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No.156-160 High Street

156 .... David Burr Estate Agents
158 .... Willow Hair Consultants
160 .... Sangdao Thai Restaurant
(162 ... Sangdao Thai Spa - 1st floor)
Ratcliffe Buildings / Ratcliffe House


David Burr Estate Agents



Newmarket Gallery


Pacemakers children's clothes - Newmarket Journal

12th June 1953

- Newmarket UDC re-numbering map

Bef. 1955 -  1970

Anscomb Photographers - Nkt.2635


Willow Hair Consultants

T & D Hair Studio

New Heath Motorcycles

- 20th April 1961

Vic Slater, Ironmongers

c. 1955

Topping's Shoes

12th June 1953

- Newmarket UDC re-numbering map


Sangdao Thai Restaurant

- 1967

Selright's Ladies Outfitters

c. 1955

Selright's Ladies Outfitters

12th June 1953

- Newmarket UDC re-numbering map

Ratcliffe House History


Ratcliffe Buildings - Heffer, Miss Annie M
Ratcliffe Buildings - flat - Keddie, Mrs

Ratcliffe Buildings - flat - Fairweather, Ernest
Ratcliffe House - Selright's Ladies Outfitters - Nkt.88
  - Newmarket Directory


Ratcliffe Buildings - Heffer's Wool Stores
Ratcliffe Buildings - Bricknall, Mrs. M.
Ratcliffe House - Rutterford F. / Rutterford F. & S. Ltd., Hosiers
- Newmarket Street Directory


Heffer, A. & M. (Misses), fancy needlwork repository, High Street
Bricknall, Margaret (Miss), confectioner, High Street
Rutterford, F. & S. Ltd., hosiers, tailors & breeches makers, High Street - Nkt.353
- Kelly's


Heffer, A. & M. (Misses), fancy needlwork repository, High Street
- Kelly's

2nd April 1911

Ratcliffe House - Annie Maria & May Louise Heffer - Art Needlework business
Ratcliffe House - Sarah Jane Chester
William F Harper - Music Dealer
- Census


Wilsons Yard - William Ollington, Gardener & Harry Flatt, Gardener
- Census


Ratliff, William, High Street - Kelly's Directory


Frederick Jessup, Blacksmith
Frank Stittle, Sadler
William Ratliff, Farmer of 200a., employing 10 men
Edward Lee, Journeyman Tailor
- Census


Ratliff, William, High Street - Post Office Directory


William Ratliff, Farmer - Census


Ratliff, William, esq., High Street - Post Office Directory


William Ratliff, Farmer of 400a., employing 16 men - Census


Ratcliffe, William, High Street - Gardner's Directory


Philip Burton Esqr. - Chapman's Map of Newmarket


Green Man - Chapman's Map of Newmarket


John Schelley, Nicholas Schelley, Ralph Balowe - Peter May's map


  • These three shops are all in one overall building - Ratcliffe House.

  • William Ratliff / Ratcliffe

  • Meaning 'Red Cliff'; Radcliffe, Radcliff, Ratliff and Ratcliffe (plus many more) are all spelling variations of the same surname - in this instance the house was named after a William Ratliff / Ratcliffe. William was a farmer from Leamington, Warwickshire.
    He married his wife Ann Edwards (born 1805, daughter of Robert & Elizabeth) from Dullingham in Dullingham village church on 11th May 1825.

  • Coventry Herald , West Midlands
    Friday 20 May 1825
    MARRIAGES. On Wednesday sennight, Mr. W. Ratliff, of the Rutland Arms Inn, Newmarket, to Miss Edwards, of Dullingham, near that place.
    [sennight - an archaic word for week]

    Dullingham Parish Register
    1825 May 11

    Ratliff, William bac of All Saints Newmarket
    Edwards, Ann sp
                       by lic
                       wits: Martha Edwards, Louisa Edwards,
                               William Edwards, Robert Edwards

  • William first came to Newmarket a year earlier in 1824 and initially took up managership of the Rutland Arms Hotel - No.33 High Street, he moved to this house sometime between 1839 and 1851.

    William clearly became quite a significant member of the local community, at one time farming 400 acres of land. He was a member of the Newmarket Farmers Club, founded in 1858, which held farming competitions in the town - he was quite successful in these.

  • Exeter and Plymouth Gazette
    Saturday 09 February 1856
    ... extensive premises at Newmarket, including the Subscription Room, has been purchased Mr. W. Ratliff, of Newmarket.

  • Ann Ratliff died in 1884:-

  • Manchester Times
    Saturday 06 September 1884
    Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries "... at Newmarket, Ann, wife of William Ratliff, aged 78 years."

  • William died two years later on 19th Aug 1886:-

  • Bury and Norwich Post
    Tuesday 19 October 1886
    WILLIAM RATLIFF, Deceased- ALL Persons having any claim or demand against the Estate or Effects of WILLIAM RATLIFF, late of High-street, Newmarket.

  • William and Ann are remembered by memorial windows in St Mary's church, as are the Rev. John Denman M.A. rector (1809—80) and the race-horse trainer Joseph Dawson. William's farm was part of Exning House Estate, known as a 'Model Farm' and along with considerable other large plots of land were put up for sale in 1881:-

    [A model farm was an 18th–19th century experimental farm, which researched and demonstrated improvements in agricultural techniques, efficiency, and building layout. Education and commitment to improving welfare standards of workers were also aspects of the ideal farm movement.]

    Bury and Norwich Post
    Tuesday 14 June 1881
    EXNING HOUSE ESTATE, Near NEWMARKET. ARRANGEMENT OF SALE. HENRY STANLEY and Co. Are preparing particulars of the above Important PROPERTY for Sale as follows :- The main portion of the ESTATE, with the beautiful MANSION, known as EXNING HOUSE, surrounded by LAND of the finest quality to the extent of 2416 ACRES, all let to first-class Tenants on yearly tenancies. Very little of the Property consists of purely Agricultural Land.
    The Estate is so situate and so circumstanced that nearly the whole of the Land may be regarded as available for accommodation purposes, possessing a prospective value far exceeding that of ordinary Accommodation Land, mainly on account of the fact that the Town of Newmarket - the Metropolis of the Racing World can only extend by acquiring Sites from this Estate.
    Apart from the facilities which it affords to Gentlemen interested in Racing, the Exning House Estate is one of the most enjoyable and unique, as a Residential Property, in the Eastern Counties. The Mansion is most substantially built of Red Brick, of Classical Design, is perfect in all its interior arrangements and decorations, and the grounds are well laid out, not too extensive, and abound in natural beauty.
    It is situate in the midst of the heath society in the two Counties of Suffolk and Cambridge, and offers a position to a capitalist very seldom to be obtained.
    The Estate and Neighbourhood cannot be equalled for all Sporting purposes. The well-known MODEL FARM, which has been for many years so admirably managed by William Ratliff, Esq. It is approached by a Lodge Entrance from the Fordham road, about half-a-mile from the town of Newmarket, and consists of 206 a. Or. 19p. of the finest Land in Exning, lying altogether in one Field, with very superior Farm Buildings, which might easily be converted into a Stud Farm.
    About 88 Acres of the same Field (the poorest part) was purchased in 1879, at an average of £180 per Acre, by Messrs. T. Jennings, sen., M. Dawson, and F. Archer, and is now occupied as Paddocks, for which there continues a growing demand. If this portion of the Estate is not sold in One Lot, it will be divided into Lots of from 20 to 60 Acres.

    An Important Tract of BUILDING and ACCOMMODATION LAND, at the West End of the town of Newmarket, commencing at the Heath Gate, and running parallel with the Heath as far as the New Stand. This section of the Estate comprises about 127 ACRES, and includes all the Land occupied by Mr. M. Dawson, and a small portion of Mr. T. Sabin's Farm.
    It is proposed to act out a Private Road, 30ft. in width, the whole length of the Land abutting upon the Heath, and to lay it out as a Terrace for Racing Establishments, in sites of about 10 Acre 3 each.

    ... at Exning. The Manor House and Grounds at Exning, the Wheatsheaf Inn, at Exning, and a very valuable Block of Buildings, near St. Mary's Church, in Newmarket, occupied by Mr. M . Dawson. The above very valuable and important Properties will be offered by Auction, at the Mart, Tokenhouse Yard, London, E.C.

  • Exning House Estate originally belonged to John Dobede, he died in 1875 leaving the hall to his son Henry Dobede. Apparently at the time of the sale it was in a 'ruinous condition'.
    The Jockey Club bought Lot 1 for £165,000 (The main portion of the Estate with The Mansion and 2400 acres of 'very fine land') and Lot 3 for £25,000 (An important tract of Building and Accommodation Land adjoining the Heath at the west end of Newmarket, approx. 138 acres). Lots 1 and 3 adjoin the racecourse. Their reason for this purchase was 'to prevent the building of houses overlooking the course'.

    Another newspaper report about this auction sale, written after the event, can be found on the page for No.43-47 High Street - Fairfield House where it shows that the solicitor representing the Jockey Club in acquiring Lots 1 & 3 was Robert Fenn, and that the Mr. Ratliff's farm, Lot 2, didn't actually sell at this time and was withdrawn at £23,000. 

    Lot 1; Exning Hall and the immediate land, were later acquired by
    Edward (Ned) William David Baird who set about re-furbishing and extending the house.

    'Ned' Baird

  • Ratcliffe House

  • Due to the above detailed surname variations the house has been referred to at various times as both Ratliff House and Ratcliffe House.

  • Ratcliffe House 1885

  • According to the record details below the house was put up for sale in 1902 and then a year later in 1903 the shop fronts were added.

  • The narrow passageway to the right of the house (that can just about be driven up) is the present-day entrance into the yard of Grosvenor House Lida Vets. This yard used to be the parking lot for the service vans of the Newmarket Electric Light Company that occupied next door St Hubert's House at one time.

    There are also other buildings in this yard, with differant businesses in them even today, which may help explain the quite complicated occupancy of this location over the years - with some records referring to 'Ratcliffe Buildings'. The main buiding is still seperately listed as 156, 156a (2nd floor flat), 158, 158a (1st floor flat), 158b (ground floor at rear), 160, 160 (2nd floor flat) ....

  • The Sangdao Thai Spa is entered into by a front door that sits tightly between Ratcliffe House and St Hubert's House and is situated on the first floor of this building. Confusingly its present-day street address is No.162, and St Hubert's House proper is No.162a & No.162b.

  • Photo of Newmarket, High Street c1955, ref. N23011
    Reproduced courtesy of Francis Frith.

    High Street c1955, Newmarket

    On the left is the Newmarket Electric Light shop, then Selright's, then Topping's shoe shop and finally Anscomb's the photographers. The delicate cresting above the front of the shops is no longer there.

    The next lower building is the Manor House adjacent to the entrance into the Grosvenor Yard. Beyond that is the semi-circular front of the Doric Cinema and the gable facia of the King Edward VII Memorial Hall.

    If you compare the layout of the Ratcliffe House shops in this photo to the 1885 map above you can see that the ground floor shop fronts are actually built out in front of the main wall of the house, over what looks like to have originally been a small walled garden as shown on the map.

  • Vic Slater, Ironmongers

  • This business was in the small middle shop in Ratcliffe House and moved in after the Topping's shoe shop shown in the 1955 photo above. It didn't last long and went into liquidation on 20th April 1961.

  • Reg Anscomb

  • Reginald Anscomb was a notable equine photographer, his shop occupied the larger right-hand side of the house.

  • Reg Anscomb "Ennis (1954) Golden Cloud - First House, W.H. Carr - Champion Sprinter 1956"
    Signed and inscribed "Newmarket", also inscribed "Ennis W.H Carr", oil on canvas

    R. Anscomb, Newmarket - Star of Baroda - 1947

    R. Anscomb, Newmarket - Field of Fire - 1947

    R. Anscomb, Newmarket - Flipper - 1947

    R. Anscomb, Newmarket - Alycidon - 1949

    R. Anscomb, Newmarket - Double Eclipse - 1951

  • Reg was born in Newmarket on 15th Jul 1911, he married Hilda Chinery in 1940 and had two daughters. He died on 19th Jan 1979 aged 67 and he and Hilda are buried together in Newmarket cemetery.

  • Note from webmaster - my claim-to-fame for Reg Anscomb is that in 1961 my 15 year-old uncle went to work for him as a photographer's assistant, working there for a couple of years. He recalls many visits all around the country and even one flight to Ireland to go and photograph famous race-horses for their owners. Reg was also the photographer at my parent's wedding in 1955.

    Apparently, before taking up photography as a career Reg had been a groceries delivery driver (possibly for the Co-op), making deliveries around the local villages, that included Woodditton.

    My uncle remembers the quite elaborate techniques that were involved in producing Reg's photographic masterpieces, including 'blowing-out' any unecessesary backgrounds. As for the paint on emulsion equine portraits bearing the name R. Anscomb my uncle doesn't think that Reg produced these himself and remembers the original photographs being sent away for the artistic over-painting.

    It's also curious that many of these so-called  'paintings' have been attributed to a Richard Anscomb of Newmarket. According to records on 'Ancestry' there were only two Richard Anscombs born sensibly before 1950, one in Surrey and the other in Camberwell - neither of these ever lived in Newmarket and don't seem to be related to Reg. Maybe Richard was Reg's middle name or even a pseudonym, or these attributed artworks have associated the incorrect Christian name of Richard to the signature on the paintings which is just 'R. Anscomb' - if anyone can clarify this situation please E-MAIL me.

    Typical for the era Reg was a chain-smoker and suffered badly from ulcers - it surprised many that he lived to the quite reasonable old-age of 67!

  • Ernest Fairweather & Selright's

  • Ernest was born in 1875 in Norwich, Norfolk, he was a Drapers Traveller, Credit Drapery Trade.

    The Credit Drapery Trade involved a weekly collection, however there was no identifiable interest charged, the trader just charged inflated prices to begin with. In 1936 Ernest lived in the flat associated with Selright's Ladies Outfitters - although in the same trade it's not known in what way he was associated with the shop.

    Selright's occupied the left-hand side of the building and was there from around 1930 until it went into liquidation on 20th April 1967, C. Kingsley was the chairman of the business at the time.

  • Building Changes

  • Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds Branch
    Newmarket Urban District Council Records
    Reference EF 506
    Shop fronts, near Ratcliffe House, High St, for James Chester (Leonard Crowfoot) EF 506/6/1/8/137 Jan 1903

  • Suffolk Record Office

  • Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds Branch
    Sale particulars, postcards and printed euphemera
    Reference HD 1325

  • Ratliff House (with stabling, grounds and large paddock), St. Hubert's (with 3 cottages) and Burchley House (with garden and stabling), High Street, Newmarket (plan) HD 1325/29 May 1902

  • Exning House Estate, near Newmarket HD 1325/2 1881
    Contents: (Mansion, model farm, building and accommodation land, Little Portland Farm, Manor House and grounds, the Wheat Sheaf Inn, and premises in the centre of Newmarket) (Plan)


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Ratcliffe House

Ratcliffe House

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