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Alma Pub

58 Russell Street, The Alma brewery

History of 58 Russell Street

1835 earliest mention of public house here. John Carroll from St Neots purchased land in Balls Folly Field, the site of Russell Street, to build a brewery.

1838 supplied 3 barrels for the Coronation Feast

1851 John Carroll, Beer Retailer (Gardner’s)

1852 John Carroll,  Beer Retailer (Slater’s)

1854 Romilly records in his diary 2nd October: the news has arrived of a great victory gained by the English and French in the Crimea over the Russians: it is expected that Sebastopol must have been taken also. The bells rung all day, and there were squibs and bonfires at night on Parkers Piece. Began fires in College. Romilly’s editor notes: despite the defeat of the Russian forces at the Alma on 24th September allied commanders failed to press home their advantage. Sevastopol held firm through a frightful winter for its besiegers and was not taken until September 1855.

1859 John Carroll died. Mary, his wife, took over.


Mary Carroll, Proprietor of Brewer, widow, 64, b Norfolk
George Carroll, son, Brewer, 20, b Cambridge

The Alma, 1977

1866 land behind the existing brewery buildings and fronting onto Norwich Street was purchased. Brewery was built on Norwich Street Street and the property facing Russell Street became brewer’s house and a brewery tap.

1868 george Carroll, son of John and Mary, took over the brewery.

1881 George Carroll (Spalding’s)

1887 George Scales took over the lease

1888 George Scales (Kellys)

1892 George Scales jun (Kellys)

1892 lease taken over by brother, Albert Samborne Scales.

1896 Daniel Martin Hayward  (Kellys)

1898 lease taken over by George Scales senior, owner of the Cambridge Brewery.

1900 brewery sold to Robert Brassey Jones.Extended the business and took on additional pubs.

1901 The Alma

John G C Moden, 31, publican,  b Cambridge

Emily J, 29, b Cambridge

1904 Daniel Martin Hayward (Kellys)

1909 brewing ceases on site

1911 (58)

George Herbert Watts, 44, licensed victualler, b Cambridge

Hannah, 39, assisting with business, b Birmingham

Walter William, 18, insurance clerk, b Surrey

Louisa Amelia, 10, b Cambridge

Ruth Alice Gillet, servant, 15, b London

1913 H S Thompson

The Alma public house, 1914 (MoCP7)

1916 Elijah Fletcher (Kellys)

1926 site sold to ‘Tolly’ of Ipswich. Brewery tap in Russell street remained in use as a pub, but the brewery became a fruit store and then a sweet factory.

1935 Elijah Fletcher (Kellys)

1962 – 2018

The Alma P H

The Alma, Russell Street (MoC338.70)

Further information about the Alma can be found here.

The Alma Russell Street, 1970 (MoC7/89/70)

20/7/1982 The Alma Brewery in Russell Court is reopening as a free house under the control of CAMRA. The pub, which dates back to 1835, was one of the first buildings to be erected in the former Balls Folly Field. It took its name from the Battle of the Alma in the Crimean War. Brewing stopped in 1909 but it continued to be run as a pub until it closed in March. (Cambridge News)


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