|Trumpington Local History Group
Percy Robinson: A Trip Through
Trumpington, Early 1920s
|Copyright © Trumpington Local History Group, 2019. Updated 8 January 2019.
|Anstey Hall Farm barns and dovecote, c. 1900s. All
photographs are from the Percy Robinson Collection.
|Following his appointment as Head Teacher of the Church School in
1908, Percy Robinson built up an extensive knowledge of Trumpington's
history. His main note is about 'A Trip Through Trumpington', originally
written in the 1920s, reproduced in full below, without amendment.
|The original of this topographic account of Trumpington is a typescript which dates from the
1920s, with a few handwritten additions up to the late 1930s. When Percy Robinson's son,
Reginald Robinson, gave the text to Nicholas Thistlethwaite in 1995, he also brought 69
photographs (see the introductory page). The majority of these photographs have been
incorporated in the body of the text, where there is a reference to their subject. There are a few
photographs that we have not been able to correlate with the text and these are included at the
end of this page. There are also a number of references to photographs within the body of the
text where the photograph was not included in the group brought by Reginald Robinson (when
Percy Robinson gave a version of his lecture in 1931, it included 81 photographs). Captions for
the photographs have been added by Andrew and Wendy Roberts, based on the information in
these notes and other sources including articles and photograph captions in the Cambridge
Chronicle newspaper (including the 1931 version of the talk) and catalogue records for copies of
some of the photographs held by the Cambridgeshire Collection.
A TRIP THROUGH TRUMPINGTON
Entering the Parish from the north end, Cambridge, we come to the "Stone Bridge". But why
Stone Bridge? It is not built of stone but bricks, with a stone coping. Evidently it is short for Mile
Originally there was a ford here, and it was the duty of the people of Cambridge conjointly with
the people of Trumpington to keep it in repair. The ford was known as Trumpington Ford.
|Trumpington Road, the Stone Bridge and
|An entry in 1485 states:
Money paid to ditchers at Trumpington Ford 13s. 4d.
Divers labourers of the town of Trumpington for cleaning a certain brook lying between the town
of Cambridge and Trumpington 13s. 4d.
For the non-repair of Trumpington Ford the inhabitants of Trumpington were amerced 6s. and
the treasurers of the town 3s. 4d.
In 1552 :
The rents of the fee farms of the town of Cambridge were remitted and part was ordered to be
laid out in repairing the bridge at Trumpington Ford.
In 1399 John Fordham, Bishop of Ely, granted indulgences to such as should contribute to the
repair of the road between Cambridge and Trumpington.
1563. Thomas Johnson, citizen and haberdasher of London, left 26s. 8d. to the mending of the
highways between Trumpington and Hawston (Hauxton) Mills. There was no bridge then at
Hauxton, only a ford.
1655-6. Still no bridge, and a traveller expressed gratitude in an entry in his diary to someone
who allowed him to use his horse to cross the swollen river.
The Milestone is the first out of Cambridge and very large in size, being 8 feet high, and was
erected on the occasion of the visit of George II to the University in 1728. This replaced a
smaller one that was said to have been put there in the time of the Romans. This is the first of
sixteen set up between Cambridge and Barkway in the early part of the 18th century. The cost
was de¬frayed (£5 8 0) from funds left to Trinity Hall by Dr William Mowse. By his will dated
30th May, 1586, he left the surplus of his estate, after legacies, to Trinity Hall, to such charitable
uses as his friend and executor Robert Hare should think desirable. The surplus amounted to
£1,000, to which Hare added £600. He bought the Manor of Walpole, the rents whereof were to
be applied to the repair of the highways in and about Cambridge, and especially towards
Barkway. On these stones will be seen the crescent of Trinity Hall. On this particular stone is
inscribed "one mile to Great St. Maries (not Mary's) Church". The coat of arms represents the
arms of Trinity Hall impaling those of Dr. Mowse, a former master of the College, (viz. Or, on a
Fess, between 3 Annulets in Chief and as many in the base--2 and 1--Sable, a Cross patee of the
Dr. Harvey, a fellow of Trinity Hall, left a sum of money to keep in repair the mile stones to
To commemorate the source of the "Causey-money" so used, the arms of the second of these
benefactors were placed on the last stone at Barkway, and those of Dr. Mowse on the one at the
This slide gives us a view of part of the Trumpington Road, which is without doubt the best
approach to Cambridge.
What a difference in the traffic of years gone by. Now motor waggons, etc. are rushing about
and the villagers go to Cambridge in the motor 'bus. Previously one might see geese, turkeys,
etc. being driven to London, their feet being prepared by walking over tar and then sand.
Bullocks with shoes on were no uncommon sight, and old residents in Trumpington remember
the blacksmith of the village who used to make and fix them.
Old waggons drawn by eight horses conveyed produce to town. These had a cover at the back
for passengers. Generally a dog was a necessary accompanist.
People later travelled by Coaches drawn by teams of horses. These were changed at various inns
along the route. These inns had galleries round the yard, and the bedrooms opened on to a
balcony. No doubt the Green Man Inn, also the Coach and Horses, and the Tally Ho were
places of call.
Coaches left Cambridge as follows and passed through Trumpington:
2 a.m. Lynn Mayle.
6 " " Times.
7 " " Star.
9 " " Beehive.
10 " " Telegraph and Fly.
The driver of the latter was named Greenfield.
At midnight the Lynn & Wells Mail, and the Rapid passed.
The carriers' carts were suitable for short journeys. The old Trumpington carrier was Mr. Arthur
Cambridge who had stables at the North End of the village. Other carriers of Trumpington being
Mr. Haslop, Galley, Dasley, Howlett. These carts were the places for news as I'm told the 'buses
are now. Well. When people meet they cannot simply look out of the window, they must talk. I
well remember journeys in the old carriers' carts.
Years gone by the Village Feast was a much more important event, and stalls and booths reached
from the Stone Bridge on the East side of the road as far as the Tally Ho.
In 1610 the New River was made by the town and university to convey water to the town. It
runs from Nine Wells, and in the Shelford Inclosure Act, 1834, it states that not more than three
acres at Nine Wells is given to the Town and University of Cambridge.
In 1856 a bye-law was passed by the town making it a punishable offence for anyone polluting
the stream. For an offence a fine of ten shillings may be imposed.
The first stone of Hobson's Conduit, that now stands at the corner of Lensfield Road, was laid
on Market Hill in 1614. In 1855 the new Conduit was erected and the one of Hobson's removed
to its present site.
The land on the east side of the road was the property of Trinity College.
In 1852 Mr. William Bennett occupying a farm at Trumpington belonging to Trinity College, (but
leased to the trustees of the late F. C. J. Pemberton), erected a barrier across the western bank
of the New River at a point where the parish of Trumpington joins the Borough. The
Corporation gave him notice under their common seal that unless such barrier were taken down
they should remove the same by force both for themselves and on behalf of the University. The
University, however, on the 17th March gave notice under their seal that "they expressly
dissented from the act intended to be done on their behalf by the Corporation", wherefore no
further steps were or could be taken in the matter.
Crossing the Stone Bridge, on our right is Chaucer Road, a private residential road named after
Geoffrey Chaucer, but whether he ever was a Cambridge man is doubtful.
Passing along we come to Latham Road, named after Dr. Latham, sometime Master of Trinity
Hall. He lived at Southacre.
On the opposite side of the road is Newton Road, named after Sir Isaac Newton who was at
Further along is Bentley Road, named after Richard Bentley, sometime Master of Trinity College.
EVELYN NURSING HOME.
A nursing home known as The Hostel was carried on in Thompson's Lane, Cambridge. It was in
close proximity to a sweet factory and the Cambridge Electric Light Works. The place was
anything but quiet and peaceful, and the continuous droning noise was very trying to the patients.
When the lease expired the College to which it belonged required it.
The present site was formerly the home and garden, known as The Orchard, of Mr. Joseph
Pryor, a Fellow of Trinity College. When he died the site was purchased by Mr. Charles
Morland Agnew, and the Home erected by his orders.
|Evelyn Nursing Home, with Sister
Watson standing outside one of the
|In the corridor may be seen a brass plate on which is the following inscription:
"The Evelyn Nursing Home was built in 1921 by Charles Morland Agnew, as a thank offering
for the recovery of Evelyn, his wife, from an operation performed in Cambridge in 1918".
The surgeon who performed the operation was Mr. Arthur Cooke, of Scroope House, (opposite
Addenbrooke's Hospital). The first operation in the Home was also performed by Mr. Cooke on
a Trumpington woman and was successful, 1921. (Mrs. M. E. Robinson, wife of the
schoolmaster of Trumpington was the first case.)
Sister Watson is the person seen in the photograph (taken in 1924), standing outside one of the
The Home is built on the latest principles and has the most up-to-date appliances.
Many who have entered the Home have much to thank Mr. Cooke for, and may I here say how
grateful I am for his kindness and pay a tribute to his skill, for on two occasions he has
performed operations, (successful in each case), once for my wife and later, 1924, for my son.
This farm is now within the Borough Boundaries. It is very near the site of "Dam Hill" which
was an old Roman Cemetery. The exact position is not known but was situated somewhere near
here, probably between Chaucer Road and Latham Road.
Roman pottery, buckles, pins, etc. have been found about here, showing that it was occupied by
|River Farm farmhouse.
|1: Anglo-Saxon artefacts. Left: Bronze fibula, Saxon, from Trumpington, Deck Collection,
Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1883 (now in Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology
and Anthropology, number not traced). Centre: Cruciform horse headed bronze brooch, Saxon,
from Trumpington, Deck Collection, Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1883 (now in Cambridge
University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 83CAS518). Right: Bronze brooch,
Anglo-Saxon, from Trumpington, Deck Collection, Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1883 (now
in Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, probably 83CAS520).
2: Roman and Anglo-Saxon artefacts. Left: 83CAS551, bronze bangle, Roman, Deck Collection,
Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1883, (now in Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology
and Anthropology, bronze bracelet, Roman, from Trumpington). Centre: faint number, probably
83CAS507, bronze fibula, Roman, Deck Collection, Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1883 (not
traced in Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology catalogue). Right:
83CAS508, bronze fibula, Celtic, Deck Collection, Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1883 (now in
Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology catalogue, bronze annular ring
brooch, ?Saxon, from Trumpington).
3: Roman and Anglo-Saxon artefacts, Chaucer Road. Left: A83CAS817, steelyard and weight,
Roman, Deck Collection, Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1883 (now in Cambridge University
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology catalogue, small bronze steelyard with 1 weight,
Roman, from Dam Hill, Chaucer Road, Trumpington). Right: 83CAS552, faint writing, no label
(now in Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology catalogue, bronze
rope-twist bracelet, Roman, from Trumpington).
4: Ceramic pots (Cambridge Antiquarian Society).
This view is of a strip of the winding Granta, and has the appropriate name of Paradise.
The view is taken from a point near the end of the fence that runs down to the river at the back
of River Farm.
|In summer hundreds of picnic parties spend a happy time in this neighbourhood.
Christopher Anstey, the poet, in the appendix to The Patriot mentions
"In Granta's delightful and quiet retreat".
Edmund Spenser also mentions the Granta in the Faerie Queen.
Christopher Anstey married a Miss Thompson of Trumpington and came into possession of
Anstey Estate on the death of Mr Thompson; the last will left estate to a Mr Dowsing but owing
to a deficit in the signing Mr Dowsing was given £1000.
Coming from River Farm, and proceeding along the Trumpington Road, passing Bentley Road,
on the left hand side about half a mile south of the Stone Bridge we find a stone in the
hedgerow. This marks the end of the Stump Cross Turnpike Trust (Chesterford).
It is truly a stump now, for in 1922 it was smashed by an Air Force Motor Lorry. (This is quite
excusable for there are no milestones in the air.) The mark where the stone was joined may be
seen close to the ground.
|The River Cam at Paradise, from a point
near the end of the fence that runs down
to the river at the back of River Farm.
|Turnpike milestone, Trumpington Road,
1924, marking the end of the Stump
Cross Turnpike Trust, damaged by a
lorry in 1922.
|In the fields behind this stone, the Royal Agricultural Show was held in 1922. The land was soon
under cultivation, for the crop of wheat now raised (1924) may be seen through the gap in the
There is also Red Cross at the extreme end of the parish. This no doubt marked another road
A little further along the road we come to Leighton, the name of a house built by the late Mr.
Robert Sayle, head of the firm of drapers, etc. in Cambridge.
The slide gives a view of the rise in the ground, and the house is built on the site known an
[This photograph is not in the Robinson Collection.]
The last person to hang in the gibbet was tarred and feathered, and was so punished between the
years 1757 and 1777.
At that time there was no plantation on the Trumpington Road, so a good view of the offender
was obtained by passers by.
This information was obtained from Miss Bertha Moore who lives in the Mill Cottages along the
Long Road. Miss Moore’s great-grandmother was born in 1757 and married at 18 years of age,
and was a widow with two children at the age of 22 years. She saw the man in the gibbet. Miss
Moore's grandfather was born in 1777 and it was before this event.
Another punishment Miss Moore's ancestor witnessed was a man tied to a tumbril cart and
whipped round Cambridge.
Previous to the Enclosure Award this was nothing more nor less than a drift, simply a grass track
used by carts, etc., consequently it was sometimes in a very bad state.
It has had various names, Long Drift, Long Drove, New Road, Mill Road, and Cherry Hinton
On the Enclosure Award Map it is named the New Road.
|Left: 1804 inclosure map, with field names. Right: 1804 inclosure map.
|The people in the trap are the late Mr. George Duke, (farmer living along the Long Road); Mr.
Flack his stockman, and Mr. Flack his son who acts as coachman. Over the hedge on the left
hand is Mr. Marshall, known by the sobriquet of "Doggy".
[This photograph is not in the Robinson Collection.]
THE MILL ON CHERRYHINTON ROAD [LONG ROAD].
This was situated on the Long Road, or by whatever name it was called, at the back of the piece
of ground between the Long Road and North Terrace, and behind the garden of Dr. F. H. H.
Guillemard, who now lives in the Old Mill House.
From the corner at Trumpington Road to the allotments was formerly one property, the owner
being a man named Badcock. It was afterwards sold in three lots.
The black gate at the end of the cottages, the last of which is inhabited by Miss Moore, was the
beginning of the road to the Mill.
The mill was built in 1812 by a Mr. Brand. It was bought in 1836 by the father of Miss Moore
for £600, and demolished in 1898.
People in the picture: Mr. Hayden at the gate, Mrs. Hayden in the cottage nearest the mill, Mrs.
Sarah Careless at the door of one of the cottages, and the children playing are named Marshall.
[This photograph is not in the Robinson Collection, but the Cambridgeshire Collection does have
a photograph "Windmill near the junction of Long Road (Mill Road) and Trumpington Road,
Those cottages have been pulled down.
This is situated at the corner of the track way that leads from the gamekeeper’s cottage to the
fields where it touches the large plantation of trees.
To some the sight is repulsive, whilst sportsmen may have a different opinion. It is not often a
gibbet such as this can be seen so near a town.
It shows the remains of weasels, stoats, hawks, jays and magpies, all enemies of game.
In the picture may be seen the "Lord High Executioner" Mr. Armond Cannell, the game keeper
on the Pemberton Estate.
|The gamekeeper's gibbet, game strung up
on a fence (with Mr Armond Cannell of
Standing with our backs to the Gamekeeper's Cottage and looking in the distance across the
meadow opposite, we see an old roadway that shows up white owing to its chalky nature.
[This photograph is not in the Robinson Collection.]
This is part of an old Roman road that used to run from the Icknield Way, crossing Hills Road,
to the ford at Trumpington. It crossed the Trumpington Road somewhere hereabouts at right
angles, and ran by the Gamekeeper 's Cottage to the ford and out by Ball's Grove, Grantchester,
then past the "Rose and Crown" and along behind Grantchester School.
This is probably the road mentioned by Charles Kingsley in "Hereward the Wake", in which he
describes Hereward as passing along after his escape from William of Normandy when he had
played the potter.
ELM TREE MOUND.
I have given it this name for it is an elm tree on a mound.
It is situated at the back of the thatched cottages on the east side of Trumpington Road.
This is supposed to be the site of some old Roman fort that was probably an outpost of the
garrison at Grantchester, situated on the side of the then causeway to guard the approach to the
ford. Formerly there was a ditch round it.
Many antiquarians are anxiously waiting for the tree to die, but it appears to be like a cat with
nine lives. Widnell in his book "Reminiscences of Trumpington" mentions it as being dead. Three
years ago it appeared dead, but last year, 1923, the lower part certainly was in a flourishing
|Giant elm tree in fields, Elm Tree Mound
(behind the telephone exchange), 1923.
Why this house? Simply because it is built on the site of John Cummings's School. Cummings
lived in Alpha Terrace, and his school had a reputation.
|St Mary’s House, on the site of John
|Widnell gives the following account of the school. There were boarders at the school and he was
one. They had to stand for meals and had bread and milk for break¬fast from basins.
The room was large and square with two windows in the south and two in the east wall.
The master's desk was on a raised dais, and he sat on a stool. There were the usual cupboards,
etc. A bundle of quills served the purpose of pens. A note says S. P. Widnell weighed 4 st. 3 lbs,
25th July, 1834. (Evidently Trumpington can claim some right to having introduced Medical
Inspection in School. I remember, when it was introduced officially one or two indignant parents
coming to me asking "why I had been looking into their children's heads.”)
Children were punished with an "instrument of torture" called a spanker, (necessary even in
those days). This was a piece of wood about one foot long with a circular piece at each end. One
circular piece had a hole cut in it and was used for serious offences, and was said to raise a
blister when properly administered.
Money was left for the school, and was no doubt obtained from the Charity land at Bottisham.
Village children were on a form at the lower end of the room. The desks were fixed to the floor,
whilst the playground was at the back of Alpha Terrace. Of course there was a bell. Widnell
relates that on one occasion when eating his dinner he was stung by a wasp, and consequently
called out; for this offence he was punished but does not state which end of the spanker he
received nor where administered. Children had half-day holidays on Wednesdays and Saturdays
and usually had to go for a long walk.
Cummings had a farm on the Shelford Road near "Dead Woman's Bush", and an orchard at
Dangler’s End consisted of cottages and gardens in the park near Trumpington Hall. The well
that supplied water to the houses is still there, but the pump has had to be replaced. Mr. J.
Medlock was the last to live there.
On a wet day a barber visited the school; oil for the lamps was kept under the master's desk.
They kept a canary at the school, and when it died he tells of the burial. A cigar-box was the
coffin, and sheep bells were used for tolling.
Copy books were used to write in, and a specimen of writing probably done in this school is in
the Fitzwilliam Museum. It is the work of William Marshall, and was done in 1793. (Having seen
it I can testify that it is very well written.)
On Sundays they went to church. and had a pew on the south side. They had the old square
pews in the church then. There was a Singing Gallery at the west end of the church, and John
Nichols the blacksmith was in front leading the singing. Various instruments were played, such as
violins, flutes, etc.
|Looking east along Alpha Terrace, late
1890s or early 1900s.
GREEN MAN INN.
The old sign has been taken down. The landlord now is Mr. Charles Hering. On one occasion
when referring to the trade being done, and the old sign, he exclaimed, "Ah. It is I who am de
green man." meaning that he had been "taken in" when applying for the house, and that the trade
was not as he anticipated it would be. Mr. Hering can be seen in the picture.
|The Green Man pub, with Mr Charles
COACH AND HORSES.
The present landlady is Mrs. Howard Pare. 1924
No doubt both these places were much used in the old coaching days. The Green Man Inn has a
very large yard with plenty of stabling, whilst the building by the Coach and Horses now used as
cowhouses was formerly a malting.
|The Coach & Horses pub.
These picturesque buildings are evidently very old.
On the slide may be seen the figures of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wilson at the door of the
cottage where they have lived for over thirty years. Even at his age Charles loves a "fag"
(cigarette), and may often be seen enjoying one.
The road has been raised, now have to go down step.
|Two semi-detached thatched cottages,
Trumpington High Street, probably in the
late 1910s or early 1920s. Based on the
1911 census, the left part of the left hand
house was probably the home of the
Wilson family in the 1910s, and the
figures in front of the door are Martha
Saunders Wilson (aged 55 in 1911) and
her husband Charles Wilson (aged 61 in
1911) (confirmed in the Robinson notes,
p. 23). The right part of the right hand
house was the home of the Mynott
family in the 1910s (Francis Frederick
and Elisa Mynott and children). The
Coach & Horses pub is far right.
This house is next to the Red Lion and is endways to the road.
The tiny leaded windows are very old as is also the house. They are not made to open, one gives
light to the staircase and the other to a bedroom.
It is hard to understand how people could live in such a room. What the modern "flapper" would
do in such a light when she has to "titivate" with powder and paint it is hard to think. Her hair
would not trouble her so much, as most of the damsels (and some of the old young ones) have it
"bobbed" or "shingled".
House and Red Lion demolished April 1936.
Window tax imposed 1695. Repealed 1851, 5/- per window.
|Small windows in side of house next to
the Red Lion, endways to the road.
TRUMPINGTON WAR MEMORIAL.
This is the Village Tribute to its Honoured Dead, and has 36 names on it.
The carvings are symbolical rather than picturesque.
One slide gives a view of the Memorial, the other shows the unveiling ceremony. Standing next
to the Memorial is Mr. Adeane, Lord Lieutenant of the County, who unveiled it. Others are the
Rev. Robert Gregg Bury, Litt. D., a former vicar; Rev. Arthur Christopher Moule, M. A., vicar;
and Mr. Walter Campbell, Pastor of Trumpington Free Church, who took part in the unveiling
An account of the Memorial and the Unveiling Ceremony is attached [see War Memorial page].
|The unveiling of the War Memorial, 11 December 1921.
Cross Hill, the War Memorial and Church Lane in the
THE VILLAGE SMITHY
The old blacksmith's shop was occupied by John Nichols and stood on a site near the present
lodge house of Trumpington Hall. The slide shows a sketch by Widnell from memory of the
place. Not only were horses shoed but cows and bullocks. The latter had to be driven very long
distances to market, hence the necessity.
|Copy of the sketch of blacksmith’s and
the stocks in Widnell's recollections.
|To the south of this place was the village pond, probably situated near the north-west corner of
the Unicorn garden and on the piece of ground now used by the school gardening class. I have
been informed by old residents that there was a pond on this spot. Between the black¬smith's
shop and the pond were the stocks and whipping-post.
The next slide shows the smithy on a new site. The date is . Mr. Elijah Lawrence, (Junr.),
is now the blacksmith, and he took over from his father-in-law Mr. Elijah Lawrence who is seen
sitting in the cart, died 1931, aged 89. Mr. Ben Stone one of the assistants to Mr. Lawrence is
near; he also holds the position of parish constable.
|The blacksmith’s workshop at the
junction of the High Street and Church
Lane, c. 1900.
|It is interesting to note that a Mr. Charter who was blacksmith at Trumpington made a bicycle,
and entered and I am told won a race on it. The race was almost the first big race on ordinary
cycles in England, and was run from the milestone near Cromwell House to the Stone Bridge.
Another competitor was a Mr. Crossley, dentist, of Downing Street. Mr. Charter had an old
tricycle and converted it into an ordinary. The race attracted quite a large number of people.
This was built in 1908, and declared open by Sir Clifford Allbutt. It was enlarged in 1923-4,
mainly through the generosity of the Pemberton Family, and the new additions were also
declared open by the above-named gentleman.
A separate account is attached [not traced].
|Trumpington Village Hall, after the 1924
alterations, with the entrance to Manor
Farm to the left.
|Cottages and yard, thought to be
Whitelock's [Whitlock’s], High Street, in
THE OLD LOCK-UP
This gives a view of the old lock-up in which prisoners were placed until it was convenient for
their removal. Possibly someone can remember who the last one was.
The prisoners were provided with a seat but were kept in position by irons. These can be seen in
the picture. The irons are now in the Folk Museum given by Mr W. W. Pemberton.
|The village lock-up. Irons were donated
to the Folk Museum by W.W.
|By the lock-up was the Village Pound in which straying cattle were placed. There used at one
time to be two pounds. Pinder.
The site of the pound is now used as a cycle shop tenanted by Mr. Harry Newell, a very obliging
fellow, who has removed the old gates of the pound and covered the site in for business
This slide shows the wheelwright's shop used by Mr. Edwin Smith and his sons. In the award
map the site is shown as a carpenter's shop.
Mr. Edwin Smith and his son Gordon Millar Smith are to be seen amongst the ladders, wheels,
The yard is next to the pound and runs behind it.
One of the old village industries fast dying out.
|E.J. Smith & Sons, Carpenters,
Wheelwrights and Undertakers [Edwin
John Smith and his son, Gordon Miller
Smith], Trumpington High Street, 1920s.
Hobson was a great benefactor to the town of Cambridge, and he also arranged that children
from Trumpington might compete for free places at the Perse Grammar School. At the present
time (1925) there are three lads from Trumpington attending the school as Free-Placers. One of
these, Frank Haynes, has since obtained a Classical Scholarship at St. Catharine's College and is
in residence. Later passed Classical Tripos.
Hobson used to be a carrier. He had stables in Trumpington Street somewhere near the site of
the "Little Rose". Here he kept about forty horses, and let them out on hire to undergraduates.
Of course the men wanted the horse they fancied, but he would have no picking and choosing,
they had to take the next in order, otherwise Hobson said, "That or none". Hence the origination
of the saying Hobson’s Choice.
He died in 1630 and left money for scholarships and apprenticing poor boys. He gave also the
site of the "Spinning House" where the Police station now stands.
The monument is at Nine Wells just in the parish of Shelford, but it is hard to say how many
wells there are. I tried to count them but could only find springs. The water is carried along the
Vicars Brook, and supplies the New River, and the Conduit on Market Hill, also the gutters in
Trumpington Street and St. Andrew's Street. The old Conduit stands at the corner of Lensfield
Road, and this place is sometimes spoken of as Waterhouse Corner. The name Samuel Potto
was removed in 1938 and the name Edward Potto substituted. This alteration was made by Mr
Leach of Coleridge Road.
|The monument at Nine Wells
commemorating the building of Hobson’s
|Hobson is buried in St. Benedict's Church. The inscription on one side of the monument reads:
"The supply of water to Cambridge from the adjacent springs was first suggested in 1574 by
Andrew Perne, Master of Peterhouse. The design was revived by James Montagu, Master of
Sidney Sussex, and in 1610 carried into effect at the Joint expense of the University and Town.
Erected by public subscription 1861.
Charles Finch, Treasurer."
NEW THATCHED COTTAGES
These were built in 1923 by Professor Browne who lives at "Firwood" on the Trumpington
Road, and in them reside Mr. Albert Parker and Mr. King, his gardener and chauffeur
This gives an opportunity of comparing and contrasting the new with the old. May they last as
many years as the old ones, for they are certainly very picturesque and ornamental to the village.
|Thatched cottages on High Street, the
homes of Mr Albert Parker and Mr King.
This is where the old toll bar used to be, and users of the road had to pay towards its upkeep.
During this year (1924) an undergraduate returning from London ran his motor car into the door,
knocking it clean out and also the window, and doing damage to the brickwork.
A new weighbridge for tolls was at the corner of Cherryhinton Road.
|The Toll House and Weighbridge House,
High Street, in the 1920s.
We pass along Maris’ Lane. This I have heard called "Mouse’ s Lane", and wondered where on
earth it was, although I lived so near.
It is named after a Mr. Maris a farmer who lived where Mr. Tebbit now lives, opposite the yard
entrance to Anstey Hall.
THE FRONT DOORWAY OF ANSTEY HALL.
You might travel the country through and have great difficulty in finding such an imposing
doorway. Note the height of the pillars on either side.
|Impressive doorway of Anstey Hall. The south side of Anstey Hall, c.
|Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps
at Anstey Hall, Trumpington, November
|Mirror, beech and chestnut trees, stones.
These are situated near the front gates of Anstey Hall. This slide will appeal to ladies I am sure,
if only for the mirror. I have many times smiled at their antics in front of it; I even saw a farmer
standing opposite it the other day, and when I spoke of his vanity he said he was waiting for one
of his men. Not a bad excuse.
|The mirror at the entrance to Anstey
Hall, corner of Maris Lane and
Grantchester Road, looking past 20-22
|This appeals to me in a very different manner. (I might crack it if I stood gazing at it.) It shows a
combination of human forces endeavouring to get the school children into trouble, and the
schoolmaster an unenviable name. We say, "Lead us not into temptation", and I make the
children say it too. First someone plants the chestnut and beech trees, another erects the mirror,
and the third brings the necessary "ammunition". And this just outside the school where the
children are sure to congregate.
There are two stone marks on the mirror, but I'll not tell who caused them, otherwise you would
laugh. Why shouldn't you; as a matter of fact they were caused by the policeman's two boys
The slide is of the old school in 1842, very picturesque, enlarged 1903.
The school, other than Cummings’, was started by Mrs. Foster of Anstey Hall in a house
opposite the Vicarage, (next to the one dated 1654), at present tenanted by Mr. William
Chamberlain and family.
|Print of the National School, built 1843.
|Miss Elizabeth Foster was greatly interested in a blind girl named Sally Farrington. Miss Foster
learnt Braille in order to teach blind Sally.
|A person apparently reading Braille. Miss
Elizabeth Foster was said in the lecture to
have learnt Braille in order to teach blind
|In 1830 we know that twenty-five children attended Grantchester School from Trumpington.
The present school was built in 1842, and the new room added in 1903. The schoolmaster's
house was an old thatched one built near the present front garden gate, and old bricks are still to
be dug up. The names of some of the schoolmasters are Bridges, Stafford, Higham, (a bit of a
dandy who drove a tandem and pair.) He had a door made in the stables of the Unicorn, (it is
still there), in order to see the horses, so he said. Then followed our respected Mr. George Hutt
who worked here for forty-four years. Miss Georgina Marshall over 50 years.
|George Edward Hutt, the former
Trumpington schoolmaster, died
Miss Georgina Marshall, a teacher at the
Trumpington school for over 50 years.
|The stables at the Unicorn have been used for various purposes; at one time an old fellow named
Tom Wynhall lived near and used them as a butcher's shop. It is said that he used to go to the
villages round about and enquire of the farmers whether they had any ailing cattle to dispose of.
They were then hurried to the Unicorn and slaughtered, and the meat sold locally. Possibly this
accounts for the longevity of some of the inhabitants.
As we pass by now a noticeable effluvium pervades the atmosphere and tells its own tale, for the
end stable has become a fried fish shop (not now).
Years gone by the tap room of the Unicorn was used as a laundry. It is said that the old thatch is
there but the tiles have been put over it.
Picture of the Amicable Brotherly Friendly Society, dissolved 1911. Old thatched roof of
|A group of nearly 100 men gathered in
front of the thatched Unicorn public
house, with the Trumpington Brass Band
in the foreground, most of whom appear
to be wearing uniforms and caps, and the
Amicable Brotherly Friendly Society
(dissolved in 1911) in the background,
and three figures looking on from a
window. The photograph has been dated
between the 1860s and the 1880s
(probably early 1880s).
|Left: Trumpington Brass Band, with 10 members standing in line, not dressed in
uniforms, with a hedgerow and trees to the rear. The photograph has been dated
between the 1860s and the early 1880s.
Right: Trumpington Brass Band in the Eighties [1880s], 13 members of the Band,
dressed in uniforms with caps. The photograph by J.G. Simpson of Huntingdon
Road, Cambridge, has been dated to the early 1880s.
THE OLD HOUSE OPPOSITE THE SCHOOL
No one appears to know the date of this building. Evidently it was an important house when
built, probably about 1572. It is of Flemish design, and many similar structures may be seen in
Flanders. It is exceedingly interesting. Note the carved oak window frames, and the rings under
the eaves of the house. These rings are said to have held large hooks which were hung at
convenient houses, and used for the purpose of pulling off thatch when fires broke out. The slide
of the one shown was taken from the hook that stands in St. Ben'e't's Church. Similar rings may
be seen over one of the houses in Ben'e't’s Street, Cambridge, and another opposite St
Clement's Church, the Master's House of Peterhouse.
|The ‘Old House’ with Dutch roof and rings under the eaves, Church Lane.
Carving on an oak window frame on the 'Old House' opposite the school.
Hook for removing burning thatch, St. Bene't's Church, Cambridge.
Rear elevation of the ‘Old House’ with Dutch roof, Church Lane and the Church tower.
|Inside the house are some fine old beams, and formerly an old-fashioned oven, but this was
removed when the house was restored, and a piece of leaden guttering passes through one of the
attics. The house was restored in 1925 by Mr. William Pemberton. It was found necessary to
brick in the wide open chimneys. Five windows had been filled in, no doubt when the window
tax was in force. The windows and catches, to correspond with the original, of some of these
were made by Mr. E. Lawrence the village blacksmith.
There is a quaint old design on the chimney that looks like a bunch of grapes or a baker's twist.
This piece of ground is on the right hand side of the road as we go from The Old House in the
direction of Cambridge in the Church Lane, and is situated between the houses now occupied by
Mr. William Lowe and Mrs. Maud Smith.
An old tumbled-down thatched cottage stood on this site, and was occupied by a very notorious
character, a Mrs. Sivill - Mother Sivill as she was called. She was supposed to be a witch and
fortune-teller, and was credited with praying upon superstitious people. One evening two men
were passing by when one said to the other, "I wonder if the old B— is at home." "Yes! the old
B— is at home; come in." But the men went along the Lane in record time.
To old Mother Sivill belongs the credit of being the last person to be placed in the pillory at
Cambridge, which stood close to the Old Market Cross near the end of St. Mary's Passage and
in front of Barrett's shop. "Mother was placed in the pillory for one hour, turned round every
fifteen minutes and pelted with eggs and other soft missiles as a warning for future fortune-tellers.
For a piece of silver she guaranteed to give your enemy trouble, by causing the chickens to have
roup, his cattle the glanders, his pigs the fever, and his wife the creeping palsy or any other
Any who saw the havoc wrought by caterpillars on the crop of kohl-rabi the past season (1924)
and who knew of the "old dame" might be tempted to think the evil spirit of the wicked one still
haunts the place.
The place was so named on old village maps. This was formerly an important part of the village,
and some of the old fruit trees are still to be seen.
The pump can be seen in the picture. Mr. Joe Medlock was the last to live here. No doubt in
years gone by the old houses were the dwellings of the artisans who worked for the Lord of the
|Pump at Dangler's End.
ENTRANCE TO TRUMPINGTON HALL.
This slide shows the two fine pillars that support the gates by which one enters the front court.
The grounds of Trumpington Hall.
Canon and Mrs Pemberton.
|Passing through Camping Close we come out by the Church.
|Interior of the Parish Church.
|There are ancient thatched cottages (slide from painting made by scholar of Trumpington school
1929) opposite the Church, and a house near by has the date 1654 upon it. Until quite recently
an old open fireplace could be seen in one of the bedrooms, but it is now bricked up. The
staircase is of oak.
|Sketch of 20-22 Grantchester Road, a
painting made by a Trumpington School
18 Grantchester Road, marked with the date
1654, in the 1920s.
|Corner of Grantchester Lane. View of valley. Barrington Hill in distance. High and low ground.
[This photograph is not in the Robinson Collection.]
Thatched barns of Anstey Farm.
|Anstey Hall Farm barns and dovecote, c.
|On our way to the river we pass the old roadway that no doubt led to the mill. The road at one
time ran at the back of the cottages, and a pathway led through the plantation from the river and
came out near the Church. This pathway was closed by the Enclosure Award 1808.
Many have crossed this bridge -or stood upon it whispering sweet nothings - but few have
noticed the tablet which states that it was "erected by public subscription in 1790”. The work
was completed between 25th October and 4th December, at a total cost of £94. 10s. 0d.
Previously the stream had to be forded, but there was a plank for foot-passengers some fifty
yards lower down, Bast Bridge, and they went along the footpath aforementioned.
|"Brazel" Bridge, the river bridge between
Trumpington and Grantchester.
DEAD MAN'S HOLE
This slide gives a view of a bend in the river where the old backwater from "Chaucer's Mill"
entered the river. The ditch can still be seen.
The small copse of trees on the left bank is in the parish of Trumpington. The story goes that a
man was found drowned here. Grantchester refused to pay for his burial, for it was said he was
in Trumpington parish, and it fell to the lot of Trumpington. On this account Trumpington
claimed the small portion of land.
|Dead Man’s Hole, River Cam, Byron's
No one seems to know when this name was given to it. Byron, who was a poet of nature, is said
to have made it his favourite spot for bathing. Another story says that when sitting meditating on
the stone wall he tumbled headlong into the pool. Byron died in 1824.
The foundations of the Old Mill immortalized by Chaucer may still be seen in the picture.
Chaucer (1340-1400) gives an account of the miller in the Reves Tale of the Canterbury Tales.
|Byron’s Pool in the 1920s.
|No doubt there used to be two mills, for the plantation is called Old Mills Plantation. There are
three disused fishponds in it, and another in Mr. Foster's meadow.
In 1470 Robert Attylbrigg was the miller of Trumpington.
Tennyson also wrote of the place in "The Miller's Daughter" 1832
"I see the wealthy miller yet,
His double chin, his portly size."
William Wordsworth in 1800 writes:
"Beside the pleasant Mill of Trompington
I laughed with Chaucer in the hawthorn shade."
No mill. Grantchester Mill in its place. Late miller true to Tennyson's description. "Shadow does
|Sketch of the Miller of Trumpington?
and youths outside a mill? From print
|Whilst mentioning poets one must remember the young patriot Rupert Brooke who lived at the
Old Vicarage, Grantchester, where Widnall lived. He wrote unpleasant things of the people of
Trumpington, but we must put his remarks down to the privilege of poet's license: "At Over they
fling oaths at one, And worse than oaths at Trumpington."
Volunteer Corps guarding bridge, few humorous incidents.
|Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps guarding the railway line over the river bridge
“Somewhere in Cambs.”, November 1915.
Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps standing at attention, guarding the railway line
“Somewhere in Cambs.”, November 1915.
Hotel Ritz sign: "a sense of humour displayed by the War-time Volunteers, who tacked
this imposing sign and the menu on their hut when they were guarding the Pile Bridge"
(caption for this photograph when it appeared in the Cambridge Chronicle report on
Percy Robinson's lecturers in 1931). The sign had been on the Trumpington Volunteer
Training Corps hut beside the railway bridge carrying the Cambridge-Bedford line over
the River Cam, between Trumpington and Grantchester.
Two huge mounds of earth may be seen in this slide, one of top soil and the other the sub-soil.
These were placed here when excavations were being carried on for coprolites (reptiles,
|Coprolite diggings near Hauxton Road,
|Boring commenced on 8th June, 1917, and works started on 2nd January, 1918, and the
workers managed to get to the coprolites when the war ended. Millions of pounds were spent,
but it is doubtful whether a coprolite was turned to good account. In olden days of the other
workings, about 1870 (Hauxton Field, Whitmer Ditch Field, opposite Leighton, Clay Pit Gates.
Three wells bored. Domed over – Scott), the coprolites were used for manurial purposes, but
during the Great War they were no doubt wanted for phosphorus to be used in the making of
high explosives. It is said that one train load of coprolites went as far as Norwich and was sent
back and emptied into the pit again. Govt paid % on all money spent.
Another huge mound is on the Hauxton Road; on this was the "washing plant", and the slurry
was conveyed in channels to "pans" near the river.
An astonishing fact is the way the willows have sprung up, but the wind, driving between the two
mounds, swept the seed across the water and consequently there are hardly any willows in the
In years to come many legends will be told of these mounds. Some will say they were
fortifications, others the burial places of men killed in the war, the scene of a bloody battle, etc.
I think some of the scum of the earth came to work here. It was no unusual thing for them to
spend £4 to £5 per week on beer, and the wages with bonus were very high. I knew a butcher
boy of fourteen to sixteen earning 9/- per week carrying out meat. When the works started he
got a job as engine-cleaner at £2 12s 6d with bonus. Then he went into the engineer's shop, and
at eighteen years of age claimed to be a "fitter", and he took as much as £7 per week in wages.
The men were always on the grumble. The Irishmen went on strike and the works were shut
down for ten days. Their fares were paid to Ireland, and then they went on the exchange,
expecting to be back again after a nice holiday, but they were not fetched and were sorely
Near by is the huge pit from which the earth was removed and which now contains a large
quantity of water. During the hot summer of 1921 it became a favourite spot for undergraduates
to bathe without permission, and was commonly known by them as the "Blue Lagoon".
Note the notice-board: "Bathers will be prosecuted". Thereby hangs a tale. Mr G. R. C. Foster
was walking across the land with Mr. Boggis his agent, when he noticed some clothes on the
bank. Naturally he went to see why they were there. To his astonishment he saw a couple
bathing. They had not the regulation costume on but were attired in their birthday clothes. Mr.
Foster was annoyed and said to Mr. Boggis, "Let's sit down and keep the bounders in the cold
water to cool them down." After a time the man swam towards them and said, "Are you going to
move?" Mr. Foster replied, "Why should I on my own land?" With that the young man went off.
I wonder how he felt. After a time Mr. Foster, like the sport he is, said, "Come on, let's go", and
left them to it.
Later the notice-boards appeared, but some have been pulled down.
|Coprolite diggings, near Hauxton Road.
"Blue Lagoon" - sign "Bathers will be
|View across coprolite diggings to King’s
Other photographs in the Robinson Collection not referred to the text
|Trumpington Roll of Honour, article reprinted from Cambridge
Chronicle, 3 September 1915, with list of men serving in the forces
Handwritten card with ‘A Happy New Year to all from Mr & Mrs
Gordon Wright’. Charles Gordon Wright was the vicar from 1891-
|Group of children and adults dressed in Medieval costume outside King’s
Musician with flag on instrument.
|Elderly man standing beside a fence with ladies on the path. Possibly Mr
Joe Medlock, last person to live at Dangler's End.
Postman and his donkey.