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Little Shelford

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[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013

"LITTLE SHELFORD, a parish in the hundred of Triplow, county Cambridge, 5 miles south-east of Cambridge, its post town, and half a mile from the Shelford railway station. The village, which is small and wholly agricultural, is situated on the road from London to Cambridge. The parish is separated from Great Shelford by the river Granta. The soil is light, being gravel upon a substratum of chalk. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment under Enclosure Acts in 1798 and 1813. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely, value £370. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient stone structure with a tower containing five bells. The interior of the church contains effigies of Sir John de Freville, a Knight Templar of Edward II.'s time, also a brass of a priest bearing date 1470. The register dates from 1670. The parochial charities produce about £3 per annum. The Independents have a place of worship. J. E. Law, Esq., is lord of the manor.

[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]


  • The Monumental Inscriptions in the graveyard of All Saints are recorded in the Cambridge Records Office for the years 1375-1767.





Church History

  • "The church of All Saints, formerly belonging to the de Freville family, lords of the manor, is a curious and interesting building of stone in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, embattled nave, south chapel, south porch and a western tower of the Decorated period containing 5 bells: the nave incorporates some Norman work: both chancel and nave have wagon roofs: the south chapel, which is on a higher level than the rest of the building, is entered by several steps and has an elaborate niche, piscina, bracket and a singular hagioscope: in the chapel are memorials to the Ingle family, afterwards Finch, and on the floor are two small but beautiful brasses, with effigies, to Robert de Freville, ob. 1393, and Claricia his wife; and to his son Thomas de Freville, ob. 1405, and Margaret his wife ob. 1410: in the chancel, under a richly moulded ogee canopy, with crockets and flanked by pinnacled buttresses, is a large and very beautiful altar tomb, of the Late Decorated period, with recumbent effigy in armour and inscription in Norman-French, to Sir John Freville, and near it a recessed monumental arch, of the Decorated period, now inclosing a Perpendicular doorway leading into the sacristy: the font is Decorated, and consists of an octagonal basin on four engaged shafts: the chancel stalls have traceried panels and a cresting, the panels being enriched with the ermine spots and crescents of the Freville arms: in the nave is a small brass effigy of a priest, assumed to represent John Cate, rector, ob. 1445: on one side of the arch leading to the chapel is a brass inscription, claiming the chapel as the property of the lords of the manor: there are two tombs of late date, one of which is to Francis Worsley, and bears his arms; the other displays the coat of Manning: near the porch are a number of coffin slabs of the 12th century, and a Runic slab, built into the wall: the church was thoroughly restored in 1878-9, at a cost of £1,686, and affords 150 sittings: in the churchyard is a cross, which has also been restored. The register of baptisms and burials dates from the year 1686; marriages, 1688." [Kelly's Directory - 1900]

Church Records

  • Church of England
    • Little Shelford, All Saints: The registers reside in Cambridgeshire Archives and cover baptisms 1686-1961, marriages 1688-1994, burials 1686-1993 and banns 1754-1957. Indexed transcripts of these records exist in the Cambridgeshire Archives for baptisms 1600-1842, marriages 1600-1837 and burials 1601-1842. Bishop's Transcripts for the years 1599-1869 reside in the Cambridge University Library. The parish register transcripts are available, on microfiche, from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search)
  • Independent
    • Independent Church: Records of baptisms 1828-37 exist on microfilm and as indexed transcripts in the Cambridgeshire Archives.


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Military History



  • Land Tax: records were compiled afresh each year and contain the names of owners and occupiers in each parish, but usually there is no address or place name. These records reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives for the years 1798 (on microfilm), 1829-32 and 1880-1948.