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History Under the Floorboards

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

In July 2015, work on the floorboards on the ground floor of the Chaplains’ House uncovered some remnants from Fisher House’s history.

Two dusty bottles sit on a step in an outside courtyard.
Two bottles found underneath the floorboards.

First, we have a collection of bottles found underneath the Dining Room; goodness knows from when they date, but we suspect they come from the Chaplains’ House former occupation as the Black Swan public house. As a reminder of this history, these bottles now live above the back doorway in the Fisher Room, next to the present-day student-run Black Swan Bar.

Then, we have a collection of different newspapers from August 1966. The first is of a midday edition of The Evening Standard on the 23rd or 24th, with the first photo of the Earth taken from the Moon. Next is The Catholic Herald, from the 26th. A page from a newspaper on the 18th captures some of the winds of change at the Vatican. And finally, we have The Sunday Mirror, with a sun-kissed Molly on its front page. As the Chaplain, Mgr Mark Langham, remarked in publishing the findings on Facebook: ‘What were they reading in the chaplaincy...?’ Click below to expand the photo of each newspaper.


This collection of photos was originally published on 6 July 2015 as a Facebook album by Mgr Mark Langham, Chaplain at Fisher House. In July 2022, Matteo Baccaglini, Pastoral Assistant, republished the photos as a blogpost with the accompanying descriptions.

Fr Mark Langham was the much-loved Catholic Chaplain to the University of Cambridge from 2013 to 2021. He had formerly been Administrator at Westminster Cathedral and spent five years on the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in Rome. Fr Mark passed away on 15 January 2021.

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