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42 St Andrew's Street: old police station and Spinning House

42 St Andrew’s Street, Police Station & Spinning House

History of 42 St Andrew's Street

Regent Street and St Andrew’s Street, police station on left

The 1831 New Guide to Cambridge has this description:

Hobson’s Workhouse, usually called the Spinning House: being a plain brick edifice with stone dressings to the¬†window etc. The interior is divided into wards, after the manner of a prison, it being used for the confinement of disorderly persons of both sexes, committed by the University or town authorities.¬†

This workhouse was founded by the benevolent and eccentric Thomas Hobson, the carrier, who by deed of gift dated 1628, conveyed the site etc to trustees for the erection of a House of Correction, for unruly and stubborn rogues and beggars, and other poor people who should refuse to work, and for providing a stock of wool, flax, and other materials. In 1930, 500l the residue of then money collected for relief of the sufferers by the plague, was appropriated to this building, as were also the rents and profits of Jesus Green, which was to be authorised to be let for ten years, and Hobson, by his will the same year, gave 100l to purchase lands for its endowment, and in 1632 and 1634 the trustees with this and other monies, amounting together to 900l purchased lands at Cottenham, Willingham, Over etc…..


For more information on the Spinning House which was demolished in 1901 see:



Police Station and Mortuary, Charles E Holland chief constable

Fire Brigade Station



City of Cambridge Police

City Road Safety Office


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