48 Royston Road The Queens Head
A popular drinking establishment
It is thought that an ale-house existed on the site from C18 and the Enclosure map of 1802 shows a building which corresponds to the oldest part of the current one. Its original name is not known but it is almost certain that it is now named after Queen Victoria who wasn’t crowned until 1837.
The first landlord we have found recorded is William Stearn in 1850. In May 1870 the Cambridge Independent Press reported that ‘The Queens Head transferred to Walter Finch’ but in Sep 1870 the Cambridge Chronicle & Journal reported that ‘the Queens Head (landlord Mr Wedd) was refused a licence for sale of spirits’. Although a popular pub, in 1870 (June 11) the Cambridge Independent Press recorded that ‘Robert Whiskin & Elias Northrop were convicted of causing a disturbance at, and refusing to leave, the Queen’s Head on 28/5, fined 5s and 10s each respectively, plus costs’ and similarly in 1871 July 15 Cambridge Chronicle & Journal, Cambridge Independent Press stated
‘Joseph Ball, 25, a fossil digger, was summoned for being drunk & disorderly and refusing to leave the Queen’s Head at the request of Walter Fitch. Fined £1 or 3 weeks prison’.
Christopher Wedd owned the pub in 1860s – 1890 but it was sold in 1890 after his death when it ‘did’ 180 barrels per annum. Mr Edward Ashby was the then tenant, the pub let to him with 3 months notice. The Ashby family were landlords there for over 70 years. By 1892 it was to Let with applications to Rayment & Co., Brewers, of Furneaux Pelham, Herts.
There was a fresh water pump in front of the pub which was providing some of the villagers with their water supply until 1950s.
In 1933 ‘The White House’ which stood next to the pub (Shown in pre-1930s photos) was demolished as part of a road widening scheme which also created a larger car park for the pub. From the photos it also shows an extension on the south side of the pub between 1958 and 1970, with a further curved portion added afterwards. Does anyone know when these were added?
Having been taken over by Hawthorne Leisure a number of landlords passed through before the Thai Restaurant landlords, previously in The Three Horseshoes until that was sold, took over in August 2016.
We have an incomplete list of landlords with approximate dates. Can you amend/add to?
Queen’s Head landlords
1870 Christopher Wedd
1870-1 Walter Fitch
1881 George Dilley
1890-1904 Edward Smith Ashby
1904-37 Mrs Agnes Ashby
1937-64 Gladys Ashby
1964-73 Don & Kay Salter
1980s John Porter
2007-10 Paul & Claire Herbert
2015 Lynda Barter