Historic buildings and monuments of Hardwick

The information on this page (except that in italics) is taken, with permission, from An Inventory of Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridge, Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, England; volume 1 (West Cambridgeshire), chapter 21 (Hardwick), pp. 126 - 129 (HMSO London, 1968). The RCHME has now become the National Monuments Record of English Heritage.

The village nucleus was a green about 500 yds. from the ancient Port Way track. This green covered more than 10 acres when it was enclosed by act of 1836 (map) and may already have been reduced. The church stands at the south end of the former west side. Some growth south towards Port Way is indicated by the existence of old closes (see 7 below) either side of the Toft road; on the west side of this road is a moated site (see 6 below).

Historic buildings and monuments of Hardwick
©Crown copyright. NMR

  1. Parish church of St. Mary. See separate description.
  2. Rectory, of red brick, in Tudor idiom; mid 19th-century.
  3. Victoria Farm, of 16th- or early 17th-century origin, heightened and extended to the west c. 1700 with later outshuts, is partly framed and plastered, partly brick built and underbuilt, with tiled roof. The internal chimney has a stack of three square shafts in line along the ridge joined by the capping. Inside some structural timbers and chamfered ceiling beams are exposed. [This building, now 26 Main Street, was later called Old Victoria Farmhouse, to distinguish it from the Victoria Farm on the other side of the road.]
  4. House (Class J), of one storey and attic, framed, plastered and thatched; late 17th- or early 18th-century. [Part of Victoria Farm, this was once one of a line of cottages but was the only one not destroyed in a fire. Confusingly Victoria Farm Cottages, now 16 Main Street, were on the other side of the road next to the old Victoria Farmhouse.]
  5. The Chequers, former inn, two-storeyed with cellar, framed and plastered, with half-hipped and tiled (at one time thatched) roof; resembles a Class-J house on plan. A low west wing at the south end is 19th-century and there are some modern accretions. The main north and south range, which is of the 16th or early 17th century, is in four bays, the third being occupied by a large chimney of brick and clunch with square 18th century brick stack. As seen from the east where the framing is exposed, the building falls into two distinct parts, the two south bays being longer than the others with an intermediate plate at the sill level of the modern windows. The north part has an intermediate plate at floor level and has down bracing from its end posts. Inside, the middle room on the ground floor has a chamfered axial beam with small carved leaf stops; the main trusses are or have been of braced tie-beam type. There is some 18th-century joinery.
  6. Moated site, probably the site of the manor of Hardwick. A rectangular area 106 ft. east to west by 156 ft. is surrounded by a ditch 13 ft. to 25 ft. wide, almost completely filled on the north but up to 5 ft. deep, and wet, on the south. A ditch 12 ft. wide and 3 ft. to 4 ft. deep runs east for 40 ft. from the north end of the surviving part of the east side. The interior on the south is raised 1¼ft. for a distance of 56 ft. from the south side. Scarps and ditches south of the site apparently mark the boundaries of closes shown on the enclosure and tithe maps of 1836.
  7. Cultivation remains (not on map). Ridge and furrow is preserved in the closes around the village shown as old enclosures in 1836. The remains are 30 yds. to 120 yds. long with ridges 7 yds. to 11 yds. wide and 1 ft. to 1½ ft. high and headlands of 5 yds. to 11 yds. The ridge and furrow east of the moated site (6) runs east and west in two blocks 170 yds. long divided by a ditch 10 ft. wide and 9 ins. deep. In 1836 these were called 'Huxley's Close' and 'Great Halls Close'. Five other former closes to the south have no ridge and furrow, though their boundaries are visible as ditches or scarps. There are also remains in Hardwick Wood with curved ridges 200 yds. to 230 yds. long and 7 yds. wide running north and south, indicating that, although a wood in 1836, the area must once have formed part of the open fields. In 1836 the open fields were called 'Brook', 'Comberton and 'Wood' Fields (see enclosure map). Furlongs with reversed-S ridges can be seen on air photographs as traces to the southeast of the village.
  8. Hardwick Hall (not on map), not to be confused with the famous Hardwick Hall ("more glass than wall") in Derbyshire. This 19th-century building, situated near the present-day junction of Hall Drive with St Neots Road (see this map), was demolished in the 1930s.

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