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St Mary's Church
Hardwick shown within Cambridgeshire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
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Hardwick is a hamlet in the county of Cambridgeshire, England with a large housing estate located about 6 miles (9.7 km) west of the city of Cambridge and immediately south of the A428 Cambridge-St Neots road. It is about 4 miles (6.4 km) east of the newly developed village of Cambourne. The village is nearly on the Greenwich Meridian. The northern border of the village is St Neots Road, now largely bypassed by the A428, with no houses or property on the north side of the road. In the 2001 census, the population was 2630 in 946 households.
Historically, the hamlet of Hardwick is hundreds of years old and consisted of a few houses and farmland around St Mary's Church, on what is now the southern edge of the hamlet. It has expanded greatly over the last forty years, mainly due to an estate of hundreds of houses built on the orchard land to the north of the original hamlet, with the roads taking the names of the displaced trees (e.g. Ellison, Bramley, Limes, Pippin, Quince, Worcester...).
Although significant building ceased, a number of new houses have been built over the years all over the hamlet - wherever developers were able to acquire any plots of land; these are often the once large gardens of the earliest estate houses.
The hamlet has mains gas, sewage and water for most residents, though some not on the main estate are not on mains gas. There are two sites with the original water pumps, one near the church and the other quite central in the hamlet just off Pump Lane.
The hamlet's bakery was sited next to a row of houses just to the east of the pub at the end closest to the church, and the only remnant is the shell of the building which has become a garage.
The Blue Lion, the only pub in the hamlet, lies on Main Street. The Sports and Social Club is based next to the football and cricket pitches in the centre of the hamlet.
Hardwick Community Primary School is the local pre- and primary school for children in the hamlet. Children of secondary school age usually go on to attend Comberton Village College, located in Comberton, southwest of Hardwick.
The village shop and post office are also on Cambridge Road. A beauticians nearby took over the site, after significant refurbishment, of another village shop which had failed and lain empty for some years. The Madingley telephone exchange (area code 01954) is on the corner of Cambridge Road and St. Neots Road, providing voice and ADSL-Max services to the village and surrounding areas. NTL/Virgin abandoned plans to fit cable TV in 1990 (?) when their initial expansion plans ran out of cash, although they do have communication trunks running along St. Neots Road.
There are a number of local businesses based on St Neots Road, in Newton House and Broadway House. In November 2006 part of Newton House burned down, destroying a takeaway food outlet and a Turkish restaurant, while the rest of the building has been left unoccupied pending reconstruction work. Broadway House is home to several businesses. The adjacent property is the Conservative Party headquarters for Cambridgeshire. Further west on St Neots Road a pet shop, a car repair/maintenance garage, an agricultural machinery merchant and a furniture store can be found.
In 2006 to 2007 the A428 was improved with a new section of dual carriageway, replacing the section of single carriageway, past Cambourne to Caxton Gibbet. Around the same time the postcode was changed from CB3 to CB23 for this sector.
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