History of 184 Gwydir Street (Gothic House)

In 1882, John Swan & Son advertised selling Gothic House (no. 184) by auction:

Gwydir Street, Cambridge. A Well-built ... Freehold Dwelling-house Known as 'Gothic House,' Situate in Gwydir Street, Cambridge, Close to Mill Road, ... Having a Frontage of 20 Feet and a Depth of 116 Feet (more Or Less), as Now Let to Mr. Root, a Responsible Tenant at £25 Per Annum ... A Piece of Freehold Building Ground Adjoining at the Back of Above, with Frontage of 31 Feet to a Private Road Leading Into Gwydir Street, and a Depth of 61 Feet, More Or Less, Now in Occupation of the Proprietor ...: To be Sold by Auction, by John Swan & Son at the Red Lion Hotel, Cambridge, on Saturday, Sept. 23, 1882, at Four O'clock Precisely, by Order of the Proprietor



In 1892, Thomas J. Funge, Inland Revenue Officer, lived in 184 Gwydir St (see Kelly's Directory).
In 1904, E.T.Rendell, relieving officer and inspector under the Infant Life Protection Act, lived here (see Spaldings directory).
In 1913, Dennis Legge lived here (see Spaldings directory).
In 1916, Mrs Legge lived here (see Kelly's Directory of Cambridegshire) - presumably his widow.



An email (2010) from Clive Berry:

I used to live at 184 Gwydir Street from birth in 1956 until I got married in 1977. My mother and father lived at 184 for approximately 40 years. My father passed away at that address and subsequently my mother moved out 4 years ago to a new home at Bottisham.  

I recall the neighbour to the left of our house (182) was a Mrs Dewsbury. The immediate neighbour to our right (186) was a Mr and Mrs Palmer (I think Mrs Palmer still lives there). Mr Palmer was a guard with British Rail. The second property to our right (188) was a Mr and Mrs Hones. Mr Hones worked for Whitbread brewery and had some responsibility for looking after the lorry garage and store yard. The part of the car park from the entrance up towards Mill Road used to be where they stacked pallets of beer kegs which seemed to rise into the sky from a child's point of view. The area at the bottom of the car park was a large brick garage which would accommodate approx 6-8 flat bed lorries for beer keg deliveries. The wall around that part of the car park is what remains of the lower brickwork to the garage.  

As a child I used to watch from our front bay window as the brewery lorries struggled to turn into and reverse down the narrow arch covered entrance across the road. The lorries seemed to come right up the pavement to our front garden wall in their efforts to negotiate the manouvre. As far as I can remember the beer lorries were after Whitbread acquired the premises of Dales Brewery. I was born in 1956 so my active memories were obviously from a later date which would be after Whitbread took over the site. I also remember there was another house type building and workshop immediately across the road from our house also connected to the brewery. The house or office became disused and unoccupied before the closure of the main building. The police temporarily took over the use of the workshop to service patrol cars for a while. This is now open ground or car parking to the right of the Dales brewery building after these structures were demolished.

From my bedroom window at the back of the house I used to watch the planes approaching or  departing from Cambridge Airport. On some occasions, if I saw a plane circling to land, I would jump on my bike and pedal like mad to get to the airport to see it.  

I remember Mr Cockle's greengrocer shop down Gwydir Street on the right, the Post Office at the far end on the right and the bakers just round the corner towards Norfolk Street. Mr Cockle's grocery shop was on the right hand side as you travel down Gwydir Street from Mill Road: just before Hooper Street. It was set back a bit from the road and was two or three houses from the corner with Hooper Street. My sister and I played tennis or bat and ball in the car park sometimes as it used to close and be locked up in the evenings. We also used to climb over the back wall to the Bathhouse and stand on the pile of coke or coal which used to be stored there: such as children do.
(The bakers is still there, and the Post Office is a defunct tape shop.)  

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