This large village lies immediately south-west of Cambridge at c. 88m OD on the east side of the river Cam. It has seen much growth over the last 150 years and now extends for more than a mile along a road linking adjacent city satellite settlements around the periphery of Cambridge. Several Roman and prehistoric sites and extensive remains of field systems have been recorded around the village. The church and many of the older houses are located on the western edge of the present settlement near the river, while the tithe map provides evidence for a large green occupying the triangular area between Woollards Lane, the High Street and Tunwells Lane, and extending north to encompass High Green. Prior to HEFA, the earliest areas of settlement at Great Shelford were thought to lie west of the church and around Granham's manor, beyond the north east limits of the present village, with late medieval expansion colonising the margins of High Green.
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