skip to content

Cambridge University Library


The present Senate House was completed in 1730 to plans by James Gibbs and James Burrough, with woodwork by James Essex the Elder and a plaster ceiling by Artari and Bagutti. Many previous schemes for an academic theatre (and for other buildings to extend or replace the Old Schools ) had come and gone and the issue was finally forced by the addition of the books of Bishop John Moore to the University Library , necessitating the library’s expanding into the room, now the University Combination Room , which had previously served as the Regent and Non-Regent Houses as well as the official meeting place of the Senate . That room had long since proved too small for large-scale university functions, and such events as commencement had reverted to their original location in the University Church .