Towns, Cities, Villages and Hamlets


Samuel Lewis's Topographical Gazeetter 1831

BALSHAM, a parish in the hundred of RADFIELD, county of CAMBRIDGE, 4 miles (N.E. by N.) from Linton, containing 959 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the peculiar jurisidiction and patronage of the Governors of the Charter-house, London, rated in the king’s books at £39. 16. 8. The church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. A little westward from the village are Gogmagog bills, on the summit of which there are remains of a circular camp with a double rampart, supposed to be British. Hugh de Baisham, founder of Peter-house College, Cambridge was born here.

For the Family Historian details of available records can be found on the Balsham page of GENUKI Cambridgeshire.

Balsham Post Office and Stores

BALSHAM is a village and parish, 4 miles north-north-east from Linton station, 4 north from Bartlow station on the Cambridge and Sudbury section of the London and North Eastern railway, and 10 south-east from Cambridge, in the hundred of Radfield, union and petty sessional division of Linton, county court district of Cambridge, rural deanery of Camps and archdeaconry and diocese of Ely.

The church of the Holy Trinity it a very handsome edifice of flint, rubble and white brick, in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of large chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing a clock and 5 bells: the chancel retains 24 stalls of the 14th century ; there is a handsome rood screen of the same date, and a fine brass to John Sleford, rector, Master of the Wardrobe to Edward III, and canon of Ripon and Wells, who rebuilt the chancel and part of the church and erected the stalls, and died in 1401 ; the brass includes his effigy in cope, with figures of saints, under a fine canopy and has a marginal inscription; there is a similar brass to Dr. John Blodwell, formerly dean of S. Asaph, ob. 1462, and also a brass effigy of Johannes Lindsell, d. 1612 (inscription lost): in the south aisle is a memorial window, erected in 1866, to the Rev. Edward Wollaston M.A. 33 years rector, his wife Elizabeth and their daughter Agnes Cornthwaite: the church was restored and a new organ-chamber built in the year 1875, under the direction of Mr. William Butterfield, architect, and in 1914 the tower was repaired, a side chapel has been erected on the site of the former old chapel of St. Nicholas; it is a self-contained structure, made partly of the old panelling originally taken from the church or the old rectory and partly of new wood, with carved cresting made by the present rector; the chapel contains the Elizabethan altar formerly used in the church; the carved inlaid work in connection with the altar is the work of the rector and of men instructed by him; the elaborately carved font cover, placed in 1927 near the tower arch, is also the work of the rector ; by the altar is a handsome carved inlaid Litany desk, which is a memorial to Dr. Head, chief warden for 30 years: there is a book containing the names and records of the men parishioners who served in the Great War, 1914-18, and a carved oak tablet with the names of the rectors from 1220 there are 800 sittings. The register dates from the year 1558.

There is a Congregational chapel, erected in 1833, with sittings for 300 persons.

The soil is clay and chalk; subsoil, chalk. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The area is 4,550 acres; the population in 1921 was 654.

[Extracts from Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]

Domesday Book Entry

The Abbot holds BALSHAM himself. 9 hides. Land for 19 ploughs. In lordship 5 hides; 5 ploughs there; 2 more possible. 12 villagers and 12 smallholders with 12 ploughs. 2 slaves; 1 mill, 4s; woodland, 200 pigs; meadow, 12 acres; from pasture 32d. Total value £17; when acquired £10; before 1066 £12. This manor lies and always lay in the lordship of the Church of Ely.

In the same village Hardwin holds 80 acres from the Abbot. Land for 1 plough; it is there. The value is and always was 13s 4d. 3 Freemen, the Abbot of Ely's men, held this land; they could not grant or sell their land without his permission; however, they found cartage and escort.

In BALSHAM Aelmer holds 40 acres of land from the Count. It is assessed with the other land. Leofled held (it) under Edeva; she could not withdraw from her.

In BALSHAM Hardwin holds 80 acres of Abbot's land. Land for 1 plough; it is there. The value is and was 13s 4d. 3 Freemen held this land; they could not sell.

In RADFIELD Hundred these (men) swore

Manfrid Adestan of WESTON (COLVILLE)
William, WALTER (of GRANDCOURT)'s man Algar of DULLINGHAM
Ralph of CLUNY Pinna of BALSHAM

and all the other Frenchmen and Englishmen of this Hundred swore.


War Memorial

The war memorial and the men on it have been documented on the Roll of Honour Cambridgeshire pages.


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