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The Berern

The title of the barn is an abbreviated version of the Old English term for 'barley place'. The C18 timber framed barn is a Listed Grade II building, formerly part of the Old Farm complex. It escaped the devastation of the fire that swept through the cluster of five farms in Dales Way (now Comberton Road) in 1865.
The Barn and its outlying timber sheds were converted from agricultural use to form a house, on three levels, and two studio workshops. The orchard garden acts as an extension of the studios, housing items of sculpture that exploit and are conjoined with the natural habitat. The house doubles as a sculpture gallery that, collectively with the two studios and sculpture garden, forms a striking venue for the Cambridge Open Studios event that takes place each summer.

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Outlying Farms click here

Read Thomas Metcalfe's Terrier of the lands belonging to the Rectory of Toft (18thC)

Read  two interesting accounts​ of events at Toft church during the 17thC English Civil War.

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Toft Historical Society

Buildings

Toft Historical Society Toft Historical Society Archive

Manor Farm House

Manor Farm House, a Grade II listed building, was once the centre of a farm. Its architecture includes features from the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. It is a timber-framed building with a plain tiled roof which has some decorative pargetting, chamfered and moulded ceiling beams, some horizontal sliding sash windows and old hearths. The accommodation also includes what was once a cheese-room and dairy. Outside there is a dovecote (c.18thC) and an old well. The dovecote is timber-framed and weather-boarded, with a red brick plinth; it contains the original claybat nesting boxes.

More on the history of Toft buildings.

Listen to the bells (mp3 audio)

Listen to Mr Richard Howard, Tower Captain, talking about the bells (mp3 audio)

Read about Saint Andrew's Church bells

The Firs cottage (old post office)
The cottage at 64 High Street is of mid to late C17 origin, with C19 alterations. It is a listed grade II building cited as a former farmhouse. It has variously, since the time of parliamentary enclosure, been titled 'The Firs', or 'Firs Farm'. There is little in the available evidence to suggest farming operations ever took place on the scale of the three main village farmyards at Farmers End. Landholdings associated with The Firs, until recently, do not seem to have been above 5 acres. In the C19 and previously in the history of Toft, a number of cottages were involved with small scale husbandry, forming farmsteads. South View farm on Hardwick Road was one example; the landlord of the Black Bull public house also had land and engaged in small scale farming as a complementary occupation. Early Ordnance Survey maps show a small farmyard with stables and barns and other buildings, adjacent to the cottage. The deeds of 'The Firs' indicate that the property was leased to tenants who presumably were responsible for any farming operations. The village Post Office was housed in the cottage before WW1, moving to its present location in 1932. There was also a general stores housed in the building at this period. The cottage was subdivided into separate tenancies until 1965. The property currently provides a home for its owners and although most of the farmyard was demolished at an earlier date, the land currently attaching to The Firs is in use for stabling and grazing meadows.  Read more about the Firs and its historical timeline.

Saint Andrew's Church

Saint Andrew's Church is a Grade II listed building of Perpendicular style with an ornamental tie-beam roof and carved wooden angels. The chancel has a small piscina and in the south aisle there is a niche and another piscina. There are some remains of alabaster statues and other fragments, some very old benches, an octagonal font and memorials to the Eversden family.

The parish church has been in use since at least 1217 and stands on the site of an earlier church building. The register dates from 1539.

The Archdeacon of Ely visited Saint Andrew's in 1685 and found the church neglected, with cracks in the walls; the building was being used as a store for bricks and stones. The church was then restored over the next few decades.

In 1863 the church was rebuilt following the design and layout of the medieval building. The tower fell in 1890 while being pulled down, and was rebuilt in 1894 at a cost of £600. In 1899 the bells were rehung at the expense of the Rev. T. Orbell, the rector at that time.  In 1906 all the windows were re-glazed.


Website: http://www.achurchnearyou.com/toft-st-andrew/


Read more about the church's Grade II listing.


​Read about monumental inscriptions and coats of arms in the church.