A Pictorial History of Thriplow

Lid of early 13th century stone coffin

Church window

This stained glass window, designed by Ann Southeran, depicts the figure of Earldorman Byrhtnoth who owned most of Thriplow and probably built the first church there. He lost his life at the Battle of Maldon in 991 fighting the Danes; in his will he left Thriplow to the Abbot of Ely.

The church was dedicated to All Hallows or All Saints and several pre-reformation wills make mention of that name and left money to the Guild of All Hallows for prayers to be said for their souls. By the nineteenth century its old dedication had been forgotten and it was then dedicated to St George.

By 1861 the church was in a dilapidated state, the floor uneven, owing to sinking graves, windows boarded up and the roof of the south transept covered with a tarpaulin.

During the restoration of the church in 1875, two thirteenth century stone coffins were found under the floor of the south side of the Nave. In one was a skeleton, of a tall man and in the other was a small woman with red hair.

The restoration of the nave was started in 1875 and in 1877 Peterhouse commissioned Sir Gilbert Scott to restore the chancel.

Drawing of the south transept by R R Rowe in 1867

Designs from the restored painted ceiling in the nave


Scratching on the spire, J.E. 1743, Johannes Eyre bell maker.

An inventory of church goods made in 1552/3 mentions 4 bells. In 1743 these were taken down and recast and a new one added, these five bells lasted until 1995 when they were recast and another added making six bells in all. A new bell cage was also made, the old wooden stocks removed. These were dated by dendrology, the oldest dating to the 14th century.

Link: Church History



Non-conformity was strong in East Anglia, the first Independent services were held in a barn in Middle Street in the eighteenth century; a chapel was built in 1835 which rapidly become too small and by 1846 the British School in Fowlmere Road became an Independent Chapel.

Chapel built in 1835 in Middle Street.

Indeptendent Chapel in Fowlmere Road 1930s; a non-conformist school from 1846-1876, it was demolished in 1972.

Link: Non-conformity


When the Domeday survey was taken by William the Conqueror in 1086, Thriplow had two Manors – The Bury belonging to the Bishop of Ely and Barenton’s Manor was held by Sigar the Staller. By the 14th century there were four Manors – The Bury, Barenton’s, Bacons and Crouchmans.

The Bury 1900

Barenton’s Manor

Bacon’s Manor 1930, showing Dovecote

Crouchman’s Manor fell down sometime before 1840, so there are no pictures of it.

The Rectory burnt down in 1968 but the 13th century Tithe Barn survived.

The old Rectory House in 1930

The eight bay Tithe Barn was built by the Bishop of Ely around 1320

Other houses of note are the home farms that belonged to the manors, Cochranes belonged to the Bury, in 1771 the tenant was Lewis Corkran who had inherited the estate from his aunt Tabitha Brown. The house dates from the 17th century, it was divided into three dwellings but in 2004/5 it was restored and once again became one dwelling.

Cochranes before restoration

Bassets also belonged to the Bury and was given by the Lord of the Manor Ambrose Benning to his son Ambrose as a wedding gift in 1767.

In the 19th century it also was divided into 3 dwellings and has once again been restored to one dwelling.

Bassets 1920s

Manor Farm was originally called Suttons, it was sold to St John’s College Cambridge in 1538 and became St John’s College Farm and now it is called Manor Farm. It was the home farm of Barenton’s Manor and was restored in ?

Painting of Manor Farm before it was extended, probably early 19th century.

Link: Manors

Public Houses

There were originally five public houses in Thriplow, there is now only one.

The Fox was in Church Street, it burnt down in 1920.

The Fox in 1910

Link: Fox Inn

The Red Lion in Middle Street also burnt down. In 1941, some children were playing with matches on a pile of straw ready to re-thatch the pub. As the roof was wired, it could not be saved in time.

The Red Lion

Link: Red Lion

The Green Man is the only pub still working, it was once called the Gardener and Spade.

Painting of Green Man with the Saracen’s Head on the right.

Link: Green Man
Link: Saracen’s Head

The Saracen’s Head is opposite the Green Man, it operated from about 1847 to late 1870s.

The Shoulder of Mutton was first built in 1840 and lasted until about 1915.

The Shoulder of Mutton

Link: Shoulder of Mutton