Clare College Cambridge changes 'colony' name over slavery connotation

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Clare College in CambridgeImage source, Christopher Hilton/Geograph
Image caption,
Clare College said the name The Colony was no longer suitable for its student accommodation

Part of a Cambridge University college known for decades as The Colony has been renamed, as it had "connotations which do not reflect the values of the college", a spokesman said.

The accommodation at Clare College has been "re-designated as Castle Court".

The college said it had become "increasingly clear that the informal name for the site" was not suitable.

A number of other Cambridge colleges have made changes because of links or perceived links to slavery.

The student accommodation - The Colony, now Castle Court - is situated between Castle Street and Chesterton Lane in Cambridge.

Image source, Fractal Angel/Geograph
Image caption,
The college said the accommodation was known informally as The Colony

A Clare College 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 re-designated as Castle Court."

A representative of the JCR committee, the undergraduate student body at Clare College, said: "The undergrads welcome this change that we worked with college towards."

Other Cambridge University colleges have made, or tried to make alterations to names or to items with links to the slave trade and colonialism.

Recently, Jesus College failed in its bid to relocate a memorial to a benefactor who invested in the slave trade.

But last year the same college made headlines when it returned a looted bronze cockerel to representatives of Nigeria, which had been taken by British colonial forces in 1897 and given to the college in 1905.

In 2019, St Catharine's College removed a historic bell from view amid fears it had links to the slave trade.

The Demerara Bell was donated by a former student who went on to work for a sugar company in British Guiana.

Also in 2019, Cambridge University launched its own investigation into its historical links with slavery, to examine how it might have gained financially.

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