(O.S. 6 ins. aTL 35 N.E., bTL 35 S.E.)
The parish of Comberton, comprising 1954 acres, is in
the form of a wedge with its tip to the N. on the Cambridge to St. Neots road. It slopes from over 200 ft. at
that point to about 50 ft. along the Bourn Brook which
forms the S. boundary. The soil generally on the higher
ground is boulder clay; lower down it is mostly gault.
The village is located around a cross-roads some 4 m.
out of Cambridge on the way to Caxton, with the
church and mediaeval vicarage (Monument (2)) on a
ridge some 800 yds. to the S. Analogy with other villages in this Inventory would suggest migration from
the neighbourhood of the church, and two of three
surviving manors lie between the church and the crossroad; but there is no real evidence for such a migration,
and the main E. and W. street is on a spit of river gravel
which might well have attracted primary settlement. A
turf-cut maze in the N.E. angle of the cross-roads survived into the present century. It lay at the S. extremity
of a green some 600 yds. long which was evidently
subjected to progressive encroachment.
Whatever the origin of the present siting, the relatively high incidence of 17th-century monuments along
the main street must reflect to some extent the increasing
use made of the road from Cambridge to Caxton in the
An act for the enclosure of the parish was obtained in
1839 and the award made the next year. Under it
comparatively wide street verges in the village passed
into private hands, the closes and gardens behind being
correspondingly enlarged or the additional land allotted
as separate parcels. There was a considerable amount of
new building on these old verges (Monument (19), an
early Victorian village shop, is a conspicuous example;
Monument (11), recently destroyed, was another); elsewhere the change of frontage resulted in small annexes
to older houses built out towards the street (e.g. the
19th-century additions to Monuments (12) and (28)) or
in the prolongation of boundary walls, e.g. at N.G. TL
38065639 (Monument (32), Plate 26; cf. Monument
(30)). The verges appear to have been encroached on at
one or two points prior to general enclosure.
Some of the mid 19th-century buildings in the village
are of interest. A number of dwellings have been listed;
others, including some on the old verges, do not call for
individual comment: clay bat, mostly with Welsh slate
for the roofs, was the most favoured material, although
clay bat was in use at least a generation earlier (e.g.
Monument (5); see Sectional Preface p. xxxii). Indentations of the parish boundary in Comberton's favour
along the Cambridge to St. Neots road between N.G.
TL 39035955 and 38455953, confirmed by patches of
rubble along the edges of the arable fields between these
points, suggest that houses or other structures have been
sited there; apart from these indications there is no sign
of building outside the village for several decades after
a(1) Parish Church of St. Mary stands on a ridge to
the S. of the village in a roughly rectangular churchyard. It consists of a Chancel, Nave with Aisles, and
West Tower. The walls are faced with field stones except
for the W. wall of the S. aisle and those of the tower
which are stuccoed; dressings are of freestone and clunch.
The chancel roof is tiled; the other roofs are lead
covered. There are no traces of a building earlier than
the 13th century, to which belong the chancel, with the
exception of the S. wall, most of which was rebuilt in
the 14th century, the S. arcade, and the S. aisle. The W.
tower is of the early 14th century, and the rebuilt S.
porch is 14th-century in origin. The N. arcade and N.
aisle were built or rebuilt and a clearstorey added in the
late middle ages. Repairs and restoration were carried
out in 1850, 1877–8, 1884–5, 1902–3 and 1921. Among
the fittings the seating is noteworthy.
Comberton, the Parish Church of St. Mary
Architectural Description—The Chancel (27½ ft. by 15 ft.)
has two-stage diagonal buttresses at the E. angles and a restored
late mediaeval E. window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head. The side walls have an internal part-octagonal
string, interrupted on the N. side by the last window, which is
modern, and on the S. side extending only as far as the chancel
step. The remaining two windows on the N. side are lancets,
modern externally, but with original splays and chamfered
two-centred rear arches. On the S. side the first window is of
two lights with flowing tracery and with external and internal
labels. The S. doorway has a wave-moulded head and modern
chamfered jambs with a label and a chamfered segmental rear
arch. The second window (Plate 68) is similar to the first but
with an E. head stop to the internal label; the W. light is sub-divided by a transom to form a 'low-side' window which is
rebated for a shutter, with hinge pins affixed to the W. jamb
and the central mullion enlarged and pierced to take a bolt; the
corresponding part of the E. light is also, somewhat crudely,
rebated. The 13th-century chancel arch, of two chamfered
orders with a moulded label to the E., has semi-octagonal
responds with moulded caps and bases.
The Nave (58½ ft. by 20 ft.) has a late mediaeval N. arcade,
of five bays, with four-centred arches of two moulded orders,
the outer continuous with the piers and responds, and the
inner springing off engaged shafts; these shafts have moulded
bases and moulded caps enriched with paterae. On the S. side
of the E. respond is the late mediaeval lower doorway of the
rood stair with continuous hollow-chamfered jambs and four-centred head; the lower part of the stair is old but the remainder, including the upper doorway, is modern. The fivebay S. arcade is of the 13th century with arches of two chamfered orders carried on octagonal piers and responds with
moulded caps and bases. The late mediaeval clearstorey has
five windows on either side, each of three cinque-foiled lights
in a four-centred head.
The North Aisle (9 ft. wide) has an E. window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head; the first two windows
of the side wall are similar. The N. doorway is completely
restored but incorporates two spandrels carved with a Tudor
rose and a pomegranate. W. of it are two square-headed
windows each of three cinque-foiled lights. The South Aisle
(6 ft. wide) is of 13th-century origin. Its restored 14th-century
E. window is of two trefoiled lights in a pierced ogee head with
external and internal labels having head stops and finials. In
the side wall are four restored late mediaeval windows, each
of two cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head. They are placed symmetrically on either side of
the restored 13th-century S. doorway, which is of two continuous chamfered orders with a label and a segmental rear
arch. The S. porch is modern but retains some old dressings,
including a 14th-century moulded cap to the E. respond and
some old roof timbers, presumably from an earlier porch.
The West Tower (10¾ ft. square) is of three stages with angle
buttresses to the lower stages and is early 14th-century save for
some later mediaeval rebuilding of the top stage on the N.
The features described are original except for the mutilation
or restoration of some of the windows. The W. window is of
two trefoiled lights with early net tracery and a moulded rear
arch with label and head stops. The intermediate stage has a
trefoiled lancet in each of the three free faces. The belfry
windows are each of two cinque-foiled lights in a pierced head,
except on the N. where two small windows are set in an older,
partly blocked opening. The tower arch is of three moulded
orders with a moulded label and head stops on the E. (Plate 68);
the mouldings of the arch are carried down the responds except
for the outer order on the W. which dies against the side walls.
The vice to the intermediate stage is in the N.W. angle and
projects across the corner of the ground stage where it is
entered by a canted doorway with continuous chamfered jambs
and four-centred head, set back beneath a moulded cornice
enriched with ball flower.
The Roof of the nave is divided into five bays by cambered
tie beams, with the bays sub-divided into eight panels each; the
last bay has been reconstructed but the rest is late mediaeval.
The original principals are moulded and some are carved with
folded leaf. The lean-to N. aisle roof, of four panels and bay, is
similar. Both had embattled cornices carved with angels, but
that of the nave roof is missing and the angels in the aisle have
been defaced. The chancel and S. aisle roofs are modern.
Comberton, the Parish Church of St Mary
North Arcade of Nave
Fittings—Bells: four; 1st modern; 2nd by John Waylett,
1711; 3rd by Miles Graye, 1633; 4th by Christopher Graye,
1655. Bell frame: ancient.Benefactors' table: in N. aisle, wooden,
framed and painted, dated 1850. Brackets: in tower, on N. wall
(1) cowled head; on S. wall (2) bare male head with side curls,
and tunic fastened at the neck by a brooch; both of clunch,
14th-century. Brass indents: in N. aisle (1), and in centre of
nave (2), both rectangular and probably late mediaeval. Chest:
of four panels, late 17th-century. Door: to tower vice, of plank
construction, including some simple original furniture;
mediaeval. Font (Plate 17): tapering octagonal bowl, and
octagonal stem with moulded necking, standing on a low
octagonal base which may be original; limestone, 13th-century. The font has a 17th-century pyramidal wooden
cover with turned finials at base angles and apex. Glass:
mediaeval and later fragments in the last window on the S.
side of the chancel and in the heads of the S. aisle windows.
Monuments and Floor slabs. Monument: in S. aisle, of Thomas
Baker, 1846; wall-monument of white marble in neo-Greek
style. Floor slabs: In chancel—(1) of George Milner, 1795; (2) of
Sarah Milner, 181(?); (3) of George Milner, 1825; (4) of Elizabeth Mary, wife of George Milner, 1844; (5) of D(?aniel
Ba)ttell, 1700; (6) of Mary Stephen, 1810; (7) of . . . Batt(?ell),
date illegible, c. 1700; (8) of Elizabeth Hannah Farish, 1814; (9)
of Leonard Battell, 1710; (10) of Anne, wife of (?William)
Battell, 17(?39);(11) of Thom(?as H)older (?1705). In S. aisle,
by the door—(12) slab of limestone marble with Norman
French marginal inscription in Lombardic capitals, much worn
and not read. Niche: see under Miscellaneous. Piscinae: In
chancel, in S. wall (1) modern except for old sill and quatrefoil
drain; towards the E. end of the sill of the first window on the
S. side and partly under the jamb (2) circular drain. In S. aisle,
at the E. end of the S. wall (3) with moulded jambs, trefoil
ogee head and a label surmounted by a finial, octofoil drain;
14th-century. Plate: includes an inscribed cup by Thomas
Buttell, c. 1570; and an inscribed paten, unmarked but dated
'1701'. Royal Arms (Plate 20): at the W. end of the S. aisle,
framed wooden panel painted with the arms of William III.
Screen: in three bays with middle bay forming a doorway.
The side bays have solid panels with blind tracery below a
transom, and window forms above, each of four lights in an
ogee head; the space between this ogee head and the top rail
is filled with vertical tracery; late mediaeval, restored. Seating:
In chancel (1) the S. range of stalls, returned against the screen,
incorporates some late mediaeval woodwork, including two
poppy heads in the form of half angels, one bearing a shield
with the initials 'T B'. In nave (2) the remains of at least 18 late
mediaeval pews (Plate 17), all more or less cut down, though
some are otherwise well preserved; the rectangular ends are
moulded top and bottom and divided into paired panels by
buttresses, the panels being enriched with applied tracery and
brattishing; the surviving ends of the front and back pews are
or were adorned with figures at the angles, and two of those
remaining incorporate shields with the initials 'T B'(Plate 18).
Sedilia: The first window on the S. side has a window seat,
apparently a survival from an earlier and wider 13th-century
sedilia. Miscellaneous: projecting from the N.E. face of the
half pier of the E. respond on S. side of nave, a small bust
carved in relief, 13th-century re-cut; forming a niche in N.
face of the E. respond of N. arcade, a window of two cinque-foiled lights, reset.
Comberton Church, Bell Frame
a(2) Vicarage (Class B; Plate 60), now alienated, of one or
two storeys, framed and plastered, with thatched roofs, is late
mediaeval. The main range, parallel to the church, is a two-bay
hall with later inserted ceiling and chimney. The ceiling masks
the tie beam and crown post of the central truss, no longer
accessible, but most of its main posts and the lower parts of the
braces from them to the tie are exposed. The two-bay E. cross
wing, though much altered, is also original and retains its jetty
to the N. Blocked doorways at the W. end of the hall indicate
a W. cross wing, and to judge from the indications of the
building on the enclosure map of 1839 this may have still been
in existence at that date.
Comberton, Monument No. 2
a(3) Rectory Farm (Class U; Plate 106), two storeys and
attics, of red brick with tiled roof, was built in the 18th century.
The principal elevation to the E. has a platband of three courses
at first-floor level and a shaped modillion cornice; it is in five
bays with sash windows and a central front door under a flat
hood carried on carved consoles. The roof, which is half-hipped,
rises to four ridges enclosing a valley. Interior features include
an original staircase with moulded balusters and close string,
and two fireplace surrounds. At the N.W. corner of the house
and linked to it by a short screen wall is a detached brew-house,
more or less contemporary.
a(4) Birdlines Manor Farm, two-storeyed, of colour-washed brick with hipped slate roofs, is an L-shaped farmhouse
of the 18th century. It no doubt replaces one on the moated
site (Monument (47)) to the S.
a(5) House (Class I), single-storeyed with attic, of clay bat
with thatched roof half-hipped at the S. end. This building is
shown on the enclosure map of 1840 and is 18th-or early
a(6) House, one-storeyed with attics, framed and plastered,
with thatched roofs, consists of a long range end on to Swayne's
Lane. It appears to have originated as 18th-century farm or
similar buildings, the conversion being of the first half of the
19th century and later. A mutilated scalloped capital of the
12th century, found in a ditch between the house and the road,
has no apparent connection with the site.
a(7) House (Class J), of two storeys, framed and plastered,
with some brick replacement and roofed with tiles, was built
in the 17th century. The chimney has a pilastered stack along
a(8) Houses, a pair with shared central chimney, of one
storey and attics, framed and plastered, with gabled thatched
roof; late 18th- or 19th-century.
a(9) Old Close Farm, one-time small holding, consists of a
house and buildings. The House (Class T) has one storey and
attic, and is of plastered studwork with thatched mansard roof
and end chimneys in yellow brick; the outshut on the E. side
is contemporary. A pair of slightly later cottages in clay bat
(not listed) has been added against the N. end. The Buildings,
S. of the house, include a small barn and cattle shed, the prevailing materials being boarded framing and thatch. The
whole is presumably c. 1840.
a(10)House (Class J), single-storeyed with attic, framed and
plastered, with thatched, half-hipped roof; extensive additions
have been made at the W. end and on the N. side towards the
The original entry survives on the S. side immediately E. of
the internal chimney where an axial ceiling beam has stopped
chamfers interrupted for the screen or partition of a through
passage contrived in the end room. The remaining ground-floor rooms (now united) also have stop-chamfered ceiling
beams; the stops either end of the beam in the middle room
are of leaf type. A few other structural timbers are exposed.
Comberton, Monument No. 10
The house does not conform strictly to plan type and is a
transitional example of the 16th century.
a(11) House, now demolished, of T-shaped plan, two-storeyed, was of clay bat plastered, with brick plinth and
dressings; mid 19th-century.
a(12) House, single-storey with attics, framed, plastered and
thatched, is 16th-century in origin and the remnant of a larger
house. The principal ground-floor room has a chamfered
ceiling beam with leaf stops, and roll-moulded joists. The front
door and two others are of plank construction. The base of the
chimney is in part at least of clunch. A pantiled extension of
plastered studwork E. to the road is 19th-century.
a(13) House (Class I), two-storeyed, framed and plastered,
with tiled roof, probably built about 1800, is a comparatively
late example of its kind; outshuts on the N. are in part original.
a(14) House, L-shaped, two-storeyed, framed and plastered,
with thatched roofs, is of the 17th century. Some of the frame
is exposed inside, with down bracing at first-floor level. An
external chimney at the E. end is original; that at the S. end has
been added. The stair, in the N.W. corner, may be in the original position; at its foot the front door, to the W., is of plank
construction and is divided into six arched and enriched panels,
three and three, by applied battens; the door is nail-studded
and has some old furniture. A ceiling beam in the E. ground-floor room is ovolo-moulded and stopped. In the S. ground-floor room are indications of an internal window between it
and the room to the N.
a(15) Pigeon House, now a dwelling, built of red brick with
tiled roof; 18th century.
a(16) Hawks' Farm consists of a single-storey main range,
framed and plastered, parallel to the Cambridge road, with a
two-storey 17th-century N. wing of mixed construction at
its W. end; both parts have attics and tiled roofs. The main
range has been greatly altered but may incorporate a mediaeval
The N. wing has a decorative brick-built gable end (cf.
Monument (30)) to the road with a semi-external chimney
rising to a pilastered stack; a gable parapet either side of it
rises off moulded corbels. A moulded plinth and two platbands
are returned around the chimney. The composition is completed by four small windows symmetrically disposed. The
framed side elevations have gables of the same size and height
as that at the N. end.
Inside the main range are some exposed stop-chamfered
beams and joists; two old doorways, one with hollow-chamfered jambs and lintel, the other with an elliptical head;
and a moulded fireplace bressummer.
a(17) Barn, at one time a Nonconformist chapel, divided
by tie-beam trusses into three bays, framed and boarded, with
thatched half-hipped roof; 17th- or 18th-century.
a(18) House and Pigeon House. The House is of 16th- or
17th-century origin, modernised; the interior retains some
intersecting and axial stop-chamfered ceiling beams.
The Pigeon house, 70 yds. to the S., framed and plastered,
with tiled roof, is perhaps of 17th-century origin; an inserted
floor divides it into two storeys; most, if not all, of the nests
have been removed.
a(19) Shop, including a dwelling (Plate 31), of white brick
with slated roofs, was built soon after the enclosure of c. 1840
on the site of a pond. The house (Class T) is of two storeys
with original outshut at the rear, subsequently heightened. E.
of the house and formerly communicating with it by a door,
now blocked, is the shop, which has been enlarged. To the S.
across a small yard is a freestanding range of two storeys,
partly in clay bat and partly weather-boarded, with pantiled
roof, comprising stabling, privy and storage.
Comberton, Monument No. 19
a(20) House (Class T), is a replica of the house included under
the foregoing and must have been built with it.
a(21) House (Class I), one storey and attic, framed and plastered, with tiled roof, is of the second half of the 17th century;
the central chimney has a pilastered stack across the ridge.
a(22) House (Class U), built, possibly as an inn, in the mid
19th century; brick-fronted, but otherwise of clay bat with
brick dressings. The slated main roof partly covers a small
dwelling which abuts on the W.
a(23) House (Plate 60), now sub-divided, consisting of a
single-storey E. and W. range flanking West Street, and a
two-storey gabled cross wing; now both with attics. The materials are framing and plaster, with tile for the roofs. The
whole is ostensibly 17th-century.
The street range with half-hipped W. end rising to a small
gablet has possibly at one time been open to the roof; at its
E. end, next the cross wing, a chimney rises to a 17th-century
stack, partially rebuilt and heightened, with narrow central
recess and indented corners.
Interior features include a chamfered ceiling beam with
broach stops at one end, some panelling of run-through type
with central raised lozenge or jewel in each panel, an old plank
door, and one substantially framed and relatively early sliding
a(24) House, now sub-divided, of one storey with two attic
storeys; the structure, presumably of framing, with slated
roofs, has been completely modernised and does not conform
to any plan type, but may be of 17th-century origin.
a(25) House, at one time an inn or public house, single-storeyed with attics, framed and plastered save for some
18th-century and later brick replacement or casing, is of 17th-century origin; it consists of an E. and W. range with a cross
wing at the W. end.
a(26) House, framed and plastered, with thatched roofs, is
of central-chimney design; 17th-century. In addition to end
gables it has cross gables in the S. half.
a(27) House, of two storeys, framed and plastered, with tiled
roof, is the remnant of a larger 16th- or 17th-century house.
On the ground floor are intersecting stop-moulded and stop-chamfered ceiling beams; upstairs a modern fireplace is set in
an original rectangular plaster surround enriched with vine-scroll.
a(28) House (Class J; Plate 61), now two dwellings, of two
storeys, framed and plastered, with tiled roof, is mid 17th-century. A small single-storey annexe of clay bat has been
added to the W. end on the N. side between the house and the
road, and recent additions have been made on the S. The
chimney has a red-brick stack along the ridge with sides divided
into panels by vertical pilasters. S. of it an original projection
housing the staircase is covered by an extension of the main
roof. There are remains of three blocked original wooden
windows: the best preserved is on the ground floor at the E.
end and is a shallow oriel (Plate 38), apparently divided by
wooden mullions, now concealed by blocking, into three
lights, under a simple tiled pediment; the two others were
In the E. room on the first floor is an original panelled and
jewelled overmantel of four round arches flanked by side
screens with semi-symmetrically placed doors, each of six
run-through panels; the whole is finished with a modillion
cornice curved to fit under a cambered tie beam; the doors
retain some old furniture. The survival of a small length of
cornice and a six-panelled door in the corresponding wall of
the room below suggest that it was similarly treated.
a(29) Houses, two, probably originating as a special-purpose
building of the 16th century standing on what was then the
green. The panel with date and initials '1711 M H' may refer
to the conversion after a fire which destroyed the roof and
damaged the remainder of the fabric.
The original two-storey structure, which seems to have had
no provision for heating, was a N. and S. rectangle, divided
into four short bays by tie beams at intermediate and eaves
level, with gabled roof. There was a full-height vertical partition across the middle, which has been partially disrupted by
an inserted central chimney. The timber is of generous scantling
with some massive principals; vertical framing, down-braced
internally, is about equally divided between post and pan. A
blocked original window on the ground floor at the S. end is
divided into three lights by diamond mullions; upstairs, about
the middle of the W. side, is a similar but smaller window, and
three others can be seen or inferred, one from the adjacent
shutter groove in the top plate. Some floor boards in the bed-room are old.
The roof is 18th-century but incorporates original timbers;
a number of these and others in situ have been affected by
a(30) Manor Farm is an L-shaped house, of two storeys and
attics, built of red brick, with gabled and dormered roofs
covered with tile; it consists of an E. and W. main range and
an E. cross wing which projects to the S. and also a little on the
N. where the stair is contrived in the re-entrant. There are
chimneys at either end of the main range and at the S. end of
the cross wing. The fabric generally is of c. 1687, the date
inscribed on a panel on the N. side of the main range together
with the initials 'TMH'.
The brickwork is handled with a certain sophistication: there
is a shallow plinth, and an intermediate platband of three
courses runs all round the building, except for the rendered E.
side of the cross wing, lifting over the original ground-floor
openings. The chimney in the S. end of the cross wing projects
slightly and rises to a lofty oblong stack, with indented corners
and moulded capping, at the apex of the gable parapets; these
last have moulded kneelers; the intermediate platband and a
second platband at eaves level are returned around the chimney
projection which is flanked by small symmetrically disposed
blocked or blind windows (cf. Monument(16)). Some original
wooden window frames survive, including two lighting the
stair, but most of the fenestration is 18th-century or later.
There are few internal features of note: chamfered ceiling
beams on both floors of the cross wing have jewelled ogee
stops. Between the house and the road 19th-century extensions
of the garden at the expense of the green are clearly traceable.
a(31) Range of three dwellings, in red brick and tile, of one
storey with attics. The dwelling at the N. end has a plinth and
moulded cornice to the front with intermediate platband which
lifts over the windows and door; between the platband and the
door head is a small stone panel inscribed 'TH 1706'. The other
two dwellings are additions of the first half of the 19th century.
a(32) House and Barn (Plate 26). The House is two-storeyed,
of red brick, some at least of which may replace framing, with
roofs variously covered. It consists of a N. and S. range with
two ground-floor rooms separated by a chimney, and a gabled
cross wing. There are extensive early 19th-century additions,
that on the E. side being in effect a distinct dwelling (Class T);
these now mask much of the 17th-century nucleus. A wide
blocked window with mutilated brick label at the S. end on
the ground floor is probably of the first half of the 17th century. The present front door, on the E., is of doubled planks,
17th- or 18th-century, and retains its strapped hinges with
fleur-de-lis ends, and locking bar. At the N.W. corner is an
18th-century lead pump with embossed floral decoration.
Inside are a number of chamfered ceiling beams, some with
ornamental stops; two of these, in the cross wing, are supported at the S. ends by carved brackets. Later fittings include
some 18th-century cupboards with panelled doors and shaped
shelves and some early 19th-century fireplace surrounds.
The 17th-century Barn, of red brick, with staggered vertical
slits in two heights, is roofless. The garden, E. of the house, has
clearly been extended at the general enclosure by taking in part
of the green. A stone panel on the garden wall is inscribed
'R.W. 1817', and marks an earlier limit of the property.
a(33–45) Houses, of internal-chimney design; of one or two
storeys, mostly with attics; framed and plastered save for brick
replacement and casing, with thatched or tiled roofs; 17th- or
18th-century. (39), possibly a converted barn, and (37),
apparently Class-K, have been recently demolished. (38) has
an original projecting bread oven W. of the chimney.
a(46) Moated Site (Class A 2(b); N.G. TL 379566) in pasture
200 ft. N. of Manor farm (Monument (30)), is probably that
of Green's Manor, formerly Merke's Manor, known to have
been in existence in 1365. The area enclosed is rectangular,
156 ft. E. to W. by 165 ft. N. to S. with a ditch 30 ft. to 40 ft.
wide and 5 ft. deep, wet and widened into a pond at the E. and
much disturbed on the N. A causeway 15 ft. wide at the N.W.
angle is probably recent and associated with a barn standing
there in 1840 (tithe map 1840 (T.R.C.)). Inside the S.W. angle
is a platform 75 ft. N. to S. by 40 ft. E. to W., 9 ins. higher
than the interior generally, bounded on the N. by a bank 16 ft.
wide and 1½ ft. high. To the E., beyond a gap 35 ft. wide,
another bank 20 ft. wide and 1 ft. high runs E. to the E. ditch.
Comberton, Monument 46
Adjoining on the W. and projecting N. for 144 ft. is a
second enclosure 300 ft. square with a ditch on the N., S. and
E. 25 ft. to 40 ft. wide and 2 ft. to 4 ft. deep, but only 20 ft.
wide and 2 ft. deep on the W. A bank 20 ft. to 30 ft. wide and
9 ins. high runs inside the N., E. and W. sides. There is no
a(47) Moated Site (N.G. TL 38155575; S. side only on O.S.),
80 yds. S. of Birdlines Manor Farm (Monument (4)), in a
field, at present ploughed, called 'Moat Close' in 1840 (tithe
map 1840. T.R.C.), is probably that of the manor house of
Burdelys mentioned from 1375 onwards (Calendar of Close
Rolls XIV, 155, etc.); it is on a gentle slope of gault clay S. to
a small stream. The S. side, a wet ditch 145 ft. long and 25 ft.
to 30 ft. wide, was filled in during 1960 and is traceable as a
slight hollow. Wet areas running N. from its ends mark the E.
and W. sides.
a and b(48) Cultivation Remains. Ridge and furrow survives as earthworks (not on O.S.) in old enclosures near the
village and in the S. of the parish. Those near the village have
ridges 170 yds. to 230 yds. long, 7 yds. to 9 yds. wide and 6 ins.
to 9 ins. high with headlands of 4 yds. to 11 yds.; some have
clearly been at one time in open fields, (e.g. N.W. of the village,
around N.G. TL 379565, where a reversed-S furlong has been
enclosed). Remains of ridge and furrow of open-field type
beside the Bourn Brook around N.G. TL 375547 consist merely
of the ends of ridges.
Scattered traces of curved ridge and furrow can be seen on
air photographs over much of the parish, especially S. of the
Cambridge to St. Neots road and W. of Jaggard's Farm
(around N.G. TL 392581). There are traces of ridges running
under the notably straight modern field boundaries and must
belong to the open fields called in 1840, 'North', 'West',
'Harborough' and 'Stallan' Fields.
(Ref: enclosure map 1840 (C.R.O.); tithe map 1840 (T.R.C.);
air photographs: 106G/UK/1490/3185–8, 4029–31, 4175–6;
b(49) Roman Building (N.G. TL 38455489), probably remains
of the bath block of a villa. The site which is ploughed on the
N. and cut into by gravel pits, now disused, to the S., was discovered in 1842; it is 700 yds. S. of Comberton church on a
gentle slope of gravel falling S. to the Bourn Brook 100 yds.
away. A contemporary plan (Relhan Drawings, page 148;
cf. Gentleman's Magazine, N.S. VIII (1842), 526; Arch. J., VI
(1849), 210; C.A.S. Reports, IX (1849), 7) shows two rooms:
one 7 ft. square with a flue 6 ft. long and 9 ins. wide leading
into its N. side; the other, adjoining the first on the W.,
measuring 5 ft. by 3 ft. with indications of a further room to
the S.; hypocaust pillars were still in position under both. A
hexagonal room with sides 10 ft. long and walls 2 ft. thick
was destroyed before the plan was made and its relationship
to the other remains is unknown. Finds among building debris
included painted plaster and columns, a lead water pipe, pottery
(some Samian), and coins of Septimius Severus and Gordian
(another source states from Vespasian to Gratian); pottery has
been collected on the site. Three pots, one of them 4th-century, a glass bottle, two bone pins and part of a bronze
padlock, all believed to be from the excavation, are preserved
in the C.U. Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology,