Capturing Cambridge
  • search
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

7 – 8 Bene’t Street, Eagle and Child, The Eagle

History of 8 Bene't Street

The inn here opened in 1667 as the ‘Eagle and Child.”

Eagle Inn courtyard

According to 1959 Royal Commission on Historical Monuments Survey of Cambridge  not. 9, 8, 6, 7 and 8 have all at one time been incorporated in the Inn, originally the ‘Eagle and Child’ and described as the Post House in Loggan’s plan of Cambridge in 1688. A lease of 1826 of the property is held by Corpus Christi College; in it no.9 is ‘newly erected’, ‘lately rebuilt by the Master and Fellows.’ The carriageway in the middle is in much the position of that shown in John Hamond’s view of Cambridge of 1592. The courtyard gallery front, though now of c.1800, seems to represent an original feature.

There is a Wikipedia article about the site:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eagle,_Cambridge

11/5/1907: A policeman described how he secreted himself in a larder and kept observation on the Eagle Inn, Bene’t Street. He could see who entered the yard and overhear conversation in the smoke-room on the other side of a lath and plaster wall. He heard talk relating to horse racing and telephonic messages being passed to certain address giving the names of horses and mentioning sums of money. Police raided the inn and the landlord was committed for trial. (Cam. News)

7/6/1943: Painting of an aircraft in flight, autographed by British and American service men has been subject of a competition in aid of Prisoners of War Fund at Eagle in Bene’t Street. Other men have covered ceiling with lipstick or lighter flame records of their own units (Cam News)

22/3/1951: Cambridge has some 150 inn signs hanging outside licensed premises. It is probable that Cambridge was the first place where public house signs were made compulsory by law. An Act passed in 1430 laid down “whoever shall brew ale in the town of Cambridge with intention of selling it must hang out a sign, otherwise he shall forfeit his ale. The Eagle and Child in Bene’t Street was called by irreverent undergraduates “The Bird and Baby”. There was also a “Swan and Sugarloaf’, (now the Still and Sugarloaf) which was nicknamed the Duck and Acid Drop. (Cam News)

1962

(7) The Eagle

18/4/1988: The historic Eagle Hotel in Bene’t Street has closed for a year or two while building work is carried out nearby. It has been favourite of tourists, dons and actors from the Arts Theatre. The people who discovered DNA were regulars and the traitor, Kim Philby, also drank there. Former RAF Chief Technician, James Chainey, who has made a study of the wartime writings on the ceiling, was among the final drinkers. But late arrivals found many of the pumps had already run dry and some of the fittings taken down. (Cam.News)

2018

(8) The Eagle

Contribute

Do you have any information about the people or places in this article? If so, then please let us know using the Contact page or by emailing capturingcambridge@museumofcambridge.org.uk.