Cambridge Shops



Brief overview of the business premises & houses with the network that was built up:


1) Grocery store set up by James Sebley, sometime after 1825

Eldest son John Arnold Sebley then took this over, however his son(Edwin)became a Watchmaker/Jeweller, so at some point it passed to JB’s son, Harry. Some ham smoking was done here, then moved to premises in Over.


2) James Barson Sebley, having trained in London, returned to take over the old Barley Mow at 25 Bridge St. Now, having spoken with , the Barley Mow had probably been closed some while. JB probably returned in 1854/1855. 26 Bridge St had been a butchers and both locations became one.

It is believed he reopened the pub as the Baron Of Beef…..which then switched to its current location of 19 Bridge St. 25/26 then became the Tea Rooms & Ham Shop. JB appeared to be running both. His son Herbert eventually took over the Tea Rooms, but the Baron of Beef was disposed of.


3) Edwin, (son of JA)and then his son Oswald were further down the road at no.8 Bridge Street. with the Watchmakers & Jewellers. I can remember seeing pictures of these, but no idea where they have gone. At somepoint  Oswald moved the business  lock stock & barrel to Norwich and that side of the family were never heard of again.

This is still an area of research I am working on, rumours that some colleges still have SEBLEY clocks.


A footnote to the Watchmakers/Jewellers in Cambridge. This was started by Edwin, carried on by Oswald. But then moved to Norwich sometime between 1911 & 1920, which may have coincided with other turbulence within the Sebley Empire! The shop in Norwich was running as Oswald Sebley Jewellers as late as 2007. Still unknown who actually owned it.



In addition to these locations, there had been an assortment of properties, mostly owned outright: 22 Holland St, 57 Carlyle Rd, 59 Mawson Rd, 18 Portugal Place, 6 Adam & Eve Row.

There was also a small holiday cottage in Overcote (small hamlet next to Over).


4) Edward & Amelia Sebley, the two children of James Barson & Acorn Ellis were actually banished from Cambridge by the other Sebley brothers when James Barson died.

This turned out to be a poor decision, as all the Cambridge shops gradually fell by the wayside, Edward was very successful & had two drapers/hosiery shops in Exeter. Locations were Fore Street & High Street.


harry-shop bridgest