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Cherry Hinton Hall in the 1960s.

Cherry Hinton Hall

History of Cherry Hinton Hall

1881:

Charles Balls, widower, 70, J P Dep Lieutenant & cashier savings bank, born Cambridge

Mary, daughter, 40, born Cambridge

Flora A, 39, born Cambridge

Eliza G, 32, born Cambridge

Emily M. 30, born Cambridge

Grace M Rowley, gr daughter, 11, born Histon

Margaret Hopkins, sister in law, 81, born Cambridge

Asenath Brasher, servant, 25, born Cambs

Ellen Skip. servant, 19, born Herts

Annie Ryder, servant, 17, born Essex

1891:

Robert John Moffatt, 46, banker general manager, born London

Eliza, 41, born London

Sophia Knowles, sister in law, 46, born London

Ann Beard, servant, 42, born Cambridge

Ellen Turner, servant, 17, born Cambridge

Charles Peachy, page boy, 16, born Cambridge

1901: unoccupied

1911: (Cherry Hinton Hall Cambridge)

William Phene Neal, 50, solicitor employer in City of London, born Middlesex

Eleanor Visa, 49, born Cambs

Francis Charlotta Skinner, 30, visitor, trained nurse, born Warwicks

George Melville Dodwell, 27, visitor, merchant and shipping, born Shanghai

Lizzie Overton, servant, 26, cook, born Norfolk

Eve Barker, servant, 25, parlour maid, born Norfolk

May Rayner, servant, 26, house maid, born Norfolk

Horace Wellingham Buckingham, servant, 22, labourer in garden, born Norfolk

Sir William Phene Neal circa 1900

Sir William Phene Neal circa 1900

Sir William Phene Neal (1860-1942) was a businessman and became Mayor of London between 1930 and 1931. He published ‘Food Supply of the Nation’ in 1924.

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Dan Jackson wrote about Cherry Hinton Hall in his 1987 article in the Cambridge News from which these notes are taken.

John Okes returned from India to take up a post as surgeon at Addenbrooke’s in the early 1830s. He bought various parcels of land around Cherry Hinton and then built a mansion with twelve feet high rooms together with bakehouse, dairy, wine and coal cellars, stabling and coach house. In the grounds were hardwood and ornamental plantations, fernery, ornamental fish ponds and a willow osiery.

After his death, Okes’s son Thomas sold the estate to the Cambridge University and Town Waterworks in 1871 for £5,400. The ponds and weirs in Cherry Hinton Hall were improved by Charles Balls, a director of the water company. The estate finally ended up in the ownership of Cambridge City Council in 1937.

During the Second World War the hall was used for various purposes including the training of firemen.

In 2016 Pamela Knights who was living in Mowbray Road at the time of WWII recalls how the hall was used as a home for unwanted evacuees:


In 1947 the house opened as a nursery school with Miss Littlehales from Buckinghamshire as headmistress. As reported by the Cambridge News in 1964,  there were 40 full-time and 40 part-time children every day and a long waiting list. On the first floor of the building was a maternity and child welfare clinic.

Since 1965 the park at Cherry Hinton Hall has been the venue of the Cambridge Folk Festival. Notes on its history can be found here:

https://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/folk-festival/history

Sources: Cambridge News (Cambridgeshire Collection)

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