Wittgenstein had the rooms at the top of the tower during the 1930s.


G.E. Moore gave a precise description of the location of Wittgenstein’s rooms:

Of the only two sets [of rooms] which are on the top floor of the gate-way from Whewell’s Courts into Sidney Street, they were the set which looks westward over the larger Whewell’s Court, and, being so high up, they had a large view of the sky and also of Cambridge roofs, including the pinnacles of King’s College.

Characteristically, the rooms were sparsely furnished and extremely clean. Former Wittgenstein student H.D.P. Lee recounts:

There was a table and some chairs; a deck chair, or perhaps two deck chairs; and virtually nothing else. No pictures, no curtains and almost no books. His own writing was done in a large, foolscap-size book, bound rather like a ledger.

Lee explains the spartan appearance of the rooms:

The bareness and plainness of his room was of course mainly deliberate. It sprang, I think, from his intense dislike of any affectation or pretentiousness. It may also have been due in part to lack of money; he had given back his share in the family fortune and had, so I understand, virtually no money other than what he earned. It was certainly not due to any indifference in aesthetic matters. He had very strong aesthetic opinions, though as I remember them, they were held mainly about architecture and music (as if his mind were sensitive to form rather than colour).

A view of Wittgenstein’s seminar room at Whewell’s as it appears today. Photos by Jessica Murray.  



Here is a map of Trinity College, Cambridge.