Homerton has an unusual and interesting history. In 1730 a society was founded by 'a few Protestant Dissenters' in London for the 'education of young men for the Christian ministry', namely the Congregational church. This became known as the 'King's Head Society', after the inn near the Royal Exchange where they met. The Society began a series of weekly lectures, placing carefully selected students in dissenting academies in London. By 1768, it had grown to the point where the Society bought a large house in Homerton High Street, in the East End of London, to house about 12 students a year, together with a few other 'private scholars' and a Resident Tutor.
By 1817 it became known as 'Homerton Academy Society' and then 'Homerton College Society'. For a time it was affiliated to London University, but after the transfer of its theological function to New College London in 1850, Homerton was refounded by the Congregational Board of Education and became solely concerned with the training of teachers, both men and women, for Board schools.
In 1894 it moved to Cambridge to get away from an increasingly industrialised East End and acquired the buildings known as Cavendish College in Hills Road. These still form the core of the old College. Almost immediately it became women-only since a mixed College was an anathema to an all-male University at that time.
By the 1970's it began to take men again and became an 'Approved Society' of the University of Cambridge with most of its undergraduates reading for the Education Tripos. In the late 1990's it went through a massive programme of rebuilding and refurbishment. In 2001 it converged with the University diversifying into a wide range of different Tripos subjects and adding a post-graduate research community.