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VROOM! VROOM! King's Hedges - The Cambridge City Ward Driven By The Infernal Combustion Engine!

The original dead-end route of King's Hedges Road can be seen on this aerial view. It ended at the farm - see 1900 map below. I have blacked out the expanded road so you can clearly see where it begins.

Frankly, the rise of King's Hedges Road from a dead-end farm track leading north of the guided busway to a small farm called King's Hedges, and on to the modern day major road looping around the prehistoric Arbury Camp and lopping off the end of the original Arbury Road, is amazing! 

The motor car has led it to stardom.

Hey, just where is King's Hedges? Probably not where you think... Nowadays, the Council's electoral ward is all over the historic Arbury Meadows/North Arbury, and in East Chesterton. We have inserted the earlier details of the Arbury Meadows/North Arbury Furlong, etc, on this 1900 map. 'Harborough' was a variation on the Arbury name and the two were used interchangeably. 

That area has nothing to do with King's Hedges historically. And most of King's Hedges Road, the part across the historic Arbury area, dates from the late 1970s.

The name has truly been driven by the 'infernal combustion engine' - as my grandmother always called it!

Amazing. How many wards/areas of Cambridge can say that?

Not so sure about the environmental implications, but still...

Sweeping across the Arbury Meadows by the prehistoric Arbury Camp - the brave (cough! splutter!) new world of King's Hedges (VROOM! VROOM!) in the late 1970s.

The notion of King's Hedges Road being extended as part of a new Cambridge ring road stretches back to at least the 1930s.

Beside the original fifty-eight acre King's Hedges, north of the Guided Busway,  was the Roman road called 'Akeman Street' and 'The Mere Way' (left of the farm on the map). Not the Mere Way in South Arbury, although it is a continuation of the same Roman road which Carlton Way follows. It used to be a nice walk. I wonder what it's like now?

The council-concocted King's Hedges seemed fine as part of Arbury, a sub-district, as Arbury is the historic truth, but discovering the roots of the King's Hedges name, a hedged hunting warren for the king's tenants to chase animals into and then kill them for 'sport' under the king's gaze, makes us cold. We're not into blood sports.

When one considers that the modern King's Hedges ward is in what was the Arbury/Harborough (variation on the Arbury name) Meadows and has nothing to do with the historic King's Hedges site... well, where is the logic? Having been formed out of the northern part of Arbury Ward, one of the most historic Arbury areas in Cambridge, it's also been eating into East Chesterton.

King's Hedges School is dearly loved by many of us and we treasure it, but those in the know accept it's not actually in any historically meaningful King's Hedges district, and the site had nothing to do with King's Hedges. The school was named by the council in 1968, which then had a bit of an obsession with the name. King's Hedges School pupils and teachers made many contributions to the Arbury 1980 project and the 1981 Arbury is where we live! book.

Electoral wards should not dictate areas. The Council planners do not eradicate the history of where we live at a whim, however they try. History will out. Arbury is where we live!

The Manor Farm was established in the old Arbury Meadows in the years following the 1840 Chesterton Enclosures.


  1. King's Hedges Ward is a big phoney. We get these awful councillors coming round saying 'We're so happy to be part of the King's Hedges community,' and I think: 'Well, as this isn't really King's Hedges, I'm really pleased for you!' The Council thinks it's God.

  2. Hilary Cox Condron is OK I think. She never accuses men of privilege and cares about Arbury ward and has regard for the original Arbury estate. Shes very enthusiastic about the Arbury Carnival.

  3. 'King's Hedges' is not a name I can warm to. It sounds grandiose and somehow also militaristic. I think that's why the Arbury name sticks, quite apart from the historical facts.

  4. Some of the councillors round here are nauseating. If you watch them on Twitter they always seem to be saying 'oh well done (hashtag) so-and-so' and 'oh thats super' and 'thats because we're women!' and 'I do emotionally heart wrenching work' and 'somebody said I have a lovely voice'. It reminds me of what it be must like to bum yourself up constantly and follow all the trendy agendas but be as empty as air.

  5. King's Hedges was originally a warren of hedges to confuse and trap animals in to kill them for sport back in the days of the Royal Manor of Chesterton. Not a nice name at all, but very posh-sounding in a ridiculously Hyacinth Bucket sort of way.


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