Capturing Cambridge
  • search
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
63 St Andrew's Street. Built by Henry Ranch and known as Rance's Folly. Demolished in 1954 (MoC185/57)

62 – 63 St Andrew’s Street, The Chequers, Rance’s Folly

History of 62-63 St Andrew's Street

63 St Andrew’s Street

St Nicholas’s Hostel is recorded in a conveyance document from 1585. But the earliest reference to the hostel is in the will of Thomas Lolleworth of Cambridge dated 1393. This document bequeathed the whole of his messuages (buildings) to the Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, including the hostel. the hostel had a great reputation in medieval times in connection with legal studies.

British History Online states: St. Nicholas’s Hostel was prominent among the houses of jurists, and had many eminent men among its members.  It also seems to have had a reputation for rowdiness;  the Grace Book records a fight on two successive nights with its neighbours at Christ’s College, and there are plenty of other examples of inter-hostel brawls recorded.

62 St Andrew’s Street

1585 The Chequer: in the possession of Dr Christopher Greene, the Professor of Physic (who held considerable property in Cambridge); members of his family owned it for many years. In the middle of the 18th century it was the residence of Mr Richard Whish, a celebrated Cambridge citizen, who under somewhat peculiar circumstances amassed a large fortune.

1851 (66 St Andrew’s)

Henry Rance, 44, solicitor, b Ely

Caroline, 36, b Newmarket

Henry W H, 8, b Cambridge

Rosaline C M, 6, b Cambridge

Edith Hills, 31, servant

Elizabeth F Shangward, 33, servant, b Hunts

Keren H Smith, 20, servant, b Suffolk


(62) Sarah Dearlove, 82, of no business, b Cambridge

(63) Henry Rance, 54, solicitor, b Ely

Henry Rance mayor of Cambridge

Henry Rance

Born Ely. Conservator of the River Cam, a director of Accident Insurance Company and lessee of Barnwell Theatre. Also a director of the new Gas Company. Built luxurious mansion in St. Andrew’s Street (known as Rance’s Folly) which sported a magnificent dining room. It had four lifts and a roof-top tennis court. His reputation for hospitality was lavish and he spent many thousands of pounds a year entertaining. Alderman for Trinity ward, but had to leave because of non-attendance at meetings for beyond the statutory period. His aldermanic seat was taken by Councillor Joshua Taylor.

See Enid Porter’s article:

St Andrew’s Street

63 St Andrew’s Street, Rance’s Folly, library (MoC183.57)

Rance’s Folly, “Ruberdome”, (MoC184/57)

Rance’s Folly, 62 St Andrew’s Street (MoC182/57)

1871 (63 St Andrew’s)

Henry Rance, 64


Henry W H

Rosalie C M

Ricarda C

Edith Hills, cook, 54, b Little Eversden

Julianna Toffill, 21, housemaid, b Cambridge

George Thomas Willson, 22, footman, b Cambridge


(62 St Andrew’s)

Henry Rance


(63 St Andrew’s)

Lucien Boquel

Maria Joseph Boquel

The Boquels had previously lived at 115 Hills Road. They later moved to 19 Trumpington St.


University Syndicate’s Vice-Chancellor’s and University Marshal’s Rooms – Alfred Brockett University Marshal

University Appointments Board

Board of Indian Civil Service Studies

Military Board of Studies

Foreign Service Students’ Committee

(63-64) Ginn & Co solicitors – Samuel Reuben Ginn

1957 June demolished


(62) Gordon Thoday, dress fabrics

(63) A Jones and son, shoe retailers

60 – 63 St Andrew’s Street




Do you have any information about the people or places in this article? If so, then please let us know using the Contact page or by emailing

Dear Visitor,


Thank you for exploring historical Cambridgeshire! We hope you enjoy your visit.


Did you know that we are a small, independent Museum and that we rely on donations from people like you to survive?


If you love Capturing Cambridge, and you are able to, we’d appreciate your support today.


Every donation makes a world of difference.


Thank you,

The Museum of Cambridge