The Fox PH, 34 The Green
Since 1975 this property has been a private house – 34 The Green. For many years prior, it was a shop and subsequently a beerhouse, known as The Fox. History of the land as a distinct plot can be traced back to at 1722 and there was a dwelling recorded here in 1778, although the current building was described in 1834 as “recently erected”. It is timber framed with modern rough cast render under a slate roof, with two brick built chimneys. A construction date of around 1830 appears in keeping.
From 1810, at least, it was home for a carpenter and from the 1830s operated as a butcher’s shop, continuing until the early 1850s. In the mid 1840s groceries were sold and about this time it became additionally a beerhouse, known as The Fox from at least 1880.
Trading as a retail shop appears to have ceased in 1881, whilst the beerhouse continued and for the next 80 years farming the small amount of land became the major associated occupation of the beerhouse keeper. Indeed, when asked, they were more likely to give farmer or smallholder as their occupation, although from 1961 the last licensee was a painter & decorator as his day job.
The Green was originally a large open area of grassland offering communal grazing for parishioners’ animals. Over time, areas of this common land were gradually enclosed with fences or hedges forming closes of land. Sometimes a cottage was erected. This “enclosing” is recorded in the 1500s and continued through the 1600s and into the 1700s.
A plot of land, just to the north of The Fox, that was to become the site of The Hoops PH is probably one of the earliest to be fenced off. An irregular plot tucked between a brook and the access road to The Green; now the footpath Black Lane. The new close possibly encroached on that access road.
How the plot, which was later to be the site of The Fox, emerged from the common land is less clear. The two plots for The Hoops and The Fox are intricately divided. Did they start life as one close and were later split into two? The shape and extent of the land associated with The Fox changed over the centuries and this will be explored below. The names of owners and tenants may also be found by scrolling down.
First a little about the modern changes. In 1975 the empty and deteriorating pub was sold by the brewery Greene King and the new owners converted and modernised it as a private house. In 1978 the small lean-to kitchen at the back was demolished and a large extension built providing a hall, WC, stairs and kitchen, with bedroom, bathroom and landing above. At the same time a bedroom extension was erected above what used to be the lean-to cellar. Later a small conservatory was added and in 1985 a double garage and workshop was built adjacent. Further extension was carried out in 1995, when the timber barn at the rear was converted to dwelling and integrated with the house. In 2005 a larger replacement conservatory was added. In the garden a tennis court and swimming pool were also constructed. No longer a humble beerhouse.
The core part of the site had some ancient connection with Shingay Manor and although it was freehold, it was liable for an annual Free Rent of 1s, payable to the lord of the Manor. Fortunately, some of the manorial rent records survive and this plot can be identified back to 1722, when the owner was Nicholas Norris. In 1768 the property is described as freehold messuage and ground 1a 0r 2p. The first Land Tax record in 1798 has the earliest mention of an occupier and his name was John Wood.
The Enclosure Award and Map for Steeple evolved from 1807 to 1817 and tell of the next stage of development. A dwelling or small farmstead is shown where the modern house stands. It has a small area of land immediately adjoining to the south. There is a further area to the south, which appears to have been taken from the large enclosure, which continues southwards. There is also a square of land on the other side of the brook, which would also appear to have been an addition. The blue line shows the extent of the land prior to Enclosure. Now a further area of land to the south (within green line) is allotted as part of enclosure – it is numbered 11 on the Plan and in the Award is 1a 1r 34 allotted to William Stacey and Susan Headley, in lieu of freehold right of common (i.e. right to graze on the common land) and is part of an old enclosure belonging to the Earl of Hardwicke, called Coles Mead. Stacey and Headley swapped their original allotment for this piece as it adjoined their main holding.
Enclosure Map 1807-1817
Sale in 1834
On 8 October 1834 the owners: Thomas Stacey of Gt Shelford, Robert Emson and J R Lyon of Cherry Hinton put the property up for auction. The “three inclosures of old pasture and small part arable land, belted with fine timber trees” were given greater headline prominence in the sale particulars than the dwelling. The detailed description was “This property comprises 3a 1r 17p of old pasture and a small part Arable Land, inclosed with live Fences, having some fine Sticks of Elm and Ash hedge-row timber, with a recently erected slated double Tenement, and Pantiled Barn, situate at Steeple Morden….held by Mr Samuel Seaby at Fourteen Guineas per annum.” There is no mention of a shop or beerhouse.
The property failed to reach its reserve price of 400 guineas and was bought in at 310 guineas. The following year John Ronald Lyon, with the agreement of his son and heir Thomas Headly Lyon, sold his share to Robert Emson.
Tithe Apportionment 1839
The Tithe Apportionment and Map 1839 provide the next means to check the status of this holding. The tithe plots numbered 107, 109, 111 and 112 are shown as owned by Thomas Stacey and occupied by Samuel Sabey and others. Plot 107 is cottage and garden 27r, 109 is Great Close (irony) pasture 3r 29p, 111 is The Pightle pasture of 2r 6p and finally 112 is simply Close arable of 1a 1r 27p. Total area is 3a 0r 9p.
Tithe Apportionment Map 1839
Land Exchange 1884
About 1884 the owners of The Fox, James Bullen and Samuel Porter exchanged part of the pasture on the west adjoining Church Farm (pink on plan below), with a plot of equivalent extent adjacent to Black Lane on the north (blue on plan below). The owner of Church Farm was the Earl of Hardwicke. This exchange was either not formally recorded or any documentation had been subsequently lost as in October 1904 solicitor Augustus Hawks and local farmer Frederick James Hunt swore a Statutory Declaration setting out their knowledge of the exchange, which they said had taken place some 20 years previously. Reproduced below is the plan, coloured to indicate the two plots exchanged, attached to the Declaration. Towards the bottom of this page the full text of the Declaration is also included.
Exchange of Land 1884
Census Information 1841 to 1939
The head occupant in 1841 is Samuel Seaby, carpenter, but there is also John Dennings [Dennis}, butcher. 1851 James Evans, victualler and shopkeeper, with John Denes [Dennis], the butcher still resident, although he died 1856 age 74. His presence suggests that the first commercial use of the property was a butcher’s shop, which extended into grocery, perhaps when John Dennis retired? By 1851 it had also become a beerhouse, although no mention yet of the name The Fox. During the conversion work in 1975/6, in the studwork on the gable end facing the road, a shop opening could be made out, which would have had shutters and canopy over, facilitating serving customers at the roadside, which was typical in earlier times.
1861 Susan Evans [widow of James], grocer’s shop. 1871 Thomas Peck, grocer etc. 1881 Thomas Peck, grocer & beerhouse. 1891 Henry Holloway, beer retailer. 1901 Arthur G Jarman, farmer & publican, first time named as The Fox. 1911 Arthur G Jarman, beerhouse, The Fox. 1921 Arthur G Jarman, farmer, The Fox. 1939 Charles R Stowe, smallholder, The Fox PH.
Walter Bentley Gray lived in Cambridge, although his father William was of the Gray family of Litlington. Walter acquired the property from Thomas Stacey and Robert Emson in 1848/49 and owned it until putting it up for auction on 16 June 1880 and it was knocked down to James Bullen of Therfield for £385. Bullen appears to have been acting as agent for Messrs Wright, brewers of Walkern, who became owners in the name of Mrs Wright.
The property description in the sale particulars was “A freehold public house, known as the “Fox Inn” being a brick-clay-and-slate-built double tenement, containing parlour, tap room, general shop, kitchen, larder, cellar and four bedrooms, with wood and tile barn at the back also a field of arable land and close of old pasture adjoining, as shown on plan, the whole containing 3a 1r 17p (more or less), let to Messrs Meyer Bros [Wimpole Brewery], at a rent of £23 per annum, and now in the occupation of their sub-tenant Mr Thomas Peck. The cart lodge and thatched hovel on this lot are the property of the Tenant.”
Owners & Tenants
|1722-1725||Nicholas Norris||Died 1725|
|1725-1730||Elizabeth Norris wid|
|1730-1754||James Hoy||Died 1754|
|1762-1766||Mary Serjeant wid|
|1766-1785||Wm & Mary Whitechurch||Mary Serjeant remarried|
|1787-1817||Wm Stacey & Susan Headley||Wm died 1817|
|1817-1839||Thomas Stacey of Gt Shelford
John Ronald Lyon of Cherryhinton
|1839||Lyon sold his share to Emson|
|1839-1849||Thomas Stacey & Robert Emson|
|1849-1880||Walter Bentley Gray||of Cambridge|
|1880-1883||Mrs Wright||Walkern Brewery|
|1883-1892||Exors of Mrs Wright||Walkern Brewery|
|1892-1924||Messrs Wright||Walkern Brewery|
|1924-1954||Messrs Simpson||Baldock Brewery|
|1954-1975||Greene King||Biggleswade Brewery|
|1975-1993||Andrew John Pye & Anna Mary Pye||Private House|
|1993-Today||Clive William Gilley|
In January 1906 The Fox is recorded as being sold for £450 at a specialist auction of licensed premises held in London. However. it appeared to remain with Messrs Wright.
Tenants & Licensees
|1846-1861||James Evans||Victualler & shopkeeper|
|1861-1864||Mrs Susan Evans||widow|
|1881-1883||James Moulden||from Hitchin|
|1890-1892||Henry Holloway||from Ashwell|
|1892-1933||Arthur George Jarman|
|1935-1945||Charles Robert Stowe|
|1946-1961||Emma Jane Stowe||widow of Charles|
|1961-1973||William & Beryl Haselgrove|
|1975 onwards||Owner Occupied||Private House|
Census Returns 1841-1921 & 1939 Register
The Fox, The Green Census 1841
Age is approximate. Persons over 15 years age rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5. Birth place if Y born in Cambridgeshire. If N born outside Cambridgeshire.
The Fox, The Green Census 1851
|On the Green|
|James Evans||Head||Mar||35||Victualler & Shopkeeper||SM|
|John Denes||Lodger||Un||68||Butcher||Potton, Bdf|
The Fox, The Green Census 1861
|On the Green|
|Susan Evans||Head||Widow||49||Grocers Shop||SM|
|Samuel Hide||Visitor||Mar||27||Miller Stotfold||Stotfold, Bdf|
|Ann Hide||Visitor||Mar||24||Miller’s wife||SM|
|John Hide||Visitor||3||Miller’s son||SM|
|Henry Jarmen||Lodger||Un||20||Ag lab||SM|
The Fox, The Green Census 1871
|Thomas Peck||Head||Mar||52||Grocer etc||SM|
|Sarah Ann Peck||Dau||Un||21||SM|
|David Sabey||Visitor||Un ?||48||SM|
The Fox, The Green Census 1881
|Thomas Peck||Head||Mar||62||Grocer and Beer House||SM|
The Fox, The Green Census 1891
Number of rooms if less than five, left blank. Neither employer or employed
|Henry Holloway||Head||Mar||30||Beer retailer||Totton, Southampton|
|Henry G Holloway||Son||8||London|
|Ernest J Holloway||Son||7||London|
The Fox, The Green Census 1901
Number of rooms if less than five, left blank.
|The Fox PH||The Green|
|Arthur G Jarman||Head||Mar||32||Farmer & publican own a/c||SM|
|Frank Newland||Lodger||Un||26||Ord ag lab||SM|
The Fox, The Green Census 1911
|The Fox Inn|
|Arthur George Jarman||Head||Mar||43||Beer house worker at home||SM|
|Elizabeth Jarman||Wife||Mar||43||Assistant un business at home||SM|
|George Jarman||Son||Un||20||Farm labourer||SM|
|May Jarman||Dau||Un||16||General help||SM|
The Fox, The Green Census 1921
Property has 7 rooms
|Arthur George Jarman||Head||Mar||53.5||Farmer own ac/c||SM|
|Elizabeth Jarman||Wife||Mar||53.8||Home duties||SM|
|George Frederick Jarman||Son||Un||30.8||Farmer own a/c||SM|
|Doris Martha Jarman||Dau||Un||16.10||Assisting mother||SM|
|Ethel Haylock||Niece||12.5||Father dead||Greenwich London|
The Fox, The Green Register 1939
|Name||D of B||Status||Occupation||Married name|
|The Fox PH|
|Charles R Stowe||26 Jan 1895||Mar||Small holder|
|Emma J Stowe||10 Mar 1895||Mar||UDD|
|Avis C Stowe||23 Oct 1923||Un||UDD||Brockett|
|Betty E Morris||26 Nov 1924||Un||School||Lockwood|
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Sale Particulars 1834 and 1880, Exchange of Land 1884 and Maps
Census 1841 to 1921 and Register 1839
Last Updated on August 5, 2023