Capturing Cambridge
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By Sebastian Ballard, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Newnham Grange, Darwin College, Silver Street

History of Newnham Grange

Royal Commission Survey of Cambridge 1959:┬áthe house was built early in the 19th century, before 1830, for the Beale family, corn and coal merchants, and included a large irregular-shaped yard to the E largely surrounded by stables, offices, coal-stores and granaries. the property was bought by the Darwins in the last quarter of the 19th century…┬áNewnham Grange is an early 19th century house of gracious aspect containing fittings of the period.

For a history of Newnham Grange follow this link:


George Howard Darwin, 65, professor of Astronomy University of Cambridge, b Kent

By Cecilia Beaux – The Athenaeum [1], Public Domain

Maud, 49, b USA

Gwendolen Mary, 25, b Cambridge

Margaret Elizabeth, 21, b Cambridge (married Geoffrey Keynes)

Jacques Pierre Raverat, 26, visitor, art student, b France

Louisa Philips, servant, 38, cook, b Warwicks.

Emma Banham, servant, 32, parlourmaid, b Wisbech

Alice Collman, servant, 29, housemaid, b Durham

Mary Ann Laws, servant, 16, underhouse maid, b Norfolk

Ethel Phillips, servant, 16, kitchen maid, b Warwicks

Gwendolen Darwin, later Gwen Raverat, recalls in her account of life in Cambridge, Period Piece (pub. 1952), how from a window at the front of Newnham Grange she could see where ‘there were railings along the road leading to the bridge, lovely Georgian railings, now improved away; and often people were glad to dodge behind them to escape from the terrified and terrifying herds of cattle, which were driven with bangs and shouts, through the streets to the Monday cattle market.’ (p.44)

From the bay window at the back of the Grange, Gwen could enjoy the more peaceful scene of a milking herd: she ‘ could look up the river, under the arching trees, and see far off the cows crossing the ford below the Newnham Millpool, as they went to and from their sheds to be milked, four times a day; a very pretty sight.’ (p.36)

Gwen also recalls the milk cart – ‘the yellow milk carts, like Roman chariots, with their big brass-bound churns of milk and their little dippers hooked on the side.’ (p.45)



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