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Village sign & village green

The story of Little Shelford’s Village green & village sign


Little Shelford’s village green is believed to be the smallest in the country.

The green and the village sign were formally opened on May 13 2016 by MP Heidi Allen.

No smaller village green can by found in the UK.

The opening was covered by the Cambridge News and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Photos: Ruth Shah


The initial idea to create a village green came from the Little Shelford History Society in 2012. The Green became reality in 2015.

The Society leafleted all 300 homes in the village about the proposals. There were 31 responses. The majority of responses were in favour of the green. Only 16% of residents said they did not support the proposals.  

The green is at junction of Church Street and Manor Road. It is also the home for the new village sign as part of a wider village-wide history project supported by the Heritage Lottery Commission.

The Parish Council invited Ray Saich and Robin Fox from the History Society along with Neil Ruffles, as chairman of the village design group, to work with Parish Councillors Tim Leech and David Martin to together decide what should be included on the sign informed by the views of villagers that it should have fewer features than the ideas shared around previously.

They decided the sign should include:

  • The Wale Memorial
  • The River
  • The Church
  • The Celtic cross
  • Rope
  • The Manor House
  • The village hall
  • An Apollo rocket
  • A Nobel peace prize medal

The sign was designed and created by Allen Boothroyd and installed in 2015.

The village-wide history project began in 2011. It started out as a bid to re-publish a 100 year-old book about the village. Fanny Wale wrote and illustrated a book called A Record of Shelford Parva about the history of Little Shelford. The book includes colour and black and white paintings, drawings and photos of Little Shelford in the 19th and early 20th century. The book was never published and the only copy is kept in the Cambridgeshire Archives.

The book was published with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Lottery also paid for the village’s first history website at  www.littleshelfordhistory.co.uk the development of a history trail and the creation of the new village sign.


Photos: Adrienne Pate

History project summary


The history project was a joint venture between Little Shelford Parish Council and the History Society and was part of the ‘Bringing Little Shelford Alive’ lottery funded project. The Lottery gave a grant of £7,000 to help pay for;

· Re-publishing new copies of the Fanny Wale book A Record of Shelford Parva

· Creating a heritage trail to celebrate the history of Little Shelford

· Creating a dedicated village history website

· Transcribing the Little Shelford 1911 census

· Creating a village sign and village green with pupils and staff from Gt & Lt Shelford School based on episodes from Little Shelford’s history

Village green and village sign timeline

Summer 2012

Idea to re-create village green proposed by the Little Shelford History society.

Autumn 2012

Proposal to create a village green as the new home for the new village sign shared in a one-off letter to every household in the village.

November 2012

84% of villagers support the proposal.

January 2013

Little Shelford parish Council agrees to support the idea in principle and support the history society.

Spring 2013

Pupils at Great and Little Shelford School create their versions of the sign to inspire the designer.

Summer 2013

Planning permission for new village sign granted by South Cambridgeshire District Council

Autumn 2013

Ray Saich and Robin Fox from the History Society along with Neil Ruffles, as chairman of the Village Design Group, work with Parish Councillors Tim Leech and David Martin and villager Allen Boothroyd meet to decide what should be included on the sign following dozens of suggestions from across the village.

December 2013

Villager Allen Boothroyd designs and creates the new sign.

April 2014

South Cambs District Council gives £1200 Community Chest grant for removal of the tarmac

September 2015

The go ahead for the village green is given by Little Shelford Parish Council.

May 13 2016

The village green and the sign were opened by South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen. The opening was covered by the Cambridge News and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Read more about the history of Little Shelford