Grantchester is a village on the
River Cam or Granta in South
Cambridgeshire, England. It lies about two miles (3 km) south of
3 Barrel Race
7 External links
The village of
Grantchester is listed in the 1086
Domesday Book as
Grantesete and Grauntsethe. It is also mentioned briefly in book IV,
chapter 19 of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
John de Grauntsete, a lawyer who had a successful career as a judge in
Ireland, was born in Grantchester, c. 1270. The present name derives
from the common
Old English suffix -ceaster (variously developed as
"-cester", "-caster", and -"chester"), used in names of forts or
fortified cities throughout England.
Grantchester is sometimes identified as the Cair Grauth ("Fort
Granta") listed in the History of the Britons among the 28 cities of
Britain, but the Roman
Duroliponte and subsequent major British and
Saxon settlements in the area were at Castle Hill in Cambridge, whose
Old English name was Grantabrycge. The confusion arises from the lower
stretches of the Granta having been renamed the Cam after the city.
St Mary and St Andrew Church
Grantchester is said to have the world's highest concentration of
Nobel Prize winners, most of these presumably being current or retired
academics from the nearby University of Cambridge. Students and
tourists often travel from
Cambridge by punt to picnic in the meadows
or take tea at The Orchard. In 1897, a group of
persuaded the owner of Orchard House to serve them tea in its apple
orchard, and this became a regular practice. Lodgers at Orchard
House included the Edwardian poet Rupert Brooke, who later moved next
door to the Old Vicarage. In 1912, while in Berlin, he wrote a poem of
homesickness entitled "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester". The house is
currently the home of the
Mary Archer and her
husband, Jeffrey Archer.
Grantchester has been the home since 1969
of the sculptor
Helaine Blumenfeld OBE.
The footpath to
Cambridge that runs beside
Grantchester Meadows is
Grantchester Grind is the title
of a 1995 comic novel written by Tom Sharpe. Further upstream is
Byron's Pool, named after Lord Byron, who is said (by Brooke, at
least) to have swum there. The pool is now below a modern weir
where the Bourn Brook flows into the River Cam.
Byron's Pool is a
Local Nature Reserve.
The Church of St Mary and St Andrew is a Grade II* listed
building. The botanist, explorer, plant collector and author Frank
Kingdon-Ward is buried in the village churchyard.
Grantchester is the subject of "
Grantchester Meadows" (composed and
performed by Roger Waters) a song by Pink Floyd, with the village
being home to band member David Gilmour. A few years later, David
Gilmour also wrote a song about
Grantchester Meadows, called Fat Old
Sun. The village is also the setting for James Runcie's sleuth novels
Grantchester Mysteries, now adapted as an ITV drama titled
Grantchester shown in the UK from autumn 2014 and filmed on
location in Grantchester.
Grantchester barrel race in 2007
Every year on
Boxing Day (26 December),
Grantchester holds an
inter-village barrel race which is around 40 minutes long and ends
with a hog roast at the
Rupert Brooke pub. This tradition dates back
to the 1960s.
An underground passage is said to run from the Old Manor house to
King's College Chapel two miles away. It was said that a fiddler who
offered to follow the passage set off playing his fiddle; the music
became fainter and fainter, until it was heard no more and the fiddler
was never seen or heard of again. This story is told of many
supposed tunnels. On a 17th-century map of Grantchester, one of the
fields is called Fiddler's Close.
The Green Man
Grantchester Meadows sign
Grantchester Village Hall
Theodor Mommsen (ed.). Historia Brittonum, VI.
Composed after AD 830. (in Latin) Hosted at Latin Wikisource.
^ Ford, David Nash. "The 28 Cities of Britain" at Britannia. 2000.
^ "Nine things you didn't know about Grantchester".
Cambridge News. 13
October 2014. Archived from the original on 13 September 2015.
Retrieved 20 December 2015.
^ a b c Kelly, Tony (10 August 1997). "Yes Rupert, there's still honey
for tea..." The Independent. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
^ Wright, Karen (9 June 2012). "Helaine Blumenfeld: 'Art is a
commitment to risk, a reflection of life – nothing stays the same'".
The Independent. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
^ Reynolds, Stanley (6 June 2013). "
Tom Sharpe obituary". The
Guardian. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
^ Jordison, Sam (9 July 2009). "Going swimming with Roger Deakin". The
Guardian. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
^ "Byron's Pool". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4
^ "Map of Byron's Pool". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England.
Retrieved 4 August 2013.
^ Historic England. "Church of St Mary and St Andrew (1309436)".
National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
Pink Floyd spotter's guide to Cambridge".
Cambridge News. 26
August 2013. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved
20 December 2015.
^  Archived 1 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Where to go bonkers on Boxing Day". The Guardian. Retrieved 3
^ Ash, Russell (1973). Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain.
Reader's Digest Association Limited. p. 235.
^  Archived 20 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Grantchester.
Grantchester village website
Grantchester Cricket Club
"Rupert Brooke's Grantchester" : the full text of the famous
poem, plus a commentary and photographs by two local res