As you can see from the façade of the Hotel it is a grade II Georgian listed Building, built c.1830 and it has seen many changes since it was the first home of Newnham College in 1871. Even the house number has changed – back in 1830 it was 74 Regent Street and in the early 1900’s the house numbers on Regent Street altered and we became Number 41 – all very confusing when you are researching the history of your building.
Anne Thomson, the Newnham College Archivist, has very kindly provided us with copies of material relating to Newnham’s past home in Regent Street. The College’s first five students started under the guidance of Miss Clough in 1871 and by Easter 1872 there were 8 students studying here. Anne sent us an extract from Mary Paley Marshall’s memoir(one of the first five) “What I Remember” and it mentions “I was one of the five students who lived with Miss Clough in 74 Regent Street (now the Glengarry Hotel)”.
It was still called The Glengarry Hotel when our parents acquired the property in the 1940’s. We have an extract kept at reception from Mary Paley’s memoir of the second chapter entitled “Cambridge and the beginnings of Newnham, 1870-1875)”available for guests to read.
Anne also sent us another piece to our hotel-history jigsaw by way of this invitation from Miss K Reeve, a student at Newnham from 1907-1910, to Miss Alice Gardner. Miss Gardner was a student at Newnham in 1876 and remained associated with the college all her life. When she received this invitation from Miss Reeve she would have been teaching History at Newnham.
My research shows that from 1875 to c1910 our beautiful building was used as a private residence and then from 1910 it was run by Mr J W Hall and his family as “The Birdbolt Family and Commercial Temperance Hotel. This links very nicely with Miss Reeves’ “At Home ” invitation where she invites Miss Alice Gardner to the Birdbolt Hotel. 41 Regent Street, “The Cradle of Newnham College”.
In 1922 the building was acquired by a Miss Pink who renamed the Hotel and called it The Glengarry, this name was to stick for fifty years even though the building changed hands a number of times. From 1927 to 1929 a Mrs Mason ran the hotel as “The Glengarry Commercial and Family Hotel”.
By 1936 Miss Armstead and her sister were the owners and it was from these two sisters that our parents bought the Glengarry Hotel in the 1940’s.
During the 1970’s the Hotel was rented out and after our father died in 1985, my mother, my brother and I decided to run the hotel once more. After an extensive modernisation programme we re-opened it as the Regent Hotel in December 1985.