Allan Brigham

'Town NOT Gown'

Cambridge history tours for local residents

Discover the hidden history of Cambridge with local historian & Blue Badge Guide Allan Brigham. Allan is Chairman of the Friends of the Folk Museum. He regularly speaks and writes about Cambridge.

Articles by Allan Brigham

Romsey Recreation ground
Town v Gown a thing of the past?
Romsey Town 1966-2006
Christ's Pieces
"Does Cambridge need more houses?"

Links to articles about Allan Brigham

Interview on BBC Cambridgeshire
Allan's honorary master's degree
2013 interview by Alan Macfarlane
Romsey Town
Cambridge road sweeper-turned-tour guide

Photos of Allan Brigham

Various photos
City Arms

Many local people know more about villages visited on holiday in Tuscany or Yorkshire than about their home town.  These Walking Tours offer an introduction to Cambridge for all those who always meant to take a closer look, but never quite had the time.

Tours last 1 ½ to 2 hours unless specified. All welcome, children too! Group tours can be arranged for work or social groups.
You can just turn up on the day, but numbers are limited. To guarantee a place please book. Please let me know if you can't come as  there is a waiting list for some tours.
To book a place or for more information, contact Allan Brigham 01223 212189 or

Tuesday 31st October 11.00-12.30

Hodson Not Hobson

Discovering John Hodson, the Cam, and his riverside Folly

Do you know "Hodson's Garden & Folly"? The walled riverside enclosure on Coe Fen in Newnham always intrigued me. Who did it belong to? Why was there what looked like a ruined temple there?
When I asked who had built it I was told a "Gentleman" built it so that he could watch his daughters swimming safely in the river.
The "Gentleman" was a man named John Hodson.
This tour explores who John Hodson was, how a former carpenter born in Lancashire became a Cambridge "Gentleman", and his sad downfall.
Along the way the story touches on the story of the working river in late 19th century Cambridge with a walk from the Mill Pond at Mill Lane to Hodson’s home in Lensfield Road, ending back at the river at "Hodson’s Folly" on Coe Fen.

Meet: Laundress Green – opposite punts at The Mill pub, Mill Lane
End: Coe Fen: Hodson's Garden & Folly

Cost: £6.00 (under 16 free)

Just turn up, but places are limited. Please book in advance to guarantee a place:

All very welcome.

Tour lasts 1.5 hours
Hodson's Folly

"What an eye opener! We have seen so many things we never noticed before.
We can truly say that Allan brought our city to life for us with his knowledge and his enthusiasm. A great guide!

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Group tours can be arranged for work or social groups.