Privileges at Corpus Christi, Cambridge University

I remember how quickly the porter came to protect the lawn. The lawn, the beautifully kept lawn that no one was allowed to walk or stand on. Oh the poor student thought he was being funny by placing his foot sneakily on a few strands of grass, and now he, his friends, and some trailing teaching staff were witnessing the full rage of one of the Corpus Christi porters. 

Beyond the large gate doors of Cambridge University’s Corpus Christi College, set beyond the New Court lawn sits its striking Chapel. After gaining entrance from the Porter’s Lodge, approach the lawn and turn left, follow the path until you find the access to the Old Court. As you wander around, consider that for over 600 years the surrounding buildings have housed some of the world’s greatest minds. But a warning, always be careful that you do not sit, stand, or walk on the lawns for these activities are for the privileged few. 

Over three summers I taught on an academic programme held at Corpus Christi. It wasn’t affiliated to the university or college but there were many of their rules we had to abide by, the lawn prohibition being the most memorable. Over the years the college had relaxed the lawn rules to appease the students of this particular programme so by the time I arrived the rules were the following:

– New Court lawn is strictly forbidden to sit, stand, or walk on.

– Old Court lawn is open to staff and students between 10am – 4pm only.

– Standing, sitting, and walking on the lawn is permitted HOWEVER it is not acceptable to walk across it as a thoroughfare.

– Disobeying these rules will result in all current and future students being banned completely from the lawn.

Corpus Christi may be rooted in its old fashioned hierarchical structures, but I cherished those summers. I taught subjects I’m passionate about to happy, motivated teenagers in a gorgeous campus. The rules surrounding the lawn will never be far from those memories though!

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