The oldest parts of the College date from the time of King's Hall, including the range behind the Clock Tower, which are medieval, and the Great Gate, which was built at the beginning of the 16th century. The clock strikes the hour twice, first on a low note and then on a much higher one. The tower once stood about 20 yards from where it is now and was moved to its present site when Great Court was laid out.
Many of the buildings that we see today were built through the efforts of Thomas Nevile, who became Master of Trinity in 1593, including the main features of Great Court and a large part of the beautiful, cloistered court on the side of the Hall that faces the river. Nevile's Court was completed in the late 17th century when the library designed by Sir Christopher Wren was built. The Wren Library contains many treasures, the oldest of which is an 8th century copy of the Epistles of St Paul. New Court and courts on the other side of Trinity Street opposite the Great Gate were erected in the 19th century. In more recent times, much new building has been completed, including Blue Boar Court and Burrell's Field.
The College grew rapidly in importance during the century after its foundation and by 1564 it accounted for about a quarter of the total number of resident members of the University.