Science Interviews


Sun, 3rd Aug 2008

Queens' College

Sarah Castor-Perry

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Science on the River - A Punt Down the Cam

Queens’ College was founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou, the wife of Henry VI and then re-founded in 1456 by the wife of Edward IV – hence it’s name – and is one of only two colleges in Cambridge that have buildings on both sides of the river, the other being St John’s. It also has the oldest building on the river Cam, the President’s Lodge, which was built in the 15th Century.Mathematical Bridge

Here we’re just about to go under Mathmatical bridge, which spans the river between the new and old parts of Queens’. It’s the only wooden bridge on the Cam and it’s held together by metal bolts. There’s a bit of a legend about this bridge which often gets told to tourists, which is that it was originally built by Isaac Newton without any bolts at all. His design was apparently so perfect that the bridge supported itself. The story goes that some students took the bridge apart to see how it worked but then they couldn’t put it back together again and had to resort to using metal bolts. Sadly this is not true, as the bridge was in fact first built 22 years after Newton’s death! Although it has been rebuilt twice in the history of the college, it has always had these metal bolts in its design.


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