"GREAT GRANSDEN, the greater part of the parish of Great Gransden is arable land; the sub-soil consists of Ampthill clay and Lower Greensand. Various streams crossing the parish are: Waresley Dean, College Dean, Vicars Dean, Mandean and Gransden Brooks, while Home Dole Brook separates the parish from Little Gransden in Cambridgeshire.
The village is large and lies about 4 miles to the north-east of Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire. the streets form an irregular low-sided figure. The principal part of the village is at the south-east angle of this figure where stands the fine 15th century church. To the north-west of the church is the vicarage, a brick house with tiled roof built by Barnabas Oley, vicar, probably during the second period of his ministrations from 1660 to his death in 1685. To the south is College Farm belonging to Clare College, Cambridge, an 18th century brick house with shaped gables and a tiled roof. There are many half-timbered houses and cottages of the 17th and 18th centuries in the village.
Great Gransden owes much to Barnabas Oley, who was first instituted to the vicarage in 1633. He was a Fellow of Clare College and editor of George Herbert's works. During the English Civil War, he was one of the most active Royalists in the University. He was ejected from his fellowship and living in 1644, but they were restored to him in 1660. From 1664 he lived chiefly at Great Gransden, and he left many benefactions."