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Senate House and Old Schools, Cambridge University

Senate House

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Detail of the entablature. The frieze course with modillions and coffers restored 1999.
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Restored modillion of the pediment with raking treatment.
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John H. at work on a patera, one of four alternating designs, with reference material as a guide.
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One of the urns decorating the Senate House. First turned to section on a lathe, then gadrooned by the masons, and finally ornamental details added by carvers.
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The Old School facade. A classical frontage masking a medieval building behind.
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The restored urns, a mixture of newly carved sections incorporated with the original where not too severely weathered.
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Workshop view. Note the original urn section on the left used as reference with the restored detail modelled back onto the weathered surfaces.
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A restored urn incorporating an original top section.
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The Senate House Quadrangle. A classical vision of Cambridge contrasting with the Gothic splendour of the adjacent King's College Chapel.
Description of Project

The Senate House is the ceremonial centre of the University of Cambridge, where new graduates receive their degrees. Designed by James Gibbs in 1722 it is conceived as a classical temple of the Corinthian order. The entablature is highly decorated with dentils, egg and dart, waterleaf and acanthus modillions interspersed with paterae. The major restoration of the roofline in 1999 was a great opportunity for us carvers to get really familiar with this style as much of the detail was renewed. This project won the Stone Federation Award for Restoration in 2000.

The Old Schools facade, set at right angles to the Senate House to form 2 sides of a classical quadrangle was designed by Wright in 1754. Restoration of the parapets in 1995 called for recarving of the urns and vases set above the die stones.


Senate House

Senate House

Category: Stone carving | Restoration | 18th Century Classical

Date: 1995-1999
Material: Portland Stone

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