Waterbeach is in the county of Cambridgeshire, and is located six miles North of Cambridge. For maps see the Wikipedia page on Waterbeach.
In pre-Norman times Landbeach and Waterbeach were known together as Beche, cf. the Viking word Beck.
John Master's Short Account of the Parish of Waterbeach (1795) has been published by Google Books.
To the East of the village (TL 508657) is the River Cam in the Fens. At the end of Bannold Road is a weir constructed in 1699 with the confusing name of "Bottisham Sluice". There is also a lock, 29.6 m long, here to allow large boats to pass through. Before the railway came, goods were transported by water and the river provided a link to the sea, which is downstream just North of King’s Lynn.
The towpath along the river to Cambridge is called "The Haling Way". This is part of the National Cycle Network Route 11, organised by Sustrans. The author of this webpage was a Sustrans Volunteer Ranger for the section between Milton (Fen Road) and Waterbeach railway station. However the path and river is maintained by the Conservators of the River Cam who should be contacted if there are obstructions, like trees down.
Waterbeach railway station is on the London to King's Lynn line.
There are regular bus services from Waterbeach to Cambridge, or Ely and Littleport.
The A10 or Ely Road, passes to the West of the village and is the road from Cambridge to King's Lynn. In the past the A.10 ran all the way from London (Bank) to King's Lynn - however only part of the London to Cambridge section of this trunk road still exists today, between the M25 and the M11 south of Cambridge.
The largest employer in Waterbeach was the British Army, specifically the Royal Engineers, however the Barracks, on the Northern edge of the village, will close by 31 March 2013.
The Army call their barracks Waterbeach Station. This name probably derives from its former use as
RAF Waterbeach Station, an airfield built during WWII for Bomber Command. See Wikipedia page on RAF Waterbeach
Local residents used the outdoor heated swimming pool, fishing lake and 9-hole golf course there. There was also a small Barracks Museum, which has now closed. The contents are now in storage and are owned by the Waterbeach Military Heritage Museum (a trust) - contact via email below.
A book was published in 2011 called "At the 'Beach: the story of Royal Air Force Waterbeach and Waterbeach Barracks" by John F Hamlin and Oliver J Merrington, ISBN 1904514634. You can buy a copy for £9.95 plus postage via the email address below.
The parish church of St. John the Evangelist is in the archdeaconry and diocese of Ely - Genuki provides a useful history of this church. There is also a Baptist church in the village.
Just north of the village is the Benedictine Denny (Daneia) Abbey, originally built in 1159, used by the Knights Templar from 1170-1308 and then refounded in 1327 by the Countess of Pembroke for the Franciscan St. Clare nuns. It is run as the Farmland Museum and Denny Abbey for English Heritage and the trustees of the Museum.
Some properties and developments on the A10 also have a Waterbeach postal address,
e.g. in Cambridge Research Park.
This webpage is compiled by Oliver Merrington.
Oliver has lived in Waterbeach since 2004, and is the author of the book "At the 'Beach (2011) and the award-winning www.lidos.org.uk website.
To contact Oliver, please type
into your email program.
[sorry, not clickable, to reduce spam]
First compiled in January 2005.
Updated December 2012.