We think that the row of terraced labourers’ cottages 9-15 Eltisley Road (there’s no number 13, superstitious fact fans…) are about 200 years old. Number 11 and 15 were once joined, then split only about 30 years ago as No 13 was renovated soon to become No 15. This explains the over sized inglenook in Number Eleven. We then renovated and extended both houses further back.
Going back only 200 years, a new vicar for the parish arrived in Caxton. Upon enquiring as to how to get to Great Gransden, he was told to head for Eltisley. This was apparently “the end of the world”, and Great Gransden was beyond that……..
Great Gransden is a civil parish and village in the Huntingdonshire district of Cambridgeshire. It has a population of around 800 people. West of Cambridge, it has the oldest post mill in England.
The name is derived from the ‘valley of a man named Granta or Grante’. It was spelt Grantandene in 973 and Grante(s)dene in the 1086 Domesday book. Great Gransden was mentioned in 973 when its land was endowed to Thorney Abbey by Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester. The church dates back to the 16th century, although the tower dates from about 1390.
The continuing connection between the village and Clare College, Cambridge appears to date back to 1346, when the advowson for Great Gransden church was part of the original endowment of the college. However, the link to the college became stronger with the arrival of a one Rev Barnabas Oley.
The village school is named after Barnabas Oley and has possibly the longest, continuing history of any English primary school. Oley, who started the original school in 1670, as well as building the vicarage and several almshouses was also a fellow of Clare College and at considerable risk to himself was one of the college’s most active royalists during the Civil War. He had to go into hiding for some time after the war, but returned to continue his ministry. The present building was built in 1866 and today houses Year 6 Cedar class, the ICT suite and most importantly tea and coffee facilities in the staffroom.
The Gransden and District Agricultural Society Annual Show has been held every year since 1891, with the exception of a hiatus during WW2 . It is held on the last Saturday of September and is one of the few remaining shows of its type still running in England.
Great Gransden has one pub, The Crown and Cushion (see Things to do), although The Chequers round the corner in Little Gransden is another fantastic real ale pub. It also boasts a tennis club, bowls club and various football teams. The music scene in Gransden is legendary, but that’s another story………