The pub / hotel was demolished in 1969. There was a separately licensed Tap in the 19th century. From about 1851 it was just referred to as the Lion Hotel. It is known to have been in existence from at least the early 16th century.
According to 1959 Royal Commission on Historical Monuments Survey of Cambridge the building was of three and two storeys with attics. The walls were plastered timber-framing and brick. The old yard had by 1959 been covered with a glass roof. It was the only inn in the city showing a continued retention of both use and courtyard from at least the 17th cent. None of the surviving buildings in 1959 were earlier than the 17th cent. but a probable medieval origin had been argued.
Samuel Stanley, lessee
Robert Browne, occupier
Became a terminus for the London to Cambridge stagecoach
1831: Cambridge Chronicle and Journal 9.9.1831:
THE CORONATION. Yesterday being the day appointed for the Coronation of their most gracious Majesties, the auspicious event was commemorated in this town in a manner consonant with the loyalty of the inhabitants. At early hour in the morning the bells of the various churches rang merry peals and the shops being closed a general holiday was afforded to all descriptions of persons. Flags were displayed from many of steeples and houses, and the streets presented an animated scene from the number of persons who paraded the town, during the greater part of the day to witness the preparations for the illuminations.
Upwards of eighty of the principal inhabitants dined on the occasion at the Red Lion Inn, C Pemberton Esq. in the chair. After the cloth was draw and Non nobis Domine sung, the following loyal and appropriate toasts were drank, interspersed with songs and glees:
The King, The Queen, The Princess Victoria, and the rest of the Royal family, The Lord Lieutenant the County, —Glee, “Fill the Bowl”, The Chairman, The High Sherif, The Vice-Presidents and Stewards —Song, The Ladies —Glee, ” Come live with me,” The Navy and Army —Glee, “Ye Gentlemen of England,” Prosperity to the Town of Cambridge, The University of Cambridge, and may it ever continue the nursery of the Arts and Sciences, Glee “Glorious Apollo,” The Land we live in and the Fair we love —Song, May the King defend our laws, our laws the people, and the people the King—Song “The Sapling Oak,” May difference of sentiment never interrupt the harmony of private life, The blessings of Peace, and may their influence be lastingly shed over our native land— “God sate the King” verse and chorus.
The company separated soon after eight o’clock having spent the evening with the greatest conviviality and good humour.
The comforts of the poorer classes were not overlooked on this festive occasion. In the parish of St Andrew the Great, about 650 poor persons were regaled with plentiful old English dinner. The tables were conveniently arranged, and tastefully decorated, in the front of the mews, opposite Christ’s college pieces, by permission of C.Humfrey Esq. A band of music attended during the repast; and the utmost good humour and good feeling prevailed. Similar entertainments were given in the parishes of Great St. Mary, Little St. Mary, St Benedict, St. Edward, All Saints, and several others.
THE ILLUMINATIONS – the splendour and brilliancy of the illuminations have never been excelled in this town, particularly in the display of variegated lamps, which were profusely and tastefully arranged. We have only time to particularize the following:
Trinity College—W.IV. A. surmounted by Crown &c.
St John’s Coll – W A Crown & Wreath with a Star
King’s College – W A Crown and handsome Scroll
Caius – Star, W IV. A. Star and Crown
Corpus Christi Coll.—Large Star, &c.
Queen’s Coll. —Crown.
Catherine Hall—God save the King and Queen.
Pembroke Coll —Star.
Christ’s Coll.—W. A. and Crown.
Emmanuel College —Crowe—with lights at all the front windows
University Printing Office—W . A. and Anchor (gas)
Philosophical Society’s Room—Star,
St Mary’s Church—Transparency, “Fear God and honour the King.”
Town Hall —Crown. .
MARKET HILL —Transparency representing W.IV. R. A. I. R. in the centre a ship with the motto round it of “A Nation’s Hope; A People’s Joy.”
Mr Barrett – W R A. and Anchor.
Mr Case —Crown and Star.
Mr Bridges Two transparencies – ” England’s Glory, our King and Queen.” and Medallions of their majesties with the British Lion, Anchor, &c.
Mr C Finch —Large Star and Festoons.
Messrs Warren—W. A and Star.
Mr Challice —Transparency, Crown, Anchor, &.c
Rev J Hind—Union Jack, in variegated lamps.
Mr F Randall—Star.
Addenbrooke Place—W. A. and Star.
Pembroke Place—Star W. Crown A. Star,
Mr Randell – W A. Crown.
Mr H Balls— W. A. Crown and Flags.
Bull Inn – Star (gas) ,
Eagle Inn — Crown (gas)
Mr Rutledge — Transparencies.
Mr Byford and Mr Greef —Stars.
Mr Harraden — Festoons.
Mr Deck. —Anchor and Festoons.
Alderman Thrower—W. A. Crown and Star.
Mr Feaks – W. R. A. R. Crown, Star and Anchor, decorated with laurel
Mr Hodson. —Crown.
Mr Deighton —W. A. and Crown.
Messrs Foster’s Bank—W. A. and Crown.
Mr F D Barker—Crown and Star.
Mr Elliot Smith—Crown, &c.
Sun Inn — Crown.
Messrs Browne and Gent—Crown.
Mrs Knowles, Mr. Paul, and Mrs. Nicholls—Star.
Hoop Inn—Star Crown, and Anchor (gas)
Mr Creeke—Crown, &c.
Mr Shallow — Crown.
Mr W F Coe—Transparency emblematical of the Coronation.
King’s Head—Portrait of his Majesty, and the Sign illuminated
Mr Smith – Transparency: Crown, Anchor, &.
Mr Dimmock: Two Transparencies—One, the Crown, the words King William; the other a star and “Queen Adelaide.”
Red Bull Inn—Star, &c.
Mr Hatfield—W. A., Crown. Various Mottoes, Devices &c
Professor Pryme—Two Stars and Festoons.
Mr Hunnybun—Two Flags
Crown and Woolpack Inn—Crown illuminated.
Mr Favell W. A..&
Mr Bradwell: Transparency representing Fame and Neptune holding a Crown above the names William & Adelaide, with a Ship the distance.
Mr Harris and Mrs. Rayner—Stars.
Alderman Purchas, and Mr. Wicks—Stars.
Mr J J. Deighton—Star.
Mr James Nutter— Crown.
Wrestlers Inn—W. R. A. and Crown.
Mr Pryor—Star and Festoons.
Favell and Son – Transparency, representing the King and Queen and a Figure descending with a Crown on either side the mottoes, “The Navy & Army,” “Our King and Constitution.”
Messrs Fisher—W. A. Crown and Star.
Red Lion Inn—W. R. and Star (gas)
Mr Wheeler – Star
Mr Fisher, Pease Hill—Crown.
Messrs Hovell and Eaden—W. A and Star.
Mr Peters, St Mary’s Street—W. A.
Mr Dearle – Transparency one compartment presenting a Crown and W A. the other a Ship full sail with the motto, “Our King is a true British Sailor.”
Mrs Emmerson—W. A. and Crown.
Mr Bodger, Rose Crescent—Star.
Messrs Ind and Poole—Crown, Star, and Festoons.
Post Office – Crown, &C.
Mr Beales, Newnham—W.A. and Crown, with a transparency of the word ” Reform.”
Mr Hovell, Trumpington Road—Star.
Mr Barrett, St. Andrew’s Hill—W. R. A. Crown.
Mr T Smith, Jesus Lane—A Coach Wheel decorated with lamps
Mr Hignell and Mr Froment—Crowns.
Mr C Claydon—Crown.
Mr Laxton, (butcher and publican) — Transparency representing a bullock and John Bull with jug of brown stout, with the lines, ” May Roast Beef and Genuine Beer Be every loyal Briton’s cheer.” GOD SAVE THE KING.
1846: Josiah Chater noted on 4th August:
the English cholera is now raging in this town and several persons have died of it, one a waiter at the Lion. He died in a few hours.
William Mitchell, 66, innkeeper
1855: around this time one of the first performance of the Amateur Dramatic Club was given at the Red Lion. This was at a time when the club had only just been formed by A C Burnand, a Trinity undergraduate and was still looking for a permanent home. It was soon after this that a site was found at The Hoop in Jesus Lane
Andrew Helenus Moyes, 31, hotel keeper
Moyes & Son
Andrew H Moyes, Hotel Keeper, b Scotland [?]
Catherine, 39, wife, b Lincs
Kate Isabel, 13, b Cambridge
Arthur R, 10
John H, 9
Hannah Catton, widow, 35, nurse, b Norfolk
Susannah E Thurgood, 19, nursemaid, b Fulbourn
Emily Ison, 20, housemaid, b Cambs
David Newell, 13, page, b Beds
Andrew H Moyes
Andrew H Moyes, Hotel Keeper, 51, b Lincoln
Caroline Moyes, Wife, 49, b Cambridge
Andrew J Moyes, Son, Hotel Keeper, 24, b Birmingham
Annie E Moyes, Daughter in Law, 24, b Cambridge
Arthur R Moyes, Son, Hotel Clerk, 20, b Cambridge
John H Moyes, Son, Land Agent, 19, b Cambridge
Hugh M Moyes, Son, 8, b Cambridge
Alexander, Son, 7, b Cambridge,
Eliza Lawrence, Housemaid, 24, March, b Cambridge
Phoebe Ison, Nursemaid, 22, Quy, b Cambridge
Flora A Lawrence, General Servant, 16, b Cambridge
William Gunnell, Page, Inn Servant, 17, Milton
1886: See photo. This has been described as Red Heart Yard looking out onto Petty Cury, but the location of a ‘Red Heart’ at this location seems doubtful. It is more likely to have been the Red Lion Yard.
Andrew H Moyes
Andrew H Moyes, hotel proprietor and barman, b Scotland
Catherine, b Lincoln
Kate J, 33, b Cambridge
Frank, 22, manager in hotel, b Cambridge
Philip, 17, b Cambridge
Mary Ann Budcock, 25, cook, b Burwell
Minnie Bitton, 21, housemaid, b Bottisham
James Fuller, 17, page, b Grantchester
The Lion Yard became ‘the Armoury’ in 1890s when the Drill Hall of the Cambridge Regiment was built in Corn Exchange Street.
Thomas W Harris, tobacconist
Alison Ann Moyes, Hotel Keeper, widow
The Red Lion Hotel, Mrs Alice A Moyes, commercial and family hotel
There were some delightful people among the University Belgians. I remember in particular the Dejace family from Liège where Monsieur Dejace was a professor of Law. His eldest daughter, Manette (long since Madame Paul van Gehuchten), has written me a short account of how she, with her parents and younger sister, cam e to live in Cambridge. Both her brothers remained at military camps in Northern France as volunteers training for the Belgian army…. On 15th November a party for Belgian refugees was given to celebrate the Belgian King’s birthday. Manette, a good musician, was immediately installed at the piano to play the accompaniments to the Brabançonne and other patriotic songs. (E M Keynes, A House By The River, p187)
It was a grievous blow to all who knew [professor] van Gehuchten and his work when, only a few weeks after his arrival, he fell suddenly ill and died a few days later at the Research Hospital. His son Paul had been fighting in the Battle of the Yser as a volunteer with the Belgian Army when, on account of his father’s grave illness, he was recalled and sent over to Cambridge.He arrived however only in time for the funeral. He did not return to the army afterwards as special arrangements were made for him to continue his pre-medical training at the First Eastern General Hospital. This enabled him to qualify after a few months. He rejoined the Army as a doctor early in 1916… In 1919 he and Manette Dejace were married in Belgium but their marriage remains closely connected with Cambridge.
Siegfried Sassoon and his friend David Thomas were regulars at The Lion during their time of Officer training at Pembroke College in the summer of 1915. (info supplied by Anne MP).
Basil Ayres, aged 28 was reported to have died 10.11.1918, possibly of influenza.
The Armoury became a kitchen garden.
Winifred Mary Moyes, Spinster, daughter and executive of Alice Ann Moyes
In his letter home from York, 9/7/1927, Giuseppe Tomas di Lampedusa (author of The Leopard) wrote:
“In Cambridge [I] put up at the Red Lion, which was doubtless the model that inspired Dickens with the nocturnal blunders of the great Pickwick though the maze -like intricacies of a corridor.”
He would have been staying there 7/9/1929. [Email from RH 2021]
The back of Lion Yard developed into first Lion Yard car-park.
Vanishing Cambridge by Mike Petty notes: A reporter commented, On market days its spacious yard resounded to the echo of hundreds pf hooves and of the wheels of carts and carriages. Today its yards are filled with cars and the stables are no longer required.
Mrs A A Moyes had built up its reputation: Her charming pleasant nature was well-known by countless visitors. She died in 1922, leaving the hotel to her daughters.
PH recalls that the bell ringers of St Andrew the Great used to repair to the courtyard of the Red Lion for drinks, which was then roofed with glass.
“The walls flanking us were therefore external walls with doorways and entrances off the yard. We were always intrigued by the sign by one of them which read “Ostler” and were mischievously tempted to knock on the door and invite him to come and ostle before us so we could watch.
My other memory of the Lion is that when my parents came to visit they once stayed at the Lion. We noticed that the cash drawer of the pre-payment electricity meter in their room was half open and opened it out of curiosity. It proved to be packed to bursting with pound coins and clearly hadn’t been emptied for many months if not longer.
All part of the atmosphere of the place and I greatly regret its demolition.”
The hotel closed in 1963 and was demolished for the Lion Yard shopping centre.
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