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Blackamoor Head Yard, 1932 (photo W M Palmer). Alderman Nutting's house.(Cambridgeshire Collection)

17 – 18 Bridge Street, The Mitre / Blackmoor Head / Cock and Magpie

History of 17 Bridge Street

For the early history of the Blackmoor Head, look at entry on Clement Hostel. Further details in T E Faber, An Intimate History of St Clement’s Parish, 2006.

1615/16 Hugh Humphrey, baker, grated lease of Clement Hostel and in the same year granted an alehouse license

1614-26 Hugh, later John, Jones

1660-62 John Wood

1664-67 henry Gunnell

1671-93 Oliver Pangbourne, for Blackamoor’s Head 1672-74

1744-57 Robert, later Alice, Clarke, for Blackamore’s Head in 1752

1758-59 George Mead for Blackamore’s Head in 1752

1760-61 not listed

1762-91 Juner Perry, for Blackamoor’s head

1792 Sarah Perry

1793-1809 Joseph Lawrence

1809-15 Joseph Lawrence for Cock and Magpie

1810 John Day, brewer, for Blackmoor Head

1811-52 listed continuously as Blackmoor Head

1816-31 Sarah Lawrence for new Cock and Magpie until 1824 and for Cock and Magpie thereafter. ‘Liquor shop’ from 1829.

In 1825, when the property came up for sale, together with other lots that formed the Clement Hostel, the building was shared between the Blackmoor Head and a liquor shop, the Cock and Magpie.

The whole lot was bought by a Mrs Lawrence in the 1825 sale. and rebuilt by her.

1830  (Black-a-Moor’s Head)  Francis Bell (Pigot’s )

1832-34 Juner Perry Lawrence and Edward Rist Lawrence for Cock and Magpie

1836-45 Ann Lawrence and Edward Rist Lawrence for Cock and Magpie

1839 (Blackamoor’s Head) Samuel Peacock (Robson’s)

The modern brick facade seems to have been built in or before 1841.

The last full reference found by T E Faber (An Intimate History of St Clement) to the Blackmoor Head was in the 1841 census. In the 1851 census it is only in the preamble to the return.

1851 (Blackmoor’s Head) Simon Barker (Gardner’s )

1852 (Blackmoors Head) James Ingram (Slater’s)

1853-56 not listed


(17) William John Gallyon, 31, gunmaker, b Cambridge

(18) Edward R Lawrence, 54, wine and spirit merchant, b Cambridge

1871 18 Bridge Street, Cock and Magpie

Edward R Lawrence, wine merchant, widower, 64,  b Cambridge
Emily Starmer, daughter, 35, b Cambridge
Kate Lawrence, daughter, 22, b Grantchester
Frances Thompson, servan, 19, b Coton

1874 (Cock & Magpie ) William Headdy

1876 Mitre not yet in existence. The site still belonged to one of Anne Lawrence’s sons, Edward Rist Lawrence at his death in 1876. In that year the Cock and and Magpie was at no.18 and shared its building with a shop at no.17.

1879 Thomas William Reilly (Kellys)

1881 (Mitre)

Elizabeth Mays, licensed victuallers wife, 33
John F Mays, 4 months, b Cambridge/
Julia Mays, mother, annuitant, widow, 55, b Guernsey

1883 Arthur Montague Butler (Kellys)

1888 Mrs Elizabeth Cue (Kellys)

1892 John Rich (Kellys)

1896 Mrs Ann Rich (Kellys)

1904 Thomas McLachlan (Kellys)

1913 E Green (Spalding)


The Mitre Hotel

J F Harlow, manager

(17a): Edgar H Mathie

1916 Frank E Rice ( Kellys )

1933 Thos. Stafford Spurgeon (Kelly’s)


The Blackamoor Head Yard was swept by fire in 1933. CIP 6.10.1933: Near midnight one of the fiercest fires in Cambridge for years partially destroyed the Baron of Beef. The pub had only just been rebuilt with the demolition of seven old cottages.


On the night of 27th July 1941  after the raid that caused widespread damage in the area, an unexploded bomb was discovered in the basement party wall. Another rested  unexploded in the outbuildings of ‘The Mitre.’ When later analysed it was discovered that these were Sprengband C.50s, the first ‘Firepots’. (See Michael Bowyer Air Raid! pub. 1986)


Mitre P H

(17a) William James Stubbings

Christopher Smart in 1741 wrote a poem entitled The Pretty Bar-Keeper of the Mitre. However the Mitre did not exist at this location until the latter half of the 19th century. The whereabouts of Smart’s Mitre is unknown.

Christopher Smart poem, The Pretty Bar-Keeper of the Mitre



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