Girton College was established on October 16, 1869 as the first residential College for women in England. It was called the College for Women, and was located at Benslow House, Hitchin, a town in Hertfordshire, England. In 1872 the present site was purchased, located about two and a half miles northwest of the center of Cambridge, next to the village of Girton; the College was then renamed Girton College, and opened at the new location in October of 1873.

On April 27, 1948, women were admitted to full membership of the University of Cambridge, and Girton College received the status of a College of the University.

The college became mixed in 1977 with the arrival of the first male Fellows; male undergraduates have been admitted since 1979.

Notable Alumni

  • Hertha Marks Ayrton, electrical engineer
  • Isabel Cooper-Oakley, Theosophical writer
  • Jessie Isabel Hetherington, New Zealand educator
  • Arianna Huffington, political author and activist
  • Rosamond Lehmann, romance novelist
  • Sheila Scott Macintyre, mathematician
  • Ada Isabel Maddison, mathematician
  • Margrethe II of Denmark, Queen Regnant of Denmark
  • Dorothy Marshall, historian and educator
  • Annie Maunder, astronomer
  • Constance Maynard, British feminist and educator
  • Sarojini Naidu, Indian poet
  • Sheila Pim, mystery writer
  • Emily James Smith Putnam, American educator and historian
  • Gisela Richter, Classical archaeologist and art historian
  • Joan Robinson, British economist
  • Clara Ruth Rouse, missionary and ecumenical leader
  • Ethel Sargant, botanist
  • Charlotte Angas Scott, mathematician
  • Margaret Storey, children's book author
  • Sandi Toksvig, comedian
  • Renee Winegarten, literary critic
  • Barbara Adam Wootton, social scientist and economist
  • Dorothy Wrinch, mathematical biologist
  • Grace Chisholm Young, mathematician