Capturing Cambridge
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5 Market Hill (Oasis)

History of 5 Market Hill

According to Pevsner’s Cambridgeshire, no. 5 is timber-framed with restored tile-hanging. In 1688 it was remodelled with a rich shell-hood over the door with brackets and putti, re-set on the upper floor when the ground floor became a shop. First-floor ceiling also of 1688, of plaster with a central space representing a cloudy sky, similar to that of the Old Library in Pembroke College.

1959 Royal Commission on Historical Monuments Survey of Cambridge also says that the house was probably built in the 17th cent. and that the plaster ceiling may be the work of Henry Doogood who was employed on Wren’s City churches. The plaster ceiling has cartouches containing the arms of the Draper’s Company and of Watson. Thus it seems probable that the improvements were commissioned by William Watson, Alderman of Cambridge 1696-1702 (bap. 1665 d. 1722) son of William Watson burgess and linen-draper. However the arms in question, those of Watson of Rockingham, are those to which he may have had no right. Details of the ceiling are very similar to those of the Old Library in Pembroke College which was the work of Henry Doogood.

No. 5 Market Hill ceiling detail

No.5 Market Hill detail of ceiling


William Watson appeared in court over a dispute he had had with a John Frohock at Stourbridge Fair.


Frederick Hebblewhite, linen and woollen draper


Frederick Hebblewhite, 50, linen draper, b Lincs


John R Maye, 42, draper, b Herts

Helen H, 39, b London

Helen Ransom, 15, b Cambridge

Herbert C Graves, draper’s assistant, b Chesterton,

Fred Skinner, 19, draper’s assistant, b Comberton

Jane Ilett, 22, servant, b Croydon





Frank Valentine Wiggins, 30, lodging house keeper, b Wales

Gertrude, 30, b Oxon

Winifred, daughter, 2, b Cambridge

Gertrude Shipp, nursemaid, 13, b Cambs


Frank Wiggins, lodging house keeper

BehindĀ  this address was also the Great Eastern and Great Northern Railway Receiving Office


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