- Trinity Great Court
Great Court is the main court of
Trinity College, Cambridge, and reputed to be the largest enclosed court in Europe.
The court was completed by
Thomas Nevile, master of the college, in the early years of the 17th century, when he rearranged the existing buildings to form a single court.
Starting in the northeast corner at E staircase, in which
Isaac Newtonhad his rooms, and moving clockwise, one first reaches the Porters' Lodge and Great Gate, begun in 1490 as the entrance to King's Hall and completed in 1535. The Great Gate is home to the famous statue of founder Henry VIII whose sceptrewas replaced by a chair leg by students in the 19th century. Next comes the East Range, and staircases F-K (with J omitted out of tradition) that contain the college bursaryand rooms principally housing fellows of the college. Staircase I leads to Angel Court, containing rooms for students and fellows, and to the college bar.
The South Range runs from staircases L-Q with rooms for students and fellows, with Queen's Gate (named after Elizabeth I) as its centrepiece. R staircase can be found in a passage leading to New Court, while S staircase is on the left in the passage leading past the Hall into Nevile's Court. The West Range is dominated by the Great Hall, the college's dining hall modelled on that of
Middle Temple, and the Master's Lodge.
The fourth side begins with staircases A-C, before reaching King's Gate (also called Edward III Gateway), and the entrance to the oldest part of the college, the remaining surviving buildings of King's Hall. King's Gate also houses the famous clock that chimes every 15 minutes and strikes the hour twice. Originally built on the site of the current sundial in the middle of the court, Nevile moved it 20 metres north when completing the court.
In the centre of the court is an ornate fountain, built during Nevile's time, and traditionally fed by a pipe from Conduit Head in west Cambridge.
The Great Court Run
Many have tried to run the 367 metres around the court in the 43 seconds that it takes to strike 12 o'clock (actually 24 chimes due to an odd old tradition), a feat recreated in the 1981 film "
Chariots of Fire" (though filmed in Eton Collegenot Trinity). Known as the Great Court Run, students traditionally attempt to complete the circuit on the day of the Matriculation Dinner. Only three people are believed to have actually completed the run in the time. Two of these are Lord Burghley in 1927 and Sebastian Coe when he beat Steve Cramin a charity race in October 1988, though this latter claim is somewhat dubious.
Sebastian Coe's time on 29 October 1988 was reported by Norris McWhirter to have been 45.52 seconds, but it was actually 46.0 seconds (confirmed by the video tape), while Cram's was 46.3 seconds. The clock on that day took 44.4 seconds (i.e. a "long" time, probably two days after the last winding) and the video film confirms that Coe was some 12 meters short of his finish line when the fateful final stroke occurred. The television commentators were more than a little disingenuous in suggesting that the dying sounds of the bell could be included in the striking time, thereby allowing Coe's run to be claimed as successful.
It must be noted that this conflicts with Trinity College's website, which states:
"In October 1988 the race was recreated for charity by Britain's two foremost middle-distance runners, Sebastian Coe and Steve Cram. Daley Thompson, the decathlete, was a reserve. Coe won, getting round in 42.53 seconds. Alas, he didn't quite beat the chimes, as the clock had been wound the day before, and the chimes ran somewhat faster than their usual 43 seconds because of the extra turn of rope on the drum."
In 2007, Sam Dobin (a second year undergraduate economist studying at Trinity) also 'beat' the clock in a time of 42.77s, improving on his 3rd place finish the previous year. Dobin's achievement received national newspaper coverage which reported it as the fastest time in the history of the race, beating Burghley and Coe's efforts. However it must be noted that the route taken by competitors around the court has changed over the years, thus making the accomplishment much more attainable. The current route - running on the cobbles rather than the path - cuts the distance down to 341.6m (the perimeter of the grass) as opposed to the commonly mistaken distance of 367m (the perimeter of the court itself). This reduces the pace required from Olympic to a level manageable by hundreds of good club athletes across the country.
In 2001 the race was won by Adrian Hemery, son of the famous 400m hurdler and Olympic Champion David Hemery. Adrian was succeeded by his friend and training partner Mike Collins in 2002.
Recent winners:2001: Adrian Hemery2002: Mike Collins2003: Huw Watson (AUS)2004: Calum Nicholson2005: Chris Wilson2006: Dany Gammall2007: Sam Dobin
It is interesting to note that the two men who are reckoned to have achieved the Great Court Run prior to 2007, David Cecil and Sebastian Coe, both achieved the multiple distinctions of Olympic Champion, Member of both Houses of Parliament, and Chairman of London Olympics Organising Committee (David Cecil, 1948 Olympics; Sebastian Coe, 2012 Olympics).
The final part of the court is completed by the chapel, begun by Mary I in 1554 in memory of her father. The ante-chapel contains statues of many famous Trinity men, including Roubiliac's sculpture of
Isaac Newton, and the altarpiece is Benjamin West's "St Michael and the Devil".
The chapel contains a fine organ built by the Swiss firm of Metzler in 1975 - one of only two instruments by this respected maker in Great Britain. It is contained within the restored late seventeenth-century case built by perhaps England's most famous organ builder "Father" Smith. The Metzler organ incorporates some surviving pipes from this instrument.
The exact dimensions of the four sides of Great Court are:
* South - 87.8m
* West - 105.2m
* North - 78.3m
* East - 99.4mwhich enclose an area of approximately 1.8 acres (7300 square metres).
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/cambridgeshire/360/trinity_college_court.shtml Panorama of the Great Court]
* [http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php?pageid=378 Great Court Run]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Great Court — There are two places called Great Court, both in the United Kingdom:* Trinity Great Court at Trinity College, Cambridge, and * Queen Elizabeth II Great Court at the British Museum, London.It is also the name of one of the ruins of ancient Baalbek … Wikipedia
Trinity College, Cambridge — Not to be confused with Trinity Hall, Cambridge. For other institutions named Trinity College, see Trinity College (disambiguation). Colleges of the University of Cambridge Trinity College … Wikipedia
Trinity College (Cambridge) — Trinity College, Cambridge … Deutsch Wikipedia
Trinity College (Cambridge) — Para otros usos de este término, véase Trinity College. Escudo del Trinity College. El Trinity College es uno de los colleges que constituyen la Universidad de Cambridge en Cambridge, Inglaterra. El Trinity College tiene más miembros … Wikipedia Español
Trinity College, Dublin — The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin Coláiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath Coláiste Thríonóid Naofa Neamhroinnte na Banríona Eilís gar do Bhaile Átha Cliath Latin … Wikipedia
Trinity Bellwoods Park — is located on the west side of downtown Toronto, Ontario Canada, bordered by Queen Street West on the south and Dundas Street on the north. The western boundary of the park is Crawford Street, running north to within a short block of Dundas,… … Wikipedia
Trinity Grammar School (New South Wales) — Infobox Aust school private name = Trinity Grammar School motto = la. Detur Gloria Soli Deo (Latin: Give glory God alone ) established = 1913cite web |url=http://www.seek.com.au/advhomes/deborah xuereb/3501024 1.htm |title=Trinity Grammar School… … Wikipedia
Trinity House — Coordinates: 51°30′36″N 0°04′37″W / 51.51°N 0.077°W / 51.51; 0.077 … Wikipedia
Trinity University (Texas) — Infobox University name=Trinity University motto=E Tribus Unum ( From Three, One ) established=1869 type=Private president=John R. Brazil city=San Antonio state=Texas country=United States undergrad=2,487 postgrad=231 endowment = US$991,112,000… … Wikipedia
Court Farm, Pembrey — The barn at Court Farm, Pembrey Court Farm in Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, Wales, is an ancient and formerly imposing manor house which is now an overgrown ruin, but structurally sound, and capable of repair and restoration. It consists of three… … Wikipedia