21 Cheyney Street, Huntley Villa

This house was built in 1904 by William Brockett, joiner and builder, for the Hunt family – hence its name Huntley Villa. Frederick James Hunt, known as James, had been the tenant of Church and Moco Farms from 1874. Both farms were part of the Wimpole Estate, owned by the Earl of Hardwicke until 1892, when a large dispersal sale was held and John Jarman of Kneesworth became the new owner of both farms. James remained as tenant until 1904-08.

James is said to have commissioned this new house and overseen its construction. According to Brockett family legend once the house was completed, James Hunt said to William “You can go and live in it now!”, which indeed he did and the Brockett family remained as tenants until 1938.

The plot of land on which it was built, already had three cottages standing on it and for some reason the new house was built firmly attached to one of the existing cottages, which took on the name Huntley Cottage. This plot of land was also owned in the past by the Earl of Hardwicke and more about this plot may be read here 15, 17 & 19 Cheyney Street. At the 1892 Hardwicke Estate Sale the whole plot was bought with The Bell Inn by P & A H Meyer of the Orwell Brewery, which also owned The Diggings at North Brook End. Meyer’s Brewery and its public houses was bought by Phillips Bros Ltd the Royston brewers in 1897. In 1903 Phillips sold this whole plot to Ethel Marion Hunt, daughter of Frederick James Hunt and presumably father financed the purchase and the same with two cottages (now 12 & 14 Hay Street) that Ethel acquired in 1899.

Frederick James Hunt died in 1919 and the following year Ethel married William Preston, a disabled soldier and they went to live in Burghfield, Berkshire. Six years later Ethel sold all her property in Steeple parish.

The Church bought Huntley Villa in 1967 as a replacement Vicarage, having decided that the existing Vicarage (now Cheyney Bury) was too large. Eventually another Vicarage was found in Church Farm Lane and in disposing of Huntley Villa the Church sold off part of the garden to developers Stoeri & Barton on 10 February 1978 and they built Brambling House. Huntley Villa was offered for sale separately, with a reduced garden, through Smith-Wooley, who regularly acted for the Ely Diocese. It was sold to Michael and Vanessa Ferry on 24 July 1978. The present owners bought it on 27 June 2011.


Owners of 21 Cheyney Street, Huntley Villa

Dates Owners Notes
1904-1926 Ethel Marion Hunt Tenanted
1926-1938 Unidentified Tenanted
1938-1952 Charles Frederick Sheppard & Agnes M A Sheppard
1952-1955 Unidentified
1955-1966 Alice Swan ex Post Office
1967-1978 The Church Vicarage
1978-1984 Michael J Ferry & Vanessa R Ferry
1985-1986 Michael G McDonnell & Victoria J Buxton
1986-1990 Andrew D Firman & Ruth R Meyer
1991-1992 David J Livingstone & Cherryl M Brown
1993-1999 David J Livingstone & Cherryl M Livingstone
2000-2002? Simon P Shannon & Caromy L Shannon
2002-2011 Uncertain
2011-Today Simon Paul Ayers & Emily Catherine Ayers


Tenants & Occupiers of 21 Cheyney Street, Huntley Villa, when not owner occupied.

Dates Tenants & Occupiers Notes
1904-1925 William Brockett & Charlotte Matilda Brockett
1925-1938 William Brockett & family
1967 Leonard I Walker & Pamela F Walker Vicarage
1968 Peter L Morgan & Janice A Morgan Vicarage
1969-1971 Horace A Matty & Daphne W Matty Vicarage
1972-1977 Derick R Jackson & Ivy Jackson Vicarage


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Last Updated on March 23, 2023