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19 Northampton Street

19 Northampton Street, The Borough Boy, St Giles Parish workhouse

History of 19 Northampton Street

Cambridge Revisited refers to a pub here at the end of the 19th century by the name of Borough Boy. This area of Cambridge was known as the Borough, and its residents as Borough Boys. The building was originally three cottages. The back yard of the workhouse became known as Gentle’s Yard.

St Giles Parish Workhouse. CWN 17.12.1981 writes: Before 19 Northampton Street became the Borough Boy it was the workhouse of St Giles’s parish for more than 30 years from the beginning of the 19th century. According to an article on parish workhouses from the proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society the workhouse stood in Bell Lane [Northampton Street] and consisted of six cottages, three in the front, since altered into a public house, known as the Borough Boy, and three in a Court [Gentle’s Yard], now standing.

Dr Stokes, who wrote the article on parish workhouses, said: There is an old lady living near, who well remembers the old St Giles’s Workhouse, and has vividly described to the writer the condition of affairs just before the reforms; the men, women and children huddled together, and loafing about in the court and streets; there was one man, mad and raving,  ‘like a wild beats’, who lay on straw in a barred room; there was a poor ‘silly woman’, Polly Sudbury, who roamed about in the neighbourhood. Two open privies were not a pleasant feature of the situation. The Workhouse Master, a Mr Bradbury, lived a little way off. There was considerable commotion when the paupers were removed to their new home on Mill Road (or rather to the temporary and classified Workhouses which were used until the erection of the central house.)

Borough Boy public house

Northampton Street, Spotted Cow and Borough Boy (MoC93/52)



Walter Thomas Wayman was living here, lodging house for poor single men probably.

Northfields paint shop


Edgar Jones

19 Northampton Street (MoC18/72)


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