Mill Road, Cambridge

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Mill Road
Mill Road, Cambridge, England in 2007.jpg
Independent shops on Mill Road
Mill Road, Cambridge is located in Cambridge
Mill Road, Cambridge
Shown within United Kingdom Cambridge
Coordinates 52°12′00″N 0°08′15″E / 52.1999°N 0.1376°E / 52.1999; 0.1376Coordinates: 52°12′00″N 0°08′15″E / 52.1999°N 0.1376°E / 52.1999; 0.1376

Mill Road is a street in southeast Cambridge, England.[1] It runs southeast from near to Parker's Piece, at the junction with Gonville Place, East Road, and Parkside. It crosses the main railway line and links to the city's ring road (the A1134). It passes through the wards of Petersfield and Romsey, which are divided by the railway line. It is a busy, cosmopolitan street home to many independent businesses, churches, a Hindu temple and a mosque.

Near the northwestern end to the south in Mortimer Road off Mill Road is Hughes Hall, one of the University of Cambridge colleges. Behind Hughes Hall is Fenner's, the cricket ground of the University of Cambridge, which has hosted first-class cricket since 1848. To the north is Anglia Ruskin University, formerly Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology (CCAT).


Mill Road was originally a quiet country lane leading to the southeast out of the city of Cambridge, named after the windmill that stood at what is now the corner of Covent Garden. The coming of the railways in the mid-19th century brought about a rapid development of the eastern part of the city after the University of Cambridge repeatedly blocked attempts to build a more central station.[2] The population of the Mill Road area was listed as 252 in 1801, 6,651 in 1831, 11,848 in 1861 and 25,091 in 1891.[3]

Petersfield and Romsey Town, the areas of Mill Road to either side of the railway bridge, developed in markedly different ways.

Petersfield, to the west of the railway, was originally developed by Gonville and Caius and Corpus Christi colleges (a fact reflected in the naming of the area's streets after college fellows).[3] In 1838 the Cambridge Union Workhouse was opened, a building subsequently to become the Mill Road Maternity Hospital and finally a sheltered housing scheme.[4]

Romsey Town, east of the railway, started to be developed after the inclosure acts of the middle 19th century. Expansion of the railway network drove the building of housing for railway workers and the majority of the houses were built in the ten years after 1885.[5]

Historically Petersfield has always been thought of by local residents as being on the 'Gown' side of the town and gown divide, with many of the residents having been employed by the University. Romsey, on the other hand, remained predominantly working class with a socialist tradition in its local politics, becoming known locally as 'Red Romsey' or 'Little Russia'.[5]

Mill Road Winter Fair[edit]

The Mill Road Winter Fair[6] is an annual fair on the first Saturday in December. Attendance grew from 10,000 at the first fair in 2005[7] to at least 20,000 in 2009.[8] Since 2009 part of Mill Road, including the bridge, has been closed to traffic for the duration of the fair. Regular activities include a shop window display competition, live music, folk dancing, a local history walk and open days at the road's churches, temple and mosque.[9]

Notable residents[edit]

The following live or have lived in the Mill Road area:


  1. ^ Mill Road, Cambridge Online.
  2. ^ Gray, Adrian (1976). "Cambridge's quest for a central station". Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society. 22: 22–4. 
  3. ^ a b Ronald D. Gray, Derek Stubbings, Cambridge street-names: their origins and associations. Cambridge University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-521-78956-7, ISBN 978-0-521-78956-1.
  4. ^ Mill Road, Maternity Hospital Archived 1 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine., Cambridge University Hospitals.
  5. ^ a b Alan Brigham and Colin Wiles, Bringing it all back home. CIH, 2006.
  6. ^ Mill Road Winter Fair
  7. ^ Report of First Fair, Cambridge Evening News
  8. ^ Report of 2009 Fair[permanent dead link], Cambridge Evening News
  9. ^ Winter Fair timetable 2010 Archived 4 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams (Paperback) — M.J. Simpson. Coronet Books 2004. ISBN 978-0-340-82489-4.p.6
  11. ^ Crazy diamond: Syd Barrett & the dawn of Pink Floyd — Mike Watkinson and Pete Anderson. Omnibus Press, 2001. ISBN 0-7119-8835-8, ISBN 978-0-7119-8835-4.
  12. ^ Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe - Julian Palacios Plexus, 2010. ISBN 0-85965-431-1, ISBN 978-0-85965-431-9 p.49
  13. ^ "". Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Case, Roy (2016). The Victorian Pioneers. AuthorHouse. ISBN 1524664588. Retrieved 2017-08-04. 
  15. ^ "New chapter on screen for Susanna's book". Cambridge News. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  16. ^ Rajani Palme Dutt Collection, People's History Museum, Manchester.
  17. ^ a b Graham Chainey, A literary history of Cambridge. CUP Archive, 1995. ISBN 0-521-47681-X, ISBN 978-0-521-47681-2.
  18. ^ Blake, Mark (2008). Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd. Da Capo Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-306-81752-6. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  19. ^ "Profile - Colin Greenland". Infinity Plus. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  20. ^ Conflict in the cosmos: Fred Hoyle's life in science - Simon Mitton. National Academies Press, 2005. ISBN 0-309-09313-9, ISBN 978-0-309-09313-2. p.28
  21. ^ "Tom Karen". FX Magazine. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  22. ^ A Voyager Out: The Life of Mary Kingsley - Katherine Frank. Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2005. ISBN 1-84511-020-X, ISBN 978-1-84511-020-8. p.40
  23. ^ Cambridge: A Cultural and Literary History - Martin Garrett. Signal Books, 2004. ISBN 1-902669-79-7, ISBN 978-1-902669-79-3 p.98
  24. ^ "Tom Robinson interview: 'Things can still be deplorable, but it's much better now than in the 70s'". Cambridge News. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  25. ^ "Ronald Searle 1920–2011". Anglia Ruskin University. Archived from the original on 6 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 

External links[edit]