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Banks of the Cam at Grantchester.jpg
The banks of the Granta at Grantchester
Grid reference: TL432555
Location: 52°10’44"N, 0°5’42"E
Population: 552  (2001)
Post town: Cambridge
Postcode: CB3
Dialling code: 01223
Local Government

Grantchester is a quiet, beautiful village on the River Granta or Cam in Cambridgeshire. In the Domesday Book (1086) it is named Grantesete and Grauntsethe.

Students and visitors often travel from Cambridge by punt to picnic in the meadows or take tea at The Orchard. In 1897, a group of Cambridge students persuaded the owner of Orchard House to serve them tea in its apple orchard, and this became a regular practice.

The footpath to Cambridge that runs beside Grantchester Meadows is nicknamed the Grantchester Grind. Further upstream is Byron's Pool, named after Lord Byron, who is said (by Brooke, at least) to have swum there. The pool is now below a modern weir where the Bourn Brook flows into the River Cam.

Grantchester is said to have the world's highest concentration of Nobel Prize winners, most of these presumably being current or retired academics from the nearby University of Cambridge.

Rupert Brooke

The Edwardian poet Rupert Brooke lodged at Orchard House, and later moved next door to the Old Vicarage. In 1912, while in Berlin, he wrote a poem of homesickness entitled "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester", in which he celebrated the village, and contrasted it to life in Germany. The poem famously ends:

And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

The Old Vicarage is currently the home of the Cambridge scientist Lady Mary Archer and her husband, Jeffrey Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare.

Grantchester Mill Pond - - 258658.jpg


An underground passage was said to run from the Old Manor house to King's College Chapel two miles away. It is said that a fiddler who offered to follow the passage set off playing his fiddle; the music became fainter and fainter, until it was heard no more and the fiddler was never seen or heard of again. On a 17th-century map of Grantchester, one of the fields is called Fiddler's Close.

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