Parish Council property

Stapleford Cemetery, Mingle Lane

A site for the cemetery was purchased by the Stapleford Burial Board from William Collier in 1881. This consisted of the approach road and the section nearest to the road. The first burial took place in July 1885. Jabez Cadge was the first Clerk to the Burial Board, followed by Thomas Challis. The Burial Board had seven members, as did the Parish Council which, when it was created in 1894, took over the functions of the Burial Board.

The Parish Council purchased additional land to extend the cemetery in 1930 and again in 1949, with a further purchase from the Diocese of Ely in 2011 and fenced to extend the cemetery and so provide grave spaces for many years ahead. The original section is now closed for the purchase of new graves although there are a significant number of spaces where the graves have yet to be used. Part of the new section is about to be consecrated. It now contains 1.2 acres (0.486 hectares).

An additional acre has been purchased and fenced to extend the cemetery and so provide grave spaces for many years ahead.

The cemetery is maintained by the Parish Council for the benefit of all inhabitants of Stapleford. Villagers have a right to be buried in it so long as there are available grave spaces.

Purchase of a hundred-year right of burial in a grave-space is not essential. In most cases, however, a right is purchased, since a memorial cannot otherwise be placed on the grave. Such a right may be purchased in advance of a burial if so desired. Applications have to be made to the Council for any memorials and approved before any work can commence.

Persons who are not Stapleford residents may be buried in the cemetery. Fees, however, are triple those charged for Stapleford residents.

The Slaughter House, Church Street

The Slaughter House is a grade two listed building which was acquired from Shelford Building Supplies in 1977 for £1. The purchase included half the width of the land separating the building from No. 2 Church Street and a small area of land at the rear. The building had belonged to the Barker family, butchers of High Street, Great Shelford, and before them to the Willis family. It is believed to have been built about 1840. It served as a slaughterhouse until just before the Second World War. The Parish Council has restored it externally to what is believed to have been its original appearance. It was rethatched in 2011.

The Slaughterhouse land

The land behind the Slaughterhouse in Church Street was surplus land remaining after the building of Collier Way and was sold to the Parish Council in 1982. Part of it was used by the District Council for a footpath leading from Cox’s Close to Church Street. A further part has been devoted to the Villedômer garden including a wayside direction stone from Villedômer. A Millennium capsule has been buried in the centre of the land. The seat commemorating the Barker family, former owners of the adjacent slaughterhouse, has recently been replaced and the whole area landscaped to include additional benches and children’s play activities.

Clerk’s Piece

The Clerk’s Piece, measuring 0.117 acre (473 sq. m). lies beside the cycle path and the river in Sawston Road. It was purchased in 1979 from the Trustees of the Clerk’s Piece Charity. Another 373 sq. metres, formerly part of the Clerk’s Piece, had been acquired by the County Council the year before for a new road to replace the adjacent road and railway bridge and 60 sq. metres has since been sold by the Parish Council to the Anglian Water Authority for a gauging station. The Clerk’s Piece had been acquired by the Trustees of the Charity in exchange for the site of the Clerk’s House, described in 1837 as a “cottage, part of a larger building, with a slip of garden attached, which is occupied rent free by the parish clerk, who receives no other remuneration for his service”, the origin of the charity being unknown. The parish clerk was the Vestry Clerk, long before there was a parish council. His house was beside the old Sunday school, now the Johnson Hall.

The Recreation Ground

The recreation ground, at the junction of Gog Magog Way and Haverhill Road, which covers an area of 5.52 acres (2.23 hectares). was bought for the parish for £780 in 1937 by the former Chesterton Rural District Council from Mrs. A. G. Collier and others.

It was bought by the Parish Council in 2012 from South Cambridgeshire District Council. A pavilion was erected in 1938 at the expense of Mr. and Mrs. Gray. A second pavilion was built in 1971, incorporating an existing toilet block which had been built in 1962. The new Pavilion was built using the extant wooden frame and with a large new hall. It was first used for the Village Show in 2012, officially opened at the 2013 show and is now a Centre for many activities.

The Millennium Children’s playground for under 12 years of age is next to the Stapleford Lawn Tennis Club courts and there is a recently refurbished and extended pay area for teenagers and adults. Youth football and a range of ages play cricket on the ground, and it is the venue for the annual village show. This held on the last weekend in June. The Stapleford Lawn Tennis Club constructed the two tennis courts.

The Bus Shelter

The Bus shelter was erected by the Parish Council in 1965 on a concrete base provided by the County Council. The County Council had in 1963 acquired the Corner Shop from Mrs. Lilian Margaret Lee. The shop was demolished and part of the site was used to create a bus lay-by as well as a site for the bus shelter.

Parish Pit

The 1814 Inclosure Award set out 3 roods, 25 perches (3667 sq.m.) of land as a public stone, chalk and gravel and clay pit to be used by the proprietors of land and tenements within the parish and their tenants for the time being. The Pit is now a miniature nature reserve and looked after by the Cambridge Green Belt Project. Access is by a track from Haverhill Road next to Gog Magog Cottage.

Stapleford Chalk Pit – or THE PUBLIC STONE, CHALK, GRAVEL AND CLAY PIT (Charity No 268975) is the name by which it has been registered as a Charity, with the Parish Council as Trustee. The pit was formed by the extraction of ‘clunch’ used, in the past, as a building material in local houses and even the Cambridge Colleges.

The pit is a site of significance in the wider landscape as it is one of many former chalk quarries in villages across the county, that are now a network of chalk grassland fragments. Closer to home are the Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits nature reserve, Roman Road SSSI, Magog Down, Wandlebury Country Park and Fleam Dyke SSSI. Together these grassland sites form a series of stepping stones to enable species to move freely across the landscape. As climate change has an effect on our wildlife, these pathways are becoming ever more important to maintaining robust wild populations.

In 1960 the County Naturalist’s Trust began to manage the pit in conjunction with the Parish Council. For a period a volunteer group from the Wildlife Trust, funded by the Parish Council, took care of the management of the site, but this ceased with the result that that scrub encroached extensively on the site. Since 2013, a small group, Friends of Stapleford Parish Pit, have been working hard clearing this scrub to encourage the chalk grassland species and progress towards achieving County Wildlife Site status. Around 70 wildflower species have been recorded since 2015 which falls short of previous totals, records starting in 1992.

To gain the status of “rich flora of chalk grassland” requires the site to have ‘frequent numbers of six or more strong calcareous grassland indicator species.’ The pit has four strong calcareous indicator species, Common Milkwort (Polygala vulgaris), Common Restharrow (Knautia arvensis), Field Scabious (Ononis repens) and Wild Basil (Clinopodium vulgare) and a number of others that are present but not in high enough frequency.

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire Wildlife Trusts have been advising the group, and a management plan drawn up. The Friends of the Pit welcome more volunteers to help in the restoration, and maintenance, of this precious spot in our village. If you are interested in joining the workparties or would like more details about the pit, phone Mary Cooper Tel. 01223 842127

The Village Sign

The original village sign, situated at the junction of Church Street, Mingle Lane and Gog Magog Way, was erected by the parishioners of Stapleford as a tribute to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II on her Silver Jubilee. It was funded from the proceeds of a variety of village celebrations held during Jubilee Week, 4-11 June 1977, and was unveiled in September 1978.

A new village sign was erected in 2012, thanks to a generous donation by Hill Residential, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II