Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge Architecture, Historic Building Photos, South East English Design Images

Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

Historic Cambridge Building in south east England, UK design by architect George Basevi.

Fitzwilliam Museum Building

Address: Trumpington St
Date built: 1837-41
George Basevi

Fitwilliam Museum

Fitzwilliam Museum
photo © Adrian Welch

This 19th Century structure is a large and famous Cambridge building just southwest of the city centre.

The museum was founded in 1816 with the legacy of the library and art collection of Richard FitzWilliam, 7th Viscount FitzWilliam. The bequest included £100,000 “to cause to be erected a good substantial museum repository”.

The Fitzwilliam now contains over 500,000 items and is one of the best museums in the United Kingdom. The collection was initially placed in the Perse School building in Free School Lane. It was moved in 1842 to the Old Schools in central Cambridge, which housed the Cambridge University Library.

The “Founder’s Building” was built between 1837 and 1843 to the designs of George Basevi. The structure was completed by English architect C. R. Cockerell.

The decorative carving, pediment and four lions were by William Grinsell Nicholl. The foundation stone of the new building was laid by Gilbert Ainslie in 1837. The museum opened in 1848.

The Palladian Entrance Hall, by Edward Middleton Barry, was completed in 1875. Edward Middleton Barry’s most significant contribution to Great Britain’s architectural legacy is probably the Theatre of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in central London.

A further large bequest was made to the university in 1912 by Charles Brinsley Marlay, including £80,000 and 84 paintings from his private collection. A two-storey extension to the south-east, paid for partly by the Courtauld family, was added in 1931, greatly expanding the space of the museum and allowing research teams to work on site.

The museum buildings and, separately, the boundary along the street frontage, are Grade I listed.

Key buildings nearby include Pembroke College – complete with Chapel by Sir Christopher Wren and the beautiful Foundress Court by architect Eric Parry.

Fitzwilliam Museum – exterior
Fitzwilliam Museum sculpture
photo © Adrian Welch
Henry Moore sculpture

Fitwilliam Museum – 20th Century Gallery, Cambridge
Date built: 1963
Design: David Roberts Architect

Fitwilliam Museum – 20th Century Gallery restoration, Cambridge
Date built: 2006
Design: Donald Insall Associates Ltd

Address: Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RB, UK

Contact: 01223 332 900

Location: Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1RB, England, United Kingdom

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Fitzwilliam College, Huntingdon Road
Date built: 1959-60 (-67)
Design: Sir Denys Lasdun Architect
Fitzwilliam College
photo © AW

Fitzwilliam College
Allies & Morrison completed the Fitzwilliam College Gatehouse & Auditorium in 2004. MacCormac Jamieson Architects and Van Heyningen & Haward have also designed buildings at Fitzwilliam College.

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