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31 Jesus Lane, Sparrow’s Yard

History of 31 Jesus Lane

According to the 1959 Royal Commission survey: no. 31 … is of two periods; the S. half beside the Lane, with walls of white brick and slated roofs is of c. 1830, the N half, with plastered timber-framed walls and tiled roofs, of the late 17th century.

A B Gray in Cambridge Revisited writes: There flourished another Society, calling itself the Cambridge Dramatic Reading Room, and I have before me a p[lay-bill announcing performances by its members for 28 and 29 July 1836 at Sparrow’s Yard, Jesus Lane….. With regard to Sparrow’s Yard, we learn from another source of information that there a body of undergraduates provided funds for a certain Andrew J Tempany to build and run the Jesus Lane Theatre.

Cambridge Dramatic Album pub 1868 includes the note: 1833. In this year a small theatre was erected in Sparrow’s Yard, Jesus Lane. It was used for amateur performances; and after a few years’ dramatic service, it was converted into stables. The premises are now occupied by Mr. John Death.

1851 John Death is listed in Malcolm Street running a livery stable

1861 (31 Jesus Lane)

John Death, 43, town councillor and farmer 150 acres employing 7 men


Emile Antoine Porcheron, head cook Corpus Christi College


Mrs E Parker

Herbert Oliver Cundell


Terrence Zarattini



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