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27 Bridge Street, Scottish Provident/Wildwood, the Griffin, the Crow

History of 27 Bridge Street

Information from T E Faber, An Intimate History of St Clement’s Parish, 2006.

This site is the only one in the parish to have been owned by Trinity Hall.

Properties on the corner of Bridge Street and Thompson’s Lane

1295 John Butt (mayor frequently between 1277 and 1295)

The landlocked garden plot behind nos. 27 and 28 was released in 1461 as part of a larger area which extended further south, by Richard Everard of Crowland and Robert Garlond of Cambridge, to draper William Dak amongst others. There is strong evidence that Everard and Garlond also held no.27 as well.

Earliest mention of the Griffin is in document from 1483, 1491 and 1493. In 1483 Edward/Edmund Damay pays 1d for ‘le Gryffin’.

c.1510: Walter Hewke bought Griffin from Councillor Hankyn Aunsell for £100. He installed Walter Lombe as his tenant and entertained the Fellows of Trinity Hall to dinner there; at the same time he bought the two ‘houses against the Griffin’.

1518 death of Walter Hewke, master of Trinity Hall. His will contain the instructions to establish a chaplain/fellow at the college to be called ‘Dr Hewkes preest.’ This was to be funded by his bequest of ‘all my hole Inne called the Gryffin lyinge in Bryggestrete [in St Clement’s] with all the appurtenances and landes belonging thereto‘, plus two tenements ‘ with their two hole gardyns […] right on  and ayene the foresaid Inne‘, plus two other tenements ‘by the Dolfyn in Allhallows’.

1527 – 1538 12d rent paid to Trinity Hall

1538 – 1541 Trinity Hall must have sold the property to Thomas Farrer. Thomas died in 1540; he owned the Griffin and leased the Bull on the other side of the road. He left both inns to his wife for life then to his son William.

after 1540: occupant was Bradburne

c. 1554: Griffin bought by Alderman John Lyne. Quit rent paid by  John, his son William I and grandson William II, or their tenants, until 1617. (Lyne family also owned no.28)

1590 no. 27 sold by Lyne family to Lambert Dampes. Business and name of the Griffin at no. 27 transferred to no.28.

1593 no. 27 left by Dampes to the Mayor and Bailiffs of the town to fund a charitable distribution of sea coals to the poor. Described in his will as a free house in St Clement’s ‘wherin Thomas Birch now dwelleth.’

1604 town let property to Eward Male rent £4. Leased at that rent until 1783.

1627-59 Thomas Coward named as occupant of a ‘capital messuage commonly called […] the Crow’ in town leases dated 1638 and 1649. The name ‘Crow’ transferred to no.29 because no.27 ceased to be an alehouse after Thomas Coward’s death or retirement in c. 1659.

1851 occupied by an upholsterer


Robert Hills, 73, cabinet maker, b Cambridge

Catherine, 73, b Suffolk

William R, 44, upholsterer, b Cambridge

Caroline, 42, b Cambridge

Maryann E Goshawk, grand daughter, 17, b Cambridge

Caroline Goshawk, grand daughter, 11, b Cambridge

1871 the Spotted leopard with Goss’s Passage or Spotted Leopard Passage beside it.

Henry J P Goss, victualler, 37, b Lancaster
Eliza Goss, 47, b Bottisham
Charlotte R Chapman, servant, 14, b Cambridge


Mary Ann Newman, beer house keeper, widow, 60, b Kingston
Emily Newman, daughter, cook, 18, b St. Ives

1895 vacant building plot

1906 A MacIntosh and Sons, ironmongers

1960 Skeel’s bicycle business


Victoria Wine Com

John Lucas

The current building, occupied in 2017 by the Wildwood restaurant, was formerly the offices of The Scottish Provident. The building was constructed by Rattee and Kett circa 1978.



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