The Harvest Home

1841–c.1896: The Old Harvest Home

The first mention we have of the Harvest Home as a public house is the 1841 census, which gives the publican as 27-year old James Radford (publican, beer retailer and butcher) and his wife Ester Radford (age 28), both of whom were born in Oakington. The Harvest Home was originally sited in a pair of thatched cottage in Cambridge Lane (now Cambridge Road). The cottages were demolished in the 1960s and the site is now occupied by a row of terraced bungalows.

James and Ester Radford remained at the Harvest Home until 1858, after which it was occupied by Parron Pettit (beer retailer and gardener) and his wife Mary Ann. After the death of Parron around 1870, Mary Ann Pettit continued as beer retailer until 1879, after which the Harvest Home was briefly run by Frederick Mitchell (publican and blacksmith) and his wife Frances. The blacksmiths’ shop and yard on the opposite side of the road was also run by two Mitchell brothers at this time.

The License for Alehouse renewals in 1882 gives the owner of the Harvest Home as Frederick Bailey of Cambridge, with Frederick Mitchell as occupier. Frederick Bailey was owner of the Parsonage Street Brewery, later the Star Brewery, in Cambridge (off Newmarket Road), from c.1858. In 1878 he also bought the Lion and Lamb pub and Chapman’s thatched barn in Oakington, and he appears to have also owned Phypers Farm (Dry Drayton Road) and Whitehall Farm (Longstanton Road).

1882 also saw Robert Smith begin as beer retailer at the Harvest Home, and the Cambridge Chronicle from this time includes a report and photograph of the “Benefit Club” outside the Harvest Home. The Benefit Club held suppers, usually in the first week of May.

Benefit Club outside the old Harvest Home

c.1986–1951: New Harvest Home

During the tenancy of Robert Smith, the Harvest Home moved from its old thatched cottage to what is now Crossways House on the corner of Longstanton Road and Dry Drayton Road. This building is thought to have been built in 1884 and sold to Frederick Bailey (owner of the Harvest Home). The 1886 Ordnance Survey map shows a building on this site, and by the next edition of the map in 1902 it is identified as the Harvest Home public house. The adjoining shop may have been built after 1902 (it is not shown on the 1902 map).

Owner Frederick Bailey of the Star Brewery sold out to Charles Armstrong, a brewer from Chesterfield, in 1889. Robert Smith continued as tenant at the Harvest Home. Robert was followed by John Smith (1896), Albert Smith (1900), and Albert Claydon (1900–1916).

Albert Claydon and his wife took over as Master and Mistress of Midfield Isolation Hospital (then in the parish of Histon) in 1916. Joseph George Moore may have taken over as publican at the Harvest Home. Joseph was the son of William and Alice Moore (nee Dogget, who had been the landlady of the New Inn pub in Westwick) and grandson of Elizabeth Doggett, a farmer’s widow of Cambridge Road.  Certainly, he and his wife Beatrice are listed from 1922, with Joseph being listed as publican (as well as grocer, draper and general store) until the Harvest Home closed in 1951. Beatrice is not shown after 1938.

The Star Brewery, under Charles Anderson, continued to supply the Harvest Home with beer until it was taken over by Tollemarche of Ipswich in 1947.

1951 onwards: Closure and subsequent use

The Harvest Home closed on 02/10/1951, with its Beer Licence being transferred to the Hoops, Longstanton. James William and Amy Haynes were running the Harvest Home shop in 1951, and possibly before, and after closure of the pub were granted permission to sell any intoxicating liquor. This continued as Crossways House shop under the ownership of Amy Haynes until 1968, and Joseph Moore continued to live in Crossways House until 1960. In more recent years, Crossways House has seen a number of uses including as a hair studio and, between 2017 and 2020, as a “Communitea Café”.

Crossways House in 2016


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