News and Updates
18 October 2017
Swirles Court officially opened
On Saturday 14 October, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Professor Stephen J Toope, and the Mistress of Girton College, Professor Susan J Smith, opened Swirles Court.
Girton, known for its pioneering spirit, is the first Cambridge College to establish a base in Eddington.
Around 150 College members, alumni and invited guests gathered on the lawn in the heart of the purpose built graduate complex to mark the opening of Swirles Court.
A model of sustainable accommodation, with state of the art facilities, this purpose-built postgraduate-focused complex is linked by a new network of cycle routes to Girton, West Cambridge, central Cambridge, the Sidgwick site and, with a following wind, all the way to Addenbrooke’s.
Swirles Court is named after Girton Alumna, Fellow and Benefactor, Dr Bertha Swirles (Lady Jeffreys); an influential mathematician and physicist, she is just one of seven Girton alumnae whose names are inscribed in the landscape at Eddington.
Swirles Court includes 325 en-suite rooms, fully equipped shared kitchens-living rooms, laundry facilities, secure indoor cycle storage for all residents, social and study space, allotments, and beautifully landscaped grounds.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Professor Stephen J Toope said: “I am encouraged – thrilled – that Girton is taking this pioneering step to create a college presence in Eddington. It is a reminder that the University and the Colleges together can create something much greater than the sum of their parts. I am certain that our continuing success will depend on partnerships of the type we are witnessing here.”
Professor Susan J Smith, Mistress of Girton College said: “Who would have thought, when the first resident graduate student arrived at Girton in 1901, that she would pave the way to a 325-room purpose-built, graduate-focused facility to enable us to deliver our part in the University’s vision for the future?
We can now underline the fact that Girton is fully a graduate college… just as we are fully an undergraduate college, and a College determined to embrace the University’s growing body of postdoctoral researchers, many living in Eddington.”
Swirles Court, a graduate complex at the heart of Eddington has been designed by architects R H Partnership, and is part of the University of Cambridge’s North West Cambridge Development. The first phase of the development opened in 2017 and includes 700 homes for University and College staff, 700 market homes, community facilities including the University of Cambridge Primary School, Sainsbury’s supermarket and shops, as well as parklands and sports pitches. The development will meet high levels of sustainability.
Girton College was Founded in 1869 as the first UK residential institution for the Higher Education of Women. Today, having been mixed for nearly 40 years, and with an almost 50:50 gender balance, Girton retains a commitment to inclusion and diversity, and is known for its success in widening participation.
One of the larger Cambridge Colleges overall, admitting students to almost every subject in the University, Girton is growing its graduate school. Expanding into NW Cambridge and enlarging its residential offer is part of this. Equally the College is committed to supporting the work and wellbeing of its graduate members, providing personal tutors, interdisciplinary opportunities, and help with transferable and life skills.
Girton students who reside at Swirles Court are full College members. As well as enjoying the attractions of North-west Cambridge, they have ready access to everything on offer at the main-site, including formal and cafeteria dining and (from 2018) an all-day café, bar and social hub. There are 50 acres of gardens and grounds, some of the best on-site sports facilities of any College (football, rugby, cricket, hockey, lawn tennis, squash, gym, erg-room and an indoor heated pool), fine public rooms, study space, a well-stocked library and archive, and an incomparable range of musical opportunities including a mixed voice chapel choir, and various classical and popular instrumental ensembles.