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Griphon House

Downing College, Regent Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB2 1DQ

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Access Guide

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Getting To and Around Downing College

  • Arriving By Car or Bike View
    • Downing College is situated in Cambridge city centre. The vehicle entrance to the campus is located in Regent Street. There are various Park and Ride schemes for people who would prefer to not drive into central Cambridge.
    • Downing College has limited on-site car parking. The main parking area is located along North Range where there are 5 Blue Badge parking pays. There are some Fellows' parking bays in the area behind the Lord Butterfield Bar & Café but they were blocked off at the time of the survey. The College also leases parking for postgraduates outside some of the buildings in Lensfield Road. Students are generally not permitted to use cars in the immediate locality unless given permission based on specific requirements.
    • Cycling is a popular form of transport in Cambridge. The city is relatively flat and there is an extensive network of cycle routes. At Downing College there are many sheltered cycle stands available on-site along the North Range access road and also in the service yard outside Battcock Lodge.
    • For more information on getting to Downing College by road please click here (opens new tab).
    • For more information on cycle routes and maps in Cambridge please click here (opens new tab).
  • By Bus View
  • By Train View
  • Accessing the College Site View
    • The main pedestrian entrance to the College site is located in Regent Street. Access is via a single pedestrian gate with a card reader which is situated to the left of the vehicular entrance (Photograph 1). The gate may be difficult for some to open and has an opening width of 100cm. The height of the card reader is 102cm.
    • Pedestrians can also access the site via the Howard Gate which is a pedestrian entrance situated in the Downing site of the University of Cambridge (Photograph 2). The gate opens automatically away from you and is activated by either pressing the button (height 112cm) or using the card reader (height 110cm). The card reader must be used outside the hours of 10.00 – 16.30.
    • Key card holders can also access the site via a pedestrian gate in Lensfield Road between Buildings 34 and 36 (Photograph 3). The gate is single, opens away from you (push) and may be difficult for some to open. The height of the card reader is 115cm and the opening width of the gateway is 110cm. There is a short steep downhill slope along the path just beyond this entrance (Photograph 4).
  • Getting Around the College Site View
    • If you have accessed the College site by vehicle and parked in the designated Blue Badge bays in the North Range area there is open step-free access to the network of paths around external areas of the Downing College site. The site is mostly level with wide paths (150cm+) but path surfaces do vary. The paths that run around the large central grass area (The Quadrangle and The Paddock) have a gravel surface that may not be suitable for wheelchair users or people with mobility impairments (Photographs 5-8). Other areas have surfaced paths of various types (flagstone paving, tarmac, concrete, block paving and resin bound gravel) (Photographs 9-12). Most of the surfaced paths have a flat, smooth surface except some in the area outside Kenny A which is slightly uneven (Photograph 13).
    • There is stepped access to the West Lodge Garden. The steps do not have handrails (Photographs 14 and 15). The external parts of the site are otherwise step-free except for access into buildings.
  • Additional College Site Information View
    • Many of the buildings at Downing College have stepped access into and around them (Photographs 16 and 17). Due to the age of the buildings the staircases do vary in materials and layout. The height and depths of steps are not uniform and neither is lighting, handrail provision/type or step markings. There are some buildings which have been adapted to make them step-free, including access ramps to bypass external steps (Photographs 18 and 19) and internal lifts to access other floors. Please see our Detailed Access Guides for further information on access to buildings.
    • There is not much directional signage around the site which means those unfamiliar with the layout will need an escort or a map to reference. Accessible toilet facilities are located in the Porters’ Lodge and B Stair near the Dining Hall.
    • There are some bollards along paths and access routes. All bollards have a good colour contrast with the path surfaces. The width between the bollards is at least 90cm (Photographs 20-21).

Useful Information

Site/Campus Car Park (North Range Parking)

  • Car Park View
    • The car park is located off Regent Street, past the Porters' Lodge, along the access road behind the Chapel.
    • The nearest building(s) to this car park is/are those at the north side of the site.
    • The car park type is open air/surface.
    • The car park does not have a height restriction barrier.
    • Designated Blue Badge parking bays are available.
    • The Blue Badge bay(s) is/are signposted but have no markings.
    • There is/are 5 designated Blue Badge parking bay(s) within this car park.
    • The dimensions of the designated parking bay(s) are 245cm x 470cm.
    • The Blue Badge parking bays do not have a marked zone around them.
    • The dimensions of the designated bays do vary in size.
  • Charges and Restrictions View
    • This car park can be used by permit holders.
  • Drop Off Point View
    • There is not a designated drop off point in this car park.
  • Car Park Access View
    • There is step free access from this car park.
    • Buildings are not clearly signposted from this car park.
    • There is a campus map available within the car park.
  • Comments View
    • The car park surface is mostly resin bound gravel with some loose gravel surface electric vehicle and standard parking bays.
    • There are 8 electric vehicle charging points.

Getting To (Griphon House)

  • Location View
    • Griphon House is located in the North East corner of Downing College grounds.
    • Griphon House is located off the North Range, behind the Butterfield Café.
    • There is not wayfinding signage along the route to Griphon House.
    • Other services / Facilities within the building include; a lift, accommodation rooms and kitchen / dining rooms.
    • Downing College link (new tab) - click here.

Accommodation Summary (Griphon House)

  • Parking and Transport View
    • The accommodation does not have its own parking facilities.
    • There is not a designated drop off point.
    • There is not a university bus service stop within approximately 200 metres of the residence.
  • Residence Information View
    • The residence surveyed was Griphon House.
  • Standard Accommodation Information View
    • There is standard accommodation on the ground floor.
    • There are standard rooms on other floors.
    • The other floors can be accessed by lift.
    • Standard accommodation has ensuites with baths and showers combined.
    • There is not an/are not adjoining room(s) available for the standard room(s).
  • Amenities and Communal Facilities View
    • There is a convenience store within approximately 200 metres of the residence.
    • The communal facilities for the accommodation surveyed include; a kitchen and a dining area.
  • Additional Accessibility Aids View
    • There is not a deaf alert system available on request.
    • Vibrating pillows alarms are available on request.
    • Bed raisers are not available on request.
    • Portable hoists are not available on request.

Outside Access

  • Entrance View
    • This information is for the entrance located at the front of the building.
    • This entrance gives access to the ground floor lobby.
    • The entrance area/door is clearly signed.
    • This entrance is signed with 'GRIPHON HOUSE'.
    • There is step-free access at this entrance.
    • There is a canopy or recess which provides weather protection at this entrance.
    • The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • A key card is required for access at this entrance.
    • The height of the key card reader is 121cm.
    • The main door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
    • The door(s) is/are single width.
    • The door(s) is/are heavy.
    • The width of the door opening is 89cm.
    • There is a small lip on the threshold of the entrance, with a height of 2cm or below.
    • There are bollards at this entrance.
    • The minimum width between the bollards is 122cm.
    • The bollards do not contrast visually with the paving.
    • There is a slope with a very easy incline.

Getting Around (Griphon House)

  • Access View
    • There is step-free access throughout the building .
  • Circulation View
    • There are doors in corridors/walkways which have to be opened manually.
    • The type of flooring in corridors/walkways is carpet and tiles.
    • There is some flooring in corridors/walkways which includes patterns or colours which could be confusing or look like steps or holes to some people.
    • Handrails with a rounded or oval profile are not provided in corridors/walkways.
    • There is high colour contrast between the walls and floor in all corridors/walkways.
    • There is bench seating and single seats with armrests at regular intervals.
    • The lighting levels are varied.
  • Signage View
    • Wayfinding signage is provided.
    • The colour, design and typeface of signs is consistent throughout the building.
    • Dementia friendly signage is not provided.
  • Safe Place(s) View
    • There is not a designated place of safety which can be used by people with dementia, autism or learning disabilities.
  • Audio View
    • This venue does not play background music in communal areas.
    • There is not a hearing assistance system in the communal areas of the building.

Other Floors

  • Stairs View
    • Stairs can be used to access other floors.
    • The stairs are located to the left after you enter.
    • The stairs are approximately 2m from the entrance.
    • The stairs are clearly visible from the entrance.
    • There are manual, heavy, single doors to enter and exit the stairwell from the first floor upwards.
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are G, 1, 2, 3.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are not between the recommended 15cm and 18cm.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are 20cm.
    • The depth of the step(s) is/are not between the recommended 30cm and 45cm.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
    • There is a landing.
    • Clear signs indicating the facilities on each floor are provided on landings.
    • The lighting levels at the steps are moderate to good.


  • The lift is located to the right after you enter.
  • The lift is clearly visible from the entrance.
  • The lift is approximately 3m (3yd 10in) from the entrance.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • A member of staff does not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are G, 1, 2, 3.
  • The weight limit for the lift is 630kg.
  • There are manual, heavy, single doors to access the lift lobby from the first floor upwards.
  • Clear signs indicating the facilities on each floor are provided on lift lobby landings.
  • There is a clear level manoeuvring space of 150cm × 150cm in front of the lift.
  • Lift doors do contrast visually with lift lobby walls.
  • The external controls for the lift are within 90cm - 110cm from the floor.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift controls and the control plate is medium.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift control plate and the wall is low.
  • The clear door width is 90cm.
  • The dimensions of the lift are 109cm x 140cm.
  • There are not separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • There is a list of floor services available within the lift.
  • The lift does have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does have an audible announcer.
  • The internal controls for the lift are not within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • The internal controls range from 85cm - 107cm.
  • There is not a hearing loop system.
  • The lift does have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting levels in the lift are low to moderate.

Standard Accommodation (Room 6)

  • There is step-free access to standard accommodation.
  • The standard accommodation surveyed was Room 6.
  • The standard accommodation surveyed is located on the second floor.
  • The standard accommodation surveyed has an ensuite with a bath and shower combined.

Kitchen/Dining Area (Second Floor)

  • The kitchen/dining area is accessed by a single door with an opening width of over 75cm.
  • The doors are not push pad activated.
  • Lowered work surfaces are not available.
  • The height of the lowest work surface is 90cm.
  • The kitchen does have an unobstructed floor space of at least 150cm × 150cm.
  • There is not a knee recess under a work surface.
  • There are low level cupboards.
  • The height of the dining table is 68cm.
  • There are dining chairs without armrests only.

Accessible Toilet(s)

  • There is not an/are not accessible toilet(s) available.
  • The nearest accessible toilet(s) is/are located within the Butterfield Café.

Standard Toilet(s)

  • Standard toilet facilities are not available.
  • The nearest standard toilet(s) is/are located within the Butterfield Café.