The village with award-winning pub where famous codebreaker grew up

St Mary’s Church in Cheveley, with its unusual cross shape
St Mary’s Church in Cheveley, with its unusual cross shape -Credit:Google

You will probably know of Alan Turing, but you would be forgiven for not having heard the name of code-breaker William Tutte. From a primary school in a little Cambridgeshire village, this mathematical mastermind went on to crack hugely advanced code during World War Two.

The teleprinter code was even more advanced than the Enigma code taken on by Alan Turing and his colleagues. Bill deciphered it in six months, a feat that not only supported the war effort but which led to the creation of some of the earliest computers.

Using Tutte’s findings, messages were decrypted by hand, but this was taking around six weeks. The need to make the process quicker led to the creation of some of the first ‘pre-computers’.

Read more: The tiny Cambridgeshire village known for its burial mounds and award-winning pub

Read more: Cambridgeshire village pub threatened with demolition now up for sale

The quaint village of Cheveley
The quaint village of Cheveley -Credit:Google

Bill Tutte, who was born in Newmarket, has definite links to Cambridgeshire. He won a scholarship to Cambridge and County High School for Boys and studied natural sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge.

However, it was the quaint village of Cheveley where he was first taught – at the village primary school. Take a look below to find out more about the village and the school where this important academic began his education.

Top-notch primary school

85 years on from the start of World War Two, and Bill Tutte’s primary school is still setting children up for success. Cheveley Church of England Primary School was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in 2013, and has maintained this rating ever since.

Cheveley Church of England Primary School
Cheveley Church of England Primary School -Credit:Google

A report by the inspectorate in May 2023 stated: “Pupils at Cheveley Primary love their school. It is small, friendly and welcoming.

“Teaching staff are knowledgeable and experienced. They know the content of each subject well, and this helps them to teach the curriculum effectively.

“Pupils have strong attitudes to learning. They show great interest in their work and listen carefully to their teachers. This helps classrooms to be productive places where pupils can concentrate on their work.

“Pupils receive a broad range of experiences. They go on visits to places of interest and take part in special, themed days in school.”

Traditional country pub

The Red Lion in Cheveley is a charming stop for a pint and a meal, having been transformed into an oak-filled country pub after new owners Kim and Dean took it over from Greene King in 2009.

It has 4.5 / 5 stars from Google reviews, with one person describing it as “first class on all counts”, with “warm and welcoming” staff members, “traditional country décor” and “fab food”.

The Red Lion in Cheveley
The Red Lion in Cheveley -Credit:Google

Alongside a drinks offering including national and local real ales, The Red Lion serves a regularly-changing menu of freshly-cooked dishes. Main courses offered in June 2024 included fillet of turbot with a lobster béarnaise; roasted colne valley rump of lamb with a pea purée and red wine jus; and pan-fried breast of duck with a rhubarb compote and rich duck jus.

Unique cross-shaped church

Dating from around 1260, St Mary’s Church in Cheveley has a ‘cruciform’ (cross-like) shape that is more commonly seen in grand cathedrals, such as Ely Cathedral. The church hosts community events, including an annual family fete in June, complete with a dog show.

Rising house prices

According to RightMove, prices of homes sold in Cheveley were 11 percent higher in the last year than they were in the 12 months before. The overall average price was just under £600K, with detached homes selling for around £650K and semi-detached properties selling for an average of £435K.

Thatched-roof house in Cheveley
Thatched-roof house in Cheveley -Credit:Google

Whether you will be forking out for a house or just stopping off for a drink at The Red Lion on your way to Newmarket, rest assured you will be in good company in Cheveley. As you walk past the primary school, picture a future code breaker at his desk, learning his times tables.

Do you want more of the latest Cambridgeshire news as it comes in? Sign up to our dedicated newsletter to make sure you never miss a big story from Cambridge or anywhere else in the county. You can also sign up to our dedicated Peterborough, Traffic and Crime newsletters for the latest updates on the topics you are most interested in.