Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Three Blackbirds PH, Ely, Cambs-dedicated to Peggy BRUCE, my cousin in Canada, 1953-2011

Eliza and George BRUCE in Canada
RIP Peggy 1953-2011
Whilst researching an Ely branch of my family a few years ago, I discovered that a distant cousin, George BRUCE, was landlord of the 3 Blackbirds PH, in Ely, Cambs in 1901. George and Eliza and their children went on to emigrate to Manitoba, Canada, and I made contact with Peggy (their great grandaughter) a few years ago and we corresponded for several months sharing photos and information. She sadly died last year...

The 3 Blackbirds after restoration

 By 1933 the licence had been dropped. This marked the end of the inn but the building continued to be used as a residence until the mid- 1970s.
Much discussion and planning took place before the Ely Preservation Trust, who had bought the premises in 1981, began the restoration and conversion of the building in 1983. This work was formally commenced by the Rt. Hon. Francis Pym, M.P. on 5th August, in the presence of invited guests who looked on the excavated hearth for the last time before sand was scattered over it to mark the beginning of the restoration. In subsequent years the building was converted into three separate dwellings.

It is with enormous pleasure that I discovered this week, while updating my research for this blog, that in recent years, the building has been reunified to restore it to its medieval glory.

These are the very latest photos showing the amazing work that has been done on the building. The building is sold subject to contract, for almost half a million pounds. This is the description from the Estate Agent's website:
The Three Blackbirds is Grade II* listed being of architectural or historical interest. Although described within the English Heritage listing as being 16th - 17th century, architectural experts believe the property actually dates back to the late 13th century and is one of the oldest inhabited secular buildings in Cambridgeshire. Originally a hall house, by the 18th century it was a public house which traded as such until the 1930s. It was subject to a comprehensive programme of improvements during the 1980s and then sold as 3 separate properties.


Sheila Pratt said...

You talk about wanting to visit here, but I would ADORE going to England, to visit you, as well as some of the other Sheilas.

Most of all, I would love to take a historical tour, with you as my guide. It would be the most wondrous way to feel England, in my bones, to walk through your family history with you, Sis. xooxoxox

fengirl said...

Wow, how cool would that be!!