|Trumpington Local History Group
Cross Hill, the Site of the Old
Village Cross and War Memorial
|Copyright © Trumpington Local History Group, 2019. Updated 3 January 2019.
|Cross Hill and Trumpington War Memorial. Photos: Andrew
Roberts, 17 February 2015.
|The open space at the junction of Trumpington High Street and Church
Lane is known as Cross Hill. Now the location of Trumpington War
Memorial, for hundreds of years it was the site of the Village Cross.
|The base of the cross and the shaft in the churchyard",
Cambridge Chronicle, 31 August 1921, p. 7.
|Soon after its discovery, the base of the cross was moved to the Parish Church (Moule, 1922, p.
101). Percy Robinson wrote "being pressed for time I saw Mr. William W. Pemberton, told him
of the discovery, and he promised to have it removed to a safe place. The Parish Council took
upon itself the ownership of the stone, and offered it to the vicar and churchwardens on
condition it was placed in the church, where it now stands." The base is still in place, underneath
the table under the organ loft near the west door entrance into the church.
|The stone base of the former village cross, known as the
Stokton Cross, Trumpington Church. Overview and 3 faces.
Photo: Andrew Roberts, October 2011.
|The possible shaft of the village cross in the churchyard.
Photo: Andrew Roberts, 2 January 2019.
|The placing of the cross at the 'Cross Hill' location suggests that the focus of the village may
have moved from the area around the Church to this more north easterly area by the 15th
The cross may still have been in place in the late 17th century, as there was an entry in the
Vestry Audit Book dated April 1691 with "And lastly wee doe order an Exact Coppy of these
presents to be forthwith written out; and affixed on the publick Crosse of the Town of
Trumpington" (Moule, 1921, Moule, 1922, p. 104, 108, Vestry Audit Book transcription). The
cross may have survived into the mid 1700s. Writing in 1763, the antiquarian, W. Cole, referred
to an old house "formerly standing near the Cross, still standing in the Angle between the great
London Road and that leading to the Church from Cambridge" (Parish Magazine, August 1926).
The shaft of the cross does seem to have disappeared before the early 19th century, as the cross
was not marked on the Inclosure Map in 1804.
However, the Cross Hill location seems to have remained as a focus for the village. In his
reminiscences of Trumpington in the 1830s, Samuel Page Widnall uses an illustration of the old
blacksmith's shop, which was to the north of the open space, with the village stocks to its left
|The sketch of the blacksmith’s and the stocks in Widnall's recollections.
|When the park gates were erected at the entrance to Trumpington Hall in 1855, the smithy,
stocks and village pound were removed (The Monthly Magazine for ... Trumpington, September
1923). Widnall wrote in 1889 that "The blacksmith's shop in those days was a thatched building
that stood near the avenue gate, the site is now planted with trees and shrubs, at the south end
was the village pound, and between this and the avenue entrance was the stocks and whipping
post; at the north end of the smithy were the yard and stables of Arthur Cambridge, a carrier ..."
The name 'Cross Hill' seems to have survived, although it was not recorded on the Inclosure
Map or on Ordnance Survey maps until after the War Memorial was placed in that location in
1921. Soon after the erection of the War Memorial, Percy Robinson referred to Cross Hill as
"the name given to the piece of land at the junction of the Grantchester and Trumpington main
Roads. It no doubt derives its name from the fact that the old Village Cross stood on this site."