what the sun said in some random article? Mrjeff 14:11, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Girton song[edit]

Would be good to find out roughly when this is from, I'm a 4th year student & its been around since I've been here and when i was a fresher it was known by everyone in higher years... Which only puts it back to prob at least 7 years... Maybe we can track down when it originated?

We sang that song in freshers week last term! I like the entry, it was up to date - good effort.

I sang the song throughout my time at Girton including on the steps to Senate house at graduation!

When I was there (c 1980), we were still singing :

"Play up!" all the College cried;
"Pass out to the wing, girls!
That's the sort of thing, girls!"
Run! I thought I should have died!
Knocked it through the Newnham goal!

-- Beardo 05:25, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't know the song at all but the tune must be Knocked 'em in the Old Kent Road; the words (and, I think, the spirit) fit exactly. Can anyone confirm first hand? Brother Francis 11:37, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
This is correct. PeterBrett (talk) 09:29, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Someone recently deleted the song without explanation. I've reinstated it. It is an important part of Girton identity. Perhaps we should also include the song that Beardo mentions; I remember that being sung by the choir. (talk) 09:22, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

external reference removed[edit]

I've removed the external reference to the varsity (Student newspaper) article - this is a minor event of little relevance and a clear example of sensationalist reporting. The selection of just one (negative) press article is also hardly neutral.

Furthermore, the case has now been dropped by the CPS. SJMurdoch 11:16, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Full text of grant of arms[edit]

To All and Singular to whom these Presents shall come Sir Henry Farnham Burke Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath Garter Principal King of Arms and Arthur William Stewart Cochrane Esquire, Member of the Royal Victorian Order Norroy King of Arms Send Greeting Whereas Edith Helen Major, Spinster, Mistress of Girton College in the University of Cambridge, and Master of Arts of Trinity College Dublin, hath represented unto Edmund Bernard Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, One of His Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council and Deputy to the Most Noble Bernard Marmaduke Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England that by Letters Patent under the Great Seal bearing date the twenty fourth day of August that the Members of the Governing Body of Girton College Cambridge should for ever thereafter be one body politic and corporate by the name and style of the Mistress and Governors of Girton College, and by the same name should have perpetual succession and a Common Seal, that the Mistress and Governors of the said College being desirous that their Common Seal should contain fit and proper Armorial Ensigns which should bear suitable allusion of the founders and benefactors of the said college requested the favour of his Lordship’s Warrant for Our granting and assigning such Armorial Ensigns as might be proper to be borne and used by them and their successors upon Seal Shields or otherwise according to the Laws of Arms and forasmuch as His Lordship did by Warrant under this hand and the Seal of the Earl Marshal bearing Warrant dated the twentieth day of December following authorise and direct Us to grant and assign such Armorial Ensigns accordingly Know ye therefore that We the said Garter and Norroy in pursuance of His Lordship’s Warrant and by virtue of the Letters Patent of Our several Offices to each of Us respectively granted do by these Presents grant and assign unto The Mistress and Governors of Girton College the Arms following that is to say: Quarterly Vert and Argent a cross flory countercharged a Roundel Ermine and in the second and third quarters a Crescent Gules, as the same are in the margin here of more plainly depicted to be borne and used for ever, hereafter by the Mistress and Governors of Girton College and by their Successors upon Seals Shields or otherwise according to the Laws of Arms. In witness whereof We the said Garter and Norroy Kings of Arms have to these presents subscribed Our names and affixed the Seals of Our several Offices this fourteenth day of February in the Eighteenth year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord George the Fifth by the Grace of God of Great Britain Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King Defender of the Faith &c. and in the year of Our Lord One thousand nine hundred and twenty eight.[1]

This was quoted fully on the main page; I abbreviated it to the essentials. PeterBrett (talk) 09:14, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Girton College, Cambridge/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Hchc2009 (talk contribs count) 06:25, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Having read through the article, there is still a bit of work that needs to be done on references and citations. Although in general most statements are referenced, there are still a number of outstanding "citation needed" tags in the text which clearly need fixing before the article is ready for GA status. There are also a couple of outstanding "clarification needed" tags with suggest outstanding areas of improvement in the prose. If, the nominator, would like any advice on this, drop me a line here or on my talk page. I'm putting the article on hold for seven days to give them a bit of time to fix these before I carry on with the more detailed review. Hchc2009 (talk) 06:25, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

As per the discussion on my talk page, I'll crack on with the next stage of this review either Thursday or Friday night. Many thanks for the work so far, Hchc2009 (talk) 20:31, 11 September 2011 (UTC)


1. Well-written:

(a) the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct;

Detailed comments:

  • "1869 to 1976: Pioneering for women's education" - generally in this section you need to explain a little bit more - I've gone through the points below, but imagine that the reader's never been to Cambridge, doesn't know how the university and the college work, or what a Tripos exam is: how would you explain the early development of Girton to them?
  • "The wish to improve women's education developed from the early feminist movement in the 1860s..." "The wish"? I'm not convinced this is right, as various individuals before the 1860s had the same idea. "A wish"? "The early feminist movement in the 1860s began to argue for improvements to women's education..."?
  • "In 1862, they met..." Is this the same as the previous reference to a meeting, or a different occasion?
  • "A committee was set up to that effect..." - who set up the committee?
  • "Henry Tomkinson" - you'll need to explain who he was (e.g. "the University administrator Henry Tomkinson", or whatever)
  • "ninety-one girls" - should be "91 girls". Just to check - is "girl" right here? (I wanted to check that we didn't mean women)
  • "This first concession to women's educational rights met relatively little resistance, as admission to the examination did not imply residence of women at the university site." - what did the examination imply? It wasn't clear from the text what the examination was for.
  • "In 1869, Henry Sidgwick helped institute the Examinations for Women, designed to be more challenging than the Poll examinations, which were special examinations for candidates taking an Ordinary instead of an Honours degree,[6] but easier than the Tripos examinations" - I think you'll probably need to explain in this section a little bit about how the university system worked at the time; the Tripos system etc are linked, but its essential for the reader to know what they are to make sense of this sentence.
  • "The college was established..." - This is the first mention of Girton in the main article, so I'd say "Girton College", rather than use "the"
  • "under the name of College for Women at Benslow House, Hitchin, a convenient distance from Cambridge and London" - there's a word or two missing between House and Hitchin.
  • "It was thought to be less 'risky' and controversial to locate the college away from Cambridge in the beginning" - "risky" is a quote, and needs to be ascribed to someone. You probably also want to say "less controversial", to make it clear that the less applies to both bits.
  • "The Pioneers" - probably worth putting it in quotes. Who called them this?
  • "In 1871, with £7000 raised, land for building was to be bought either at Hitchin or near Cambridge" - "£7,000" would be consistent with the later style. Raised from whom? The phrasing is odd here, as you haven't mentioned the fundraising previously.
  • " By 1872, sixteen acres of land from the present site were purchased near the village of Girton" - "at the present site", not "from the present site" (which would need time travel!) :)
  • I'd advise giving modern equivalents for the financial sums (I can help with this if you need me to)
  • and consisted of a single block which comprised the east half of Old Wing." - "comprised" is wrong, as it didn't comprise it at the time. I'd suggest "which would eventually comprise the east half of the Old Wing", or something like that.
  • "At the time, thirteen students were admitted" - did this include the existing students from the old college?
  • "Taylor's Knob, the college laboratory and half of Hospital Wing built" - unclear from the wording what Taylor's Knob was.
  • " Old Kitchens added" - "the Old Kitchens"?
  • "Tower, Chapel and Woodlands Wing" - is this a single wing, or three?
  • You've three short paragraphs all beginning "In..." - I'd consider combining them into a single paragraph.
  • "By summer 1923 the committee completed the task..." either "the committee had completed the task", or "The committee completed the task by summer 1923."
  • "On 27 April 1948, women were admitted to full membership of the University of Cambridge." This needs expanding - how did it happen?
  • "The initial and defining parts" - are these different or the same thing? Also this sentence ends with a semi-colon, not a full stop.
  • "in 1886/1887" - unclear if this means between 1886 and 1887, or if the date is uncertain.
  • "It was considered to be luxurious and comfortable..." - considered by who? (e.g. students, contemporaries, etc.)
  • "Books were gathered mostly through donations." - "acquired mostly through donations"?
  • "son of Paul Waterhouse and grandson of Alfred Waterhouse and Giles Gilbert Scott" - I know they're linked, but it would be helpful to explain in the text why it significant who his father and grandfathers were.
  • "the new library consists" - "consisted"
  • "IT facilities" - IT needs linking or expanding.
  • "was openend" - spelling
  • "the interior is held very simply" - this didn't read quite right to me, especially the "held"
  • "In 1952, the year of the jubilee of the inauguration" - worth linking jubilee for less Anglic readers, or just saying "50th anniversary"
  • "The centre light depicts Our Lord in Majesty..." I'm not convinced you need this entire quote to describe one window, but be happy to discuss.
  • "where it reads that " services" - extra space before services
  • "who is being assisted by student chapel wardens." - "who is assisted by student chapel wardens"

(b) it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.

2. Factually accurate and verifiable:

(a) it provides references to all sources of information in the section(s) dedicated to the attribution of these sources according to the guide to layout;

  • For the books, where there's no ISBN number available, the norm would be to use an OCLC reference rather than an Amazon reference. Have a look here. There's also a template, OCLC xxx which will provide a link.
  • Where a book lacks a publisher (e.g. Lindsay's), you'll need to add "n.p.", or a similar tag, so that its clear that there isn't a publisher, rather than that you just haven't added it! Same with location.
  • The formatting of the "Web primary sources" is unusual for Wikipedia, and to be honest I found it hard to work through, but it meets the requirements of the guide to layout. I'd encourage you to consider one of the more common citations styles on the wiki for web pages, but it meets the GA criteria, with a few minor tweaks required:
  • "English heritage" - check capitalisation
  • "Girton college" - similarly
  • "Girton College librarian, Frances Gandy" - unclear why this isn't "Gandy, Frances, Girton College Library", which would be consistent with the rest of the list.
  • "Kids unlimited" - their website prefers "kidsunlimited"
  • "Girton college (1955). "Notes on the chapel window". Girton Review (Cambridge: Girton college) (Michaelmas term)." Doesn't seem to be a Web page or a primary source.
  • "AELD/JOC/EFR" - could you expand?
  • "Forestry Commission GB" - Normally the Forestry Commission doesn't abbreviate the GB.
  • "Conference Cambridge (2011). "Wolfson court". Retrieved 30 June 2011." - why isn't this with the other primary sources?
  • Check the capitalisation of the titles of the books and articles - the Wiki guidelines require capitalisation of the longer words.

(b) it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines;

Generally fine; a couple of bits are lacking citations:

  • The paragraph "Girton was not officially a college yet..." needs a source of some sort, particularly to support the quotation.
  • "On the Tompkins Table..." - needs a reference.
  • "The Mediterranean collection offers..." - needs a reference, particularly to support the "remarkable" bit
  • "These houses are available for second and third year undergraduates." - lacks a reference
  • "The proper dress of the gown and cap..." onwards lacks any citation
  • "It is used on the most formal occasions..." and the next two quotations lack citations

(c) it contains no original research.

  • None found yet. Hchc2009 (talk) 06:25, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Broad in its coverage:

(a) it addresses the main aspects of the topic;

(b) it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).

Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias.

Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.

Illustrated, if possible, by images:

(a) images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content;

  • Most are fine. The Girton Pioneers.jpg could probably do with a date of death for the author, Verlag A.E. Tuthill. Hchc2009 (talk) 19:38, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

(b) images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.

  • Check the capitalisation on the captions (e.g. "Huntingdon road", and "Wolfson court main entrance"). Hchc2009 (talk) 19:38, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

It's been a few weeks and nothing's been touched, so I'm closing the review. Wizardman Operation Big Bear 17:27, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

First in England?[edit]

Is there a particular reason for calling it the first residential college for women in England? The Girton website claims that it was "Britain's first residential college for women offering an education at degree level." That's both geographically more broad but also more restrictive in the type of college. Is there another one that opened earlier, in Scotland or Wales, but didn't offer degrees? GoldenRing (talk) 12:14, 16 October 2013 (UTC)


Does anyone know of any connection with 'Girton': college or is she buried in the immediate area?

Martin (talk) 17:48, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Site of Girton College.[edit]

According to this site, [2] the area of Girton College is 18.6 hectares. It would seem to be sensible to use the detailed information from Parks and Gardens UK to enhance this article. Any comments or suggestions? Michael Glass (talk) 04:55, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Invitation to Women in Red's Role Models editathon on Women's Colleges[edit]

Please forward this invitation to all potentially interested contacts

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Welcome to... Role Models meetup and online editathon

Facilitated by Women in Red
Help us to spread the news

  • 8 March 2017: In-person meetup at Newnham College, Cambridge University
    Eleanor Sidgwick by James Jebusa Shannon died 1923.jpg
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  • Whole of March: worldwide multi-language online edithon for all
  • Focus: Notable women from women's colleges and related institutions
  • Inform your communities of the need for their support.
  • Contribute in English or in your own language

Apologies for cross-posting and sending in English
(To subscribe: Women in Red/English language list and Women in Red/international list. Unsubscribe: Women in Red/Opt-out list)

--Ipigott (talk) 11:58, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ The text from the original grant quoted by Kóczy (1997)
  2. ^