Trumpington Village Sign unveiled June 2010, designed by Sheila Betts.
Trumpington Local History Group

The Red Lion Public House
Copyright © Trumpington Local History Group, 2014. Updated 9 July 2014.
The Red Lion was one of nine public houses which have operated in
Trumpington in the last 500 years. This page is based on a presentation
given by Peter Dawson at the meeting titled
Along the High Street, 26
March 2009.
Extract from the Inland Revenue Land Value
map
for Trumpington, 1910-11, showing the
Red Lion. Reproduced by permission of
Cambridgeshire Archives, file 470/047, sheet
XLVII.10.
When the Red Lion first opened, it was
charmingly described as a small pub, set back,
with a ducks' puddle in front and pigs
wandering amiably through its public bar on
their way to the meadow behind. There was a
large wooden barn at the rear. A lane at the
side of the pub provided access to the
meadow where a very popular Village Feast
was held each summer. No doubt bar takings
greatly increased during those three days.

Early landlords included the wonderfully
named Augustus Bacon and - in the 1920s
and 1930s - Walter Frost. An impressive
figure at 20 stone, with a walrus moustache,
Mr Frost was also head waiter at Trinity
College and ran a taxi service with a
horse-drawn hansom cab. In spite of all these
commitments, he somehow found time to
father 12 children. The horse and cab were
eventually sold and replaced with a car he
bought from Canon Pemberton, cars at that
time still being regarded as a novelty.

The old pub was demolished in 1936. The
new, much larger Red Lion, set closer to the
road, was built around 1939, blocking the lane
and putting an end to the Feast in the
meadow. More a small hotel, it catered for
wedding receptions, had a restaurant and
provided accommodation. It was reputed to
be haunted: the dog of one of the landladies,
Florence Jones, refused to go down the cellar
steps, whereas it would usually follow her
everywhere else. Perhaps the dog did not like
spirits.

In the early 1970s, Whitbread's tried
unsuccessfully to form a motel, by combining
the pub with the nearby Green Man. The Red
Lion closed down in 1975 and was
demolished soon after. The site on the High
Street now contains a group of houses that
were advertised as "Trumpington Court".
Sources

The Victoria County History (VCH) (1982) includes a summary of the different pubs, p.
250-51. See the
bibliography for full details.
The Red Lion and the War
Memorial. Source:
Cambridgeshire Collection,
Cambridge Central Library.
Reproduced in
Trumpington
Past & Present
, p. 72.
If you have any further information about this or the other pubs in
Trumpington, we would be very interested to hear from you.
Open by the 1840s, the Red
Lion was situated on the High
Street, nearly opposite the
crossroads where the War
Memorial was later erected.
The Red Lion and the War Memorial.
Land Value map, 1910.
Walter Frost, landlord of the Red Lion in the 1920s and 1930s.
Walter Frost, landlord of the Red Lion in the
1920s and 1930s. Source: Robert Hall.
Reproduced in
Trumpington Past & Present, p.
72.
Walter Frost’s taxi service, with four of his children sitting in the car.
Walter Frost's taxi service, with four of his
children sitting in the car. Source: Robert Hall.
Reproduced in
Trumpington Past & Present, p.
142.
The Red Lion and War Memorial, 1969.
The Red Lion and War Memorial, 1969.
Source: Cambridgeshire Collection,
Cambridge Central Library. Reproduced in
Trumpington Past & Present, p. 73.
The Red Lion, 1970s.
The Red Lion, 1970s. Photo: Peter Dawson.
Frank and Florence Jones, landlords of the Red Lion in the 1970s.
Frank and Florence Jones, landlords of the
Red Lion in the 1970s. Source: Florence
Jones. Reproduced in
Trumpington Past &
Present
, p. 73.
Florence Jones’s dog in the Red Lion in the 1970s.
Florence Jones' dog in
the Red Lion in the
1970s. Source: Florence
Jones. Reproduced in
Trumpington Past &
Present
, p. 73.
The site of the Red Lion public house, looking across the High Street from the War Memorial, May 2009.
The site of the Red Lion public house,
looking across the High Street from the War
Memorial, May 2009. Photo: Andrew
Roberts.