Thursday, April 27, 2023

A Non-Heraldic Introduction to Some Local Heraldry Outside Cambridge, England

Today's post doesn't contain any heraldry, I'm sorry to say. It is, however, an introduction to the reason why we traveled to this little village outside of Cambridge, where we did find some heraldry. But I thought it might be best to separate the background from the heraldry. We'll see if I am correct in this assumption or not.

The village of Grantchester, population about 500, lies about two miles/three kilometers outside of Cambridge. Indeed, it's possible, and often even pleasant (i.e., not raining), to walk to there from Cambridge and back again, along the River Cam and through the Grantchester Meadows.

Or so I'm told. We're old, and we don't get around as well as we used to. So we took a taxi each way.

Until we began researching the area for our trip to England last August, we didn't even know that Grantchester was a real place! We were familiar with it from the British ITV detective drama Grantchester, and we just assumed that it was a fictional name, rather like Midsomer of Midsomer Murders, Cobhole of Father Brown, and St. Mary Mead of Miss Marple.

Do we watch a lot of British detective and mystery shows? Why, yes. Yes, we do.

So, of course when we learned that it was a real place, where some of the filming of the series is done (most notably, at the parish Church of St. Andrew and St. Mary, and outside the closed-when-we-were-there-but-now-reopened Green Man pub*), we made our plans to visit it while we were nearby.

Because we just had to, don't you know?

In the Church of St. Andrew and St. Mary was a promotional poster under the heading "Faith. Love. Murder. Filmed at St. Andrew and St. Mary's Church" with a photograph of the three primary stars of the series, which began with Robson Green and James Norton, on the right (2014-2018), and switched to now star Robson Green and Tom Brittney, on the left (2019-present). The poster also has photographs of the principal actors and many of the regular supporting cast members. (The poster is located, as you can see, right behind and slightly to the side of the baptismal font.)

Anyway, there's the background. Next time, we'll take a look at some of the heraldry** to be found in the very-much-real village of Grantchester, England.

* The Red Lion pub is mentioned in the series, but is not a filming location as being a little too modern to be useful - the series is set in the 1950s - but we had a very nice lunch there during our visit.

** I've already shown you the arms of King's College and Eton College found on a grave marker in the churchyard of St. Andrew and St. Mary's. See my post of December 15, 2022, at

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