|Trumpington Local History Group
Background to the name
|Copyright © Trumpington Local History Group, 2016. Updated 5 January 2016.
|Maris Lane from the
High Street, with
Bidwell's to the right.
Roberts, 22 April 2011.
|Maris Lane goes a short distance from Trumpington High Street to Grantchester Road. It is a
long-established route which may follow the line of a prehistoric east-west track to the river
crossing to Grantchester. Its western end at the junction with Grantchester Road and Church
Lane is at the heart of the early village, including the church, vicarage, manor houses, private
houses and school.
|Maris Lane. Source: ©
|Andrew Roberts gave a presentation about the origin of the name 'Maris
Lane' at the Local History Group meeting on 12 November 2015. It is
one of a number of streets named after local personalities, in this case the
Maris family who lived in Maris House and farmed Church Farm from
the late 18th century to the late 19th century.
There is a separate page with information about the derivation of street
|Maris Lane street sign at the High Street and Church Lane
junctions. Photo: Andrew Roberts, 6 December 2014.
|At the time of the enclosure of Trumpington parish in 1804-09, the lane was one of a triangle of
roads, with most of the land within the triangle laid out with separate boundaries. There is an
unnamed group of buildings in a large plot on the north side of the lane, Church Farm, and
another unnamed group on the south side surrounded by open land, Anstey Hall and its
outbuildings and estate. The land on the north side was owned by F.C.J. Pemberton and on the
south side by Christopher Anstey.
|Extract from the enclosure map of Trumpington, with
Maris Lane on the left. A Map of the Parish of
Trumpington in the County of Cambridge, 1804.
Cambridgeshire Archives, R60/24/2/70(a).
|Three generations of the Maris family were tenant farmers who lived at the farm house,
variously known as Church Farm House, Home Farm or Maris House, from c. 1770s to 1867.
The current house dates from c. 1800. Church Farm was one of three farms centred in the
village at this time, the others being Manor Farm and Anstey Hall Farm. The first generation of
the family was John Maris, born in Great Shelford in 1734, and Elizabeth Stacey, born in
Trumpington in c. 1740, who married in Trumpington on 30 September 1765. John Maris was a
farmer living in Great Shelford at the time of their marriage. John and Elizabeth Maris had four
children, all born in Trumpington. Elizabeth died in 1775 and John married Mary Collier in
Trumpington in 1781, and John and Mary Maris had a further seven children. By 1800, John
Maris was known as a yeoman. John and Elizabeth Maris's first child was also named John
Maris, born c. 1765, who married Mary Stonebridge on 23 September 1788, and they had four
children, including John, born 1791, and Sarah, born 1796. The first generation John Maris died
in 1814 and the farm was presumably then farmed by the second generation John Maris who
died in 1850, aged 87, when he was termed a 'Gent'. In the 1851 census, the third generation
John Maris and his sister Sarah Maris were listed as living at 'The Hall Lane' (presumably
meaning the farm house across the lane from Anstey Hall), while in the 1861 census the
description changed to 'Maris Farm'. None of the four children married and Sarah Maris died in
1862 and the third generation John Maris died in 1867. (For more information about the
individuals, see the People in Trumpington database and the churchyard walk description by
There is a Maris family grave and headstone in the main churchyard, west of the south porch,
with a text in memory of the second generation John Maris and Mary Maris and their children
John and Sarah.
|Maris House, Maris Lane, Local History Group
walk. Photo: Martin Jones, 1 July 2012.
Headstone to the Maris family, mid 19th century,
near the south porch, Trumpington Church. Photo:
Andrew Roberts, 22 October 2011.
|Although the Maris family involvement with the farm ended in the 1860s, the connection was
sufficiently firmly established for the name to be reintroduced later as the name of the farm
house and the road. In the 1871 census, the farm house was occupied by Martin Slater and
known as 'Slater's Farm'. It was still known as this in 1881. It was unnamed in the census return
in 1891, with William Martin as the farmer. He was still there in 1901, now named 'Home
Farm', and in 1911, now listed as 'Farm House'. In 1910, the Ordnance Survey map referred to
the farm as 'Church Farm', on an unnamed road. Given these changes of name, it is remarkable
that the Maris name returned into use. In the 1930s, the Electoral Registers included 'Maris
House' in an unnamed road, while the 1935 Spalding's Directory referred to 'Maris House' in
'Maris Lane'. In the 1950s, the road was marked on the Ordnance Survey map as 'Maris Lane'.
|Extract from the Inland Revenue Land Value map for
Trumpington, 1910-11, showing Maris Lane and Church
Farm. Cambridgeshire Archives, file 470/047, sheet
Ordnance Survey map, 1954, with the new PBI headquarters
and access from Maris Lane.
|From 1950, the Plant Breeding Institute (PBI) developed a major plant breeding centre on the
land to the south of Maris Lane, with its main access road entering the site a short distance along
Maris Lane from the High Street junction. The main building at the PBI was later named the
Maris Centre and a number of the crops developed at the site used 'Maris' as the first element in
their name, such as Maris Piper, Maris Otter and Maris Osprey. (For background, see the
separate history of the PBI and the origin of some of the street names on the Trumpington
Meadows development, by Stephen Brown.)
|The Maris Centre on the former
PBI/Monsanto site. Photo: Andrew Roberts,
18 October 2007.
|It is very pleasing that the Maris name lives on in the street name and the crop names.