The village of Meldreth is situated in south Cambridgeshire, 15km southwest of Cambridge, in the valley of the River Cam or Rhee which defines the northern edge of the parish boundary. The present village of Meldreth is broadly linear in layout arranged in a N-S orientation along the River Mel. Today, after infill in the 19th and 20th centuries, the settlement forms an almost continuous polyfocal village more than 3 km long running between the neighbouring settlements of Shepreth and Melbourn. The parish church of Holy Trinity is located at the northern edge of the modern settlement and dates from the late 12th century. Two moated sites and several mills once existed in the parish.
The First Edition Ordnance Survey 6” to 1 mile map shows that in the later 19th century settlement at Meldreth was divided into several discrete elements. The largest of these was arranged as a north-south-orientated linear row along High Street. This part of the settlement was very regularly laid out, suggesting it was planned at some point. The properties were long and narrow and likely to preserve a much earlier arrangement, of either medieval or early modern date. The curving line of field boundaries contiguous with those of the residential plots west of the High Street hints at the possibility that these properties were laid out over medieval strip fields. The High Street settlement was in the 19th century still separated by 2-300m from three small clusters of settlement to its south, west and north, respectively sited around the railway station, Chiswick End and Manor Farm. Approximately 200m north-east of Manor Farm there was a smaller, less regular linear row running past the church and another, further north-east again, at North End, constituting a small green extending from College Farm towards Shepreth Common. With the exception of the cluster around the station, these settlement elements may relate to the five manors recorded in Meldreth in Domesday Book.
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