Cottenham is today a large village nearly 1.75 km long lying at c. 10m OD on a low greensand ridge surrounded by fenland, c. 8km north of Cambridge. The church of All Saints contains 12th-century masonry and is set apart from the core of the present village, whose main centre, containing a range of local shops and both primary and secondary schools, lies nearly 1km to its south. It has been suggested that a second church may have existed closer to the centre of the present village at Church Hill near the moated site of Crowland Manor House (Cambs HER 01118), although no archaeological evidence for this has been found to date. The present church lies immediately east of a road which kinks around its churchyard as it makes its way to Wilburton, some 10km to the north. Properties either side of the road south of the church are notable for their long narrow gardens, which may preserve earlier, possibly medieval, boundaries whose form may be determined by having been laid our over strip fields. To the south, the main part of the present village within the area defined by High Street, Rooks Street and Denmark Road has a marked rectilinear plan and it has been suggested that the medieval village grew from a nucleus in this area, a suggestion supported by excavations off Denmark Road and High Street. Excavations in 1996-7 on Lordship Lane (immediately south-east of Lambs Row) revealed evidence of settlement from the seventh century, abandoned in the twelfth to fifteenth centuries.
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