Capturing Cambridge
  • search
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Hodson’s Folly, Coe Fen

History of Hodson's Folly

Hodson’s Folly

This is a summerhouse built in 1887 by John Hodson, butler at Pembroke College, in order to keep an eye on his daughter as she swam in the river.

Link to Cambridge City information board about Hodson’s Folly:

and a Wikipedia article about Coe Fen generally:

In 2016 Allan Brigham wrote a history of the folly for the Cambridgeshire Local History Review which you can read as a PDF here.

Hodson’s Garden. Allan Brigham. Cambridgeshire Local History Review 2016

Gwen Raverat notes in Period Piece p.34 that the bathing places at Sheep’s Green and Coe Fen were on the upper river so that the bathers didn’t have to swim in the raw sewage from the city.



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