Holbrook Road appears on the 1920 map of Cambridge as an unnamed lane that stretches from Hills Road for about half of its final length. One mid twentieth edition of the OS map of Cambridge spells the road Holbroke as does the 1935 Cambridge Directory. It is said that the spelling of ‘Holbrook’ was determined circa 1960.
The origin of the road’s name lies in the association of the parish of Cherry Hinton with John Holbrook (d. 1437), master of Peterhouse, Cambridge.
In 1431 Holbrook resigned the mastership of Peterhouse, having been instituted the year before to the college vicarage of [Cherry] Hinton. He died there on 12th July 1437 and was buried in the chancel of St Mary the Less, the old college chapel of Peterhouse.