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Disability Resource Centre


Contact Details

Trumpington Street,
Cambridge, CB2 1RD
01223 338 200

Access Issues

Mr Ian Wright , Bursar
01223 338 214

Location, Services and Transport

A five minute walk to the city centre, Downing Site, and New Museums Site. A 15 minute walk to the Sidgwick Site and University Library, via Silver Street. Close to Old Addenbrooke's Site and the Fitzwilliam Museum.


Trumpington Street is busy road with many bicycles.  There are uneven paving slabs, and the 17th Centry Hobson's Conduit runs along the sides of the road with regular crossing slabs.  There are a number of crossing places along the road, including a zebra crossing near the main entrance and puffin crossings by Fitzbillies and Saint Peter's Terrace.. The junction with Pembroke Street and Silver Street is dangerous. Little St Mary's Lane provides a quieter access to the College.

Services and shops

Peterhouse is a five minute walk from the City centre with its many services and shops. There are a number of restaurants, cafes and shops on Trumpington Street.


A college car park is situated the other side of Trumpington Street, there is also limted parking on the main College site and at some of our graduate houses off site. Disabled students could obtain a permit.

Other transport options

There are a number of bus stops down Trumpington Street including Little St Mary's Lane and outside the Fitzwilliam Museum

General Information

Peterhouse is a mixed gender College with around 260 undergraduates and 130 postgraduates. It is the oldest College and also the smallest.  Almost all buildings are listed, making disabled access modifications rather complicated, but ramps exist around the College site with more work planned for some key areas of the College to improve accessibility.  A ‘buddy’ system is encouraged, whereby students with access needs have someone on hand to help if necessary.


There is no smoking in any College building, including student rooms.  Designated smoking areas exist between the Hall and the Deer Park.

Medical facilities

The nurse holds two-hour surgery Monday to Friday during full term (tel. 01223 338222).  There are two large steps up to sick bay.

Emergency procedures

The porters are on site 24/7; advise the Porters' Lodge if help is needed evacuating in an emergency.  Three evacuation chairs are in key places on site.  Individual plans can be drawn up as required and safety information is given to all visitors..

Accommodation and Catering

Wheelchair-accessible rooms

The College has three accessible rooms; all are en-suite.  The Whittle building also has an accessible gyp room for the preparation of snacks and light meals.

Other rooms

The College has a number of rooms are on ground floor, and others are accessible by lift. Many rooms have washbasins, and there are a small number of rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Live-in assistants and assistance dogs

The College will do its best to meet the needs of individuals and consider each case individually.  It may be possible to accommodate live-in assistants or assistance dogs, and the College would carefully and constructively consider all such requests.

Early induction and vacation stays

Early induction is possible where needed.  Vacation residence can be arranged with special requirements given due consideration.

Catering arrangements

Students are encouraged to eat in Hall; the College has a catering charge and students pay for meals via their student card, which is topped up online.  Three meals are served each weekday in hall with brunch and dinner on Saturday and dinner on Sunday.  Self-catering is possible, but many gyp rooms are small with limited facilities.

Special diets

Most special diets can be accommodated with advance notice.  Please speak to the catering manager regarding special diets and allergies.

Physical Access

College grounds in general

There is level access to main entrance, but over a large, very worn (and listed) paving slab, which may be difficult for some wheelchairs.  There is level access via Little St Mary's Lane and St. Peter’s Terrace and all through the College gardens.  The College does have slabbed paving and cobbles, but there are ramps over doorways for access.

College buildings in general

Many Peterhouse buildings and staircases have one step up or down, and many doors are narrow and awkward; many of these steps have ramps.  Accessibility has, and continues to be, a priority and improvements continue to be implemented, both at the point of any refurbishment within the College, and also as individual stand-alone projects where possible.


The new JCR will be in a basement, but will be accessible via a lift.  The MCR can be accessed via a small step.


There is level access through F staircase entrance. It is spacious inside and staff will help carry trays.  Eating area in hall – benches with space for wheelchairs at table ends.


There are several steps, both at entrance and within chapel, which are ramped.  Fixed pews with steps for access, but room for wheelchairs inside.  Dim lighting and narrow spaces due to age of building.

College offices

Tutorial office down one step, and most other College offices up four steps. Staff are happy to meet elsewhere on arrangement.  Most Fellow’s offices and supervision rooms up at least one or two steps, but supervisions will be moved to a room with level access on arrangement.

Common rooms

JCR in the Whittle building with ramped access and lift to basement.  MCR has ramped entrance from Old Court.

Computer facilities

There is level access to computer room with University card.  All rooms are networked with full wireless access.

Dining hall

There is level access through low, narrow doors.  Small interior with narrow fixed benches, some of which are raised up a small step, but wheelchair access easy at end of tables.  Ramped access through low, narrow door, from garden.

Fellows' areas

SCR has ramped access up a small step from Old Court.  Level interior, with moveable furniture and toilets accessible up several stairs.


The Deer Park and Scholars' garden have level and accessible gravel paths and lawns with some benches in the centre of the grounds.


There is a coin-operated laundry in Fen Court basement, which is accessible by a long ramp.


There is level access through automatic doors, with University card entry and push-button exit from 9-5 on weekdays, and through side entrance via ramp from 5-12pm and during weekends.  The ground level is accessible, with plenty of workspace; the upper floor has stair and lift access. The library is staffed in office hours with student librarians outside office hours; staff will help as necessary.

Porters' lodge and post room

Level access from Old Court; small step directly from the street.  Fairly low, open counter.

Sport facilities

The gym is located downstairs in the Whittle building, accessible by lift.  Sports grounds at Grantchester Road, shared with Pembroke College.


Disabled toilets in library, next to the bar in the Whittle building and on first floor of F staircase, near the lift.


  • Theatre has ramped access and four designated wheelchair spaces. Two disabled bays outside, entered off Little St Mary's Lane.
  • Lubbock room, near theatre, has ramped access and moveable furniture.
  • Upper hall on F staircase has level access from the lift, and a disabled toilet nearby. Most other function rooms are up stairs.
  • Two manual wheelchairs are available to borrow, from the sick bay.

Visual Impairments

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs welcome.

Computer facilities

Special hardware or software for visually impaired users could be acquired if necessary.

Large print, Braille and audio

Large print letters and information on request.

Library and magnification equipment

Magnifying glass and photocopier available for text enlargement. Extra lights are available for individual desks.

Signs and wayfinding

Very few signs, except to the theatre. Map available from Porters.


  • Many areas of the College grounds have poor lighting at night. Beware steps that are unmarked and do not have handrails.
  • Chapel is extremely dim, due to heavily coloured stained glass windows. Beware the hidden steps and thresholds and take care on uneven floor levels.
  • Dining is by candlelight, and there is little natural or artificial lighting in the hall.

Hearing Impairments

Induction loops

Induction loops in lodge, cafeteria and theatre. Portable loop available in lodge.


Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans are made on an individual basis with the support of Tutorial.


  • Four student rooms have been adapted for hearing impaired students.
  • Chapel is small, but rather echoey.
  • Bar is small, and when loud music is played it can be very noisy.
  • Library is carpeted, softly furnished and quiet.

Specific Learning Difficulties and Mental Health Issues

Arrangements for students with Specific Learning Difficulties are on an individual basis, in conjunction with the Disability Resource Centre. Examination arrangements are made through the Tutorial Office.  Discuss any needs with your tutor.

Planned Access Improvements

The College has undergone a significant review of accessibility over recent months and will continue to work with the DRC, County Council, and student body to ensure appropriate facilities are in place to meet the needs of all our students, staff, and visitors, within the confines of a wide range of buildings; most of which are listed.

  • Ramped access to the William Stone Building (subject to planning permission)

  • Access to the Master’s Lodge (subject to planning permission)

  • Improved access to Guest Rooms

Other adaptations can be made on request where this is possible.

The information on this page is the responsibility of Peterhouse.  The DRC updates information as it is received from the college.  This page was last updated on 8th August 2018.  To ensure the information contained here is current, please check with Peterhouse (Admissions Office, Tutorial Office, Accommodation Office, JCR Disabilities and Illnesses Officer).