The closed pubs of Great Eversden and Little Eversden, two villages about 8 miles SW of Cambridge.
Open by 1837, closed in 2005, yet as recently as 1989 it was described as ‘the epitome of a thriving village pub’
The lounge, in an elegant and restrained fashion, points to the age of the building. It dates from 1680 and its original centrepiece is a fine Jacobean fireplace, supported by a plethora of beams and a flagged floor. (Roger Protz, 1989)
In 1905 it seemed to have a resident Tory-hating dog:
“Albert Clark told the court that in November a political meeting was held at Great Eversden and afterwards he went to the Hoops public house. A man in front of him clapped his hands and called out ‘Good old Tory’ at which the landlord’s dog flew at him and bit his thigh. He was laid up for 17 days” (Mike Petty, Looking Back)
The pub sign shows a Cooper at work with the hoops used in barrel making:
The Better Pubs map from 1989 shows an earlier sign for the Hoops at Great Eversden which “depicts the Edwardian children’s game of ‘bowling the hoop'”
There are two other pubs nearby named the Hoops; in Bassingbourn the sign also depicts barrel making but in Barton the sign shows three hoops, perhaps those used in the game of Quoits. The phrase ‘cock-a-hoop‘ may also have connections.
However, the origin of the pub’s name may instead refer to the ’18th century nickname for Bullfinch’, a bird whose numbers are now in rapid decline but which was once considered so destructive to fruit crops that money was offered for each one ‘destroyed’.
It has since been converted into a restaurant, currently Tandoori Indian Restaurant.
Old map showing the Fox and the Hoops:
The Fox was built as a public house sometime after 1811. Now a private house.
In 1851, W. Ellis was publican “and tailor”, and from at least 1869 to 1896 Mrs Sarah Ellis was the publican.
Built sometime before 1811, the Plough pub stood near the junction of the village street with the road to Great Eversden. It was still there on a 1960 map, but not on a 1976 map, where the land is named Plough Meadow and Plough Corner. By the 1980s the building seems to have been demolished and replaced by modern housing, with no mention of the plough in any houses or land.
Charles Flack was publican at the Plough from at least 1883 to 1906 when he is also listed as a coal merchant.
It’s unclear which pub is referred to in My Life by Terry Osborne, but he recalls being told of ‘A man named Mott Allgood always getting drunk in Eversden and falling in a ditch on the way home and sleeping there all night.’
There are no longer any pubs in these two villages. The nearest pub is the Wheatsheaf, Harlton just across the A603 Cambridge Road. A 17th century pub, part of the building is now La Pergola Italian Restaurant.