Mill Road Stories: Petersfield

The Mill Road History Society is delighted that some of the buildings on Mill Road which we have researched were featured on the Mill Road Lantern Trail. Our research can all be found on the website which most of the links below will take you to.

In some cases, what you will see on the landing page is what there is; in others, you will a see downloadable PDF of a ‘building report’. You may well not have time to read the whole thing but if you download that and browse through, you will see lots of photographs and find lots of stories.

Courtesy of Kate Collins
ARC Knitting Co. Courtesy of Cambridge Collection B.Mill.KO 32294
Arjuna Wholefoods (12) – Cambridge’s radical and much-loved worker’s cooperative since 1970: the longest-lived in Britain.
Courtesy Marcus Hearn
Playhouse c 1936 Cambridgeshire Collection ILK320129

Former Sally Ann’s (44a) – Built in 1913, ‘The Playhouse’ was the first purpose-built cinema in Cambridge. Later, it became the city’s first supermarket. Don’t miss the graffiti on the side wall.

You can also see a video of this building’s history on our Mill Road History Society page.

Courtesy Marcus Hearn
Baker‘s Map of the University and Town of Cambridge, 1830. Excerpt showing Mill Road. Reproduced with permission from Cambridgeshire Archives
Petersfield Pharmacy (56) – This is the likely site of Mill Road’s original windmill; there may have been one here from the 13th century. The last windmill was demolished in 1844.
Aerial view of Mill Road Cemetery by kind permission of Kip Loades
Mortuary Chapel painting by Richard Harraden Bankes by kind permission of Michael Heaford

Mill Road Cemetery – Established after a bad cholera outbreak when the city’s churchyards had become too small for the growing population. Browse stories of those buried here at

See also our Friends of Mill Road Cemetery page.

Sept 2020 Mary Naylor
Meadowsweet Dairy, 68 Mill Road Courtesy of the Wilkinson family
Damasbridge (68) – The former shops on this site include the Meadowsweet Dairy.
Courtesy Marcus Hearn
Courtesy Cambridgeshire Collection

Ditchburn Place – The oldest building in Mill Road. Once the dreaded workhouse, and then a maternity hospital, precursor of the Rosie.

You can also see a video of this building’s history on our Mill Road History Society page.

Scholars House 2015 Simon Middleton
Cambridgeshire Collection ILK5710647
Scholars House (89) – The present building gives no clue that this was once The Kinema, familiarly known as The Fleapit, loved by many including Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Railway Cottages Courtesy of Abdi Osman
Cambridgeshire Collection S. 1941 26845
Railway Cottages (124-134) – Tucked almost beneath the bridge, this building is amongst the oldest on Mill Road, stood on level ground when the railway first came to Cambridge. Read about its inhabitants, but also about the Mill Road bombing in 1941.
Courtesy Marcus Hearn
The Mill Road Branch Library c 1897 Cambridgeshire Collection FF J96 25963
The Old Library – This handsome building was opened in 1897 as a lending library for Mill Road’s growing population. Recently, it has been ‘Bharat Bhavan’, a Hindu temple and cultural centre.