Soham Grammarians: Beechurst House in the time of the Morbey family

Charles Morbey made a fortune in the world of racing (e.g. Canterbury Pilgrim) and was a substantial local landowner (e.g. in Burwell).

On 8th April 1885 Charles Morbey, of the The Moat, Soham, was married at St. Georges, Bloomsbury, London to Annie Jugg, youngest daughter of the late William Jugg, Soham.

'Beechurst' was built by him in 1901. He also owned Brandon Hall in Suffolk.

On Thursday, 9th August 1917 Charles Frederick William Morbey, Captain, 7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, died aged 28. He was the son of Charles and Annie Morbey, of 'Beechurst', Soham, Cambs. He is buried in MONCHY BRITISH CEMETERY, MONCHY-LE-PREUX, Pas de Calais, France. Grave I.K.8.

Captain CFW Morbey is also commemorated on a memorial to the Soham Grammarians who fell in WWI which was erected in the then premises of the school in Churchgate Street in the centre of Soham. When his home, Beechurst, was purchased by Cambridgeshire County Council in 1925 as the new premises for the school the memorial was removed to the porch at Beechurst.

In 1945 The Moat was purchased by Edward Armitage, the new headmaster of the Grammar School and in 1946 he began to provide boarding accommodation for a small number of SGS pupils. The Moat is owned by the Jarman family: Mrs Anne Jarman - née Ford - is the grandaughter of Charles Morbey.

Beechurst House when occupied by the Morbey family

The Morbey family: Miss Winifred Morbey (Mrs Ford to be) on right with dog

Miss Winifred Morbey, with Lamb & Billy

The conservatory (see also

The Morbey family continues to have local connections. Cole Ambrose Ltd has farmed at Stuntney, near Ely, for a number of generations going back to the first drainage of the black fens in the mid-1600s. Anthony Morbey and his son, Alastair Morbey, were joint Managing Directors. Alastair returned to the farm in 2007, taking on his current role in 2011. Anthony Morbey died in a car accident on 13 September 2017.

The Old Hall at Stuntney is a recently renovated Jacobean manor house, set in its own unique and historic estate of 3,000 acres. The original house was formerly called The Manor of Stuntney. Oliver Cromwell’s mother, Elizabeth Steward, was born there in 1565. Oliver Cromwell lived in Ely from 1636 to 1646 after inheriting a sixteenth-century property - now known as Oliver Cromwell's House - and the position of local tax collector from his mother's brother, Sir Thomas Steward.

Since the Morbey family purchased the Cromwell Estate and house from The Bagge family in 1830, the estate has been developed by successive generations into a productive arable farm. Anthony and Alison Morbey diversified the house in 2010 into a 5 Star gold Bed and Breakfast and an ‘Exclusive Use’ venue that is booked in its entirety for weddings, parties, conferences and private dinner parties.

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unless otherwise stated , images via Mrs Anne Jarman, née Ford, grandaughter of Charles Morbey
created 22 Aug 2004, updated 8 Oct 2009: 2 Mar 2018