Founded 1347 by Marie de St Pol, Countess of Pembroke. Named Marie Valence Hall changed name to Pembroke Hall some time before 1856. Sister College – Queen’s College Oxford. Men and Women – Undergraduates 430 Postgraduates 250.
When Pembroke was originally established, on Christmas Eve 1347, it had a preference for gifted students born in France and disapproved strongly of excessive drinking and the frequenting of disreputable houses. It was founded by Marie de St Pol, widow of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, under license granted by Edward III. The institution was originally known as the Hall of Valence Mary, later renamed Pembroke Hall and then became Pembroke College in 1856.
One of the universities top performers
Today Pembroke is just as focused on high academic achievement, placing great importance on providing an environment that fosters success. Students not only enjoy intellectual challenges, but also encouraged to engage in the extra curricular activities such as music, sport and drama. The college has a consistent track record of being one of the university’s top performers. Applications are now en-couraged from all quarters with an intake of 57% from state schools and a roughly even gender divide, women being first admitted in 1983. There are 250 postgraduates and 430 undergraduates.
Youngest ever British prime minister, William Pitt the Younger, studied at Pembroke and resided until elected as an MP in 1780, eventually becoming PM in 1783. Pembroke Women’s College at Brown University U.S.A. was named after the Cambridge establishment.
Pembroke is the third oldest in the university and one of the wealthiest, occupying a large and architecturally varied site, just a 5-minute walk from the market square. It has trad...
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...library, a new hall, a new masters lodge and the residential block known as the Red Building in neo-Gothic. George Gilbert Scott, the younger, added the hybrid free-form classical New Court in the 1880’s, complete with angels, grotesques and curly Dutch gables above windows. The red-brick Tudor style Pitt building, finished in 1907, is by Trinity educated W.D. Caroe described as a ‘...consummate master of building according to medieval precedent’. The crisp modern buildings, stripped of detail, standing in the southeast corner with a hint of classical form and volume is Foundress Court, completed in 1997.
Accommodation varies according to cost and is provided for all first years on site, with subsequent years housed in offsite rooms. The college has five times as many applicants as places and offers successful students a supportive no-nonsense approach to education.