Colourful Cambridge Campaign


Celebration: Colourful Older Buildings in Cambridge



In this section we celebrate the imaginative use of colour on older buildings in Cambridge. We start, inevitably, with the fine stained glass at Kings College Chapel. Henry VI is said to have laid the foundation stone of the Chapel in 1446, and the building was completed 100 years later during the reign of Henry VIII, with the installation of the stained glass windows. These were made by Flemish craftsmen, and contain what is widely regarded as the finest collection of mediaeval stained glass in the country.

After this fine start, Cambridge was disappointingly lacklustre in its use of colour for the next five hundred years. But if you hunt around you can find examples of the imaginative use of colour on older buildings. We congratulate those who made this happen, and hope that they will provide inspiration to many others to follow their example. Our first group of examples are private houses, in Eastern Street off Mill Road, in Grantchester Street and Merton Street in Newnham, and in the Hills Road.

Our next group of examples are of shops and pubs. Lensfield Road Cycles is bold in blue. Nearby the Cross Keys pub in Brookside brings a splash of bright yellow.

Mill Road offers the rather sober but beautifully lettered greengrocer's shop, and the splendidly unexpected green intervention of the Mill Road Sushi Bar.

Moving from the bohemian edge of the city to its historic core, the mediaeval shops in Magdalene Street have been painted in a traditional range of colours:

Colour in the older parts of Cambridge does not have to be confined to buildings. It can be used to give street furniture a lift. We salute these bright yellow bollards off Station Road:

For our section celebrating the use of colour in newer buildings in Cambridge, please click here: Celebration New.


The Colourful Cambridge Campaign encourages the wider and more imaginative use of colour in Cambridge - on buildings old and new. Our aspiration is to make Cambridge Britain's most colourful city. The Director of the Colourful Cambridge Campaign is Alex Reid, email:


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