The Orchard was first planted in 1868. One late spring morning in 1897, a group of Cambridge students asked Mrs Stevenson, of Orchard House, if she would serve them tea beneath the blossoming fruit trees, rather than as usual on the front lawn of her house, unaware that they were starting a great Cambridge tradition. The students enjoyed their rural tea and word spread around the colleges. Very soon the Orchard became a popular upriver resort with students walking or cycling along the Grantchester Grind and through Grantchester Meadows, or by punting upstream on the River Granta.
In fact, for over 700 years, students such as Newton, Darwin, Cromwell, Milton, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Tennyson, Marlow and Spense have walked, ridden or boated from Cambridge to Grantchester Village.
In taking tea at the Orchard, you are joining an impressive group of luminaries including Rupert Brooke (poet), Virginia Woolf (author), Maynard Keynes (economist), Bertrand Russell (philosopher), Alan Turing (inventor of the computer), Ernest Rutherford (split the atom), Crick and Watson (discovered DNA), Stephen Hawking (theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author) and HRH Prince Charles (future King of England).
Please take your time. Delight in your own thoughts, marvel at nature and enjoy your friends, for you are in a place which, thanks to the benefaction of Mr Robin Callan, will, in the words of Rupert Brooke, remain ‘forever England’.