A strip of Christ's Pieces was taken in 1925, despite stiff opposition, to make Drummer St. bus station and car park. There was similar resistance in the early 1990s when it was enlarged.
The Town Gaol moved here from the Tollboth in St Andrew's St., authorised by an 1827 Act. Some of the land was purchased from Gonville & Caius College, who'd been awarded plots in 1811. Their remaining plots led to the adjacent road becoming known as Gonville Place. It was called Gravel Pit Road in 1811 and East Road in 1827 (leading to the gravel pits now occupied by Anglia Polytechnic University, St Matthews School and Staffordshire Street). A drain had to be constructed across Parker's Piece and Butt Green in 1828 to relieve flooding in the Gaol's foundations. The debt for its building was paid off in 1847. The Home Secretary closed it in 1878 and it was sold to the Corporation, who sold its materials and let the land for housing. This became the 12 houses of Queen Anne Terrace, built around 1881.
During World War II there were temporary huts on the common and after the war they were used for temporary housing.
Queen Anne Terrace car park was suggested in 1957, along with an underground one on Parker's Piece. A surface car park was built at the rear of nos. 1-8 Queen Anne Terrace about the time Parkside Pool opened in 1963 and the multistorey car park was proposed again. As it was against the County Development Plan for the area, there were many delays. Finance was also a problem. In 1971 it finally opened, though take-up was slow at first. The Kelsey Kerridge Sports Hall and the YMCA at Queen Anne Terrace had related wrangles, opening in 1975 & 1974 respectively.
Part of the area, alongside Maid's Causeway, is known as Butt's Green - as in many towns, that was the area much used by residents for archery butts. The 1995 Ordnance Survey map of the City still shows it as Butt Green. The enclosures of 1811 included the strip from Butt Green towards the Barnwell Priory site. There have been many proposals for an underground car park here (e.g. 1964, 1990s).
Maid's Causeway was built by the bequest of Stephen Perse (d. 1615), along with the school and almshouses established in Free School Lane. (The almshouses are now at the western end of Fen Causeway.)
In 1930 Jesus College exchanged the land between Brunswick School (now Cambridge Regional College) and the river plus the grassy centre of New Square for the strip of Butt's Green west of Victoria Avenue, thereby expanding their playing fields up to Victoria Avenue. The seemingly pointless diagonal path across Midsummer Common from the concrete steps in the river bank used to run across this strip to meet Jesus Lane at Belmont Place.
New Square, as rough pasture, was considered part of Christ's Pieces until becoming a car park in 1934. it reverted to grass in c1983 when the Grafton Centre car parks were built.
Barnwell Priory was granted a charter in 1211 by King John
formalising the holding of an
annual Fair here on Midsummer's Eve (22nd - 25th June), roughly in the area of the modern Elizabeth Way.
The Fair was gradually lengthened to 14 days.
In 1505 the right was transferred to the town Corporation for an annual fee.
This fair has degenerated to a large "fun fair".
(See also Stourbridge Fair)
Some of the area was subsequently sold or leased off but more was added from the 1811 Barnwell Enclosure Award.
As of 1810 Jesus College owned what was to become Park Terrace from 1831, just as they owned the nearby site of the New Theatre and much of what was to become the Kite.
In 1831 a north-east part of the Piece was levelled to make playing cricket easier. A year later a path was constructed all around the Piece and the Marylebone Cricket Club played the Town on the pitch. Elms were planted around the edges in 1839 - possibly the ones which survived until Dutch Elm Disease in the 1980s.
In 1859-60 there was a proposal for a cattle market in the south-east corner but objectors favoured a site near the railway bridge on Hills Road.
Residents requested a lamp in the centre in 1893.
The Council agreed to build Hobbs' Pavilion, in honour of Jack Hobbs, in 1930, replacing a temporary refreshment hut.
There have been many proposals for an underground car park here (e.g. 1957, 1959, 1963, 1968, 1990s), as at Butt's Green.
When the adjacent car park and sports hall were being planned, in the 1970s, Parker's Piece was threatened due to the apparent need for access ramps. Councillor Chris Bradford (Lib.) organised a "Leave Parker's Piece Alone" campaign.
It was in a former river valley and was marshy, resulting in pursuits such as snipe hunting.
The Zion Baptist Chapel opened in 1838 and the adjacent Zion Place houses were built from 1845/6.
The surviving area has been nibbled at for Mill Road and East Road traffic improvements and more nibbling was threatened during the building of Petersfield Mansions in 1995.
The two branches of the river were: