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Ashwell Street & Ashwell Street Cross, Kneesworth

History of the Ashwell Street Cross

In 1923 W M Palmer wrote (Camb Chron):

Here in medieval days stood a cross at which wayfarers could pray. This was the site of the following incident four hundred years ago. A chapman named William Fish of Yarmouth had marked a man named Thomas Melan of Royston whom he thought simple enough for his purpose. So he put a written note under his door stating that if he did not put 20s in money at the bottom of this cross, his house would be burned down. But the fool was not fool enough to be had like that. He took the note to the constable of the parish, and the chapman was clapped in gaol. The base of the cross was discovered when Kneesworth Hospital was repaired and now stands on the lawn there.

Ashwell Street : Street Way

Cyril Fox wrote in 1923 (The Archaeology of the Cambridge Region):

The roads that go by these names undoubtedly form one system parallel to the Icknield Way from Ashwell to the River lark. Evidently Roman or Romanized in one sector, it presents the characters of a pre-Roman way in others. In general, its type is that of a “Hillside Way,”  … it duplicated the Icknield Way for travellers who desired to be near wood and water, and it may indeed have been the “summer road” of, and therefore as old as, the Way itself.



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