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The Chequers, Cottenham

The Chequers, 297 High Street, (War memorial), Cottenham

History of the Chequers

Listed building:

Public house, probably early C18

See Francis Garrett: Cottenham’s Inns and Hostelries


Martha Morling, who owned a cottage here, was granted a liquor licence


Thomas Clarke


Record of Robert Kimpton, blacksmith, assaulting Robert Stukings at the Chequer public house.


Burial of Elizabeth Clarke of ‘ye Checker’. John Chapman licensee.


Elizabeth Chapman licensee

1816 property acquired by Steward Cotton brewers of Cambridge and later they built the present premises.


John Pamplin licensee


John Christmas

1837 premises sold to John Christmas for £1,071. Described as: recently erected house, consisting of parlour, tap room, club room, bar, 5 bedchambers, good cellar and back kitchen, large yard with barn, stable and  pump of good water and garden.


John Christmas, 47, farmer


John Christmas, 56, farm of 56 acres innkeeper employing 2 labourers


John Christmas, 69, inn keeper farmer of 70 acres employing 2 men 1 boy, b Horningsea

1863 John Christmas died. His son Edmund ran the house and brewery until 1883.


Sarah Christmas, 73, innkeeper, b Cottenham


See Francis Garrett, Cottenham Ablaze:

8.3.1878: one house and four farms were destroyed on the site of the Chequers Inn, the rear of Mr Gawthrop (butcher) and on the opposite side of Denmark Road.

Buildings of Young Rose (butcher) were destroyed and then, on the other side of Denmark Road, the barn of Jonathan Piggott. The house of James Chapman caught fire and the farm of William Moore was destroyed.

The fire was assumed to have been caused by an arsonist.


Edmund Christmas, 49, innkeeper, b Cottenham

Hannah, 38, sister, b Cottenham

Emma Rogers, servant, 15, b Norfolk


Norris William Vialls, head, 30, bricklayer and publican, b Cambridge

Bertha, 33, b Cottenham

Arthur, 5, b Cottenham

Percy, 4, b Cottenham

Albert 1, b Cottenham

Frederick John Vialls, lodger, 28, ag.lab., b Cambridge

Frederick Vialls owned an elegant carrier’s cart at the beginning of the 20th century. He could take people to Cambridge.

F J Vialls, Cottenham, and carrier’s cart c.1905


Norris W Vialls, 40, bricklayer


Arthur W



Aubrey, 9, b Cottenham

Walter Ely became licensee in 1901


James Peck licensee


Chequers, Cottenham, in 1910 (photo E Smith)


Albert Furbank licensee


Harry Morgan licensee

1921 War Memorial unveiled to commemorate 59 men killed in WWI. Fred Bacchus of Histon was the architect and contractor and charged £544 6s. Messrs John Hart and Son the village iron-founders were paid ten guineas for the ironwork.

War Memorial, Cottenham (MoC769/86)


George H Morgan, b 1917, water company clerk (Cambs Water Co ARP)


Phyllis Rosemary Dyer (b 19.7.1921) was evacuated here from London. The pub was then owned by a friend of her parents. In 1942 she married Kenneth Thomas Hostler, b 31.10.1914, a local man, described in the 1939 register as an Audit Clerk. By 1945 Phyllis was back in London living alone. Kenneth’s sister, Gwendoline Edith Hostler, is listed in 1939 as a nurse working at Littleton House in Girton.


Donald Norman licensee

1949 a diary entry  by Horace Gautrey from 1st March recorded a chimney stack blown down in the early hours of the morning. It fell onto a bed with such force that the legs were forced through the floorboards. (See Cottenham in Focus, 2002)


Victor Carpenter licensee


Peter Barnes licensee


David Wallace licensee


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