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Master’s Lodge, St John’s College

History of Master's Lodge, St John's College

This had been the site of the Finch family iron foundry. It had been on the site now occupied by St John’s chapel and the Master’s Lodge, but by 1863 the foundry had moved to its new home in Thompson’s Lane.

West of Bridge Street in the Nineteenth Century

The site of the Master’s Lodge can be seen superimposed in the middle of the plan above. It was built in 1863 and a new ante-chapel completed in 1869. The following information on the early history of the site comes from T E Faber, An Intimate History of the parish of St Clement’s, 2006.

The map shows the original western boundary of the parish of St Clement’s. there was a ditch with water in early medieval times which later became a lane. This was referred to as ‘St John’s Lane’ at least from the second half of the 13th century. It was sometimes called ‘Back Lane’ and ‘Water Lane’. the land between the ditch and Bridge Street was divided into strips running east to west, pattern which survived into the 19th century.

In 1560 St John’s was granted a licence by the town to erect gates at the southern end of the lane in return for an annual payment of 1d. Access to the lane was by key issued by the Mayor, rent 1d p.a. By 1862 most of the land between bridge Street and St John’s Lane was in the hands of St John’s and the Cambridge Street Act of 1863 empowered the college to close the lane completely.

This was then part of the area was cleared to provide a site for the master’s Lodge and a new Ante-Chapel. Between 1938 and 1940 the remaining old houses on the west side of Bridge Street were demolished and replaced with Chapel Court, while those to the north of the master’s Lodge were rebuilt to designs by Edward Maufe, architect of Chapel Court. Bridge Street was significantly widened at the time to the west.


Robert Forsyth Scott, 61, Master St John’s College (1908-1933), b Scotland

Jessy, 40, b India

Maude Tingey, 31, parlour maid, b Cambridge

Lizzie Tingey, 20, cook, b Cambridge

Nellie Buxton, 22, housemaid, b Waterbeach


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