Cambridge University college to rename accommodation over historic links to slave trade

The accommodation name came under question following slavery links

Published

A Cambridge University college has renamed a halls of residence over concerns regarding its name's relation to slavery.

Clare College Cambridge renamed "The Colony" as Castle Court as the nickname for the accommodation did not "reflect the values of the college" following slavery connotations.

A spokesperson said: "It has become increasingly clear that the informal name for the site between Chesterton Lane and Castle Street has connotations which do not reflect the values of the college.

“The site is therefore being redesignated as Castle Court.”

Clare College Cambridge changed the name of a halls or residence following slavery connotations
Clare College Cambridge changed the name of a halls or residence following slavery connotations

The announcement follows a campaign from Jesus College Cambridge, who removed a memorial plaque to Tobias Rustat, a college benefactor and investor in the slave trade, from its chapel.

The college battled with the Church of England in a consistory court case in February to remove the memorial to an alternative space but subsequently lost the case.

The college returned a Benin Bronze - a sculpture of a cockerel - to Nigeria's National Commission for Museums and Monuments in 2021.

In 2019, St Catherine's College removed the Demerara bell from public view as it was believed it was used on a slave plantation in Guyana.

Cambridge University created an advisory group on the legacy of slavery at the university in the same year, researching the institutions involvement in the Atlantic slave trade and other historical forms of coerced or indentured labour.

A statement said: “While it may be impossible to definitively establish the full extent of the university’s involvement, a growing understanding of that involvement should be central to the university’s efforts to address some of the structural inequalities that are a legacy of enslavement."