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Rupert Brooke's signature

Local history

Visiting Grantchester, one feels that it is a very traditional and unspoilt village. This impression is helped by the Meadows, which separate it from nearby Cambridge, the river flowing through it and the Orchard Tea Rooms.

Despite the initial sense that Grantchester is unchanged, it is worth considering whether Rupert Brooke’s Grantchester was different to that we see today. One of the most obvious changes is in the use of Grantchester Mill. The Old Mill was destroyed by a fire in 30 October 1928. The Mill House was rebuilt but Grantchester no longer has the working mill which Rupert Brooke would have seen.

Not only did Grantchester influence the life and work of Rupert Brooke but his association with the village has had a significant impact on the village too.

Grantchester Mill
Grantchester Mill: showing part of building and mill pond, c.1910. Cambridgeshire Collection at Cambridge Central Library. Y.Gra.K10.5688.
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Grantchester Mill
Fire at Grantchester Mill Oct. 30th 1928. Cambridgeshire Collection at Cambridge Central Library. Y.Gra.K28.36165.
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The East Anglian Film Archive’s website includes a film about Rupert Brooke. Filmed in 1961, it looks at his relationship with Grantchester.

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