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.

Modern History

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.

Earlier History

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.

Enclosure 1807-1817

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

Blue is original plot and green the Enclosure Allotment 1a 1r 34p numbered 11 and described as adjoining: North-east old enclosure of William Stacey and Susan Headley, East ancient lane, South & West other part of old enclosure and North-west another old enclosure of Hardwicke.

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

Plots 107, 109, 111 and 112 make up the total holding a mix of pasture and arable.

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.

Sale 1880 

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


Dates Names Notes
1722-1725 Nicholas Norris Died 1725
1725-1730 Elizabeth Norris wid
1730-1754 James Hoy Died 1754
1754-1761 Allen Serjeant
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

Robert Emson

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

Dates Names Notes
1798 John Wood
1810-1845 Samuel Sabey/Seaby Carpenter
1846-1861 James Evans Victualler & shopkeeper
1861-1864 Mrs Susan Evans widow
1865-1881 Thomas Peck
1881-1883 James Moulden from Hitchin
1884 James Ward
1885-1890 Benjamin Willmott
1890-1892 Henry Holloway from Ashwell
1892-1933 Arthur George Jarman
1933-1935 Thomas Prout
1935-1945 Charles Robert Stowe
1946-1961 Emma Jane Stowe widow of Charles
1961-1973 William & Beryl Haselgrove
1973-1975 Vacant
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.

Name Age Occupation Birth
The Green
Saml Seaby 65 Carpenter Y
Susannah Seaby 60 Y
John Dennings 55 Butcher N


The Fox, The Green Census 1851

Name Relation Status Age Occupation Birth
On the Green
James Evans Head Mar 35 Victualler & Shopkeeper SM
Susan Evans Wife Mar 39 SM
John Denes Lodger Un 68 Butcher Potton, Bdf
Susan Seabey Widow 72 Pauper SM

The Fox, The Green Census 1861

Name Relation Status Age Occupation Birth
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

Name Relation Status Age Occupation Birth
The Green
Thomas Peck Head Mar 52 Grocer etc SM
Susannah Peck Wife Mar 54 Ditto SM
Sarah Ann Peck Dau Un 21 SM
David Sabey Visitor Un ? 48 SM

The Fox, The Green Census 1881

Name Relation Status Age Occupation Birth
The Green
Thomas Peck Head Mar 62 Grocer and Beer House SM
Susannah Peck Wife Mar 68 SM

The Fox, The Green Census 1891

Number of rooms if less than five, left blank. Neither employer or employed

Name Relation Status Age Occupation Birth
The Green
Henry Holloway Head Mar 30 Beer retailer Totton, Southampton
Susan Holloway Wife Mar 29 Wimpole
Henry G Holloway Son 8 London
Ernest J Holloway Son 7 London
William Holloway Son 5 London
Edward Holloway Son 3 London

The Fox, The Green Census 1901

Number of rooms if less than five, left blank.

Name Relation Status Age Occupation Birth
The Fox PH The Green
Arthur G Jarman Head Mar 32 Farmer & publican own a/c SM
Elizabeth Jarman Wife Mar 32 SM
William Jarman Son Un 11 SM
George Jarman Son 10 SM
May Jarman Dau 6 SM
Maud Jarman Dau 4 SM
Frank Newland Lodger Un 26 Ord ag lab SM

The Fox, The Green Census 1911

Name Relation Status Age Occupation Birth
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
Doris Jarman Dau Un 6 School SM
Harry Darling Nephew Un 14 Cambridge

The Fox, The Green Census 1921

Property has 7 rooms

Name Relation Status Age Occupation Birth
The Fox
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
Susan Jarman Mother Wid 89.8 None 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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Last Updated on August 5, 2023