Capturing Cambridge
  • search
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Godesdone Road

History of Godesdone Road

According to A B Gray (1921):

Not far from the high road [Newmarket Road] …. and somewhere on the low ground towards the river, there existed in ancient times the lonely well from which the place [Barnwell] takes its name. According to an account taken from an early chronicle relating to the Abbey this well appears to have consisted of several springs, and from the singular custom of children assembling there, on the eve of St John the Baptist, for games and merry-makings, the spot became known as “Bairns’ Well.” Skeat emphatically denies this derivation of the word Barnwell, and states that the name signified “The Warrior’s Well.” However this may be, there seems no cause for doubting the truth of another legend, taken from the same source, concerning a hermit names Godesone, who is said to have built near the well and dedicated to St Andrew a little wooden oratory, where he ended his days in piety and peace. An ugly street in the neighbourhood (Godesdone Road) is labelled with the mis-spelt name of this holy man.


Do you have any information about the people or places in this article? If so, then please let us know using the Contact page or by emailing

Dear Visitor,


Thank you for exploring historical Cambridgeshire! We hope you enjoy your visit.


Did you know that we are a small, independent Museum and that we rely on donations from people like you to survive?


If you love Capturing Cambridge, and you are able to, we’d appreciate your support today.


Every donation makes a world of difference.


Thank you,

The Museum of Cambridge