Spotlight On… Meldreth by Kathryn Betts

Meldreth Sign

Meldreth has a population of approximately 2,500.

The village was once comprised of a number of hamlets, but now forms a continuous settlement of over 3km between Melbourn and Shepreth. The prime meridian runs through the village and the marker in Fenny Lane was unveiled by the Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees in 1999.

The village sits in an historically rich landscape, with evidence of occupation dating back to pre-historic times. The village stocks and whipping post sit beneath a large Horse Chestnut tree on Marvell’s Green and are thought to have last been used following brawling in church in 1860.

Holy Trinity Church is the only Grade I listed building in the village. Mentioned in the Domesday Book, the earliest fabric of the present church dates from the 12th century. The bells are the most rung Church bells in the world and attract ringers from near and far. There are 40 Grade II listed buildings in the village, including sixteen thatched houses and Topcliffe Mill, which is on a possible Domesday site.

The village has excellent facilities including a manned railway station (on the Kings Lynn to King’s Cross line), an excellent pub (The British Queen in the High Street), a pre-school, a popular primary school, Meldreth and Orchard Manor’s Scope schools for the disabled, a village hall and other meeting rooms, a good general store and Post Office, a hairdressers and several farm shops.

The village can also boast approximately ten miles of well-maintained public footpaths, the picturesque River Mel and Melwood, a designated Local Nature Reserve. All of these are looked after and maintained by volunteers from local groups. Leisure facilities include a recreation ground with children’s playground, a croquet lawn, petanque pistes, tennis courts, football pitches and a bowls club.

There are many active clubs and groups in the village, which cater for all ages and interests. Details can be found on the Parish Council’s website or the Meldreth Local History Group website, which has a Meldreth Today section. Meldreth is an active village and there are usually several events taking place in the village every month. For details of events, the best source of information is the monthly village magazine, Meldreth Matters, which in addition to being distributed to all households and businesses in the village, is published online at
Up coming events in the village include

Monday 2nd November, 10am – 12 noon, Meldreth Local History Group Coffee Morning in the Sheltered Housing Community Room, Elin Way, Meldreth. There will be a short presentation on Meldreth’s orchards. All welcome, free refreshments.
Saturday 7th November, 10.30am – 12 noon, Coffee Break – a monthly coffee morning held on the first Saturday of every month in the Sheltered Housing Community Room, Elin Way.
Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th November, 11am to 5pm the popular Christmas Tree Festival in Holy Trinity Church, followed by an Advent Service at 5.30pm on 29th.
Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th November “Pirates of the Panto” pantomime in Meldreth Village Hall, presented by Melbourn Amateur Dramatics Society.