Great Shelford is a village located approximately 4 miles
(6.4 km) to the south of Cambridge, in the county of
Cambridgeshire, in eastern England. In 1850
Great Shelford parish
contained 1,900 acres (7.7 km2) intersected by
the river Cam. The population in 1841 was 803 people.
By 2001, this had grown to 3,949 and by the Census 2011 to 4,233.
The suburb was deemed Britain's twenty-second richest suburb by The
Daily Telegraph in 2011.
Great Shelford is twinned with Verneuil-en-Halatte, in the Oise
département of France. Trips to
Verneuil-en-Halatte are run by the
Shelford Twinning association. President of the United States Barack
Obama traced his ancestry to the village in 2009, bringing the village
into the national media.
1 Services and culture
3 Manors and families
4 Sport and activities
5 Notable residents
9 External links
Services and culture
Great Shelford has a range of shops and services, including two public
houses, two restaurants, a library, several estate agents, a barber,
two banks, a building society, a chemist, a dentist, a solicitor, an
accountant, a shoe shop, a delicatessen, a bakery and a garden centre.
There is a monthly Farmers' Market. The villages of Great and Little
Shelford are served by
Shelford railway station
Shelford railway station on the line from
Cambridge to London Liverpool Street. The old
Great Shelford library
was demolished and replaced by a new building which incorporates
affordable housing by Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association.
A large country house in the village was used for a concert named 'The
Tea Set' in October 1965, which featured performances from Pink Floyd,
Jokers Wild and Paul Simon. The same house was also used as the
location for the cover art of Pink Floyd's album Ummagumma.
The Shelford Delicatessen features in a 2008 list by The Independent
of The 50 Best Delicatessens in Britain.
The parish church of
Saint Mary the Virgin
Saint Mary the Virgin has changed little since
Thomas Patesle rebuilt it in 1307; he can be seen in
brass in his Vicar's robes on the chancel floor. The tower was rebuilt
with the original materials after its collapse in 1798[citation
The church porch is two-storeyed with a splendid pelican in its fine
vaulted roof, the doorway having an old niche with a Madonna. The
spacious interior has tall arcades with mediaeval clerestories over
them and heads between the arches, and eight fine oak angels look down
from the hammerbeams of the roof. There is a 15th-century screen with
tracery in the north aisle enclosing an altar in memory of a soldier
killed on the Indian frontier; above the altar is a painting of two
saints and a Roman soldier by the cross. The chancel stalls are carved
with wild roses, the sedilia with grapes and acorns, and the reredos
has a gleaming white sculpture of the
Crucifixion with saints and
angels under rich canopies. There are a few fragments of old glass,
fragments of Norman carving set in a wall, and above the chancel arch
a mediaeval painting of Doom, fading away.
Manors and families
Several great estates shared the two Shelfords, notably that of the de
Freville family, whose manor house survives (and was resold in 2005)
at Little Shelford, and who were there as early as 1300[citation
needed]. But all appear to have generally had absentee landlords who
sold copyhold lands and generally let others on long renewable leases.
Farming survived at
Great Shelford well into the 20th century. Several
Yeoman families of note, the Deans, Howling, and Tunwell families,
farmed here for centuries.
One example is Richard Tunwell (1645–1713) who acquired land at
Great Shelford, his first acquisition being a mere 1-acre
(4,000 m2) of pasture, a copse and a close which was copyhold
land belonging to the Bury manor. When Freville's Manor was purchased
[as superior proprietor] by William Freeman in 1701, the lands in
Great Shelford belonging to the Manor were described as 142 acres
(0.57 km2) of arable, 10 acres (40,000 m2) and a half a rood
of meadow, 8.5 acres (34,000 m2) of pasture, a sheepwalk or
liberty of foldage and fold vourse for six store ewes, all by then in
the occupation of Richard Tunwell. The Manor also had 0.5-acre
(2,000 m2) of meadow in
Little Shelford which again was occupied
by Richard Tunwell. A rent roll of the Manor of Granhams dated 1708
shows that Tunwell and his sons held copyhold land from that Manor as
well. From 1678 onwards, Richard Tunwell served as a Juror on the Bury
Baron Court. By 1705, as a landed proprietor, he had qualified as a
parliamentary voter and the Poll Book for the election held in that
year shows that he voted for Sir Richard Cullen and John Bromley.
The Killingworth family also owned land at Shelford, as when Richard
Great Bradley in Suffolk, gentleman, made his Will on
12 September 1586, he left the following legacies to the poor – of
Fulbourne £10; Balsham (where his son John held the manor) £10;
GREAT SHELFORD £5; LITTLE SHELFORD £5; and
Sport and activities
Rugby Union team, Shelford RFC, competes in the R.F.U.'s
National League 2 South, and plays its home fixtures at its ground on
Cambridge Road, in the North of the village.
Great Shelford Cricket
Club plays in the
Cambridgeshire & Huntingdon Premier League
Division 2. In 2017 the club boasts 3 Senior sides and 4 Junior teams.
The first team finished a club record 3rd in the league, winning 8
games consecutively to conclude the 2017 season. The cricket
clubsshares a ground with
Cambridgeshire League football club, Great
Shelford F.C., however the
Cricket Club will play all home team first
eleven fixtures at Cokenach CC for the 2018 season.
Shelfords and Stapleford have a very active Scout Group with a Beaver
Colony, a Cub Pack and a Scout Troop. GirlGuiding has a Guide group,
Brownies and Rainbows. All these groups meet in the Scout & Guide
HQ within the village.
Great Shelford was home to children's author Philippa Pearce, who
renamed it "Great Barley" (with the neighbouring village of Little
Shelford becoming "Little Barley", and
Cambridge itself becoming
"Castleford" and losing its university) in her books, most notably
Minnow on the Say (1955). In this and other books the River Cam, which
flows through the village, became the River Say. The writer was
brought up in
Great Shelford and after some years in London lived
there again from 1973 to her death in 2006. Sir Peter Hall, the
theatrical director, lived in the station house as a child and the
Tom Sharpe had a house in the village.
The "Shelford Festival and Feast" takes place every year in the 2nd
week of July. The origins of the Shelford Feast date back to medieval
times. The Feast continued until the Second World War, the last one
being held in 1938 until revived in 1994. Since 1994 The Shelford
Feast has been held every year and by 2016 had donated £274,000 to
local good causes.
Shelford is home to Great &
Little Shelford CofE (A) Primary
School. It currently has around 200 pupils and obtained a "Good"
Ofsted rating. The headteacher is Mrs. Alison Evans.
^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for
National Statistics. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
^ Display of future plans for library,
Great Shelford Library
^ Wilkins, Jamie. "Shelford Feast History".
^ Evans, Alison. "Great and
Little Shelford Primary School".
^ Evans, Alison. "Headteacher". Archived from the original on
History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cambridgeshire, published by
Robert Gardner, Peterborough, 1851.
Bullwinkle, Alan (February 1984). "The Tunwells of Fulbourn and Great
Cambridgeshire Family History Society Journal. Cambridge. 4
Mee, Arthur, The King's England, New revised edition, London, 1965,
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Great Shelford.
"The Shelford Feast"
Shelford & Stapleford Scouts
A guide to the