The booklet is in no sense a full parish history. It is merely an attempt to explain how and why the village of Great Shelford and the land around it have gradually taken on the physical appearance that we see today. There has been no attempt to follow the old established types of parish history which were, and still are, concerned with descent of manors, church monuments, eminent inhabitants and lists of incumbents. Some of these subjects have been studied but only in relationship to their effect on the landscape of the parish. This may seem a rather narrow minded view of history. Nevertheless we believe that an interest in the history of our environment is of more value today when the preservation of that environment is at a premium, than the mere listing of the occupiers of the village throughout its history.

It must be stressed that most of the research which lies behind this booklet, both from documents and from the ground itself, have been carried out by the students themselves. The Tutor's task has been merely one of advisor and editor.


In case the above should give the wrong impression, the members of the class wish to record their gratitude to Mr. Taylor for his excellent tutorials, not only in connection with Great Shelford but with landscape history generally. It is no exaggeration to say that he has taught every one of us to use our eyes and to think constructively about history from the visible landscape signs around us.

We also feel that Mr. Taylor has been extremely modest in the last paragraph of his introduction regarding his services in connection with this booklet. He has worked very hard and we consider it would be correct to say that this booklet is mainly his work and that we are pleased to have carried out research, observations, discussion, etc. , as a class, to help make it possible.


Page last updated October 23rd 2009

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