Old Vicarage, Grantchester

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Coordinates: 52°10′36″N 0°05′50″E / 52.17661°N 0.09715°E / 52.17661; 0.09715

Old Vicarage, Grantchester

The Old Vicarage in the Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester is a house associated with the poet Rupert Brooke, who lived nearby and in 1912 immortalised it in an eponymous poem - The Old Vicarage, Grantchester.[1]

The Old Vicarage was built in around 1685 on the site of an earlier building, and passed from church ownership into private hands in 1820. It was bought in 1850 by Samuel Page Widnall (1825–1894),[2] who extended it and established a printing business, the Widnall Press.[3]

In 1910 it was owned by Henry and Florence Neeve, from whom Rupert Brooke rented a room, and later a large part of the house. Brooke's mother bought the house in 1916 and gave it to his friend, the economist Dudley Ward.[2] In December 1979, it was bought by the novelist and former politician Jeffrey Archer and his wife, scientist Mary Archer.[4]

The Guardian crossword setter Araucaria set a famous clue: Poetical scene with surprisingly chaste Lord Archer vegetating (3, 3, 8, 12), the last four words forming the anagram THE OLD VICARAGE GRANTCHESTER.[5]

It has been listed Grade II on the National Heritage List for England since August 1962.[6]


  1. ^ Brooke, Rupert (May 1912). The Old Vicarage, Grantchester. Café des Westerns, Berlin. Archived from the original on 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
  2. ^ a b "Old Vicarage, The, Grantchester, Cambridge, England". www.parksandgardens.org. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  3. ^ Ridley, Jane. "Before Rupert and Jeffrey came". The Spectator Archive. The Spectator. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  4. ^ Cusick, James (17 July 1994). "The Archers entertain a few close friends..." The Independent. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  5. ^ Hoggart, Simon (26 November 2013). "Araucaria's last puzzle: crossword master dies". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 September 2016. Clue wording was corrected in online version
  6. ^ Historic England, "Old Vicarage, Grantchester (1127790)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 19 August 2020

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Archer, Mary (1989) – Rupert Brooke and the Old Vicarage (Cambridge: Silent Books, ISBN 978-1851830077)
  • Archer, Mary (2012) – The Story of the Old Vicarage Grantchester (Cambridge: The Old Vicarage Press, ISBN 978-0-9572551-0-4)