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5 Little St Mary's Lane

5 Little St Mary’s Lane, Half Moon

History of 5 Little St Mary's Lane

Behind St Mary’s Church sits Little St Mary’s Lane. Inconspicuously placed was The Half Moon Inn (now 5 Little St Mary Lane). Visitors will be able to see the old pub sign which is still visible.


George Stevens, 59, tailor, b Lancs


Charles Matthew Newman, The Half Moon


Noel Teulon-Porter was the owner and host of the Half Moon Inn between 1915 and 1934. Porter, (b 1885.) was an archaeologist, collector of Mocha ceramics (a style developed in the Channel Islands in the 19th century), and a sexologist.

Mocha ware

Photo by Noel Teulon-Porter 1920

Porter was unflinching in pursuing his interest in the subject of sex and sexuality. In the 1930s, he wrote to Journals, such as the Eugenics Review, and challenged their position on views that ‘an army’ of baby boys was needed over girls. However, Porter’s work also strayed into the dubious, if not disturbed. We might now find it challenging to praise Porter for some of the ‘tests’ he conducted, especially on the more vulnerable working-class women. Yet, the ‘scandalous’ free-thinking environment of the Half Moon Inn cultivated breathing space for liberal discussion around sexuality. In these bohemian surroundings, sex education was freely explored. It provided one of the few public places in Cambridge where homosexuality was discussed at a time when laws banned same-sex relationships. The liberal clientele, or, ‘Half Mooners’, had a private area to escape from the intolerance of social convention. Furthermore, these more open discussions about sex included talks on contraception and provided female attendants with somewhere to seek advice and learn more about this development.

Half Moon, Little St Mary’s Lane, 1918 (MoCPB085/82)


Theresia Johanna Schneider travelled on the SS Christian Huygens to Genoa from Southampton, Reason given was ‘educational’, her home address was 5 Little St Mary’s Lane, her nationality – Austrian.


Marriage of Noel Teulon-Porter to Theresia Schneider in Fulham

In 1939 the couple were living in Sussex. Noel died in 1962.

Unsurprisingly, the reputation of the Half Moon Inn was known to the University. They attempted to ban undergraduates from attending. Yet, accounts from those who did visit recall the thrill of going to the ‘verboten’ Half Moon Inn.


Garden House Hotel staff hostel

Stephen and Jane Hawking lived at this address and the wooden stool from the time of Noel Teulon-Porter was donated to the Museum of Cambridge by Jane Hawking in 2020, and is now permanently displayed in the upstairs Dining Parlour room.

5 Little St Mary’s Lane 1970 (MoC 273/70)




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