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CAMBRIDGE STREET-NAMES
Their Origins and Associations

This book draws on the great wealth of associations of street-
names in Cambridge. It is not a dictionary but provides a series
of entries on such topics as the Reformation, George IV and his
wife, twentieth-century scientists, businessmen, Elizabethan
times, medieval Cambridge, mayors, millers and builders. It
includes hermits and coal merchants, ¬eld-marshals and laun-
dresses, martyrs and bombers, unscrupulous politicians and the
founder of a Christian community, Cromwell and Newton, an
Anglo-Saxon queen, Stalin™s daughter and the discoverer of
Uranus “ all people who lived in or often visited Cambridge.
The ancient Stourbridge Fair is included, along with castles
and boat-races, sewage pumps and the original Hobson of
˜Hobson™s Choice ™. Who was St Tibb? Where did Dick Turpin
hide? Where was the medieval takeaway? Unlike earlier works,
this is a history of everybody for everybody, not least for teach-
ers, for whom the many references to other works will be
helpful. The book also sheds light on such questions as which
names are preferred, and how such choices may bene¬t the soci-
ological study of Cambridge. The entries are spiced with anec-
dotes and epigrams, and a number of drawings by the architect
and planner, Vir©n Sahai OBE, are included.

®¬¤ § is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge,
having formerly been Vice-Master of the college and
University Lecturer in German.

¤« µ©®§ writes and lectures on local history in
Cambridge.
King™s Parade
CAMBRIDGE
STREET-NAMES
Their Origins and Associations


RONALD GRAY
AND

DEREK STUBBINGS

·© ©¬¬µ©®  ©©® ©
°µ¬©¤   ° ®¤© ¦  µ®©© ¦ ©¤§
The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom

©¤§ µ®©© °
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK
40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA
477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia
Ruiz de Alarcón 13, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Dock House, The Waterfront, Cape Town 8001, South Africa

http://www.cambridge.org

© Cambridge University Press 2004

First published in printed format 2000

ISBN 0-511-03125-4 eBook (Adobe Reader)
ISBN 0-521-78956-7 paperback
Contents


Acknowledgements page vii
What do street-names mean? viii
How can you tell? xiii

Prehistoric 1
Roman 1
Anglo-Saxon 4
Medieval 8
Barnwell 20
Town and gown 24
The beginning of the University 26
The Reformation 29
The Renaissance and science 36
The Civil War 44
The eighteenth century 47
War against Napoleon 55
George IV and his wife 57
Queen Victoria™s reign 57
The British Empire 64
Coprolite mining 65
Coal, corn and iron 65
Brewers 68
Trams and buses 71
Nineteenth-century historians, antiquaries
and lawyers 72
Nineteenth-century scientists 74
Nineteenth-century bishops and clergy 80

v
Contents

Architects 83
The ˜Kite ™ area 86
Sport 87
Builders and developers 88
Localities in Cambridge 91
Hospitals 95
A poet 97
Mayors 99
Churches and saints 107
The High Stewards: unprotected protectors 108
Inclosures 118
The twentieth century 121
121
The later colleges
122
Scientists
124
Musical composers
125
The armed services
127
Politicians
128
Landowners, farmers and businessmen
134
Clergy
134
Benefactors
135
Others

Plan of street locations 142
Index of streets 145




vi
Acknowledgements


We are grateful to the sta¬ of the Cambridgeshire Collection
and the County Record O¬ce, and above all to Mike Petty and
Chris Jakes for unfailing help and courtesy; also to the sta¬ of
London Metropolitan Archives, Dr John Pickles, Dr F. H.
Stubbings and the archivists of Trinity College, St John™s
College, Queens™ College, St Catharine™s College and Jesus
College. Special thanks to Linda Allen for endless patience and
thoughtful typing.




vii
What do street-names mean?


Names are a sensitive matter: a ˜wrong™ name can a¬ect the price
of houses, as the residents of Barton Road realised on hearing
the news of a fresh development, when they objected to the
name Wortley, that of a seventeenth-century Fellow of Caius,
as ˜ugly and cumbersome to use ™. St Neots residents objected
recently to the names of councillors being given to streets, pre-
ferring those of local footballers. The vicar of a church in
SUEZ* Road protested that ˜Suez™ was a dirty word politically
(referring to the abortive Suez Canal attack of 1956): on the
phone, people had thought he said ˜sewers™. That name remains,
but a proposal to call KIMBERLEY Road, with its South
African name, after Nelson Mandela, was also vigorously
opposed by residents, for whom, at that time, the great man was
a Communist terrorist. His name survives in Mandela House in
Regent Street, containing o¬ces of the City Council.
Personal names were given frequently in the nineteenth
century. Before that, streets were usually named according to
goods sold in them “ the medieval centre of Cambridge has no
personal names except those of saints. Only later were any other
individuals singled out to be honoured, although in paintings
they appear as early as the thirteenth century.
Ribald and obscene names still found on nineteenth-century
maps have almost all vanished, no doubt from concern with
property prices. Who in fact ever did call TRINITY Lane

* Capitals are used for something of special interest about a street. Where some
(varying) degree of doubt is present the name is enclosed in square brackets.

viii
What do street-names mean?

Pisspot Lane, however appropriate it may have been in less
hygienic times? And how about Bandy Leg Walk, now
demurely LADY MARGARET Road “ was some resident being
mocked? In BOTOLPH Lane, where there was a workhouse,
mockery was certainly implied by the nickname Penny Farthing
Lane.
A red light district existed in earlier times around NAPIER
Street, to which MAIDS™ CAUSEWAY led; it was renamed by
some wag Coarse Maids Way. (The same wag, perhaps, turned
SEDLEY TAYLOR Road into Tiddly Sailor Road.) Similarly,
STOURBRIDGE has given rise to spurious etymology, re-
spelling it as Sturbitch. Cambridge does not have, as some towns
do, a Grape Road, whose vowel has been changed in the course
of time, but the old name Hore Hill, also called Hare Hill, once
graced an area round POUND Hill where prostitutes were still
being arrested in the 1970s. (Oxford™s Horspath, the ¬rst sylla-
ble appearing also in the nearby Horsepath, seems to have had
the same original meaning.) But Cambridge does have a Cut
Throat Lane, not shown on maps, but well known in the
Newmarket Road, and even used on the vans of a company
selling pine furniture there, referring of course to its prices.
More respectably, but still in the interests of property,
BERMUDA Road reassumed its delectable name when it
changed from the awful industrial connotations of Foundry
Road. Then there are OXFORD, RICHMOND, CAN-
TERBURY, WINDSOR, all close together, streets which
would never have been popular if Bradford, Swansea or
Middlesbrough had been proposed “ though HALIFAX slipped
somehow into the same group of names that tourists fancy.
Quite near to this are ARUNDEL, CLIVEDEN, WARWICK
and several others with unquestionable status as castles and

ix
What do street-names mean?

homes of the nobility, perhaps named by the same person.
CROMWELL and FAIRFAX, however, on the other, eastern
side of Cambridge, could have been deliberately sited for their
radical associations. This was a ˜Labour™ area.
BELGRAVE is a decidedly ˜posh™ name, and there is some-
thing in the battlemented bay windows of Victorian terrace
houses that still shows, in names like ˜Chatsworth™, ˜Carltonia™,
˜Charterhouse™, an apparent wish to be associated with the high
and mighty. (Less concerned with such pretensions are the
boarding house name ˜Lingalonga™, and the combinations of
forenames: ˜Louistan™, ˜Rondale™, ˜Rondoral™.) Other names
favoured by somebody in charge suggest rural idylls, often in
the Lake District, or in ˜-ferns™ and ˜-dales™, Scottish places (and
a few Irish, but no Welsh) and in ˜glens™ and ˜meads™. The pre¬x
˜Lyn-™ is curiously popular in house names. Religious person-
ages are liked for reasons not hard to guess: ˜abbot™, ˜bishop™,
˜friar™, ˜monk™, ˜nun™ all occur, and there is romance in the many
˜-crofts™ and ˜-holmes™, ˜-hursts™ and ˜-denes™. Yet who would
choose to live in BUFFALO Way or yet MANDRILL Close, if
o¬ered an alternative? There is a regular zoo in the Cherry
Hinton area, with names chosen by South Cambridgeshire
District Council, against objections by the City Council, which
preferred, and elsewhere got, local ¬‚ower names, CLOVER,
COLTSFOOT and so on. Almost all native trees occur.
Cambridge does not go in for foreign capitals, and hardly for
foreign places at all. PORTUGAL, which once supplied port via
nearby QUAYSIDE to college High Tables, and no doubt busi-
nessmen™s tables too, is a rare exception. Apart from a few
Empire names such as MADRAS, KIMBERLEY, PRETORIA
and possibly BANFF and CALLANDER (but these two names
are found in Scotland as well as in Canada), there are only

x
What do street-names mean?

MANHATTAN and LEXINGTON, oddly enough, seeing
that the latter is the place that saw the ¬rst defeat of the British
in the American War of Independence, in 1775 “ and of
course TRAFALGAR, but not Waterloo; both NELSON and
WELLINGTON were a¬orded pokey places compared with
the grand thoroughfares in Paris named after Napoleon™s mar-
shals. (No one has thought Agincourt or Cr©cy suitable.)
Churchill does not have a street named after him at all; even
London has nothing comparable to the Avenue Charles de
Gaulle. BLENHEIM, where Churchill lived, had to su¬ce,
though a college is named after him.
Women™s names rarely occur. Despite the growing confes-
sion that women have been unfairly treated by society, only
eight were named in this century and recently there has even
been a ˜PRINCE WILLIAM™ but no ˜Princess Anne™ or
˜Princess of Wales™.
˜Street™ names are often road names. The change from one to
the other is yet another sign of social preferences. As an o¬cial
explained in the Daily Telegraph in 1971 (quoted by L. Dunkley
in The Guinness Book of Names, p. 156): ˜Streets have gone out
of fashion and no one wants to live in one. When people think
of a street they imagine something like the Coronation Street
image of old terraced back-to-backs. You can call them roads,
avenues, lanes, groves, drives, closes, places “ anything but
streets.™ Cambridge follows the same trend; it has also ˜cause-
way™, ˜broadway™, ˜corner™, ˜crescent™, ˜end™, ˜pightle™, ˜hill™ (of
all things), ˜glebe ™, ˜drift™ and many more. But if you look at the
centre, and at the nineteenth-century developments in the ˜Kite™
area, along Mill Road, the northern end of Hills Road, the
Newnham and Romsey Town areas, you will seldom ¬nd any
other designation but ˜street™, and in the newer areas hardly ¬nd

xi
What do street-names mean?

it at all. ˜Terrace™, ¬rst noted by Charles Kingsley in 1851,
according to the Oxford English Dictionary, as a name for subur-
ban rows of houses, perhaps re¬‚ecting the glory of London™s
Carlton House Terrace, was an alternative to ˜street™ even at that
time. But today the objection of house-buyers to ˜street™, and to
˜terrace ™ as well, has vanished. The people who lived in such
places were largely working class, railwaymen and college ser-
vants, and their successors have moved out to the suburbs, to
Arbury, King™s Hedges, Cherry Hinton, Histon, while the pro-
fessional classes who want to be near the station or the city
restaurants send sky-high the prices of what were sometimes
slums.




Trinity Street



xii
How can you tell?


Cambridge streets re¬‚ect the dominance of the University,
though not so much as taxidrivers sometimes suppose. There are
clusters of names especially in the area of TRUMPINGTON
Road, COLERIDGE Road, GRANGE Road, MILL Road,
QUEEN EDITH™S Way, BARTON Road, NEWNHAM and
o¬ HUNTINGDON Road, where each college holds or held
land, often acquired in the nineteenth-century Inclosures.
The streets concerned here are:
Christ™s: DARWIN, FRANCIS DARWIN, MILTON.
Churchill: COCKCROFT.
Clare: FERRARS, LATIMER.
Corpus Christi: MAWSON, TENISON, PEROWNE,
EMERY, MACKENZIE, [WILKIN], PARKER, SPENS,
GOUGH, STUKELY, MARLOWE.
Downing: LENSFIELD.
Emmanuel: ALEX WOOD, HOPKINS, PEMBERTON,
FINCH, HOLLAND.
Gonville and Caius: GUEST, COLLIER, WILLIS,
GONVILLE, MORTIMER, DROSIER, GRESHAM,
HARVEY, GLISSON, BATEMAN, WOLLASTON,
PERSE, SCROOPE.
Jesus: GREVILLE, CORRIE, RUSTAT, FLAMSTEED,
FANSHAWE, BANCROFT, DAVY, RADEGUND,
STERNE, CRANMER, FAIRBAIRN, [TILLYARD].
King™s: KING™S (not King Street), KING™S PARADE,
ANSTEY, MILLINGTON, CHEDWORTH, MERTON,

xiii
How can you tell?

ELTISLEY, WALPOLE, [WEST], KEYNES, DURN-
FORD.
Magdalene: [BUCKINGHAM], PEPYS.
Newnham: RACKHAM.
Pembroke: GRAY, PRIMROSE, RIDLEY.
Peterhouse: LANGHAM, GISBORNE, HOLBROOK,
PERNE, [BROOKS], BIRDWOOD, CHALMERS, GRAY,
WARKWORTH, [BEAUMONT], AINSWORTH.
Queens™: [ERASMUS].
St Catharine ™s: HOADLY, SHERLOCK, EACHARD,
WOODLARK, SHIRLEY, [RAMSDEN].
St John™s: GILBERT, ASCHAM, METCALFE, GURNEY,
COURTNEY, CLARKSON, WILBERFORCE,
SYLVESTER, ADAMS, HERSCHEL, BATESON, HAVI-
LAND, COCKCROFT, LADY MARGARET, BENIANS,
SELWYN, VERULAM, [FAIRFAX].
Sidney Sussex: CROMWELL.
Trinity: NEWTON, BENTLEY, PORSON, RAYLEIGH,
RUTHERFORD, [DIAMOND], MAITLAND,
CAVENDISH, ZETLAND, SIDGWICK, SEDGWICK,
SEDLEY TAYLOR, LUARD, ACTON, ADRIAN,
BYRON, CLARENDON, [MELBOURNE], CLERK
MAXWELL, MANSEL, DALTON, LANSDOWNE.
Trinity Hall: BATEMAN, CHESTERFIELD, WARREN,
THIRLEBY, WOODHEAD, FRASER, LATHAM,
GELDART.
All these provide certainty about explanations of street-
names. The clusters of names of High Stewards and of military
men also leave no doubt. It is a fairly safe bet that most of the
mayors have been honoured, several in the area around

xiv
How can you tell?

CAMPKIN Road, along with some local people. Few university
names are in this part of Cambridge. Unusual names with a local
connection o¬er some probability. Groups of Roman
(MINERVA, etc.) and Anglo-Saxon names (QUEEN EDITH,
etc.) o¬er complete certainty.
In other clusters some historical association may be at least
strongly inviting, as with [MELBOURNE], CLARENDON,
VICTORIA and EARL, and the fact that the two ¬rst named
were both at Trinity at almost the same time strengthens the
case. BURLEIGH and JAMES together are a good pointer to
the man named in NORFOLK Street, James Burleigh™s father-
in-law. GEORGE IV, REGENT, CAROLINE, CORONA-
TION, BENTINCK and in another cluster the various streets
named BRUNSWICK shed light on one another. Geograph-
ical clusters are found in BRENTWOOD, CHIGWELL,
COGGESHALL, THE RODINGS, TIPTREE, all in Essex
(with BERGHOLT, in Su¬olk, but near the other villages) and
EDINBURGH, DUNDEE, INVERNESS, KINROSS, STIR-
LING, all in the area once occupied by SCOTLAND Farm
(where Scottish cattle halted on the way to London?).
Where problems arise, several criteria can be used, not nec-
essarily to provide certainty. Sometimes, but rarely, the name is
recorded in Council Minutes as suggested by a college or an
individual. Where there is more than one choice, a close con-
nection with Cambridge is a strong indication. A pair of names
like AYLESTONE and HUMBERSTONE, for streets close to
one another and built at about the same time, suggests a
connection with Leicester, since both are parts of that city.
But [BULSTRODE] and [HEDGERLEY], parallel with
one another, although both are names of villages in
Buckinghamshire, may refer to people. Lord William (Henry

xv
How can you tell?

Cavendish) Bentinck, later governor-general of India, was born
at Bulstrode in 1774, and Sir Richard Bulstrode, educated at
Pembroke Hall, a well-known royalist in the Civil War, whose
father was Edward Bulstrode of Hedgerley, seemed a likely can-
didate until Mr Wise pointed out to us that Christopher Stone
Bulstrode (1818“94) owned a house called ˜Hedgerley House™
on the site of the present street of that name. He was a cabinet-
maker and upholsterer with premises opposite Trinity College
Chapel, and was a trustee of Hobson™s Conduit in 1868, so evi-
dently a man of some consequence in the town. Both names
could be connected in more than the place-names, but there is no
conclusive evidence.
Proximity is another criterion: there can be no other IZAAK
WALTON or Steve FAIRBAIRN, and these connect, being
near the river, with ANGLERS Way, LENTS, MAYS,
GRAYLING and LONG REACH (which might puzzle a total
stranger, connecting it with boxing, rather than a stretch of the
Cam).
Builders and developers are to be inferred because their
names are often well known in Cambridge, like KELSEY and
KERRIDGE, whose association nobody living in Cambridge
could doubt. Spalding™s and Kelly™s Cambridge directories often
list names of shopkeepers and tradesmen.
We aim at certainty, but have included, in brackets, some
names that are reasonably well connected, or simply interesting.
The main object of writing about street-names is after all not to
trace exactly every single case, though the e¬ort at exactness has
to be made, but also to connect the names in such a way as will
make the past of Cambridge come alive. In any historical
account we look back over hundreds of years, but with street-
names there is a daily reminder of some particular person or

xvi
How can you tell?

event. So one of the medieval ¬elds round Cambridge, BRAD-
MORE, comes to mind, and the Anglo-Saxon lands at Cherry
Hinton owned by QUEEN EDITH and her relatives, and the
farms at UPHALL and NETHERHALL, like HALL FARM,
MANOR Farm, ELFLEDA Farm and GRANGE Road, which
constitute a ring of formerly open spaces round the present
built-up area. The city grows from its two small centres on
CASTLE Street and near St BENET™s church “ where very few
medieval names now survive “ as it takes in the new population
along MILL Road brought by the railways. CHESTERTON,
once separate, links up, and so does BARNWELL. Windmills
appear in the mind™s eye at FRENCH™S Road and MILL Street,
and theatres, hospitals for lepers, prisons occupy spaces that
now look dull by comparison. The romantic atmosphere of
Cambridge, its main attraction for tourists, is tempered by the
awareness through street-names that the Backs were in medieval
times a long harbour for barges coming up from King™s Lynn or
Wisbech, and that even in the nineteenth century coal and corn
were passing all the time under the ancient bridges and past the
architectural wonders. On the site of St John™s Master™s Lodge
was once an iron foundry; the river-bank up to Newnham mill
was crowded with men unloading barges and tending the horses
that had brought them there; there was even a foundry by
Market Hill. There have been breweries in Magdalene Street and
Trinity Street, a malting-house during the late nineteenth
century in the school of Pythagoras (Merton Hall), a coprolite
mine on the site of New Hall, gravel pits in East Road, a mili-
tary hospital where the University Library is, a steam-plough
works in Cherry Hinton “ all seeming now encroachments in
residential areas or college precincts.
A book of this size can only suggest, so to speak, avenues to

xvii
How can you tell?

be explored. For this reason a large number of books and pam-
phlets on Cambridge history are included, and not in a separate
bibliography, but immediately after the mention of some indi-
vidual or aspect that arouses special interest. There is much
more, too, in P. H. Reaney™s The Place-Names of Cambridgeshire
and the Isle of Ely, 1943, in the English Place-Names Society™s
Series, in the many volumes of the Dictionary of National
Biography, of the Victoria County History of Cambridgeshire,
Charles Henry Cooper™s Annals, 1842“52, and the reports of
the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, as well as
in Nikolaus Pevsner™s volume, Cambridgeshire, 1954, in the
Buildings of England series, and R. Willis and J. W. Clark™s
monumental Architectural History of the University of Cambridge
(which also includes gardens). Sara Payne™s articles in the
Cambridge Evening News, published in two volumes as
Down Your Street, 1983 and 1984, are also valuable. The
Cambridgeshire Collection in the Central Library building in
Lion Yard has newspapers, maps, photographs, books, pam-
phlets, card-indexes in profusion. The maps of Inclosures in the
County Record O¬ce provide many useful indications. May
this brief account lead to greater enjoyment of all these, and
may readers go on to interpret the signi¬cance of street-names
further.
Spellings in maps and in the streets themselves are not always
reliable. The name of MARTIN™S STILE LANE appears on the
street-sign without an apostrophe ˜s™, seeming to make Stile a
surname. [MANERS], shown thus on the street-sign, appears on
one map as [MANNERS], perhaps appropriately, since the latter
is a family name of the Dukes of RUTLAND. GODESDONE
has been the name on the street-sign for many years, though the
original name was Godesone. [AUGERS] Road in Cherry

xviii
How can you tell?

Hinton looks suspiciously like a mis-spelling of Aungers, the
name of a family which owned land at the other end of
Cambridge, near High Cross, and at Coton. (It appears in the
index of the Local Red Book map as Algiers, but correctly on
the map itself.) The surname Augers does, however, exist,
and the Aingers family were large landowners in Histon. (See
Clive Ennals, Street Names in Histon and Impington, 1985) On
one map AKEMAN appears incorrectly as Axeman. Stains¬eld
appears in the Local Red Book map instead of STANESFIELD.
KELSEY appears as Kesley in the same map, which also has
Packenham for PAKENHAM, and ST BARNABUS as well as
other mishaps. Lingrey appears to have been put sometimes for
LINGEY, being not far from Lingey Fen, so spelt, correctly, on
the Ordnance Survey and A“Z maps, though Barnett has
Lingrey for both. [WILKIN] should perhaps be Wilkins, for the
reason given below (p. 84). We have interpreted with a little
freedom where doubts caused by these and other instances
occur.

Nearly all the printed works mentioned can be consulted in the
Cambridgeshire Collection.




xix
Magdalene Street
Prehistoric
The only street-name in Cambridge that has connections with
prehistoric times is ARBURY Road. The name is spelled
Herburg, Ertburg, and similarly in thirteenth-century docu-
ments, and means earthwork. It used to be thought that Arbury
Camp, at the north end of the road, was a fort like the one at
Wandlebury or the War Ditches on LIME KILN Hill, south of
the reservoir (now destroyed), but it is today regarded as an
undefended site. A low circular bank and ditch about 100 metres
in diameter, it was almost certainly an Iron Age enclosure for
keeping animals safe from wolves and robbers. (See Alison
Taylor, Prehistoric Cambridgeshire, 1977, and Sallie Purkis,
Arbury Is Where We Live, EARO, The Resource Centre, Back
Hill, Ely, 1981.)


Roman
In the late ¬rst century  Catuvellaunian settlers created
a village on the spur of CASTLE hill. This was abandoned
at the time of the Roman conquest, and between 43 
and 70  the Romans built a military camp there. The
Catuvellaunians may have taken part in the rebellion of
Boadicea after 60 , or have su¬ered for it. The Romans were
not there to tolerate insubordination. (See David J. Breeze,
Roman Forts in Britain, 1994.)

1
©¤§ -®

The Roman ˜castrum™ was bounded on two sides by the line
of MOUNT PLEASANT, where there was a wall and a ditch.
This turned at a right angle and probably continued across
HUNTINGDON Road to CLARE Street and back down the
line of MAGRATH Avenue to near CHESTERTON Lane,
turning to the south-west through KETTLE™S YARD and then
north-west up HONEY HILL. The last of these is a name often
found, making a rustic joke about a particularly muddy place,
not much like honey. However, local residents prefer the name
Pooh Corner, alluding to the great bear™s favourite relish.
Kettle was a former owner. (See David M. Browne, Roman
Cambridgeshire, 1977; also Mac Dowdy, Romans in the Cambridge
Area, Cambridge Antiquarian Society, Excavation at Shire Hall,
1983.)
A gate to the Roman camp was slightly to the north-west of
ALBION Row. Here the legions marched in to their barracks.
CHESTERTON Lane derives its name from ˜ceastre™, orig-
inally the Roman camp or ˜castrum™. (Chesterton was for many
centuries separate administratively from Cambridge, as is
implied by the Victoria Bridge, which has the Cambridge arms
on the south side, and the equivalent for Chesterton on the
north. It included the medieval castle.) A Roman road from
Ermine Street near Wimpole passed through Barton and con-
tinued north-east of the camp. It is called AKEMAN Street, but
the street that now has this name is at right angles to the original
one, which followed almost exactly the line of STRETTEN
(sometimes spelled STRETTON) Avenue, evidently named
after a Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire (Charles James
Derrickson Stretten, born in 1830, who was connected with St
LUKE™S Church, near his HQ, as were several others such as
those named in HALE and SEARLE Street, and HARVEY

2
Roman

GOODWIN Avenue. Less likely is the ¬rst Master of Trinity
Hall, Robert Stretton, who resigned in 1355.) At CARLTON
Way the line of the Roman road is followed exactly; the name is
that of Henry Boyle, ¬rst Lord Carlton, who died in 1725, was
MP for Cambridge University 1692“1705 and Chancellor of the
Exchequer in 1701. His coat-of-arms appeared on the inn-sign
of the Carlton Arms until 1996.
Akeman Street continues in MERE Way, near the city bound-
ary “ ˜mere™ being a name often used for a boundary or division
“ and then in a straight line, becoming a track up which the
legions marched towards Ely; beyond there the road led to
Denver and the coast at Brancaster. ˜Akeman™ was derived by
antiquarians, without justi¬cation, from ˜Acemanes-ceastre ™, an
ancient name for Bath.
The course of the Roman road from the south is now marked
by the part of HILLS Road beginning at STATION Road, con-
tinuing in REGENT Street, ST ANDREW™S Street, SIDNEY
Street, BRIDGE Street, MAGDALENE Street, CASTLE
Street and HUNTINGDON Road. (From STATION Road
southwards the old road diverges slightly until WORTS™
Causeway.) It is often called the Via Devana, but this is again a
name mistakenly given by antiquarians who believed it was part
of a road that led from Colchester to Chester.
A recent cluster of street-names straddling the course of the
Roman road beyond MERE Way is devoted to Roman mythol-
ogy and history. AUGUSTUS Close is named after the Roman
Emperor (63 “14 ), APOLLO Way after the Roman god
of the sun, NEPTUNE Close after the god of the sea,
MINERVA Way after the goddess of wisdom and of arts and
trades, who was also the goddess of war. HERCULES Close is
named after the fantastically strong hero who was proclaimed a

3
©¤§ -®

god after his death. A bronze statuette of him has been found at
Sutton-in-the-Isle. (See Miranda J. Green, The Gods of Roman
Britain, 1994.) All these names would have been familiar to the
occupants of the Roman villa, remains of which have been
found in an area around FORTESCUE Road and
HUMPHREYS Road. It was L-shaped and had three or four
rooms, with a pottery kiln and cemetery. The ˜courts™ (not
streets) in this area include Roman, Villa, Portico, Pavilion,
Forum, Temple, Emperor, Tribune, Consul, Legion and Legate,
all with Roman connections.


Anglo-Saxon
When the Romans left Cambridge, their buildings were not pre-
served by the Angles, Jutes and Saxons, some of whom began to
arrive in the late fourth century. For hundreds of years there
were raids and pillagings, especially by the Danes.
In the seventh century, according to ST BEDE (673“735), the
historian of the English church and people, there was ˜a little
ruined city called Grantchester [i.e. Cambridge]™, where monks
discovered a stone co¬n to enshrine the bones of St Etheldreda,
who had founded Ely Cathedral. (There is a window showing St
Bede in Holy Sepulchre Church.) But despite the raids and
battles, by the time of Domesday Book nearly all the present day
villages were in existence, and Cambridge had a church dating
from c. 1020, possibly founded by King Canute. (See Alison
Taylor, Anglo-Saxon Cambridge, 1978.)
The names CAMBRIDGE and CAM appear in several
street-names. ˜Camboritum™ was never the name of the city
but ˜Durolipons™ is now suggested by historians as well as ˜Dur-

4
Anglo-Saxon

cinate ™ (or ˜Curcinate ™) and the rather ugly ˜Durovigutum™. In
Bede ™s day it was Grantacaestir, and similar names occur until
1170. In 875 ˜three Danes™ wintered in Grantebrygge, selecting
it apparently as a place of some importance. Three great ships
with oars, coming along the course of the rowing races, are still
visible to the mind™s eye. In about 945 the name Grontabricc
occurs, and similar names continue until 1187. In 1086
Cantebrigie appears, continuing in similar forms till 1454.
Caumbrig(g)e appears in 1348, and variants of this lead on to
the modern form. Thus ˜the Roman fort (“caestir) on the
Granta™ is later ˜the bridge over the Granta (i.e. ˜muddy
river™)™. The ˜r™ was lost, and the ˜G™ became ˜C™, says Reaney,
˜because of the inevitable di¬culties of the Frenchman [i.e.
Norman] in pronouncing a succession of liquids™. (See Reaney,
The Place-Names of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely.)
Otherwise Cambridge would be Grambridge, but none the
worse for that.
There is a SAXON Street, and a SAXON Road, the latter
being near to the supposed hut of the Saxon hermit Godesone
(God™s son), remembered in the mis-spelt GODESDONE
Road. Near a holy well going back to pagan times he had a
wooden oratory dedicated to St Andrew, to whom the church on
Newmarket Road is consecrated. (Another hermit sat by the
bridge where SILVER Street bridge now is, collecting tolls, as
hermits often did, many being no more men of religion than
eighteenth-century toll-keepers were, but the name is unex-
plained. There are many Silver Streets, and as Reaney says they
cannot all have been occupied by silversmiths “ but surely a
place like Cambridge needed them?) SAXON Street was once
part of an ˜architectural™ trio including also Gothic and Doric
Streets; the latter have both disappeared.

5
©¤§ -®

To the south-west, a cluster of Anglo-Saxon names is due to
Council policy in recent years, of naming streets after the
former owners of land in the neighbourhood. The policy was
advocated by the mayor, Howard MALLETT, whose name
appears in the name of a manor at Hinton, dating from Norman
times. The former Youth Club opposite Young Street is named
after both. QUEEN EDITH™S Way remembers Editha, consort
of Edward the Confessor (c. 1003“66), who married her in 1045.
She was the owner of the manor of Hinton, now Cherry Hinton,
and daughter of Earl Godwin, remembered in GODWIN Way
and GODWIN Close.
This Godwin, Earl of the West Saxons, died in 1053. He was
probably the son of the South Saxon Wulfnoth, but according to
later stories he was the son of a churl. In 1042 he helped to raise
to the throne Edward the Confessor, the last Anglo-Saxon king
of the old line, and elder son of Ethelred the Unready. Godwin
led the opposition to Edward™s foreign favourites, and Edward
revenged himself by insulting Queen Edith, con¬ning her to a
monastery and banishing Godwin and his sons. They returned
to England in 1052 and forced the King to agree to Godwin™s
demands.
Godwin™s son was Harold, whom William the Conqueror
defeated at Hastings in 1066.
Also remembered here, in GUNHILD Close, Court and
Way, is the daughter of King Canute, who succeeded Ethelred
the Unready, after defeating Edmund Ironside.
The proposal to name a street after Wulfnoth, probably
Godwin™s father, was dropped because of the di¬culty of pro-
nouncing it. [WULFSTAN] Way was named instead, possibly
after St Wulfstan, a Bishop of Worcester (c. 1009“95), reputed
author of part of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, who is said to have

6
Anglo-Saxon

put an end to the slave trade at Bristol. He was canonised in 1203.
There is a translation by J. H. F. Peile, published 1934, of his
Life. The alternative is Wulfstan (d. 1023) who was Archbishop
of York, and author of many Old English homilies, treatises and
law codes. He had some connection with Fenland abbeys. His
in¬‚uence brought Canute to Christianity, and thereby saved
Anglo-Saxon civilisation from disaster.
ELFLEDA Road commemorates a great Saxon benefactress
whose husband, Ealdorman Bryhtnoth, was killed ¬ghting
against the Danes in 991. A window in the parish church of Ely
is dedicated to him. (See ˜The Battle of Maldon™, the greatest of
all late Old English poems.) There was an El¬‚eda Farm in this
area in 1920.
BENE™T Street is named after St Benedict (480“?543), the
founder of Western monasticism. The church, formerly
serving as the chapel of Corpus Christi College, also bears his
name, as did the college for some 350 years after its foundation
in 1352. The church still has an Anglo-Saxon tower and
chancel arch, and gives grounds for thinking that before the
Conquest a community lived here, as well as the one around
Castle Hill.
DITTON Fields, Lane and Walk, like the village of Fen
Ditton, derive their names from Anglo-Saxon ˜tun by the duc™,
¯ ¯
i.e. the farm by the dyke, Fleam Dyke, originally called simply
˜ditch™ (˜Flem Ditch™ in local speech), as in HIGH DITCH
Road. ˜Fleam™ seems to have meant ˜Ditch of Refuge™, from the
Old English word ¬‚eam meaning ˜¬‚ight™. This road is at the end
of the Dyke, a rampart stretching across to Balsham via
Fulbourn, which is one of ¬ve parallel ramparts, blocking
passage between the river and the uplands; the largest is the
Devil™s Dyke, from Reach to Newmarket, dating from late

7
©¤§ -®

Roman times. Locally the pasque ¬‚ower that used to grow on
Fleam Dyke was known as ˜Dane™s Blood™. There was a battle
with the Danes at the Balsham end.


Medieval
Cambridge grew out of two settlements, divided by the river.
CASTLE Street runs through the northern one. (See H. C.
Darby, Medieval Cambridgeshire.) The castle itself was built by
order of William the Conqueror in 1068, and was of the motte
and bailey type, the still existing mound being the motte, and the
area north-west of this forming the bailey. (See Alison Taylor,
Castles of Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire County Council, no
date, and W. M. Palmer, Cambridge Castle, 1928.) The area was
known as ˜the Borough™; its male inhabitants were ˜the Borough
Boys™. Here ST PETER™S Street runs past the small St Peter™s
Church, sometimes compared to the one in Samuel Palmer™s The
Magic Apple Tree in the Fitzwilliam Museum. Roman bricks
from the Roman camp can still be seen round the doorway.
POUND Hill was near the former Pound Green, where stray-
ing animals were impounded by the pindar. (There was another
pound in the middle of FAIR Street by Midsummer Common
and one at the Cattle Market.) HAYMARKET Road was con-
veniently near the pound. (For MOUNT PLEASANT and
HONEY HILL see the Roman section.) LADY MARGARET
Road is named after the mother of Henry VII, Lady Margaret
Beaufort, who founded St John™s College, on whose land the
road lies. (ST JOHN™S Place is o¬ CASTLE Street.) ALBION
Row and ALBION Yard relate to an ancient name for England.
In legend Albion was a giant, son of Neptune, who ¬rst

8
Medieval

discovered the island and ruled over it for forty-four years, or
alternatively, in legend, he was the ¬rst Christian martyr, who
left his name to the country. [SHELLY] Row was Shallow Row
in the 1830s, and is almost always spelled without a second ˜e™.
One explanation is that many oyster shells, supposedly dis-
carded by Roman soldiers, and found in gardens there, gave rise
to the name. (See Enid Porter, ˜The Castle End of Cambridge™,
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Life, November 1970, pp.
20“2.)
The ˜Borough™ scarcely grew in size between Roman times
and the late nineteenth century. The centre of Cambridge
shifted to south of the bridge. (See Arthur Gray, The Town of
Cambridge, 1925.)
The existence of a bridge is indicated by the name
˜Grontabricc™ in about 945, but a wooden bridge is said to have
been made between 673 and 875, possibly built by O¬a, King of
Mercia (d. 796), the southern boundary of whose kingdom lay
along the north bank of the river, while O¬a™s Dyke, its western
boundary, runs along the border of Wales and England. That
there were Danes south of the bridge is indicated by the dedica-
tion of ST CLEMENT™S Church: the saint was popular with the
Danes. (Cf. St Clement Danes in London.) BRIDGE Street was
called Briggestrate in 1254. In 1276 the Sheri¬ levied sums for
the repair of the bridge, but kept most of the money for himself,
as well as money charged for the use of a barge which he pro-
vided. The keeper of the Sheriªs prison was accused of remov-
ing planks from the bridge by night, to delay repairs and
augment the Sheri¬™s pro¬ts. In medieval times there was a
ducking-chair for ˜scolds™ at the middle of the bridge. One made
in 1745 was in need of replacement in 1766. (See J. H. Bullock,
˜Bridge Street, Cambridge: Notes and Memories™, Cambridge

9
©¤§ -®

Public Library Record, 11 (1939), pp. 11“23, 47“60, 110“19, and
Enid Porter, ˜Bridge Street, Cambridge, in the Last Century™,
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Life, April 1970, pp. 24“6.)
The last wooden bridge was replaced in 1756 by a stone
bridge designed by James ESSEX. In 1799 this was declared
ruinous; it was replaced by the present cast-iron, Magdalene
bridge, completed in 1823. (See Richard J. Pierpoint, Cam
Bridges, 1976.)
QUAYSIDE was in use in the twelfth century, when Henry I
instituted a law prohibiting the unloading of any goods on the
seaward side of Cambridge. This increased the importance of
the town considerably.
ROUND CHURCH Street runs beside the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre. The oldest part, built in 1130“40, is circular in
imitation of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, known to
Crusaders. It was severely restored in 1841. Opposite the church
is the apex of a triangle reaching to ALL SAINTS Passage, the
present name referring to the Church of All Saints in the Jewry,
destroyed in 1865 and rebuilt in Jesus Lane. The older name was
˜Vico Judaeorum™, or ˜Pilats Lane™, marking the base of the tri-
angle containing the Jewry. The Jewry was pillaged, and on 12
August 1266, despite letters patent of April ordering there
should be no molestation, many Jews were murdered. Robert
Pecche, or BECHE, was one of the murderers, who attacked
and plundered non-Jews also. In 1275 all remaining Jews were
deported en masse to Huntingdon, to satisfy the demand of
Queen Eleanor, widow of Henry III, that no Jew should be
allowed in any town she held in dower. A stone house belong-
ing to Benjamin the Jew, a landowner, near the west corner of
the present Guildhall was later in use as a town gaol. Jews were
expelled from England in 1291.

10
Medieval

The largest part of the medieval town was bounded on the
north and west by the river, and on the south and east by the
King™s Ditch, the course of which ran along MILL Lane, then
PEMBROKE Street (formerly Langrithe Lane, the lane of the
long channel), across the Crowne Plaza site to POST OFFICE
Terrace, then past the Barnwell Gate up HOBSON Street,
through the grounds of Sidney Sussex College and along PARK
Street to the river. It is ¬rst referred to in 1268, as a means of
keeping the town cleansed of dirt and ¬lth, but its origin is much
earlier. In fact it was used as a dump for entrails, dung and
garbage. Privies were built over it, and for centuries sanitation
remained poor. In 1574 it was said to be a cause of the plague but
not until the nineteenth century was it completely covered over.
Within these bounds lay PETTY CURY, called ˜parva
Cokeria™ in 1330, ˜le Petitecurye™ in 1344, and similarly in later
times. It has been thought that part of MARKET Hill may have
been called the Cury or Cooks™ Row, and that this street was
called the Petty Cury to distinguish it from the larger one. In
1972 the south side was demolished; the loss of so many old
buildings, to be replaced by complete uniformity, was a disaster
for Cambridge. (See Henry Bosanquet, Walks Round Vanished
Cambridge. Petty Cury, Cambridge History Agency, 1974, and
Enid Porter, ˜Petty Cury™, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Life,
June 1970, pp. 24“6.)
Many street-names of medieval times have not survived so
well. CORN EXCHANGE Street, for instance, was le
Feireyerd Lane (i.e. Fair Lane) in 1495, and Slaughter House
Lane in 1596 and 1798. DRUMMER Street was Drusemere in
c. 1248, probably meaning ˜muddy pool™: the shape of the
present bus-station there is still pool-like. FREE SCHOOL
Lane had many names suggesting ˜muddy stream™; MARKET

11
©¤§ -®

Street is Cordewanaria in 1322, referring to cordwainers who
worked in Cordovan leather, and other products were sold in le
Chesemarketh, le Maltmarket, and Botry rowe, le Duddery
(where woollen cloth or clothes were sold), Milk Market,
Cutlers™ Row, Lorimers™ Row (˜Lorimer™ means ˜maker of metal
harness™), Smearmongers™ Row (for tallow, lard and grease),
Pewterers™ Row and ˜The Shraggery™ for old clothes. PEAS Hill
is a hill only in Cambridge terms, though it once stood on a slope
leading down to the river, and it may never have seen a pea. It
was a ¬sh-market in living memory and for centuries before that
“ ˜peas™ may be a corruption of Latin pisces, a ¬sh. A market for
peas only sounds unlikely. (See Enid Porter, ˜Cambridge Market
Place™, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Life, December 1969,
pp. 24“6.) Parallel to GUILDHALL Street, where Fisher Hall
is, was Sparrow Lane. The site of the Crowne Plaza was the Hog
Market; a Hog Market Fair was held here on ˜Hog Hill™ “ yet
another case of lucus a non lucendo. DOWNING Street was,
until the college was founded, Bird-Bolt (i.e. crossbow-arrow)
Lane, earlier Dowdewerslane, corrupted from Deus Deners,
itself corrupted from Duzedeners, ˜twelve-penny™, the name of
a family. Almost every street in the medieval town had a
di¬erent name from the one now used, and some have no rela-
tion to any modern street, like Creepers™ Lane and ˜Le
Endelesweye™, so called because ˜yt nether haeth beginnyng nor
endynge™. (Similar ˜endless ways™ exist in other towns.)
GARRET HOSTEL Lane is named after a former student
hostel, which may have had a watch-tower or garret overlooking
the entrance to the town by the Garret Hostel bridge. (See H. P.
Stokes, The Medieval Hostels of the University of Cambridge,
Cambridge Antiquarian Society Octavo Publications, no. 44,
1924.)

12
Medieval

One ˜lost™ name is Milne Street, which ran from the
QUEENS™ Lane of today across what are now the grounds of
King™s College, through the site of King™s College Chapel and
so to TRINITY Lane. This led to the hithes along the river-
bank, where salt, coal, ¬‚ax, corn and other commodities were
unloaded, but lost value as a street when the chapel was built
across it. The present MILL Lane, however, led to the King™s
Mill and Bishop™s Mill, of which the weir and mill-pond remain.
These date back to the time soon after the Conquest, when Picot
the sheri¬, co-founder of BARNWELL Priory, built them or at
least one of them. (MILL Road is named after a windmill that
stood at the corner of COVENT GARDEN, remembered par-
ticularly in MILL Street. MILL Way in Grantchester refers to a
mill belonging to the NUTTERS family.)
The mill at TRUMPINGTON (formerly Trumpintune,
Tromphintonam, i.e. Trump™s Farm, perhaps from Gothic
trumpe, a ˜surly person™) was made famous by CHAUCER
(c. 1345“1400) through the Reeve™s Tale in the Canterbury Tales,
designed about 1387, beginning:
At Trumpingtoun, nat fer fro Cantebrigge,
Ther gooth a brok, and over that a brigge,
Upon the whiche brook ther stant a melle;
And this is verray sooth that I yow telle.

The tale is about two ˜clerks™ “ students “ who are cheated by a
miller out of part of their meal, and revenge themselves on him
by going to bed with his wife and daughter. The mill in question,
according to the Chaucer scholar W.W. Skeat, was probably
slightly south-west of the village, by the Old Mill Holt beside
the river.
ST BOTOLPH™S Church, named after an East Anglian saint,

13
©¤§ -®

stands near the old Trumpington gate; travellers would make
their prayers there before setting o¬ or returning, as he was
generally regarded as their protector.
DE FREVILLE Avenue bears the name of a Norman family
whose tombs are in Little Shelford Church. The estate was
bought by Edward Humphrey Green who claimed descent from
them on his wife™s side. Arthur Gray tells a story in his Tedious
Brief Tales “ no doubt an invented one “ of a priest, Sir Nicholas
de Frevile, who was dying of the Black Death, and was helped
by a nun from St Radegund™s convent who at his death left a
white rose on his breast. According to Sara Payne a white
(˜Iceberg™) rose was planted in St Peter™s churchyard in recent
times, to remember them both: a nice instance of ¬ction becom-
ing reality. In Great Shelford there is a de Freville Arms, built
about 1850, and a de Freville farm, part of the house dating from
c. 1500, being probably part of a vanished medieval hall. (See
From Domesday to Dormitory. The History of the Landscape of
Great Shelford, duplicated typescript.)
Granham™s Manor Farm in Great Shelford, to which
GRANHAM™s Road leads, is to be associated with John de
Grendon or de Crendon (1355), variously spelt Grandames
(1535), Graundehams (1553), Grandhams (1597). For the
interchange of Gr- and Cr- see p. 4 above under CAM-
BRIDGE. Granham™s Camp is probably an ancient earth-
works.
A leper hospital founded in 1361 by Henry de Tangmere and
dedicated to ST ANTHONY and ST ELIGIUS is commemo-
rated in two streets. Later, almshouses named after the saints
stood on and in front of the sites of nos. 6 and 7 Trumpington
Street. They were pulled down in 1852 and rebuilt in Panton
Street, from which a statue of St Anthony with his emblems, a

14
Medieval

pig and a bell, is visible. St Eligius was the patron saint of
goldsmiths and blacksmiths. Legend relates how he shoed a
recalcitrant horse, as in the clerihew:

St Eligius
Was rather religious.
He cut the leg o¬ a horse
But stuck it back, of course.

(See D. Haigh, The Religious Houses of Cambridgeshire,
Cambridgeshire County Council, 1988.) There is a wall-paint-
ing of this miracle in the church at Slapton, Northamptonshire,
and a similar miracle, by St Anthony, is illustrated both by Titian
and Donatello.
Outside the town precincts, before the nineteenth-century
Inclosures, the ¬elds on the east side were known as Barnwell
Field, and those on the west as Cambridge Field. Each was cul-
tivated on the three-¬eld system, Barnwell Field being divided
into Middle Field, Ford Field and Brademere Field, after which
BRADMORE Lane and Street o¬ East Road were named in
Victorian times. The name means ˜broad mere™.
Each of these ¬elds was divided into furlongs (the length of
a furrow, whatever that might be); each furlong had its own
name, as in ORWELL FURLONG, and was divided into strips.
Villagers owned pieces of such strips in various furlongs, not
close together, but allocated in order to give a fair distribution
of better and poorer soil. These many unconnected and
uneconomical strips were abolished (see ˜Inclosures™, pp.
118“21) and some owners to some extent compensated.
Another sign of agricultural history is WADLOES Road,
named after Wadloes Footpath leading to Fen Ditton: this is
derived from such names as Whatelowe and Watloe, probably

15
©¤§ -®

meaning ˜wheat-hill™, but as usual in Cambridge street-names
there is little sign of any hill.
Though the King™s Ditch was a disaster, clean water was
brought to the town by the Franciscans in 1325. CONDUIT
HEAD Road is where their conduit began. It took the water by
underground pipes passing under the river to the site of their
monastery, now occupied by Sidney Sussex College. In 1546 the
pipes were used to feed the fountain in Trinity Great Court, the
only remaining place where the water is used. BRADBRUSHE
Fields, leading from Conduit Head Road, is a recent street-
name for a place called Branderusche and Bradrushe in the
fourteenth century. (The name means ˜burnt rushes™ or ˜broad
place covered with rushes™.) It leads to Trinity Conduit
Head. ˜Bradderussh™ is a tributary water course of the Girton
WASHPIT brook, so called from the village sheep-dip. (See
Catherine P. Hall and J. R. Ravensdale, eds., The West Fields of
Cambridge, Cambridge Antiquarian Records Society, vol. 3, 1976.)
An old tradition is preserved in LAMMAS Field, and the
adjoining Lammas Lane. ˜Lammas™ is a generic name for a kind
of ¬eld, where the owner allowed common pasturage rights
after 1 August (by which time his crops would have been har-
vested). The land opposite Darwin College, while owned by the
Darwin family, was a Lammas land, and there were other such
lands in Cambridge. (The name comes from hlaf (a loaf ) and
maesse (mass); in the early English church 1 August was a
harvest festival, at which loaves of bread were consecrated,
made from the ¬rst ripe corn.) The present Lammas land is by
the paddling pool at Newnham.
Fields were often called ˜leys™ (leas), a name preserved in
LEYS Avenue and LEYS Road, where there was a Leys
Laundry in 1904, and in the Leys School on Trumpington Road.

16
Medieval

Also outside the medieval centre is FAIR Street, named after
Midsummer Fair, still held annually, but originally a commer-
cial fair authorised by King John in 1212. STOURBRIDGE
Grove commemorates the fair formerly held on Stourbridge
Common, also authorised by John and dating from about 1211.
The fair was proclaimed for the last time in 1933 by the mayor,
Mrs Keynes, ˜in the presence of a couple of women with babies
in their arms and an ice-cream barrow™. It had been one of the
great fairs of Europe and was the basis for Bunyan™s Vanity
Fair, in Pilgrim™s Progress. Daniel Defoe in his Tour, written in
the eighteenth century, described it much as it must have been
in medieval times. The fairs at Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main,
Nuremberg and Augsburg, he said, could not be compared.
There were goldsmiths, toymen, brasiers, turners, ˜milaners™,
haberdashers, hatters, mercers, drapers, pewterers and china-
ware-houses, with tented co¬ee-houses, taverns and eating-
houses. Mercery goods of all sorts were specially present,
which gives rise to the name of the recent MERCERS™ Row o¬
Newmarket Road. Older names, post-medieval, registering
particular commodities are GARLIC Row, CHEDDARS Lane
and OYSTER Row; Oyster House, now demolished, was
where oysters could be consumed, especially at the opening of
the fair by the mayor and councillors. It was the centre of
administration for the fair. In 1450“1 the nuns of ST RADE-
GUND™S bought ¬sh and timbers, pepper, soap and a churn. In
1549 ale and wine, bread, ¬sh, ¬‚ax, yarn, woollen and linen
cloth, silk, pitch, tar, coal, charcoal, faggots, salt, hay and grain
are mentioned. (See E. Coneybeare, A History of
Cambridgeshire, 1897.)
The name Stourbridge is said to have probably meant origi-
nally ˜steer-bridge™, or ˜ox-bridge™, and not to have come from

17
©¤§ -®

the river Stour which ¬‚ows from Cherry Hinton Hall. It may be
that oxen crossing the bridge were charged for.
Two ancient farms are remembered in NETHERHALL
Way (the name is recorded in 1372) and UPHALL Road
(1382). [BOWERS CROFT] is presumably the name of a croft
belonging to an unidenti¬ed Bower in the area of Netherhall
Farm. The manor of Hinton-Netherhall became the property
of the Moubray family in the reign of Richard II. Thomas
MOWBRAY (1366?“99) aided Richard in his wars against the
Scots and Irish, arrested the King™s enemies, and appears to have
served him well, but was banished in 1398, and his estates for-
feited to the Berkeleys. (An earlier owner of the manor was
QUEEN EDITH.) In Shakespeare™s play Richard II, Thomas
Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, is about to ¬ght a duel with
Bolingbroke when the King abruptly calls it o¬, and banishes
both men, Bolingbroke for six years, Mowbray for life.
In 1501“2 Anne, Dowager Lady SCROOPE of Bolton
bequeathed the manor of Newnham to GONVILLE Hall, now
Gonville and Caius College. It had belonged to Roger MOR-
TIMER, Kt, and she had to submit to a series of hard bargains
with the Corporation of 1500, as she was both an absentee owner
and a woman. In later years the Corporation still claimed the
lordship of the manor, to the distress of Gonville Hall. The
headquarters of the Mortimer Manor was a house somewhere in
the garden of the present Newnham House and Ashton House,
or possibly just in the Caius Fellows™ Garden; it still appears on
Hamond™s map of 1592. The land lay in fact rather along the
Backs, as they now are, than in Newnham. It included also the
area of the present Scroope Terrace. (See Hall and Ravensdale,
eds., The West Fields of Cambridge, p. 12, which also contains a
chapter on ˜The Genesis of the Backs™.)

18
Medieval

COLDHAM™S Grove, Lane and Road have a name from
medieval times, but the meaning was ˜a cold hamlet™, and the
apostrophe was added later, suggesting a person, who never
existed.
[GREEN END] is in an area that belonged to Nicholas
Attegrene in 1279. [GREEN PARK] and [GREEN END] Road
may also be named after him, but not GREEN Street or
GREEN™S Road (see ˜Inclosures™, pp. 118“21). Attegrene
owned part of the West Fields also. However, ˜Green End™ may
merely refer to the end of Chesterton, as the same name refers
to the end of Fen Ditton. The same name appears in
Comberton, Cottenham and Long Stanton.
HOWES is the name of a hamlet, so called by 1279, either
from the nearby barrow or from the slight rise on which it stood.
It was still inhabited in the late fourteenth century, but was not
recorded as a hamlet after 1600. A chapel named for St James
existed there, perhaps founded by the Trumpingtons, but by
c. 1800 only one or two dwellings remained. There is still an
open space called Howes Close, but the hamlet was on the other
side of the road, in the area of the University Farm.
An interesting explanation of KING™S HEDGES is given by
T. McK. Hughes (see Cambridge Review, vol. 18, 4 February
1897, pp. 201“2). The road is in the area of the ancient King™s
warren, or game preserve, where hedges would have been
grown to channel the game, pursued by tenants, into places
where they could be easily killed. ˜We may recall™, writes
Hughes, ˜the gay cavalcade watched from the Castle walls on its
way to the King™s Hunting Box near the hedges, the winding of
the huntsman™s horn, and the rush of deer and boar and many
another creature that has long since vanished from our district.™
The name is recorded in 1588 as Kinges Headge.

19
©¤§ -®

RED CROSS is marked as a cross and so named at the junc-
tion of WORTS™ Causeway and Hills Road in the Cherry
Hinton Inclosures map, although the cross is not included by
Reaney in his account of Cambridge boundary crosses, of
which this clearly is one. As you entered Cambridge you would
always ¬nd a cross to comfort or warn you.


Barnwell
In 1092 Hugolina, wife of the Norman Sheri¬ Picot, fell ill. She
vowed that if God would restore her to health she would found
a monastery, and fortunately in three days she had recovered.
Her husband built a church dedicated to St Giles, remains of
which are still visible in the nineteenth-century church of that
name, at the foot of CASTLE Street, where Picot held sway
over the Anglo-Saxons. They claimed that he took from them
common of pasture on which to build his mills. A monk of Ely,
taking their side, called him ˜a hungry lion, a ravening wolf, a
¬lthy hog™, while his son Robert was charged with conspiracy
against the King in 1095, and ¬‚ed. In 1108 the Augustinian
canons moved to the site now occupied by the Old Abbey House
in ABBEY Road. The church they built within the area between
NEWMARKET Road, GODESDONE Road, PRIORY Road
and ABBEY Road had cloisters, a chapter house, a frater and
eventually a Lady Chapel; it was a very large construction, of
which only a few stones and the so-called Cellarer™s Chequer in
Priory Road remain. The monastery was dissolved in 1539, and
the present, charming old house built in its place. It is said to be
haunted, of course. (See Florence A. Keynes, By-ways of
Cambridge History, 1947, for the house and priory, and Journal of

20
Barnwell

the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 46, no. 753 (Sept. 1972),
pp. 109“23.)
PRIORY Road gives the correct name of BARNWELL
Priory, this, rather than ˜Abbey™, being the usual title in
Augustinian monasteries. The name meant ˜children™s well™, or
less probably ˜warriors™ well™: young people wrestled and sang
and played musical instruments on Midsummer Common, once
called Grenecroft. (See Ena Mitchell, Notes on the History of
Four Cambridge Commons, no date.)
The priors of Barnwell are recorded in the Liber
Memorandorum ecclesie de Bernwelle, and their dates have been
established by J. W. Clark (Publications of the Cambridge
Antiquarian Society, vol. 33, 1933, pp. 247“9). Written in
1295“6, the accounts of each prior in the earlier years must rely
on tradition, although a lost chronicle of the house may have
been used. Of Geo¬rey, or GALFRID (1092“1112), the ¬rst,
we are told he ˜died old and full of days in great sanctity™. Pain
PEVEREL, who had been a standard-bearer in the Holy Land,
began in 1112 a church ˜of wondrous dimensions™; the ¬rst
prior after this was GERARD (1112“53). But Pain Peverel™s
son William went on a crusade and died in 1148, leaving the
church un¬nished, until with the help of Everard de BECHE,
Sheri¬ 1170“7, a principal benefactor, it was completed.
Laurence de STANESFIELD (1238“51), the ninth prior, ˜built
the frater and the farmery, the great guest hall, the granary, the
bakehouse and brewhouse, the stable for horses, the inner and
outer gatehouse, and the walls of the new work almost to the
top. He ¬nished the chapel of St Edmund and covered it with
lead.™ These very extensive buildings have all disappeared.
Laurence was at once ascetic and kindly, so devoted to obser-
vance that when no longer able to walk he would have himself

21
©¤§ -®

carried to the entrance of the choir. Johanus de THORLEYE
(1254“66), the eleventh prior, ˜built a handsome chamber
(perhaps the Cellarer™s Chequer, but the name is only sur-
mised) and a chapel for himself, and rebuilt the west pane of
the cloister. He is described as a shrewd, hard little man, who
took over a large debt. After the battle of Lewes he was on a
visit to a manor belonging to Barnwell Priory at Wiggenhall,
near King™s Lynn. The attack on him and his party by brigands
is related in the Liber with great vivacity: ˜the aforesaid robbers
took away all the Prior™s horses and harness, leaving only one
aged horse ™, and ˜putting on the Canons™ rain-copes, in deri-
sion of them and their order, made loud laughter and
mockery™. Not long after, the fenmen burned Johanus™s barns
at Bourne, ˜and some of the islanders conspired his death, upon
account of Sir Walter de Cottenham, who was taken by the
King™s o¬cers, and hanged™. Later, John de Burgh of Harston
demanded the loan of a war-horse, but the only one the
prior still had was the aged one the brigands had spared,
whereupon John and his cronies ˜came about the aforesaid
horse, some showing its teeth, some feeling its head and back,
some pricking it and making it kick. “Skin it”, said some. “Burn
it”, said others.™ At length Johanus ¬‚ed to Waltham Abbey, fell
ill and resigned. The priory was only saved by descendants of
BECHE, who sided with the rebels.
John of Bourne (1345“50) was sixteenth prior, but
[BOURNE] Road is not near the other streets named after priors
and may have been meant for the village west of the city. The
name of Richard de NORTON (1350“?), his successor,
however, is in the cluster, as are the names of John BARN-
WELL (1392“1408), William RAYSON (1517) and Thomas
RAWLYN (1523).

22
Barnwell

The cluster of ˜Barnwell™ streets above occupies most of the
site of what was once Marshall™s WHITEHILL Aerodrome,
1929“37.
Robert BARNES was prior not of Barnwell Priory but of the
Augustinian friary in the middle of town, where the old
Cavendish Laboratory later stood, from 1523 to 1525. (These
friars were distinct from the Augustinian canons of Barnwell,
who had a more missionary role.) Barnes had studied at Louvain
and was attracted by the new doctrines of Luther, an
Augustinian like himself. He joined other Austin friars and Miles
Coverdale, translator of the Bible, at the Old Schools and at
sermons in Great St Mary™s. There were also meetings at a house
called the White Horse, on the present border between King™s
and St Catharine™s. Adversaries called it ˜Little Germany™.
Sermons given by Barnes in St Edward™s Church, where
LATIMER also preached, led to his being accused of heresy. He
recanted, was imprisoned, escaped overseas but returned to
England and was burned at the stake in 1540. (See E. Gordon
Rupp, The English Protestant Tradition, 1947.)
In the early nineteenth century the whole site of the priory
was covered with fragments of various dimensions, and slender
round columns of Purbeck marble mingled with capitals and
other architectural ornaments. A carved stone angel from the
priory is still preserved in the Folk Museum.
Soon after Barnwell Priory, a Benedictine nunnery was
founded, dedicated to St Mary, later to St Mary and ST
RADEGUND, on Grenecroft, or Midsummer Common, now
the site of JESUS College. The Common included what is now
called Jesus Green. Here the nuns held a so-called garlic fair
(see also p. 17), in the grounds of the present college “ until c.
1830 PARK Street was called Garlic Fair Lane. (St Radegund

23
©¤§ -®

(518“87), born in Thuringia, was forced into marriage with the
Frankish King Chlotar I, but left him after he murdered her
brother, and established a nunnery at Poitiers. She formed a
close friendship with the poet who wrote the famous hymn
˜Vexilla regis™. Her Life was written by F. Brittain, a Fellow of
Jesus, in 1925.) The nunnery was ¬nally dissolved to make
place for the college. It had been reduced to utter ruin by the
incompetence, extravagance and dissolute life of the nuns,
their moral decline being attributed to the proximity of the
University.


Town and gown
The comparative luxury in which scholars lived, and their
unaccountability in common law, gave rise to resentment in the
town, although a law imposing maximum wages, and the losses
caused by the Black Death also played a part. At the time of the
Peasants™ Revolt in 1381 the mayor and others burned the house
of the University bedell and threatened to murder him. The
burgesses went on to burn on MARKET Hill as many docu-
ments as they could ¬nd, while an old woman scattered the ashes
to the winds, shouting ˜Away with the learning of the clerks,
away with it!™ Soon after the mayor and burgesses broke into
BARNWELL Priory and did what damage they could. ˜Town
and gown™ disturbances continued long after this. (See E.
Powell, The Rising in East Anglia in 1381, 1893, and Rowland
Parker, Town and Gown. The 700 Years™ War in Cambridge,
Patrick Stephens, Cambridge, 1983.)
Such rioting was likely to end with the rioters being impris-
oned at the BRIDEWELL in the grounds of Cambridge

24
Town and gown

Castle. The records for the period 1332“4 show many trials by
jury for theft and murder, and a surprisingly large number of
acquittals. Yet Iohannes Godeknaue and Iohannes le Whyt,
who stole three circlets and chapelets and a piece of green cloth
valued at £10, were both sentenced to be hanged. Others
pleaded that they were guilty, but were clerks (priests), and
were released to await the King™s permission for purgation.
One man attested that on 12 April 1334 as he stopped in the
angle of a wall at Wimpole to relieve himself, a man hit him on
the head with a battle-axe, and was hit in return with a cudgel.
The accused was returned to prison to await royal pardon, but
died there ˜of natural causes™, as did many others. Conditions
in the bridewell were no doubt insanitary. (See Elizabeth G.
Kimball, ed., A Cambridgeshire Gaol Delivery Roll 1332“1334,
Cambridge Antiquarian Record Society, 1978.) Another bride-
well, later known as the Spinning House, or HOBSON™S
Workhouse stood in St Andrew™s Street where the old Police
Station of 1901 now is. Founded by Hobson the carrier in 1628,
originally as a workhouse, it was later used ˜for the
con¬nement of such lewd women as the Proctors apprehended
in houses of ill fame ™, though the Corporation also made use
of it, ˜and the crier of the town is often there to discipline the

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