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The Spotted Cow, Northampton Street and former Northampton Boot Stores and entrance to Kettle's Yard

Kettle’s Yard, Northampton Street

History of Kettle's Yard, Northampton Street

Kettle’s Yard, 1904 (photo F J Allen)


  1. Robert Bright, 80, gardener’s labourer, b Middlesex

2. John Lowe, 35, coal porter, b Girton

3. James Gigney, 33, brewer’s labourer unemployed, b Cambridge

4. unoccupied

5. Martha Pilsworth, 48, laundress, b Abington

6. Sarah Thompson, 55, laundress

7. Henry Rogers, 36, brewer’s labourer out of employment, b Cambridge

8. Ann Rogers, 78, none, b Haslingfield

9. William Chapman, 62, brickmaker, b Cambridge

10. William George, 62, shoemaker, b Cambridge

11. Charles Langford, 43, general labourer, b Cambridge

12. Samuel R George, 25, bricklayer’s labourer out of work, b Cambridge

13. William A Haydock, 29, stableman, b Cambridge

14. Anne Hines, 54, washerwoman,

15. Thomas W Chapman, 28, brickmaker out of work, b Cambridge

16. John Wolfe, brickmaker’s labourer, b Cambridge

17. William H Cook, 43, bricklayer’s labourer, b Cambridge

18. James Crook, 46, groom, b Cambridge

19. Mary Collis, 52, washerwoman, b Cottenham

20. Robert Wright, 35, shoemaker, b Cambridge

21. Sarah A Levett, 35, dressmaker, b Bury St Edmunds

22. Caroline Hall, 38, college servant, b Cambridge

23. Jonas Burling, 39, fossil dig labourer, b Over

24. John Blackwell, 48, brewer’s man, b St Ives

25. Mary A Lowe, 60, laundress, b St Ives

26. Jacob Wolfe, 52, fossil dig labourer [coprolite], b Harlton



1-2. Samuel Frost

3. Charles Garner, labourer

5. Sam Wolfe, billiard maker


7. George Crook, gardener

8. William Chapman

9. James Game, chimney sweep

10. William Hammond

houses closed

17. Miss Adelaide Westley Clarke

18. Miss Mary Ann Crook

19. Mrs H Haylock



Kettles Yard in 1941 by G Strickland

Kettles Yard, 1941 (photo G Strickland)

Commentary by Mike Petty in Fenland History Facebook Group: By 1941 a shop had opened but the Spotted Cow and several properties had been cleared though four small cottages at the Castle Street end considered by Cambridge Preservation Society to be capable of conversion were allowed to remain standing. They were bought by Jim Ede in 1957 and form the nucleus of the Kettle’s Yard gallery. The rest were demolished for old folk’s flats which opened in 1956 and won a Civic Trust Award. St Peter’s Church had to be underpinned in 1932 to stop it falling down. It was declared redundant in 1958 and is now cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust. As old properties were replaced by new houses the landlords demanded higher rents that the former residents could not afford, driving them out and reducing the trade of pubs and shopkeepers.



Jim Ede bought the four tiny condemned slum dwellings, the remaining buildings of Kettle’s Yard.

Kettles Yard demolition (MoC P28)


In 1981 George Hatton (3 Albion Row) recalled the games children used to play – tops and whips, roller skating and skipping on the slop from Kettle’s Yard to Northampton Street. He remembered the sign visible in a photograph warning drivers to drive slowly as they approached the Northampton Street Castle Street crossroads.



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