Village sign at the entrance
Toft shown within Cambridgeshire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Toft is a village situated in Cambridgeshire, England. It is approximately six miles to the west of Cambridge, and is situated within four miles of the M11 motorway. It has approximately 600 residents and 200 homes. Comberton Village College and Comberton Sixth Form falls within the Toft Parish boundary. The village has 2 churches, St Andrews Parish Church and the Toft Methodist Church.
Just to the east of the village is Cambridge Meridian Golf Club which has the Prime Meridian running through the 14th fairway.
The name "Toft" is derived from an old Viking word meaning "curtilage" or "homestead".
The ancient parish of Toft consisted of 1285 acres between the villages of Comberton to the east and Caldecote to the west. At the time of the Domesday Book the parish extended up to the Cambridge to St Neot's road, and thus included modern-day Hardwick until it became a separate parish.
The village probably sprang up during Saxon times, when the wooded area began to be cleared for farming. By the time of the Norman Conquest the lands were owned by the king, the Abbot of Ely, and a woman named Eddeva. The Normans gave Eddeva's lands to Alan, Count of Brittany, who passed them to the manor of Swavesey. By 1109, the lands were all granted to the newly formed Bishopric of Ely.
Toft has 23 listed buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Among these is Toft Manor, formerly the Rectory, which was built in 1844 with several cottages.
The parish church has been dedicated to Saint Andrew since at least the 13th century and stands on the site of an earlier church. The present building contains some structure from the late 14th century but was largely rebuilt in 1863, apparently repeating the layout of the medieval church. The medieval tower was rebuilt in 1894.
In the 17th century, Toft became a centre of Puritanism and when the Archdeacon of Ely visited in 1685 he found that the church had been greatly neglected with cracks in the walls, and the building being used as a store for bricks and stones. The church was restored over the next few decades.
The church is in the patronage of Christ's College, Cambridge.
In Toft there is a village shop, hair dresser's, a Chinese take away and a fish and chip shop. There is also a thriving social club. A post office first opened in the village in the 1870s as part of the village shop. A library was opened in 1913, but is no longer open.
At the end of the 19th century there were two pubs in the village, the Black Bull and the Red Lion (now housing the Chinese restaurant). Both are now closed.
Toft has an active historical society, the Toft Historical Society, which holds regular exhibitions and is building a web based archive about the history of the village.
The Toft Lions
The Toft Lions are the football club based in Toft. Set up in 2011, they play in the CDFL Cambridgeshire men's league with their home pitch listed as Barton Recreation Ground. The Lions have re-created the team that existed some 20 years ago, with new kit, new players and new equipment. Managed by Harvey Bailey and Tom Preece, Captained by Greg Douglas, the Lions are now in league one of the CDFL.
- A. D. Mills (2003). A Dictionary of British Place-Names.
- "Toft, a brief history".
- "Listed buildings in Toft".
- "A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely" 5. 1973. pp. 127–136.
- Kelly's Directory, 1896
- Toft Historical Society
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