Stapleford is a village located approximately 4 miles to the south of Cambridge, in the county of Cambridgeshire, in eastern England on the right hand bank of the River Granta. Stapleford is first mentioned in 956 when it was given the Latinised name of Stapelforda, formerly Stapleton. Unlike most parishes the spelling has hardly changed since then. The parish, however, was inhabited long before this. Wandlebury Ring, which lies within the parish boundary, is an Iron Age hill fort, originally built in the 3rd century BC, but rebuilt with a double bank in the 1st century AD. Magog Down is an area for restoration, conservation and informal recreation on the Gog Magog Hills off the A1307 road to Linton and on Haverhill Road, Stapleford.
Around 1900 people now live in the village which lies between Great Shelford and Sawston. The village has a Community Primary School, a church hall, the Johnson Hall, St Andrew’s Church, the Jubilee Pavilion and two Public Houses; The Three Horseshoes, and The Rose.
The pavilion, on the Stapleford Park or recreation ground, was renovated in 2012 and re-named the Jubilee Pavilion to mark the diamond jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Stapleford is twinned with Villedomer in the Loire Valley, France.
Places of interest
In 1895 they sold the Wandlebury estate and it was eventually it was purchased in 1904 by Harold William Stannus Gray. Sir Harold died in 1951 and his wife two years later. Their son, Terence, presented the hill fort to the Cambridge Preservation Society in 1954. The Society at the same time bought the surrounding 38.67 hectares.
The estate and Wandlebury Ring have since then been owned and managed by the Cambridge Preservation Society and are freely open to the public all year. The 18th century house was demolished in 1955, but the ditch and ramparts of the Iron-Age earth works are still clearly defined. Under the archway of the old stable block is buried the Godolphin Arabian which died at the age of 29 in 1753. It was one of three stallions from which most modern thoroughbreds are descended.
The Particular Baptist Chapel was in Church Street. There was a congregation of Particular Baptists in Stapleford from about 1855, though they had met for worship in barns in the parish from as early as 1808. A site for a new chapel, named the Providence Baptist Chapel, was provided by Richard Headley in 1863. The chapel was slightly extended in 1947, but, following disagreement over church rules, was sold by the Midland Strict Baptist Association in 1975. It is now a private residence, 9A Church Street.
This wildlife haven nurtures 24,000 trees and many species of wild flowers, grasses and abundant wildlife. The perimeter walk stretches for 2.25 miles and has been developed especially for dog walkers, allowing a leash-free walk around the site. In 1996 the Magog Trust achieved a highly commended in the Henry Ford European Conservation Awards for Natural Environment projects. It is freely open to all; there are environmental rules that ensure that everyone can enjoy the peace and beauty.
A Blacksmith’s Shop formerly stood at the junction of Church Street and London Road. It was later converted into three cottages, being known as The Triangle. The cottages became derelict and were purchased by the County Council from Beatrice Minnie Harris in 1913 to improve the road junction.
A Windmill was built on the hill to the south of Haverhill Road in 1804. It ceased to be used by 1905. The sails had been taken down by 1939 and the brick base was removed in 1961. See also: A History of the Windmill (PDF)
A Public Pump in a tall wooden casing formerly stood in the road at the junction of Bar Lane and Bury Road. Before mains water came to the village in 1936 some residents depended on it for their supply, though many properties had their own wells. In 1948 it was reported to be out of order and the Parish Council asked for it to be dismantled. It had for long been a landmark, and continued to give a name to the local bus stop.
The Rose Public House in London Road dates in part from 1665, and the remainder from 1707 or earlier. It was probably licensed from at least 1728, and was called The Rainbow in 1740, but by 1764 had been renamed The Rose and Crown. It retained this name in legal records until 1897.
The Longbow Public House in Church Street was formerly the Three Horse Shows. The earliest licensee that can be traced was Daniel Rider in 1815. After closure and refurbishment it was reopened as The Longbow in 1976.
The Tree Public House in Bar Lane is recorded from 1895. It was rebuilt in 1979.
Other vanished public houses and beer houses were the Dolphin (1861-1920), commemorated in Dolphin Way, the Hammer and Anvil (1875-99), the Millwrights Arms, possibly the same as The Tree (1871), the Gipsy Weaver (1871) and The Bell (1774-82) which was no doubt the same as The Light Horse (1783-84).