The Senate House of the University of Cambridge is now used mainly for degree ceremonies. It was formerly also used for meetings of the Council of the Senate. The building, which is situated in the centre of the city between King's and Gonville and Caius Colleges, was designed by Sir James Burrell and built in 1722–1730 by architect James Gibbs in a neo-classical style using Portland stone. The ceremony to lay the first stone was performed by Thomas Crosse, then Vice-Chancellor, on June 22, 1722. The site was previously used for houses, which were purchased by an Act of Parliament, dated June 11, 1720. It was officially opened in July 1730, although the western end was not completed until 1768.
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