Capturing Cambridge
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1 – 2 Market Hill

History of 1-2 Market Square

Nos 1-2 in gabled red brick (originally Hallack & Bond, grocers) are dated 1890.


Original building at this site erected by grocer Veysey; the arms of the Grocers’ Company had been carved on fireplaces. This was discovered during demolition in 1889.


John Bonnett had carried on the drapery business of Baker, Bonnett and Clayton from the 1840s.


(1) John Bonnett, 38, woollen draper, b Cambs

(2) Robert Wilson, 36, grocer, b Cambs


On 4/4/1857 Josiah Chater wrote in his diary:

We heard that Mr Bonnett wished to dispose of his stock and that Lincolne [grocers and wine merchants of 35 Sidney Street] had been after his house. I went to Lincolne and asked if he had indeed taken it, and he told me that he had given it up, so I determined I would go and see Mr Bonnett, thinking, probably, there might be a chance for us to take his stock, which we could do very comfortably if he would give us the time to pay it off. I saw him after tea and he was very polite, and thought we might come to some arrangement, so we fixed for a meeting as 12 o’clock on Wednesday. We thought perhaps the house might do for Alfred for a ready-made shop, but Bonnett thought it might be better for us, but we shall see.

By 24th April arrangement had been made for a valuation of the fixtures and furniture, and it was becoming public knowledge that Mr Bonnett’s business had changed hands; ‘ the trade is all agog with our moving and quite excited about it.’ News was announced the following day.

The Chater brothers and James Osbourn did, indeed, make their new venture thrive even though 1857 was not a good year for traders.



Corporation of Cambridge obtained an Act of Parliament for the improvement of the buildings on Market Hill. This work interfered with business and stock had to be protected overnight.



The Chaters close down their Sidney Street premises and move their whole business to Market Hill.




Alfred Chater, 36, tailor employing 8 men, b Essex

Annie, sister, 24, housekeeper, b Essex

Eliza Perrin,  19, servant, b Essex


Richard Wright, 50, grocer, b Gt Shelford

Luke T Cherry, partner, 44, grocer, b Bucks

William Heffer, 14, grocer’s apprentice, b Swavesey

Lucy Taber, 27, servant, b Cherry Hinton

In June 1871 Josiah Chater began to plan alterations to Nos. 1 and 1A Market Hill so as to utilise the brewhouse and stables and to provide a new cutting room, sewing room, warehouse and counting houses on the southern  side, the corner of Petty Cury. This was to cater for their new business venture, the ready-made tailoring trade.



By 11 April Josiah Chater had opened their ‘manufactory’ for ready made clothes. He planned to have around 50 workers.



Josiah and William Chater decided to break their partnership. By the end of 1876 it was agreed that the grocer William Bond would take over the premises, allowing William Chater to continue on a ten year lease at No. 1A, and Chater and Osbourn at No.1. Josiah decided to pursue a career in accountancy.





In October, following occupation by a music and pianoforte seller, the property was demolished and new erected. The whole corner including part of Petty Cury, which had been the Veysey house dating from the 16th century was demolished.



Hallack and Bond move to the location


12/2/1909: Hallack and Bond can trace their association with Cambridge back over 100 years: it was there that Elizabeth Woodcock purchased her groceries before being lost in the snow in 1799. Tea was a luxury then, now it is a necessity and their delicate Katharata blend produces pleasing results. A visit to their tea room is a revelation: upon a tea-tasting day fragrant bouquets from the Far East assail the nostrils and the palate including one with a beautiful peach-like perfume (Cam.News)



Hallack & Bond Ltd, family grocers and provision merchants, tea blenders and coffee roasters

3/3/1927: Sir – I read of the sale of the old-established grocery and provision business of Hallack and Bond. It is regrettable that the ownership of another great business passes away from Cambridge. To many the name has been a by-word and a guarantee of quality and good service through the personal supervision of people resident in Cambridge. This must become a serious menace to the welfare of the town and all good citizens should avail themselves of the service ably rendered by locally owned firms – Loyal Citizen (Cam.News)

12/8/1927: An outstanding feature in the reconstruction of our new premises at 2, Market Hill, Cambridge, are the windows which are unique for a grocery business and compare in style with a London west-end store. We welcome an opportunity of showing you a store fitted and stocked in the most complete and scientific manner and where prized traditions inherited from our predecessors (Messrs Hallack and Bond) are upheld and carried forward with modem equipment. Shoppers may actually see their coffee roasted and ground. International Stores, the greatest grocers in the world. Advert. (Cam.News)


Montague Burton, tailors

1-2 Market Hill c1960

1-2 Market Hill c1960


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