Towns, Cities, Villages and Hamlets

Great Shelford

Samuel Lewis's Topographical Gazeetter 1831

SHELFORD (GREAT), a parish in the hundred of THRIPLOW, county of CAMBRIDGE, 4frac12; miles (S. by E.) from Cambridge, containing 718 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the peculiar jurisdiction and patronage of the Bishop of Ely, rated in the king’s books at £13. 6. 8., endowed with £660 royal bounty, and £1600 parliamentary grant. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is said to have been built by Bishop Fordham, who died in 1425; the steeple was blown down by the great storm of 1703, and again, in 1798; it has since been rebuilt by subscription.

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

GREAT SHELFORD, is a parish on the river Cam with a station on the main line from London to Cambridge of the Great Eastern railway, and is about 4 miles south by-east from Cambridge and 54½ from London, in the Western division of the county, hundred of Thriplow, union of Chesterton, petty sessional division and county court district of Cambridge, rural deanery of Barton and archdeaconry and diocese of Ely.

The church of St Mary the Virgin, erected in 1387, at the sole cost of Thomas Patesle, then vicar, who is buried in the nave, is a very fine edifice of stone and clunch, built mainly in the Perpendicular style, and consisting of chancel, clerestoried and embattled nave of four bays, south porch with parvise aisles and a western tower, square in the lower and octagonal in the upper stage, with embattled parapet and small wooden spire and containing 5 bells: the church retains a very finely designed and elaborately worked Perpendicular rood screen, and a curiously carved pulpit of the Jacobean period: on the north wall of the chancel are six stone panels, inclosing carved shields of arms of the Redman, Torrell and Gouldwell families, three of these commemorating John Gouldwell esq. ob. 15 Feb. 1596, and his wife ; and Isabel (Calverly), wife of William Redman, Bishop of Norwich, 1595-1603; a memorial brass has also been placed to the late Richard Corney Grain esq. so well known in connection with the German-Reeds as a public entertainer, and who died 16 March, 1895 : in the south aisle is a beautiful trefoil-headed piscina: all the windows are fine examples of Perpendicular work: the stained east window is a memorial to Thomas Edleston Crisford, d. 1875, son of a former vicar, and there are several other stained windows, including one erected about 1896 to John Allen Ramsay and Elizabeth his wife: there is a fine brass, with the effigy, under a canopy of shields, of a priest in a cope, commemorating Thomas Patesle, vicar, 'a great benefactor to, and re-builder of the church,' ob. 31 Oct. 1418 ; the inscription, now lost is given in the Harl. MSS. No. 2,129: there is also a brass inscription to John Redman, and a solitary shield of arms: the south porch is groined in stone: at the beginning of the present century the tower suffered very much from a violent storm, and in 1798 the south-west angle of the tower, with buttresses and side wall, fell to the ground: the church was reseated and the interior restored about 1862: the chancel was restored and choir stalls on the south side erected, by the present vicar in 1890, as a memorial to the late Rt. Rev. J. R. Woodford D.D. Bishop of Ely 1873-86: the choir stalls and priests' stall on the north side were erected as a memorial to the late Peter Grain, for 40 years vicar's church-warden: a new organ has been built, at a cost of £400: in 1887 the bells were re-hung and one re-cast, at a cost of £100 and during the period 1886-90 various structural restorations were carried out, at a cost of £700: there are 500 sittings. The register dates from the year 1557.

The Baptist chapel, rebuilt in 1856, at a cost of £1,000, is of brick, in imitation of the Norman and Early English styles, with an open timber roof, and affords 400 sittings.

Charities:- The vicar and trustees hold in trust 11 cottages and 14 ½ acres of land, under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, 1890, for general charitable purposes; the income derived from these sources is now (1900) about £84 yearly. In this parish are nine contiguous wells, which supply Hobson's Conduit, Cambridge, with water. At the Granhams are traces of a Roman encampment. The Master and Fellows of Caius College are lords of the manor of Buristead. There are also two smaller manors, held by St. John's College and Major Edward Henry Greene-de-Freville. The principal landowners are Jesus College, Caius College and St. John's College, Cambridge; Henry Hurrell esq. of Madingley Hall; George Ezra Hawkins esq. of Middleton, Lynn, and Arthur Gee esq. of Shudy Camps Park, Linton. The soil is clay and chalky; subsoil, clay and chalk. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The area is 2,258 acres; rateable value, £7,683; the population in 1891 was 1,020.

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

Domesday Book Entry

*** To be completed ***

Military History

The men and women who died in the World Wars are commemorated on the village memorial, St Mary's church memorial and the Village Hall memorial.




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