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Mafeking Cottage (left) in Church End, 1930 (photo J H Bullock)(Cambridgeshire Collection)

Mafeking Cottage, Church End

History of Mafeking Cottage

Royal Commission Survey of Cambridge 1959: Mafeking Cottage … has timber framed walls faced with modern rendering and thatched roofs.  The SW half with a projecting first floor is of the 16th century; the NE half may be a slightly later addition; the two were once separate dwellings. A 19th century cottage joins on the SW… No original doorways or windows survive. Inside  are chamfered ceiling beams on the ground floor and exposed wall-posts with enlarged heads on the upper floor. Two of the doors are old, one of planks, the other incorporating panelling of c. 1600.

In 1993 Mafeking Cottage was still standing though the cottages in the background of the photo had gone. In 1924 the CDN had published the story 19 March: The village of Cherry Hinton has been agog with excitement with rumours regarding the wealth of a sexagenarian spinster, who was removed to Chesterton workhouse infirmary. The woman has been living in a little two-roomed whitewashed thatched cottage in the Chequers Yard under conditions of poverty. The amount of her wealth has been subject to considerable exaggeration and the latest rumours put the figure at about £1,000 A search revealed £140 in coin of the realm, including £15 in gold, a large number of half crowns and many smaller coins, secreted in several places in each of the rooms of the cottage, a fact that points to her having hoarded small sums for many years.

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