Capturing Cambridge
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2-4 Petty Cury c1960

4 Petty Cury

History of 4 Petty Cury

1851 (unnumbered)

Henry Watson, 35, chemist

1861 (4)

Henry Brown Watson, 43, chemist, b Cambridge


William Heffer moves shop here from 104 Fitzroy Street


W Heffer and Sons, publishers booksellers and printers

William Heffer 1843 – 1928 by Sidney Heffer (1952)


Heffer’s, Petty Cury c.1920

Commentary by Mike Petty on Fenland History Facebook site:

William Heffer opened his bookshop in Petty Cury in 1896 having bought out a chemist whose stock he sold off, but the giant bottles were to remain in the windows up till 1922. On the day that war broke out, 1914, the Oak-Room-and-Gallery was opened, stretching backwards where the Lion’s stables had stood. As the shop expanded upstairs into the rest of the building it retained mementoes: the wallpaper was that of the university lodgings, while bedroom 40, renamed The Science Room, still sported a chandelier. In 1928 the shop expanded into adjacent premises and a new frontage, designed by Arthur Heffer was installed. [H. Bosanquet. Walks round vanished Cambridge: Petty Cury. 1974]. The firm moved to Trinity Street in 1970 and the building was demolished as part of the Lion Yard redevelopment that saw the clearance of the south side of Petty Cury and the lanes and alleys beyond. Had the Antiquarian Society photographers realised the extent of the demolition that was to occur they may have devoted more of their plates to the area.


W Heffer & Sons, booksellers

Heffer’s, 3 – 4 Petty Cury c.1960s (MoC38/160/69)

3/4 Petty Cury (MoC405/63)

3 – 4 Petty Cury (MoC133/71)

Heffers, 3 Petty Cury (MoC61B71)



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