Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Cambridgeshire's historical documents settle into £5m new home

  • Click below to watch Matthew Hudson's report

An archive containing centuries-old historical documents from Cambridgeshire is being moved to a new site.

The 855 tonne Cambridgeshire Archives contains items dating back to the 12th century. For six weeks now, workers have been moving material into a new, purpose-built home.

Moving the archive has helped re-discover lost gems, like a letter written by Charles the First in 1645. The recipient is a churchman, and the letter is entirely in Latin.

"We have over six miles of documents here, so even we who work here every day dont know all that we have. We're hoping that many members of the public wil come in, look at the documents, and remind us about some of the things that we have."

– Alan Akeroyd, Archives Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council
Alan Akeroyd, Archives Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council Credit: ITV Anglia

The whole archive is packed into 32,000 barcoded boxes and will be housed in just over seven miles of new shelving. To safeguard its future, Cambridgeshire County Council spent £5m on new premises in Ely.

The archive spent the last 80 years in the basements of Cambridge Shire Hall. Its new home is felt to be more conducive to protecting ancient maps and documents.

There isn't a specific date set for the re-opening of Cambridgeshire Archives, but they hope it will be in November or early December.

When it opens in a few weeks time, the archive will provide a huge, free resource for anyone wanting to research the county's past. Donations are also welcome. Enough extra space has been left for around 25 years of new additions.

The whole archive is packed into 32,000 barcoded boxes Credit: ITV Anglia