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Rose Nursery, Leys Laundry

The history of the nursery and laundry on Arbury Road

For historical maps of this area see the following web site:

Chesterton before 1927

For a detailed history of the property from which most of these notes are taken see:

Leys School Farm and Laundry

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1838:

The enclosure map of this year shows Eleanor and Robert Sparrow as separate occupiers of various plots in this area.

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1852:

Plots belonging to Robert Sparrow sold at auction. They amounted to 38 acres; plot 10 became Leys Farm. George Roe was one of the purchasers. The Roe family let the land for most of the time they owned it.

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1861:

John Moore and family, farming 27 acres

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1871:

John Moore farmer of 30 acres employing 3 men

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1874:

Eliza Roe inherits property from her husband, George Hartwell Roe. He was a jeweller, watchmaker and silversmith with premises first in Market Street then at 7 Market Hill from 1843.

John Bester moves his rose nursery from Grantchester Walk to Milton Road

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1881:

John Bester, 34, and family. Nurseryman and armer, 10 men and a boy.

An 1885 shows the land as ‘Besters Farm.’ The Rose nursery was run by John Bester and there was an orchard where later Orchard, Highfield and Leys Avenues were built.

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1887:

Leys School became tenant of the site. At Christmas 1887 they moved the school farm and laundry to the site.

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1889:

In August there was a serious fire at the farm.

Elizabeth Swann inherited property from her mother Eliza Roe

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1891

Charles Free, 47, farm manager

Susan Free, 42

Thomas Spalding, 54, farm servant

Four laundry workers

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In 1901, the Leys School was running the farm, a laundry and orchard at this location.

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1911:

(Leys School Farm)

Charles Free, farm bailiff

Susan Free

Susan Free, niece

(Leys School Laundry)

Frederick Metcalfe, taxidermist

Amy Metcalfe, laundress

Shirley Hugh Metcalfe, 13, son

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By 1917 the school had given up the laundry and farm. Ernest Wilderspin was the farm foreman.

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In 1927 Cambridge Estates Ltd bought the Leys Laundry Farm in October. Charles Alder was the last tenant. He was the manager of Stetchworth Dairy.

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