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Little St Mary's Lane 1925 OS map

21 – 24 Little St Mary’s Lane / Garden House Hotel

History of 21 - 24 Little St Mary's Lane

Papers donated by the Reynolds family (Garden House Hotel) to the Museum of Cambridge show the history of the land ownership of Coe Fen:

Coe Fen land ownership

Michaelmas 1823 to June 12th 1848 (squatter)

Declaration of Sep 16 1848: Ephraim Gunn in undisturbed possession until his death June 12th 1848.

Conveyance to William Fuller: his widow sold in Sep 1848 to William Fuller for £28.

Fuller to John Hodgson: dated Oct 31 1868 for £55.

Declaration Dec 17 1886: Charles Gunn, son of Ephraim Gun. Claim to ditch on Fen side of property and also to vehicular right of way from Coe Fen Lane to the garden.

Conveyance Hodgson to Fred Dale: March 4th 1901 for £300

Conveyance Dale to George Reynolds: June 6th 1925 for £550

Conveyance Reynolds to Corporation: Exchange

At this location there four cottages, not on the line of the modern St Mary’s Lane. In the middle of the four was the entrance to Belle Vue Gardens.

The original Garden House was built c.18th cent. as the Miller’s House. From the latter part of the 19th cent. it was owned by the Professor and Mrs Cayley.


(1) Thomas Cowling, 75, general labourer, b Landbeach

(2) (Garden House)

Arthur Cayley, 59, Sadleirian Professor of Pure Maths, b Surrey

Arthur Cayley, Coe Fen Terrace

Susan, 50, b Godalming

Mary, 13, b Cambridge

Henry, 11, b Cambridge

Mary Storey, 40, cook, b Orwell

Sophia Porter, 38, housemaid, b Burwell

Elizabeth Storey, 14, kitchenmaid

See Mill Road Cemetery entry

(3) John Raymer, 50, labourer, b Trumpington

(4) William Wilson, 32, policeman, b Cambridge


(21) William Famely, carman

(22) Mrs Cayley, Garden House

Entrance to Belle Vue Gardens

Jones and Sons, florists, J Hudson foreman

(23) John Cannon, engine driver flour mills

(24) David Strachen, waiter

During WWI, R M Jones ran the extensive gardens attached to the House as a small-holding to supply his shop in Silver Street. His daughter Madeline let boats on the river and served tea and hampers from the riverside pavilion while her husband, George Reynolds, was serving in France.

George Reynolds, 1880-1955 had been born in Coton. Madeline Myfanwy Jones (1882-1981) was born in Cambridge at 3 Queen’s Cottages, Silver Street.

The £500 which she saved from this enterprise enabled George and Madeline  Reynolds to put down a deposit on the Garden House which they bought in 1923. From that small beginning developed the Garden House Hotel business.

Original Garden House Hotel

Old Garden House hotel

Original Garden House Hotel

Old Garden House hotel

Original Garden House Hotel

Garden House Hotel

Garden House Hotel

The Garden House Hotel (MoC357.63)

The Garden House Hotel (MoC357.63)

In 1973 there was a disastrous fire and whole hotel was rebuilt.

1972 newspaper report of fire

1972 newspaper report of the fire

Fire brigade in attendance

Opening of the new Garden House Hotel

Garden House Hotel

Garden House Hotel



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