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Little Shelford blogs

King James 1st and Little Shelford


The All Saints Bell that triggered a hunt that led to a King

Having lived in the Village for 23 years I have grown to appreciate how much history surrounds us here in Little Shelford. A small village with a Manor House and Hall? That’s quite unusual enough but the history of All Saints is of particular interest to me and there is an excellent Church History available written by Kenneth Hurst in 2004.

The history of the Church describes the five bells, in the belfry, one of which has an unusual inscription “Richardus Holdfeld me fecit – Henry Wrysle Earle of Southamption, 1612”, “me fecit” is Latin, but quite simply reads “made me” so put into modern English the inscription says “Richard Holdfeld made me for the Henry Wriothesley [pronounced "rose ley"], Earl of Southampton, 1612”.

I was intrigued, why on earth would the Earl of Southampton [His 1603 portrait is shown here], whose family seat was Titchfield Abbey in southern Hampshire, donate a bell to All Saints Church Little Shelford?

I also remembered, from my school studies, that Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton, was the individual to whom in 1593 William Shakespeare dedicated his narrative poem Venus and Adonis, followed in 1594 by The Rape of Lucrece.

The dedication on the front cover of The Rape of Lucrece is couched in extravagant terms: “The love I dedicate to your lordship is without end ... What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have, devoted yours”.

This triggered my interest, I really needed to know why the bell? What was the connection between Henry Wriothesley and Little Shelford. This began a considerable amount of research which in turn led me to many interesting and intriguing facts about Little Shelford, its residents and many other residents in nearby Villages and towns, including a direct link to King James I of England and VI of Scotland. I have summarised all I have found as the story of “The Court of South Cambridgeshire” in which Henry Wriothesley played a significant role.


For those who are interested to know more, I will be doing a presentation on many of my findings entitled “The Court of King James in South Cambridgeshire and its surprising connection with Little Shelford” at the next meeting of the Little Shelford History Society on Wednesday 9th November 2022 at 7.30pm in Little Shelford Memorial Hall. It’s a few months off so in the meantime, if you would like to know more you can contact me at and if you are interested in the Little Shelford History Society you can contact the Chairman, Ray Saich, on

David Jones 

Posted Oct 4 2022


Think hard about a broadband upgrade

Brenda Bishop has warned villagers to think carefully about a broadband upgrade after she experienced a couple of hiccups recently.


Brenda said that the broadband strength itself is fine. But she felt that not everything involved with the change was transparent.

"I phoned BT. I complained that I should have been warned of the disadvantages albeit that I could not have done anything about them," said Brenda. This is what I would highlight:

1. The fibre connection has to be in sight of the BT telegraph pole so has to come into the front of the house by means of a black wire from the pole to the house soffit and thence down to the bottom of the wall where it enters the house through a hole drilled through the wall.

2. The new hub and other connection, including your telephone base, are therefore where you may not have chosen to site them (in my case they are on the floor in a corner of the lounge. I have hidden them with a large chair).

3. When dialling local numbers you now have to include the area code.

4. You are supplied with 2 BT hand sets. You can continue to use your existing phones so long as the base one is plugged into the fibre system. If you leave them plugged into your existing telephone connection they will cease to work. You can keep the BT phones as spares.

Be interesting to see what happens.

Posted October 27 2022


Ella The Therapy Dog

Ella, who lives in High Street, Little Shelford, had been training to be a guide dog from a few weeks old but sadly she did not quite achieve the very high standards that are set and we were lucky enough to be offered Ella to rehome over 2 years ago.  Due to her breeding and training she was very calm, well behaved and seemed to have an intuitive understanding of people around her. 


With this in mind when I was approached by the Well Being Co-ordinator at Hills Road Sixth Form College to ask if Ella would be interested in being coming a Therapy Dog with them I jumped at the chance.  We had a very successful trial after which Ella now goes into the College one day a week. 

It is well recognised that dogs can proved endless therapeutic benefits in numerous situations.  They are calming, reduce stress, improve mental and emotional health and can induce a general feeling of well being.  Ella spends time in the Well Being Centre with students during the day and is walked around the College in breaks and lunchtime.  She has become an invaluable asset to the College and is loved by staff and students alike.  She thrives on the attention given to her and is always super excited when I drop her off there.  It is a win win situation!

Shona Keene

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