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First Court Magdalene College Cambridge

Porters' Lodge Accessibility

Porters' Lodge accessibility information.

Please note that the Porters’ Lodge is currently operating on a “one way system.” Measurements using “one way entrance/exit” terms will only apply when this is in use.

Measurements still apply when “one way system” is not in effect.

Location and Access Path

Where is the facility located in College?

  • The Porters’ Lodge is located within First Court: as you come through the main entrance gate the Lodge is immediately on your left.
  • To access the Porters’ Lodge you will need to follow the path from Magdalene Street Main Entrance/Porters’ Lodge Gate. Gate measures 82cm wide when only one gate is in use, the full opening of the gate is 226cm.
  • Access may be restricted due to closure of the College- please ring the bell of the Porters’ Lodge if you require access when the gate is closed. There is a bell linked to the Porters’ Lodge approx. 1.71m high or a salto card reader measuring 1.71m high. Entrance gate at Porters’ Lodge/Magdalene Street is very heavy if closed, this pushes inwards.
  • There is a step down into First Court adjacent to the Porters’ Lodge measuring 15cm, or the step can be covered by a ramp measuring 1m wide & 1.05m long.

What is the access path or pavement condition?

  • Path from the Magdalene Street Main Entrance/Porters’ Lodge Gate is paved, some paving slabs are cracked & loose making them uneven. Cobbles border the path, some of these are loose.
  • Cobbles border the steps at the entrance to the Porters’ Lodge if entering from the First Court entrance.

Is the path flat or sloped? Is there a ramp?

Path is mostly flat with a slight slope/camber.

What does this entrance give access to?

The Magdalene Street Main Entrance/Porters’ Lodge Gate gives access to First and Second Court, including the Porters’ Lodge. Path gives access to facilities in First Court & through to Second Court - mainly consisting of Fellows & Student accommodation.

Is the access path well-lit? How are the lighting levels?

External access path is not well lit, lighting level is low.

Is there any directional or locational signage for this facility?

The Porters’ Lodge is signposted outside the “one way system” EXIT, to the left as you enter from the Magdalene Street Main Gate/Porters’ Lodge Gate. “One way system” signage on doors.

Outside Access to Main Entrances

Are there any stairs to the main entrances, or is it level access?

  • There are a set of 4 steps that will take you up into the Porters’ Lodge from the First Court “one way system” ENTRANCE. Cobbles are at the base of the steps. These steps measure at 5cm high & 31cm deep for the first step, 16cm high & 32cm deep for the second, 18cm high & 35cm deep for the third step, and 18cm high & 33cm deep for the final step. This final step brings you into the flat level of the Porters’ Lodge.
  • When leaving the Porters’ Lodge following the “one way system” EXIT towards the Main Entrance/Porters’ Lodge Gate, there are a set of 2 steps that will bring you down to the flat level of the First Court path. Steps measure at 19cm high for the first step, and 17cm high & 23cm deep for the final step that brings you onto path level.

Are the steps clearly marked?

No, steps are made out of stone and do not have a handrail.

Is there a lift available?


What do the entrances consist of?

Both entrances are manual doors opening inwards. These doors are currently fixed open, in colder months these may be closed.

What is the clear width of the door openings?

The “one way system” EXIT door facing the Main Entrance/Porters’ Lodge Gate measures at 76cm wide. The “one way system” ENTRANCE facing First Court measures at 1.02m wide.

If manual, are the doors heavy?

The doors are both entrances are manual and easy to push open.

If there are stairs, how far is the entrance of the facility from the top of the stairs?

The top step of both entrances bring you directly into the Porters’ Lodge.

Is a key card required for access? If so, what is the height of the card reader/lock?

Although card access is required when Main Gate/Porters’ Lodge Gate is closed, there is no card access to the Porters’ Lodge at either entrance.

Is there a bell or buzzer? If so, what is the height of the bell/buzzer?

There is a bell outside the Main Gate/Porters’ Lodge Gate at 1.71m high; no bell at entrances to Porters’ Lodge.

If the entrance is outdoors, is there any weather protection?

The current “one way system” entrance facing First Court is outdoors, however entering from the Main Gate/Porters’ Lodge Gate is undercover.


What are the dimensions of the room?


Is there step-free access within the room?

Yes, level access inside.

Is there ample room for a wheelchair user to manoeuvre?

Yes; there is a table in centre of room, this is not fixed & can be moved.

Is the reception clearly visible from the entrance?


What is the height of the reception desk/counter?

Reception counter is 1.05m high, there is a screen with a service gap measuring 37.5cm across & 20cm high.

Is the desk staffed? Is there a bell to attract attention?

Yes, desk is always staffed. Bell available (may not be readily available during Covid-19 pandemic) in case staff are in kitchenette.

Is there step-free access to the desk?


Is there a hearing assistance system available?

Induction Loop available.

Are there light controls accessible for visitors?


Does this area play background music?


Where are the nearest public toilets?

First Court A & C – accessible toilet is located in First Court C staircase – further information available on First Court Toilet guide.

Communal Seating & Equipment

Is there seating available for the visitor?

There is a fixed position window seat measuring 21.5cm high & deep – various other chairs can be made available.

Are there designated spaces for wheelchair users?

There is no assigned designated space.

Is any of the furniture fixed?

Pigeonholes line most of the walls; no other fixed furniture.

Is there clear manoeuvring space between furniture or equipment?

Clear room to manoeuvre. Large table (not fixed in position) in centre of the Porters’ Lodge.

What type of chairs are available?

Fixed position window seat – no armrests. However, this is between the Porters’ Lodge printer & student pigeonholes.

What are the table heights, from base to the floor?

Table in centre of Porters’ Lodge measures at approx. 1m high.

Is there any other furniture?

Pigeonholes line most of the walls, at various heights. A printer/computer is on shelf by “one way system” ENTRANCE facing First Court, at approx. 1.5m high.

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