This film is part of Free

Town and Gown

Focusing on each town’s university colleges, main streets, gardens, statues and memorials with a narration of the history of the buildings, notable scholars, and traditions.

Documentary 1937 17 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


The graduation anthem, Gaudeamus Igitur accompanies the title sequence to this guided tour of the two university cities, first Oxford then Cambridge, and also the Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester. In Oxford the students carry their caps and gowns in the street to avoid breaking college regulations if they choose to smoke, and in Cambridge we learn that on many maps the river changes its name at the Silver Street Bridge and is called Granta above and Cam below it.

In Oxford, ‘little changed through the centuries’, we visit Magdelen College and its Tower which was built by Wolsey and stands at the end of the High Street, the University Church of St Mary’s, Queens College, St Johns College, the Martyrs’ Memorial, Worcester College founded by Benedictine monks, Folly Bridge over the River Thames to Christ Church, and Wren’s Tom Tower named after the bell, Great Tom. In Cambridge, ‘a more intimate city’, the sights include King's College Chapel, Peterhouse – the first college founded in Cambridge, Jesus College, King's Parade, St John's College, Trinity College with its famous fountain, punting on the Backs, and the picturesque village of Granchester.