Imagine uncovering a map dated 400 years ago. The crackle of the delicate vellum and realising that there was so much more than to the village where you’d live. This is the story behind a glossy, local history book, Balsham, a village story 1617 - 2017.
The founders of the Balsham Map Project, Ian and Margaret Creek, were enthralled by the oldest known map of Balsham, dated 1617. They discovered it’s existence at a talk in February 2013, given by Susan Oosthuizen, University Senior Lecturer in Historic Environment, University of Cambridge.
The book comprises 176 colour pages of original research covering farming, hedgerows, pubs, trades, notable families, conflict, streets, houses, education and religion. The book features first person recollections and family photos from private collections alongside archive maps and modern mapping showing Balsham as it’s never been seen before.
Endorsed by Charterhouse, London who still have an interest in the village as commissioners of the 1617 map, the team are delighted to offer a free copy of the book to every Balsham household.
Jan Ellam who donated many of the historic photos from her personal collection said: “By giving each household a copy, we are sharing our knowledge of Balsham to all our neighbours and encouraging the next generation to take on new research and record their memories.”
Since the publication, in November 2017, the team have uncovered more fascinating facts about the village and we want to invite you to 'Talks, tea and cake’ event on 27th May between 2-5pm at the Church Institute in Balsham. Join us for a cuppa and quiz the team on how to make a book, find out about maps from Dr. Seppe Cassettari and buy a copy of Balsham, a village story 1617 - 2017. The team would also love to hear memories from current and former residents. All are warmly welcome.