Owlstone Croft

Queen's College Cambridge
Throughout the years

The site

The Owlstone Croft site has evolved over time, with various uses and building extensions occurring over the centuries. During the nineteenth century, the site was home to Owlstone Croft House alongside a pair of cottages forĀ theĀ gardener and coachman.

Between the 1920s and the 1940s, site owner Theodore Fyfe, Professor of Architecture at the University, undertook a series of extensions to the main house and outbuildings. In the late 1940s, Addenbrooke's Hospital purchased the site for use as a Nurses Hostel, and additional single-storey extensions were built. The construction of Block B followed in the 1950s, and a new single-storey structure was subsequently built in the 1960s.

Owlstone Croft was purchased by Queens' in the late 1980s, and the building was gradually renovated, culminating in a full refurbishment of Block B in 2001. The Porter’s Lodges was formed from the two cottages. Most recently, in 2014, the disused dining room attached to Block A was converted to new en-suite student accommodation, and the old nurses' training school began conversion to a college nursery with student accommodation on the upper floors.

Today, the Owlstone campus provides 102 bed spaces for students spread across Blocks A, B, and D, as illustrated by the existing site plan. The Porters Lodge is located in the site's south-west corner, adjacent to Block D and the nursery site. The proposed development area currently houses cycle storage facilities and a lawn area.

Throughout the years
These maps show the transition of the site from the late 19th century to present day.

Existing site plan

Existing site plan - click to enlarge

Owlstone today - our vision

The site's history exemplifies the intermittent nature of development that has occurred to date, through a series of extensions that have been gradually added over time. The Owlstone Croft site therefore offers an exciting opportunity to deliver a scheme that will leave a lasting legacy for the College, building on the historic precedent of the original Owlstone Croft House and providing a consistent design approach across the campus.

Our vision is to build high-quality postgraduate homes that provide an inspiring study and community space for our student community, incorporate 21st-century sustainable features, and respect and integrate with our local community and neighbours.

Is there a need for additional student accommodation at Owlstone Croft?

Additional postgraduate student housing is required to meet current demand and to cover some of Queens' College's shortfall. Students will live in the new residence halls on campus for a minimum of one year. This is consistent with Local Plan policy 46, which states that new student accommodation will be permitted if it meets the identified needs of an existing educational institution within the City of Cambridge in providing housing for students enrolled in full-time courses lasting one academic year or more. The college has been actively involved in pre-application discussions with Cambridge City Council and a Planning Performance agreement is in place.

To find out more information about the plans, please visit the Proposals page.