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An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire, Volume 1, West Cambridgshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1968.

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This Volume, the first of a series devoted to the County of Cambridge, contains the official Report of the Commission with the list of monuments selected as especially worthy of preservation; a Sectional Preface, which under subject headings discusses the local and national significance of the listed monuments; an illustrated Inventory with a description of the monuments visited; an armorial of heraldry, comprehensive before 1600 and selective thereafter; a glossary of archaeological, architectural and heraldic terms; a map showing the parishes described in the Inventory, and an Index.

The monuments will be found under the heads of parishes arranged alphabetically. The order adopted is as follows:

(1) An Introduction to the topography of the parish.

(2) Ecclesiastical Buildings.

(3) Secular Buildings.

(4) Earthworks and Cultivation Remains.

The number preceding the name of each parish is the reference for that parish as shown on the map at the end of the book. In a second line the relevant Ordnance Survey map sheets (scale 6 inches to the mile) are listed; small letters prefixed to the sheet numbers and to the Inventory entries indicate the sheet on which each monument appears. Within the parish, monuments are numbered consecutively, and generally this number is used to locate them on specially drawn maps of the parish accompanying the text; the position of those monuments lying beyond the limits of such maps is given by national grid reference.

The standardisation of the spelling of proper names in the Commission's Inventories has always presented difficulties owing to variations over the centuries, which are due partly to their phonetic values and partly to individual caprice. In general therefore we have thought it best in the matter of place names to adhere to the spelling adopted by the Ordnance Survey, without prejudice as to its accuracy. In the matter of personal names, in treating of individual funerary monuments, etc., the spelling on the memorial has been reproduced, while in the rest of the text the normal modern spelling of names has been followed.

The descriptions of the monuments are of necessity much compressed, but the underlying principle on which accounts are based is the same throughout. The account of the more important buildings begins with a brief description of the materials and extent of the fabric, and a historical summary. Then follows a detailed architectural description of the exterior, the interior and, finally, the fittings. The accounts of less important buildings are still further compressed from the full record made in the field. In this Cambridgeshire Inventory the opportunity has been taken to devise simple classifications both for small houses and moated sites, in order to reduce the amount of repetitive description. It is hoped that these classifications may also help to further the study of such monuments elsewhere.

To ensure clearness of description, many drawn plans, sections and elevations of monuments are included in the text. Generally, the plans of the more important buildings are reproduced at a scale of 24 feet to the inch and hatched to show the different dates of the fabric. Plans without drawn scales are reproduced at a uniform scale of 48 feet to the inch and have a simplified form of hatching, black, dotted or white, to show early and later work: the use will be apparent from the relevant text. In a few plans of timber-framed houses, for clarity, the structural timbers alone are shown black. Sections and elevations are reproduced at a scale of 6 feet or 12 feet to the inch.

Most of the timber-framed buildings recorded have been more or less altered during the centuries; often many of the structural timbers have been cut away and only mortices or peg-holes remain in evidence of their former existence. In order to make the drawn sections and elevations of these buildings reproduced in the Inventory more readily intelligible, such timbers are restored upon the basis of this evidence, but they are shown in dotted line. Where the actual shape of the timber still remains unknown, a question-mark is added.

The half-tone illustrations are derived, with a few exceptions, from photographs taken by the Commission's photographic staff, the chief exceptions being those taken by Dr. J. K. S. St. Joseph, Curator of Aerial Photography in the University of Cambridge. They make an essential contribution to the understanding of the monuments described. To this end, we have also reproduced a number of informative early maps and drawings of considerable interest. Our acknowledgments to the owners or custodians of these important documents will be found in the Report to Her Majesty.

In accordance with the Commission's practice, no monument has been included which has not been inspected, and the account of every monument of importance has been checked in situ by one of my fellow Commissioners, our Secretary or the editor. A further guarantee of accuracy lies in the fact that all the proofs of the Inventory have been read by my fellow Commissioners; thanks are particularly due to Professor H. C. Darby, Dr. C. A. R. Radford, Sir John Summerson, Professor J. G. D. Clark and Professor W. F. Grimes in this connection. Nevertheless in a work of such intricacy there must be some mistakes, but I hope that these are neither numerous nor serious. My colleagues and I shall welcome any corrections of the Inventory that may be sent to me with a view to their possible inclusion in some future edition.

I would draw attention to the fact that the record cards for Cambridgeshire may be consulted by accredited persons who give notice of their intention to the Secretary of the Commission at Fielden House, 10 Great College Street, London, S.W. 1. Copies of photographs may be bought on application to the National Monuments Record, Fielden House, 10 Great College Street, London, S.W. 1.