The Pemberton Arms was built in the 1860s on some land belonging to Mr Long of Harston House. He retained some interest in the inn until it was sold in the 1893 Harston Estate sale to Mr Warboys for £1150. It was named after a member of the well- known Pemberton family of Trumpington whose sons married into the families that held the manors of Harston and Newton. The picture shows the Pem in 1906, with water pump in front on small Green.
The 1893 sales brochure description was: ‘A highly valuable freehold property consisting of a full licensed public house containing tap room, bar, parlour, kitchen & cellar, 5 bedrooms, with stable, fowl house, paddock & field of arable land containing in all 2 acres. The property is built of clay bats & slated and is in a good state of repair. It is situated in a commanding position for trade at the junction of the Cambridge, Newton & Haslingfield roads, within about 2 minutes’ walk of Harston Station on the Great Northern Railway. In the occupation of Mr Potts at the low rent of £30 a year’.
It was very popular, having quoit beds where competition games were played with a number of Cambridge pubs, mostly on Saturday evenings. This, of course, was good for heavy drinking sessions which sometimes got out of hand and ultimately led to the sport being banned. The quoits beds were in part of what became the pub car park which, over time, has had allotments, chicken runs, stables, garages and now two 3 storey semi-detached houses.
The 1913 licence renewal session description included: ‘Mr Lyon applied on behalf of Messrs. Phillips of Royston; it is fully licensed and is tenanted by Owen Churchman, rateable value £27 15s, including 2 acres of land. Trade at the Pemberton Arms was 64 barrels in the past year. The sanitary arrangements are about the best in the village. About a dozen carts can stand in the yard, which is the largest in Harston. People leave their horses there while they take the train, making it the most convenient in the village. There are allotments and a quoits ground, assets belonging to the premises. During the past 3 years, the premises have been overhauled, including the drains, and it is considered the second best house in Harston.’
1919 newspaper reports showed Mr W Ives opened a hairdressing business there. The Comrades of the Great War had their 5th meeting there as it was their headquarters.
In 1928 Joseph Lawrance sold for £50 a triangular plot of land adjacent to the Pem to the owners J & JE Philips Ltd which enabled them to build the extension which can be seen today on the left of the pub. In exchange Mr Lawrance received more land behind the forge.
The Pem closed its doors for the last time in 2015. Will it become a Co-op or more houses?