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Church Street, Gamlingay

A Walk Along Church Street, Gamlingay


This is a journey through Church Street, Gamlingay: the bustling downtown of the Gamlingay Metropolitan Area. If you look closely, you can almost imagine movement. Sadly, however, when the Co-op lorry heads west, and the Biggleswade bus heads east, no movement of any sort is possible on Church Street. On the left you can see the house I used to live in, before I moved 200 m south to Mill Street, Gamlingay. The main problem with my move is that The Cock is now three-minutes walk away instead of 30-seconds walk. Oh, the sacrifices we make. The Cock, by the way, is an example of a community-led pub. It went though a number of landlords until locals Vanessa and Martin took it over and started to run it as a service to the community. Villages of England: we need more Vanassas and Martins! Read more about The Cock at Gamlingay Pubs Page.
Gamlingay Almshouses Church Street is an interesting mixture of styles and periods. The Cock dates from the sixteenth century, as do several of the neighbouring houses. Sadly, however, many medieval and Tudor building were lost in the Great Fire of Gamlingay in 1600. Most of the western part of the street was built in the nineteenth century. Yet despite fire and rebuilding, there are in fact no fewer than 33 listed buildings on Church Street, including a Grade II listed telephone box. The handsome almshouses in this picture were constructed by Sir John Jacobs in 1665 as a final refuge for 'widows of good character'.
Gamlingay Church Eventually, if you wander along Church Street for long enough, you get to the parish church of St. Mary the Virgin. As this is such an interesting building, I have given it its own page. I have also created a separate page just with pictures of the gargoyles. For the moment, however, note that in the bottom right hand corner you can just see the top of the Grade II Listed telephone box.

How much wandering is long enough? About three minutes should do it.

Houses on Church End, Gamlingay After a bit, Church Street becomes Church End. A little later, it becomes Long Lane. What it becomes after that, nobody knows, although it does pass by GIA (Gamlingay International Airport or, to those who live to its east, Gransden International Airport.) This important hub of aviation boasts a turf landing strip, a windsock, and a large bale of hay at the end of the runway in case of mishaps. In fact, Little Gransden Airfield, as it is officially known, is the home to Mark Jefferies, the 2005 and 2006 UK Aerobatics Champion. Some people in the village dislike the roar of his aircraft as he practices his manoevures; others are proud of his achievements. I shall remain neutral...

Church End has some lovely old houses, including this selection here. Actually, this might be Long Lane. Whatever it is, it's the east end of the village, and very nice it is too.

Houses on Church End, Gamlingay Along this walk, you'll pass The Emplins, a medieval timber framed house, and the second oldest building in Gamlingay (only the church is older). The building has been around since the early fifteenth century and was standing long before Christopher Columbus or Henry Tudor had even been thought of. It's a lovely building, with a beautiful garden, and you can stay there as it is currently used as a guesthouse. For more information, go to: The Emplins Bed and Breakfast. I have not stayed there myself, but I am assured that it's a real treat.

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* This page last updated 22 May 2009 *