Computer Laboratory

Treasure Trail: Historical Places of Computer Science in Cambridge    

You can pick up a map and guide from the Economics Deparment at any time during the day, or you can arrive at 1045 for a guided tour. The guided tour will arrive at the Computer Lab at 1330.  At 1415 journalist and writer Bill Thompson will be giving a lecture in our anniversary series, which you are also invited to attend. The lecture, titled "The 10 Cultures Problem", will take place in Lecture Theatre 1 of the Computer Laboratory from 1415-1515.


An online map is available at You can also download a brochure here

There will be further information at each site mentioned. Many parts of the trail can be followed independently on any day. Events happening on May 27 alone are shown in bold.

Note: The talk is taking place during the University's examination period, so colleges will be closed to non-members.


Faculty of Economics, Sidgwick Site, Sidgwick Avenue

Demonstration of the MONIAC Analogue Hydraulic Computer Demo by Dr. Allan McRobie, Economics Department at 10:00, 11:00 and 11:30


The Mathematical Bridge, visible from Silver Street

A famous Cam landmark, which was neither designed nor built by Isaac Newton.


Former home of DAMTP, visible through alley off Silver Street

Formerly the workplace of Professor Stephen Hawking


St Botolph's Church, corner of Silver Street and Trumpington Street

An unusual double sundial


Olivetti/AT&T Research Labs, old Addenbrooke's Site, Trumpington Street

Site of a great deal of important research, including the active badge and other work in pervasive computing.


Foundress Court Sundial, Pembroke College, visible from Tennis Court Road

A modern sundial


Site of the Bun Shop pub, corner of Downing Street and Corn Exchange Street (now part of Grand Arcade)

A favourite with computer scientists, including Roger Needham, former head of department and founding director of Microsoft Research, Cambridge


New Museums Site

The site of the old Mathematical Laboratory and the EDSAC, commemorated with a plaque near the Babbage Lecture Theatre


Site of the Trojan Room and the Cambridge Coffee Pot, in the New Museums Site. Cambridge Coffee Pot and the Story of the Trojan Room Coffee Pot by Quentin Stafford-Fraser


The old Cavendish Laboratory, visible from Free School Lane

The research laboratory where the electron and neutron were discovered


The Eagle, Bene't Street

Another favourite pub with computer scientists, also notable as a regular haunt for Francis Crick and James Waston when they were working on the structure of DNA/


King's College, King's Parade

Alan Turing was one of the notable computer scientists to have been a Fellow at King's


6a King's Parade (now the meditation centre)

Formerly offices for Sinclair Research and Acorn Computers, among others.


Trinity College, Trinity Street,

Where Isaac Newton worked.


St John's College, St John's Street

College of Sir Maurice Wilkes and Roger Needham


The Castle, Castle Street

Another haunt of computer scientists -- there may be a theme emerging -- and notable as the place where the 'xen hypervisor' was named


Mount Pleasant House

Home of many startups especially those associated with Hermann Hauser and Andy Hopper.

This is a good point to take a taxi or bus to the Cavendish Laboratory


Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road

Where Andrew Wylie presented his solution to Fermat's Last Theorem


Cavendish Laboratory

Qubit Quantum Computing Demo by Dr. David Williams in the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory at 11:30, 12:00, and 12:30
Dasher Demo and Exhibition in the Physics Dept. lobby


Computer Laboratory

A number of exhibitions and displays will be taking place during the day:

History of Computer Laboratory

The Door: display of the original door of Mathematical Department (the common room on 1st floor)

The Trojan Room Coffee Pot (the world's first webcam): BBC News in 1994

EDSAC Demo (Video: Martin Richards - EDSAC Simulation in BCPL)

EDSAC papers by David Wheeler(Initial Orders for EDSAC)

Exhibition of archived research papers (Computer Laboratory Library )

Relics Project - Virtual Exhibition

CAP project (at the entrance hall)

Refreshments are available in the Cafe

Lecture: The 10 Cultures Problem (1415, Lecture Theatre 1)