Cromwell Road

It would appear that both the late-nineteenth century Cromwell Road in St Judes, and the late-twentieth century Cromwell Gate at Glenholt, owe their names to the seventeenth-century soldier and self-styled Lord Protector of England – Oliver Cromwell. Born in 1599 Cromwell should really have been called Williams, but his grandfather, Richard Williams, a Welshman, had taken the name of his uncle and patron, Thomas Cromwell, the Earl of Essex.

Oliver inherited a small estate in Huntingdon in 1617, and went to London to study law soon afterwards. He sat as MP for Huntingdon in 1628 and later for Cambridge where he had earlier been a student. A passionate Puritan he came to lead the forces opposed to Charles I, who he defeated at Naseby in the summer of 1645 after three years of Civil War. Earlier that year he had been given a rapturous reception in Plymouth, in March, soon after the last Royalist had marched away from the long siege of the town.

The name Cromwell itself seems to have originated in Nottingham and comes from the Old English “crumb” and “wella” meaning the winding stream.