|Trumpington Local History Group
Trumpington History Trails: 4
East of the Village Centre
|East of the Village Centre
The Growth of Trumpington Since the 19th Century
Walk or cycle 2 miles/3.2 kms: walk on pavements and footpaths; cycle
on roads and dual use paths
Trumpington History Trails
This is one of a series of history trails about Trumpington and its links to surrounding villages
and Cambridge. We hope that long-established and new residents will find the trails to be a
fascinating way to discover more about the history of the area.
The trails have been developed by the Trumpington Residents’ Association and the Trumpington
Local History Group, with support from Cambridge City Council. The project is led by Andrew
Roberts and Howard Slatter.
Printed copies available free of charge from The Clay Farm Centre (2017) and Trumpington
Contact the Local History Group with feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download a PDF version of the trail or continue with the route ...
|Proposed design of Trumpington Village Hall, April 1907, by the architect, Walter
Brierley. Village Hall archive (stop 3).
|Trumpington Pavilion in 2008, shortly before rebuilding. Andrew Roberts (stop 13).
|Family group standing in Alpha Terrace, looking east, with the Free Church on
the right, postcard c. 1908. Cambridgeshire Collection (stop 7).
|Construction of homes in Foster Road, c. 1946. Cambridgeshire
Collection (stop 14).
1. Start at the green by the shops, Anstey Way
The parade of shops was built in 1955 and initially housed a traditional mix of newsagent,
fishmonger (soon to be replaced by a hardware shop), greengrocer, butcher and baker. Go from
Anstey Way to the High Street, turn right and continue (cyclists please walk to stop 4).
2. High Street houses
The houses on the right were built in the second half of the 1800s, mainly to house farm
workers. The exception was the original number 85, now renumbered to 83, where the village
policeman usually lived until a police house was built in Church Lane about 1905. The present
number 85 has been rebuilt: it is on the site of Swan’s Yard, a row of seven houses at right
angles to the main road. Continue along the High Street.
3. Hudson's Ale House and Village Hall
Hudson's Ale House was renamed in October 2015. It was first recorded as a beer house in the
1840s, named the The Tally Ho!, which brewed its own beer until about 1900. The early
frontage was much plainer; the bay windows and porch roof were added in about the 1930s.
Continue past the Village Hall, opened in 1908 (Trail 1), to the junction with Beverley Way. On
the other side of the High Street, Bidwells was built on the site of the blacksmith's in 1986, and
the War Memorial was unveiled in 1921, in the same location as the Medieval village cross (Trail
|Route map: Howard Slatter.
4. Beverley Way (Manor Farm)
Beverley Way is on the site of Manor Farm, whose fields extended from here to the east. There
was a track to Red Cross Farm, Hills Road, the line of which is followed by Beverley Way,
Paget Road and through Clay Farm (stop 10). The farm house was on the further side of
Beverley Way, demolished in 1968-71. Go along Beverley Way and turn left into Scotsdowne
Road, both built in the 1970s. Continue to Alpha Terrace, turn left and go to the High Street.
|Fawcett School in the 1950s. Cambridgeshire Collection (stop 8).
9. Professional Development Centre
The former Fawcett Infant School became the Cambridge Professional Development Centre
(CPDC), a County Council facility which provides resources for conferences, meetings and
seminars. Bear left where the path forks and continue to the exit. The latest extension of Fawcett
School is to the left, opened September 2015, with new buildings on Clay Farm and the
Cambridge Biomedical Campus straight ahead.
10. Clay Farm
Go through the exit gate to the edge of the 1940s estate. Construction work may still be
underway on the Clay Farm development, but if the path to the left is open, go along this, with
Fawcett School playing field on your left. This path is on the route of one of the tracks from
Trumpington village to farmland and Red Cross Farm (stop 4, Trail 10). At the road, go right to
Hobson Square. (If the path is closed, take the signed alternative to Hobson Square.) From the
enclosure of the parish in 1809, Clay Farm extended from Long Road to Shelford Road. The
land continued to be farmed until 2007, when it was taken out of the Green Belt for housing and
11. Hobson Square and Hobson’s Park
Hobson Square and the Clay Farm Centre open in 2016-17, with local shops and a library, hall,
community rooms, café and health centre (Trail 5). The rill across the square and the layout of
the front and rear entrances of the Clay Farm Centre match the alignment of a Bronze Age field
boundary. From the square, go left along the Busway path to the bridge over Hobson’s Brook,
which takes spring-water from Nine Wells to Cambridge (Trails 2, 3 and 5). Cross the Busway
to access Hobson's Park (Trail 5). To continue, retrace the route to the exit from CPDC, where
there is a small green (stop 10).
12. The 1940s Estate
Planned before World War II, the estate was eventually built in the 1940s to meet demand from
within Cambridge for modern well-appointed council houses. There is a variety of housing styles
including prefabricated steel-framed houses, now mainly disguised by different cladding
materials. Paget Close on the left consists of flats. Go right along Paget Road, where numbers 90
to 126 on the left are examples of steel-framed houses. Continue to the playing field.
13. The King George V Playing Field
The Playing Field was dedicated in 1951 in memory of King George V (Feature D). It now
includes play areas, a football pitch and tennis court. Go past the tennis court to the Pavilion.
A. Mr Cuming’s School
Between 1783 and 1842, James Cuming (or Cumming) and his son Charles ran a boarding
school in a building where St Mary’s House now stands (on the High Street at the Alpha Terrace
junction, stop 5). In return for payments from one of the village charities, Cuming admitted some
of the village children to the school. Samuel Widnall, in his Reminiscences of Trumpington Fifty
Years Ago published in 1889, recalled his time at the school. Widnall wrote: “Mr. Cumming
senior used to live in the house since called Alpha Cottage adjoining the school. I believe he built
it when he gave up the school to his son Charles; he was in my time a very aged man and blind,
to entertain him we boys used to be sent to repeat some of our more interesting lessons to him. .
. Mr. Cumming at this time was unmarried, and his sister lived with him as housekeeper; she was
always kind and considerate to us boys, and so indeed was he, but, he had of course to keep up
the dignity of his office, so we naturally used to think him rather stern. . . The school-room was
almost filled with desks fixed to the floor, except at the lower end where the large double desk
stood used for the village children.”
B. Alpha Terrace
The entrance to Alpha Terrace from the High Street is beside Alpha Cottage, which was the
house adjoining Mr Cuming’s school in the early 1800s. The first houses in Alpha Terrace were
built by Charles Scott in the 1880s and the road took its name from the cottage. The north side
(odd numbers) was developed first; Charles Scott’s son, Nathan, lived at the present number 3,
which was then the first house in the road. By the time of the 1911 census, almost the whole of
the south side had been built, and Charles Scott was living at number 22, with his builder’s yard
beside it. The Free Church, built by the Scotts, opened in 1899. There was a sawmill between
the church and St Mary’s House (on the corner with the High Street), operated by the Sheldrick
and Chapman families, but this was closed in the 1920s after the solicitor Mr Griffith Todd, who
lived at St Mary’s House, complained about the noise. The house was used as a doctor’s surgery
in the 1950s.
C. 'The Estate'
In 1936, Cambridge Borough Council decided to develop several new housing estates around the
town, one of them on farmland in Trumpington. The need to rehouse families who were in
substandard accommodation in the town was pressing, but the Second World War delayed the
implementation of the plan. Eventually building got under way in 1946 and by late 1948 all the
houses and flats on the new estate were occupied. A total of 328 houses and 32 flats were built
in Byron Square, Foster Road, Paget Road and Paget Close. Sixty two of the houses were of pre-
fabricated design, with steel frames. The first families to move into the estate came from across
Cambridge, but they soon included several who were moved out from old buildings in
Trumpington, particularly from Whitelock’s Yard, Swan’s Yard (both in the High Street) and
D. King George V Playing Field
|Trumpington residents gathering beside the future playing field for a day trip to
Wicksteed Park, August 1949. Val Burden (stop 13).
The King George V playing field was one of a network established in memory of King George V
after he died in 1936. The Council planned the Estate and play area in the late 1930s, but work
was delayed by the War. The playing field was eventually dedicated on 23 January 1951. Its
initial appearance was much starker than today, with an open area surrounded by the new
houses. The first structures on the field were two memorial columns, the bowling green and a
rectangular area (cricket pitch?). An aerial photograph from c. 1955 shows the scale of the
playing field at the centre of the housing development (see cover).
|Aerial view of
south, with Alpha
School and allotments
at the bottom, the
new estate in the
centre and Shelford
Road and Hauxton
Road in the distance,
c. 1955. W Stanion
(with thanks to
|Manor Farm in 1964. Kathy Eastman (Stephen Brown) (stop 4).
5. St Mary's House (Mr Cuming’s school)
St Mary’s House on the left at the junction was built about 1880 on the site of an earlier house
which was used as a private school from 1783-1842 (Feature A). In recent years, it was used by
a home furnishings company, before being converted into a home in 2015-16. The house on the
right is Alpha Cottage, which gave its name to Alpha Terrace. Return along Alpha Terrace to
6. Trumpington Free Church
The Free Church opened in 1899, when it was the only non-conformist place of worship in the
village. It is now used by Cambridge Community Church as a community and educational
centre. Continue along Alpha Terrace.
7. Alpha Terrace
The building of Alpha Terrace started in the 1880s and by 1911 the right hand side was almost
complete (Feature B). The gates just beyond the church were the entrance to Scott’s builder’s
yard. A number of houses have original names and dates on their walls, including Grantchester
Cottages opposite the yard. Others have attractive glass above their doors, including numbers 42
and 44. Stop at the school gates.
8. Fawcett Primary School
Fawcett Junior School opened in 1949 and Infant School in 1950, when many families were
moving to the nearby newly-built estate. The schools combined into Fawcett Primary School in
1989. The oak tree near the school entrance was planted by the Trumpington WI in 1999, to
celebrate the millennium. With another phase of house building, the school was extended in size
in 2015. Turn right on the footpath.
14. Trumpington Pavilion
The original Pavilion was built in the late 1950s and used as changing rooms for the football
pitch and as a youth club. In 2009, the City Council rebuilt it and Trumpington Pavilion opened
as a community centre managed by the Trumpington Residents’ Association. The original pillars
in front of the building commemorate King George V, with heraldic panels showing the royal
Lion and Unicorn. Continue along Foster Road a short distance to the junction with Byron
15. Trumpington Bowls Club
Trumpington Bowls Club started on a green adjacent to The Unicorn (now the Lord Byron Inn)
in Church Lane. In 1953, it moved to the new playing field. From 1988 to 2000, it also provided
bowling facilities for members of the University. Go back to Trumpington Pavilion, turn left and
continue along Anstey Way.
16. Anstey Way
The bungalows and flats on the right were built by the Council in the 1950s, on the site of the
old village recreation ground. In 2016, the Council was hoping to replaced them with new
buildings. From about 1925 until World War II, there was a house and nursery garden
(Crossways) on the left: catalogues from the 1930s list Casburn, Bedford and Page as
nurserymen there, specialising in alpine and herbaceous plants and shrubs. The house was finally
demolished in the early 1980s. Return to the green.
|Advert for Trumpington Boarding School in the Huntingdon, Bedford and
Peterborough Gazette, 1832 (stop 5).