Capturing Cambridge
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1 Trinity Street

History of 1 Trinity Street

Trinity Street south end


Bookshop started by William Scarlett


occupied as shop






Bowes and Bowes (formerly Macmillan and Bowes) : Robert Bowes and G Brimley Bowes MA, booksellers, publishers and stationers

14/3/1953: The site of England’s oldest bookshop has just changed hands for the 14th time in more than 350 years. Messrs W.H. Smith have acquired Bowes and Bowes’ shop on the corner of Trinity Street which has a heritage of bookselling, publishing and binding that goes back as far as 1581. In 1807 it belonged to John Nicholson, son of the celebrated ‘Maps’ who went his rounds of the University with a moveable stall laden with textbooks and called out “Maps and pictures”. Later Kingsley and other literary men held ‘tobacco parliaments’ on religion and politics, Wordsworth reclined there, Thackeray dined there and Tennyson first read “Maud” in the Long Room, now the Foreign Department. (Cam.News)

16/10/1986: Bowes and Bowes, Cambridge’s oldest bookshop, marked the end of an era and the beginning of a new. The building on the corner of Trinity Street started as a bookshop under William Scarlett in 1581. It was acquired by Daniel and Alexander Macmillan who in 1845 laid the foundations for one of the largest publishing firms in the world. It became a literary centre where figures like Thackeray and Charles Kingsley were frequent visitors. Now it has been completely redesigned and reopened under its new name of Sherratt and Hughes. (Cam.News)


2018 occupied by Cambridge University Press, just as with the neighbouring address, 28 St Mary’s Street.


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