The King’s Head

The Former King’s Head, now a private house, in 2016

The King’s Head was located on the south side of Longstanton Road, on what is shown on the 1834 Enclosures Award Map as Alehouse Green, an area on either side of Longstanton Road extending as far as Mead View. The cottage and garden were owned by George Gifford (gardener) and his wife Ann, both aged 50 at the time of the 1841 census.

The Cambridge Trade Directory of 1853 lists 21-year-old George Williams as beer retailer. George Williams (tailor and beer retailer) and his wife Sarah (beer retailer and shopkeeper) remained at the King’s Head until at least 1875 and 1881 respectively. During this time the King’s Head hosted at least two Ploughing Lads’ Dinners, recorded in the Cambridge Chronicle newspaper on 26 November 1859 and 7th December 1861.

In 1880, ownership of the King’s Head changed from William Wilkes Featherstone Haugh of Crown Brewery, 240 Newmarket Road Cambridge, to Joseph Arnold. The tenancy was held by John King (1882), Joseph Arnold (1883, owner and tenant) and Leigh Charles White (1888, beer retailer) before being taken over by Alfred Smith who was beer retailer with his wife Mary Ann from 1889 to the closure of the King’s Head in 1905.

Ownership was transferred to Hudsons Brewery of Cambridge and Pampisford Ltd in 1892. However, following the Licensing Act of 1904, Cambridge magistrates began refusing to renew the licenses of public houses they thought were surplus to the requirements of the local population. The King’s Head was closed on 30th June 1905, with the Cambridge Chronicle reporting that:

Mr Hudson, a member of the firm to whom the property belongs, said that the tenant Alfred Smith, had held a beer license for 16 years without having given cause of dissatisfaction. The trade was, perhaps, half a barrel per week. Mr Raites mentioned that the population of Oakington, excluding children, was 324. There were eight licensed houses. Supt. Webb, in reply to Mr Hudson, said he know that the house had been well conducted by its present tenant.

The building is now a private house.


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