Graveley, Cambridgeshire

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Three Horseshoes, Graveley - - 806524.jpg
The Three Horseshoes, Graveley
Grid reference: TL2464
Location: 52°15’52"N, 0°10’38"W
Population: 223  (2001)
Post town: St Neots
Postcode: PE19
Dialling code: 01480
Local Government
Council: South Cambridgeshire

Graveley is a village in Cambridgeshire, a small place in the south of the county nestled next to the Huntingdonshire border, with a church, a pub and houses for some 223 souls recorded at the 2001 census.

The village pub is the Three Horseshoes, which opened in the early 20th century. Previous to that The Chequers served between the 1760s until it burnt down in around 1900, after which The White Lion opened, closing in around 1920.[1]

From the 18th century, the village had a schoolmaster, and in 1872 a new schoolroom for 70 children was built. Numbers had fallen to 20 by 1900 and under 10 by the 1930s. Older children were moved to Croxton in 1948, and primary children followed when the school finally closed in 1961.[1]


The village appears as Greflea in the 10th century and Gravelei in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name Greflea is believed to mean "Trench meadow", describing a woodland clearing with a dug trench.[2]


The parish church has been dedicated to St Botolph since at least the 14th century. The present building consists of a long chancel and a four-bay nave with north aisle, and a three-stage west tower. The present building largely dates from the 13th century, but fragments of a Norman building survive. The current tower dates from the 15th century. The chancel was rebuilt in the mid-18th century. Further restoration was performed in 1874 and again in 1888.[1]

The church has been in the patronage of Jesus College, Cambridge since 1558.[1]


The parish of Graveley covers an area of 1,582 acres of south-western Cambridgeshire and borders Huntingdonshire in the south and west. To the east runs a little brook parting it from the parish of Papworth St Agnes.

In 1941, an area of 106 acres straddling the border with Huntingdonshire was requisitioned by the government to form Graveley airfield]] and was used by bomber squadrons until the end of the Second World War. The part in Graveley included the end of the main runway and a number of buildings. The airfield closed in 1946 but reopened in the late 50s as a relief airstrip for Oakington barracks. The land returned to agricultural use in 1967.[1]

Outside links

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