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History

The Landbeach that you see today would still be recognisable to the inhabitants of the village at the turn of the last century, albeit with the additional trundle of motor vehicles.

It is still almost entirely composed of one long street, which in the Middle Ages was called either ‘the King’s Highway’ or ‘Church Way from the South’. The present High Street to the north of the crossroads was known, as it is now, as Green End, and south of the crossroads it was sometimes called Land End.

While housing developments have sprung up on former farming land, the High Street has retained much of the architecture that has shaped it’s history, from ‘Skachbow’ (early 1600’s) the former home of Dr John McArthur, inventor of the McArthur Microscope, all the way down to the Baptist Church (1854) where services are still held today.

Many of the houses that were built as the village developed are still visible today, and the grand farms and halls continue to impose. So too the religious influence in the village, still proud of its most famous resident, the 16th century Rector Matthew Parker became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1559.

Despite this heritage, modern life has taken its toll on the village. As cars became more popular and mobility increased so some of the hallmarks of a village disappeared. First the school in 1965 when, against much opposition from the villagers, pupils were transferred to Waterbeach and Cottenham. Then the shops and pubs began to close. The Bower pulled its last pint in the mid 1950’s, the last letters were posted at the Post Office in 1979 and on Saturday July 31st 1999, when Mabel Pullan closed her shop for the last time it was the end of a commercial era for Landbeach.

Nevertheless the village thrives, largely due to the Village Hall which continues to be the centre of village life as was intended when the first bricks were laid in 1936.

© The Farmland Museum