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2 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 3

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
The Country Living Guide to Rural England – Cambridgeshire published by Travel
Publishing in conjunction with Country Living Magazine, is one of a series of
county-based digital travel guides covering England which will be made available
to readers free of charge through the All About You website and through Travel
Publishing’s own websites. a
b
The guides are based on the popularcseries of Country Living Guides to Rural
England published in printed form which can be purchased through the All About
d
You bookshop, Country Living Magazine, high street bookshops, internet retailers
and Travel Publishing. e
f
This digital guide to Cambridgeshireg is published in PDF format which means that
you can browse the guide page by page or simply search for specific villages or
h
towns (see pages 4 and 5). You can also print off individual pages of your choice if
you are planning a visit to a particular area of Cambridgeshire or, alternatively,
the whole of the digital guide. K
L
If you want more information on the places to see, stay, eat, drink or shop
i
advertised in this guide all you need to do is click on the relevant website or
j
e-mail address contained in the advertisement.
k
We do hope you like using this version lof the Country Living rural guide and that
it helps you enjoy exploring Cambridgeshire. We are always interested in
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receiving comments on places covered (or not covered) in our guides so please do
n comments by e-mailing us on
not hesitate to give us your considered
info@travelpublishing.co.uk. o
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For more information on other titles in the Country Living Rural Guide series or
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any other Travel Publishing titles (printed or digital) or to buy a printed guide
please visit the All About You website ron www.allaboutyou.com/countryliving
s - www.travelpublishing.co.uk and
or one of the Travel Publishing websites
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Travel Publishing
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© Travel Publishing Ltd

All content within this edition is protected by the UK copyright of Travel Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. This material
A only
may be used for internal,
historic B museum andnoncommercial
building informational, heritage C historic
purposes. D may
site You modify orE
notattraction
scenic alter the
flora content
and fauna in any F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
way. You may not, without obtaining Travel Publishing’s written permission, republish, redistribute, or otherwise make
any copies except for personal use. You may not use the material in a manner that suggests an association with any of
our publications or services.
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4 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 5

LOCATOR MAP Towns and Villages

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
Spalding Holbeach Long Terrington Please click on any of the towns and villages
Sutton St Clement listed below for information on that location.
Bourne
King's Lynn
Cowbit Holbeach Walpole
Deeping Cross
St Nicholas St Johns
Stretton Toft Keys Arrington pg 22 Grantchester pg 21 Rampton pg 18
Eau Brink West Bilney
Market Barham pg 28 Great Ouse Valley pg 32 Ramsey pg 25
Baston Deeping a
Crowland Gedney Wisbech
Narborough Barton pg 22 Haddenham pg 11 Reach pg 19
Hill
Stamford Deeping
b
St James
Bluntisham pg 34 Hamerton pg 27 Sawtry pg 27
Murrow Downham Bottisham pg 19 Hartford pg 25 Shepreth pg 21
c Thorney
Guyhirn Market Stradsett Boxworth pg 32 Hemingford Abbots pg 32 Snailwell pg 12
Coldham
Helpston
d
Eye Upwell Denver
Oxborough Brampton pg 28 Houghton pg 33 Somersham pg 35
e
Peterborough Westry
Nordelph Stoke
Ferry
Buckden pg 29 Huntingdon pg 23 Spaldwick pg 27
Hilgay Burghley pg 37 Isleham pg 12 St Ives pg 33
f March Cranwich
Burwell pg 19 Keyston pg 28 St Neots pg 30
Elton
Yaxleyg
Stonea Welney Southery Methwold Bushmead pg 31 Kimbolton pg 28 Stilton pg 27
Upper Doddington Feltwell
Cambridge pg 13 Leverington pg 46 Stonea pg 41
Benefield
h Benwick Manea
Stilton Caxton pg 22 Linton pg 20 Stretham pg 11
Oundle Barnwell Conington Littleport
Ramsey Chatteris pg 41 Little Downham pg 9 Sutton pg 11
Sawtry Chatteris
Great
Gidding
K CAMBRIDGESHIRE Brandon
Coveney pg 9 Little Paxton pg 29 Swaffham Prior pg 19
Ely Crowland pg 38 Littleport pg 9 Thorney pg 39
L Lakenheath
Duxford pg 20 Lode pg 18 Thornhaugh pg 37
Thrapston Old
Weston
Molesworth
i Somersham Beck
Row Mildenhall Earith pg 35 Longthorpe pg 37 Upwood pg 27

Raunds
j
Huntingdon Haddenham Soham
Ellington pg 27 Madingley pg 22 Walton Highway pg 46
Brampton Tuddenham Elton pg 36 March pg 41 Warboys pg 25
k St Ives
Wicken Fordham St Mary
Ely pg 7 Milton pg 18 Waterbeach pg 18
West Stow
Rushden
Kimbolton
Offord
l Waterbeach
Fenstanton pg 32 Papworth Everard pg 32 West Walton pg 46
Higham
West
Perry
Cluny
m Hilton Girton Histon
Flag Fen pg 39 Parson Drove pg 46 Whittlesey pg 39
Girton pg 17 Peakirk pg 38 Wicken pg 12
Keysoe
St Neots n
Eltisley
Horningsea Newmarket
Godmanchester pg 31 Peterborough pg 35 Wisbech pg 43
Keysoe Cambridge
Row
Eaton
o
Abbotsley Lidgate
Grafham pg 28 Prickwillow pg 9 Woolley pg 27
BEDFORDSHIRE Socon p Little Burrough
Clapham Gransden Green

Bedford
Gamlingay q Great
Shelford
Stradishall

Sandy
Pottonr Shepreth
Sawston
Linton
Balsham

Kempston
Sutton
s Melbourn Duxford
Haverhill
Biggleswade
Cranfield
t Steeple
Bumpstead
Shefford
Ampthill
Langford
Henlow Stotfold
u Royston
Littlebury
Saffron Walden Great
v Green Yeldham

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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6 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 7

Cambridgeshire Ely weighs an estimated 400 tons. Many other

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
notable components include the 14th century
A Cathedral A Oliver Cromwell’s House Lady Chapel, the largest in England, the
Extending over much of the county from the Southeastern Cambridgeshire covers the area
B Ely Museum B The Stained Glass Museum Prior’s Door, the painted nave ceiling and
Wash, the flat fields of the Fens are like a breath around the city of Cambridge and is rich in
St Ovin’s cross, the only piece of Saxon
of fresh air, far removed from the hustle and history, with a host of archaeological sites and Ely is the jewel in the crown of the Fens, in
bustle of modern life. These fields contain some monuments to visit, as well as many important stonework in the building.
whose history the majestic Cathedral and the
of the richest soil in England, and villages such museums. The area is fairly flat, so it makes for The Cathedral is set within the walls of the
Fens themselves have played major roles. The
as Fordham and small towns like Ely rise out a of great walking and cycling tours, and offers a
Fens’ influence is apparent even in the name:
monastery, and many of the ancient buildings
the landscape on low hills. Before the Fens were
b surprising variety of landscapes. The Romans still stand as a tribute to the incredible skill
Ely was once known as Elge or Elig (‘eel
drained, this was a land of mist, marshes and planted vines here and, to this day, the region is and craftsmanship of their designers and
bogs, of small islands inhabited by independent c one of the main producers of British wines. At
island’) because of the large number of eels
builders. Particularly worth visiting among
folk, their livelihood the fish and waterfowl d of the heart of it all is Cambridge itself, one of the that lived in the surrounding fenland. Ely owes
its existence to St Etheldreda, Queen of these are the monastic buildings in the
this eerie, watery place. The region is full of leading academic centres in the world and a city
legends of web-footed people, ghosts and e Northumbria, who in AD673 founded a College, the Great Hall and Queens Hall.
that deserves plenty of time to explore - on
witchcraft. Today’s landscape is the result off foot, by bicycle or by the gentler, more monastery on the ‘Isle of Ely’, where she Just beside the Cathedral is the Almonry, in
human ingenuity, with its constant desire to tame romantic option of a punt. remained as abbess until her death in AD679. It whose 12th century vaulted undercroft visitors
g can take coffee, lunch or tea - outside in the
the wilderness and create farmland. This The old county of Huntingdonshire is the was not until 1081 that work started on the
fascinating story spans the centuries from the h heartland of the rural heritage of present Cathedral, and in 1189 this remarkable garden if the weather permits. Two other
earliest Roman and Anglo-Saxon times, when the Cambridgeshire. Here, the home of Oliver example of Romanesque architecture was attractions that should not be missed are a
first embankments and drains were constructed Cromwell beckons with a wealth of history and completed. The most outstanding feature in place where visitors can make their own
to lessen the frequency of flooding. Throughout K pleasing landscapes. Many motorists follow the terms of both scale and beauty is the Octagon, rubbings from replica brasses, and The
the Middle Ages large areas were reclaimed, with L Cromwell Trail, which guides tourists around built to replace the original Norman tower, Stained Glass Museum (see panel below).
much of the work being undertaken by the
i the legacy of buildings and places in the area which collapsed in 1322. The latter, housed in the south Triforium of
monasteries. The first straight cut bypassed the associated with the man. The natural start of the Cathedral, is the only museum of stained
Great Ouse, allowing the water to run out toj sea the Trail is Huntingdon itself, where Cromwell
Alan of Walsingham was the inspired
architect of this massive work, which took 30 glass in the country and contains over 100
more quickly. After the Civil War, the New k was born the son of a country gentleman.
Bedford River was cut parallel to the first. These years to complete and whose framework original panels from every period, tracing the
Other main stopping places are covered in this
two still provide the basic drainage for much ofl chapter.
Fenland. The significant influence of the Dutch m The Ouse Valley Way (26 miles long) follows The Stained Glass Museum
lives on in some of the architecture and place
n the course of the Great Ouse through pretty
The South Triforium, Ely Cathedral, Ely,
names of the Fens. Over the years it became villages and a variety of natural attractions. A
necessary to pump rainwater from the fields up o gentle cruise along this area can fill a lazy day to
Cambridgeshire CB7 4DL
into the rivers and, as in the Netherlands, p perfection, but for those who prefer something
Tel: 01353 660347 Fax: 01353 665025
windmills took on this task. They could not website: www.stainedglassmuseum.com
q more energetic on the water there are excellent,
always cope with the height of the lift required, versatile facilities at Grafham Water. The Nene- This unique museum offers an insight into the long story of
but fortunately the steam engine came along, tor Ouse Navigation Link, part of the Fenland stained glass. For at least 1,300 years the art has been practised
be replaced eventually by the electric pumps that in Britain. The Main Gallery is located on the upper level of the
s Waterway, provides the opportunity for a relaxed
Cathedral accessed by a spiral staircase. It contains displays of stained glass windows,
can raise thousands of gallons of water a second look at a lovely part of the region. It travels from
to protect the land from the ever-present threatt Stanground Lock near Peterborough to a lock at
ranging over eight centuries, in specially illuminated cases. A touch-screen virtual visit is
available on the ground floor
of rain and tide. The Fens offer unlimited u the small village of Salters Lode in the east, and
There is a range of gifts, cards and books relating to stained glass and also work by local
opportunities for exploring on foot, by car, the 28-mile journey passes through several
bicycle or by boat. Anglers are well catered for,v Fenland towns and a rich variety of wildlife
glass artists in the museum shop. Friends of the Museum support the work done here in
various ways, and also have a wide programme of events and visits to do with stained glass
and visitors with an interest in wildlife will be in habitats. and art in a wider context.
their element.

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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8 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 9

Information Centre is itself a tourist house is the Tithe Office, where visitors LITTLEPORT

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
attraction, since it is part of a pretty can watch a presentation telling the ‘Story of 6 miles N of Ely on the A10
black-and-white timbered building that the Fens’. A St George’s Church
was once Oliver Cromwell’s House. It The Old Gaol, in Market Street, houses Ely
is the only remaining house, apart from St George’s Church, with its very tall
Museum (see panel opposite), with nine
Hampton Court, where Oliver 15th-century tower, is a notable landmark here
galleries telling the Ely story from the Ice Age
Cromwell and his family are known to in Littleport. Of particular interest are two
to modern times. The tableaux of the
have lived; parts of it date back to the stained-glass windows depicting St George
a condemned and debtors’ cells are particularly
slaying the dragon. Littleport was the scene of
13th century, and its varied history fascinating and poignant.
b includes periods when it was used as a riots in 1861, when labourers from Ely and
Ely is not just the past, and its fine
c Ely public house and, more recently, a
The Old Palace,
architecture and sense of history blend well
Littleport, faced with unemployment or low
wages and soaring food prices, attacked houses
d vicarage. 2008 marks the 350th with the bustle of the streets and shops and
and people in this area, causing several deaths.
complete history of stained glass. anniversary of Oliver Cromwell’s death, the the riverside. That bustle is at its most fervent
e house has been refurbished and a number of Five of the rioters were hanged then buried in
The Old Palace, the official residence of on Thursdays, when the largest general market
the Bishops of Ely until 1940, is now a f special events were planned throughout the a common grave at St Mary’s Church. A
in the area is held. Every Saturday there’s a
plaque commemorating the event is attached
hospice. It is fronted by two towers, andg year. There are eight period rooms, including craft and collectables market, and on the
to a wall at the back of the church.
h a re-creation of the room where he died, a
notable features inside include the Georgian second and fourth Saturdays of the month Ely
sitting room and the Bishop’s private chapel. permanent Civil War exhibition and a hosts a Farmers’ Market. LITTLE DOWNHAM
In the garden is a giant plane tree - claimed presentation on the life and times of At Babylon Gallery on Ely’s Waterside, 3 miles N of Ely off the A10
to be the oldest in Europe. The Tourist K Cromwell. The last room on a tour of the in a converted 18th-century brewery
Little Downham’s Church of St Leonard
L warehouse, visitors will find an exciting
shows the change from Norman to Gothic in
collection of contemporary arts and crafts, in
Ely Museum at the Oldi Gaol a programme of changing local and
church building at the turn of the 13th
j
The Old Gaol, Market Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4LS international exhibitions.
century. The oldest parts are the Norman
tower and the elaborately carved south door.
Tel: 01353 666655 k
Interior treasures include what is probably the
Ely Museum is housed in one of the oldest lbuildings in Ely,
dating from the 13 century. It has been a private house, a
th Around Ely largest royal coat of arms in the country. At
tavern, a registry office and the Bishops’m Gaol. Sensitively the other end of the village are the remains
renovated in 1997, much of the building’snhistory can still PRICKWILLOW (mainly the gatehouse and kitchen) of a
be seen, including prisoners’graffiti, hidden doorways and 4 miles NE of Ely on the B1382 15th-century palace built by a Bishop of Ely.
original planking on the walls. The displaysoinclude fossils The property is in private hands and part of it
from marine dinosaurs, prehistoric tools and B Museum
p weapons, is an antiques centre.
Roman pottery and Anglo Saxon jewellery. An archive film
On the village’s main street is the Prickwillow
shows methods of farming in the past, and q the Debtors and Condemned Cells show visitors COVENEY
Drainage Engine Museum, which houses a
what the Bishops’ Gaol was really like. r unique collection of large engines associated 3 miles W of Ely off the A10
Ely Museum has a level front entrance, an adapted toilet and a stairlift to the upper
s
floor. There are chairs throughout the Museum for visitors. Quiz sheets are free to with the drainage of the Fens. The site had A Church of St Peter-ad-Vincula
children, there is a Teacher’s Resource Pack,t and many objects that can be touched. been in continuous use as a pumping station
A Fenland hamlet on the Bedford Level just
Guided tours are available by appointment. There are visitors’ toilets and a nappy changing since 1831, and apart from the engines there
unit. The gift shop sells many items fromuthe Robert Opie range as well as local history
above West Fen, Coveney’s Church of St
are displays charting the history of Fens
Peter-ad-Vincula has several interesting
publications, and work by local artists and v crafts people. Special events and exhibitions drainage, the effects on land levels and the
features, including a colourful German screen
are held throughout the year, including finds identification afternoons, living history days
workings of the modern drainage system.
and a programme of talks. dating from around 1500 and a painted

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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10 The Countr y Li ving
WALK|12 Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 11

Wardy Hill WALK DIRECTIONS: Danish pulpit. Unusual figures on the bench STRETHAM

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
1|Go westwards through the village, ignoring all
ends and a fine brass chandelier add to the 5 miles S of Ely off A10/A1123
Distance: 5.5 miles (8.8 kilometres) opulent feel of this atmospheric
footpaths off the country lane. Continue along C Stretham Old Engine
Typical time: 120 mins little church.
Jerusalem Drove to left-hand bend.
Height gain: 0 metres The Stretham Old Engine, a fine example of
2|At bridleway sign go right along track passing
Map: Explorer 228 SUTTON a land-drainage steam engine, is housed in a
Toll Cottage. Climb stile and cross to next one and
Walk: www.walkingworld.com ID:1170 climb it, going up the bank.
6 miles W of Ely off the A142 restored, tall-chimneyed brick engine house.
Contributor: Joy & Charles Boldero 3|Turn left along river bank. Much further along go
Dating from 1831, it is one of 90 steam
a A very splendid ‘pepperpot’ tower with
pumping engines installed throughout the
ACCESS INFORMATION: down bank to metal gate and climb stile. Continue octagons, pinnacles and spire tops marks out
For information about bus routes ring 0870 608
b along the track. Climb stile. Sutton’s grand church of St Andrew. Inside,
Fens to replace some 800 windmills. It is the
c
2608. There is parking on the very wide grass verge 4|Turn right along road in Mepal, then almost take time to look at the 15th-century font and a
last to survive, having worked until 1925 and
at By-way sign on the edge of Wardy Hill village, by immediately left to pub. Retrace steps to junction still under restoration. During the great floods
d
Beumont Farm fence line. Wardy Hill is situated on and turn right along pavement.
fine modern stained-glass window.
of 1919 it really earned its keep by working
The reconstruction of the church was
a minor road off the A142 4 miles west of Ely.e 5|Cross road by right-hand bend and turn left non-stop for 47 days and nights.
largely the work of two Bishops of Ely, whose
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: f along New Road. At end, go around gate and cross
arms appear on the roof bosses. One of the
This unique insight into Fenland history and
field. Climb stile, cross second field, climb stile. industrial archaeology is open to the public on
g
Wardy Hill is set on an island above the fens, on
6|Turn left along track, then almost immediately
Bishops was Thomas Arundel, appointed at
what is known as the Isle of Ely. Wardy Hill means summer weekends, and on certain dates the
h
‘lookout’. In centuries past this was to watch for
right. Cross field and slippery bridge. the age of 21.
engine and its wooden scoop-wheel are rotated
7|Turn right along track. Cross road and continue A mile further west, there’s a great family
cattle raiders coming across the fens. It is thought it (by electricity, alas!). The adjacent Stoker’s
was a Bronze Age settlement as shields and swords along the track opposite. Cross track and continue attraction in the Mepal Outdoor Centre, an
have been found here.
K straight along track. At fork either path can be used. outdoor leisure centre with a children’s
Cottage contains four plainly appointed rooms
with period furniture and old photographs of
The New Bedford River, or Hundred-Foot L 8|Turn left at cross tracks. playpark, an adventure play area and boat hire.
fen drainage down the years.
Drain as it is also called, was built after the Oldi 9|At T junction of tracks turn right.
Bedford River, built by the Dutchman Vermuydrn
HADDENHAM Downfield Windmill, six miles southeast of
10|Turn left along country lane back to start of
in the 1600s, was found to be inadequate. The j land 5 miles SW of Ely on the A1123 Ely on the A142 bypass, was built in 1726 as a
walk.
between the two rivers is a flood plain and part of k A Great Mill smock mill, destroyed by gales and rebuilt in
the RSPB famous Welney Washes. To the left on 1890 as an octagonal tower mill. It still grinds
the horizon Ely Cathedral can be seen. l More industrial splendour: Haddenham Great corn and produces a range of flours and
m Mill, built in 1803 for a certain Daniel Cockle,
0 200 400 600 800metres 1
KILOMETRES

The Three Pickerels pub at Mepal has breads for sale (open Sundays and Bank
MILES
0 200 400 600yards ½

an excellent menu. It is closed on is a glorious sight, and one definitely not to be


Monday lunch times. Open all day on
n missed. It has four sails and three
Holidays).
Byall Fen
Sundays. o 3
2 sets of grinding stones, one of
DESCRIPTION:
p Wardy
1
which is working. The mill last
10
worked commercially in 1946 and
This walk runs beside the New q Witcham Hythe
Hilll

Bedford River to Mepal, then returns 9 was restored between 1992 and
by tracks and footpaths that can be
r Widdens 1998. Open on the first Sunday of
muddy after heavy rain and country
4
s Hill 7
8
Hale Fen each month and by appointment.
lanes. 6
t Other places of interest in and
5

Mepal around Haddenham, which lies on


FEATURES:
u the highest ridge (120ft) in the Isle
River, Pub, Toilets, Wildlife, Birds,
Flowers, Great Views, Butterflies. v of Ely, include Holy Trinity Church
and Porch House, a typical
Elizabethan long house. Stretham Old Engine, Ely

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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12 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 13

WICKEN order. One of only four smock windmills


Cambridge forest met fen, at the lowest fording point of

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
9 miles S of Ely off the A1123 making flour in the UK, it is open the first the river. The Romans took over a site
A St Lawrence’s Church E Wicken Fen weekend of every month and every Bank A The Colleges A University Library previously settled by an Iron Age Belgic tribe,
Holiday (except Christmas and Good Friday) A The Churches A Bridge of Sighs to be followed in turn by the Saxons and the
Owned by the National Trust, Wicken Fen from 11am until 5pm, and also over the Normans.
(see panel above) is the oldest nature reserve A Mathematical Bridge B Fitzwilliam Museum
National Mills Weekend, the second week Soon after the Norman Conquest, William
in the country, celebrating its centenary in in May. B Museum of Zoology
I built a wooden motte-and-bailey castle;
1999. Its 600 acres of wetland habitats are B Museums of Archaelology & Anthropology
famous for their rich plant, insect and birda
Edward I built a stone replacement: a mound
life, ISLEHAM
B Museum of Technology B Whipple Museum still marks the spot. The town flourished as a
b
and a delight for both naturalists and ramblers. 10 miles SE of Ely off the B1104
market and river trading centre, and in 1209 a
B Museum of Earth Sciences
Features include boardwalk, adventurer’s and c The remains of a Benedictine priory with a group of students fleeing the Oxford riots
nature trails, hides and watchtowers, wild B Scott Polar Research Institute
ponies, a cottage with 1930s furnishings, a
d lovely Norman chapel under the care of arrived.
English Heritage, are a great draw here in B Cambridge & County Folk Museum
The first of the Colleges was Peterhouse,
working wind pump (the oldest in the e E University Botanic Gardens H Kettle’s Yard
Isleham. Also well worth a visit is the Church founded by the Bishop of Ely in 1284,
country), a visitor centre and a shop. Open f of St Andrew, a 14th-century cruciform followed in the next century by Clare,
daily, dawn to dusk. There are nearly 30 Cambridges spread
g building entered by a very fine lychgate. The around the globe, but this, the original, is the Pembroke, Gonville & Caius, Trinity Hall and
St Lawrence’s Church is well worth a visit, 17th-century eagle lectern is the original of a
small and secluded among trees. In the h one that the whole world knows as one of Corpus Christi. The total is now more than
similar lectern in Ely Cathedral. the leading university cities. Cambridge was 30; the most distinctive of the modern
churchyard are buried several members of the
an important town many centuries before the colleges is Robinson College, built in striking
Cromwell family, including Henry and his K SNAILWELL
scholars arrived, standing at the point where post-modern style in 1977; it has the look of
grandson Oliver (not the Roundhead leader). 12 miles SE of Ely off the A142
One of Roundhead Cromwell’s many nicknames
L
Snailwell’s pretty, mainly 14th-century Church
i
was ‘Lord of the Fens’: he defended the rights GWEN RAVERAT,
of St Peter on the banks of the River Snail
of the Fenmen against those who wanted to j CAMBRIDGE & THE DARWINS
boasts a 13th-century chancel, a hammerbeam
drain the land without providing adequate Broughton House, 98 King Street, Cambridge,
k and tie beam nave roof, a 600-year-old font, pews
Cambridgeshire CB1 1LN
compensation.
with poppy heads and two medieval oak screens.
Wicken Windmill is a fine and impressive l The Norman round tower is unusual
Tel: 01223 314960
smock windmill restored back to working m
e-mail: bhgallery@btconnect.com
for Cambridgeshire. website: www.broughtonhousegallery.co.uk
n Gwen Raverat, granddaughter of Charles Darwin, friend of
TYLERS FARM SHOP o Rupert Brooke, Virginia Woolf and others of the
Fishing at Grantchester (1930)
Bloomsbury Group, wrote the classic Period Piece, a
Hall Farm, 71 Church Road, Wicken, nr Ely, p memoir of a Cambridge childhood, set in her home
Cambridgeshire CB7 6XT Newnham Grange, now part of Darwin College. She had
Tel/Fax: 01353 721029 q become the leading wood engraver of her generation. Her
r
Bob and Christine Tyler have owned and run Tylers work varied from freestanding prints of Cambridge and
Farm Shop for more than 20 years, building a far- France, to illustrations to books such as The Cambridge
s
reaching reputation for quality and service. Their Book of Poetry for Children.
t
bright, spotless shop is filled with top-notch local The archive of all the prints made by her during her
lifetime (mostly for sale), plus all the books written about
produce, from cuts and joints of pork, beef and lamb,
hand-made sausages and burgers, bacon, cooked u and her (also for sale), and greeting card reproductions of
cured meats, pork pies, poultry, eggs, milk, butter, some of her work are housed in Broughton House in King
v
cheese, bread, biscuits, preserves, honey and locally-milled flour, sold in three varieties. Barbecue Street. Give us a ring or e-mail us to come and browse The Olive Pickers (1922)
packs are available to order. The shop, which stands opposite St Lawrence’s Church, is open from and enjoy our walled garden. Wheelchairs and children
9am to 5.30pm Wednesday to Friday, 8am to 1pm on Saturday. welcome. Pay and Display parking.

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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14 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 15

a fortress, its concrete structure covered with a alone - and the list of celebrated alumni covers
Kettle’s Yard House

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
‘skin’ of a million and a quarter hand-made every sphere of human endeavour and
red Dorset bricks. It was the gift of the self- achievement: Byron, Tennyson, Milton and Castle Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 0AQ
made millionaire engineer and racehorse Wordsworth; Marlowe and Bacon; Samuel Tel: 01223 352124
owner David Robinson. All the colleges are Pepys; Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin; website: www.kettlesyard.co.uk
e-mail: mail@kettlesyard.cam.ac.uk
well worth a visit, but places that simply must Charles Babbage, Bertrand Russell and Ludwig
For 16 years, Kettle’s Yard was the home of Jim Ede, a
not be missed include King’s College Chapel Wittgenstein; actors Sir Ian McKellen, Sir
former curator at the Tate Gallery, London, and his wife,
with its breathtaking fan vaulting, gloriousa Derek Jacobi and Stephen Fry; Lord Burghley;
Helen. It houses Ede’s collection of art, mostly of the
stained glass and Peter Paul Rubens’ Harold Abrahams, who ran for England in the first half of the 20th century. The collection includes paintings by Ben and Winifred
Adoration of the Magi; Pepys Library, b Olympics; and Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, David Jones, Joan Miro and many others, along
including his diaries, in Magdalene College;c Blunt, who spied for Russia. The ‘Cambridge with sculptures by artists including Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Constantin Brancusi, Henry
Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
and Trinity’s wonderful Great Court. A trip dby Mafia’ was the title given to a group of senior
punt along the ‘Backs’ of the Cam brings a Conservatives at Cambridge together in the Paintings and sculptures are interlaced with furniture, glass, ceramics and natural
unique view of many of the colleges and
e early 1960. Their number included Ken Clarke, objects. Ede’s vision of Kettle’s Yard was of a place that was not “an art gallery or museum,
f
passes under six bridges, including the Bridge John Gummer, Norman Lamont, Peter Lilley
nor ... simply a collection of works of art reflecting my taste or the taste of a given period. It
is, rather, a continuing way of life from these last fifty years, in which stray objects, stonesl
of Sighs (St John’s) and the extraordinaryg and Michael Howard, all in John Major’s 1992 glass, pictures, sculpture, in light and in space, have been used to make manifest the
wooden Mathematical Bridge at Queens. cabinet, Norman Fowler and Leon Brittan.
h underlying stability ... “
Cambridge has nurtured more Nobel Prize Pembroke College, the third oldest, produced Each afternoon (apart from Mondays) visitors can ring the bell and ask to look around.
winners than most countries - 32 from Trinity an impressive array of comedy stars and writers,
K including Peter Cook, Eric Idle, Clive James, Classical Archaeology has 500 plaster casts
L Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor. The best of Greek and Roman statues, and the
SANDRA JANE
way to see the Colleges is on an official University Museum of Archaeology and
46-48 King Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire i CB1 1LN TourCambridge guided tour (book on 0871 226 Anthropology covers worldwide prehistoric
Tel: 01223 323211 Fax: 01223 507095 j 8006 or at the TIC). There are also open-top archaeology with special displays relating to
e-mail: contact@sandrajane.co.uk website: www.sandrajane.co.uk
k in the heart of Cambridge. Large windows in the bus tours round the city and ‘chauffeured’ punt Oceania and to the Cambridge area. The
Sandra Jane is a high-quality interior design store
tours on the River Cam. Museum of Technology, housed in a
l of decorative and practical items for the home on
Grade II listed building give a glimpse of the array
Victorian sewage pumping station, features
display over its two floors. Opened by Sandy Turkentine in 1998, the family-run business is filled The Colleges apart, Cambridge is packed
with things that make a house a home, and m a home individual and special. with interest for the visitor, with a wealth of an impressive collection of steam, gas and
The stock includes fabrics, wallpaper and trimmings from over 40 top designers, sample
n
books, cushions, throws, furniture (inside and outside), curtain poles and tracks, mirrors and
grand buildings both religious and secular, electric pumping engines and examples great
and some of the country’s leading museums, and small of local industrial technology.
lighting ranging from small bedside lamps toofloor-standing lamps and chandeliers. There’s
also a great selection of jewellery, many of them run by the University. The Anyone with an interest in fossils should
p along with clothes, pottery, vases Fitzwilliam Museum is renowned for its art make tracks to the Sedgwick Museum of
and smaller items as diverse as photo
q frames, reading glasses
collection, which includes works by Titian, Earth Sciences, while in the same street
Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Hogarth, Turner, (Downing) the Museum of Zoology offers
r and bath oils.
The goods come from well-known Renoir, Picasso and Cezanne, and for its a comprehensive and spectacular survey of
s brands as well as lesser-known antiquities from Egypt, Greece and Rome. the animal kingdom. The Whipple Museum
t sources from all over the world, and
Kettle’s Yard (see panel above) has a of the History of Science tells about
the stock is constantly changing.
u Services offered at Sandra Jane permanent display of 20th-century art in a science through instruments; the Scott Polar
include curtain- and blind-making and house maintained just as it was when the Ede Research Institute has fascinating, often
v wedding lists. Store hours are family donated it, with the collection, to the poignant exhibits relating to Arctic and
9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Antarctic exploration; and the University
Saturday.
University in 1967. The Museum of

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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16 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 17

Botanic Garden (see panel below)

visit our ARK shops in Cambridge

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
boasts a plant collection (more than
8,000 species) that rivals those of
Kew Gardens and Edinburgh. The
40-acre site includes the National
Collections of species tulips,
fritillaries and hardy geraniums.
a The work and life of the people
of Cambridge and the surrounding
b area are the subjects of the
c Cambridge and County Folk
d Museum, housed in a 16th century
building that for 300 years was the
e ORDER NO: CLE38276
White Horse Inn. It traces the
f everyday lives of the local people 2 floors, Just of Market Square 4 floors, parking in front of shop
g from 1700 onwards, with sections
Punting on River Cam,
hCambridge devoted to crafts and trades, town & 2 St Mary’s Passage, Cambridge CB2 3PQ 9 Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD
gown, witchbottles, skating, and eels. Tel: 01223 363372 Tel: 01223 307676

K website: www.arkcambridge.co.uk
Cambridge University Botanic L Garden Our shops are open 7 days a week plus Bank Holidays
Cory Lodge, Bateman Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
i CB2 1JF
Tel: 01223 336265 One of the city’s greatest treasures is the demolished in 1781 and rebuilt in its present
website: www.botanic.cam.ac.uk j University Library, one of the world’s great diminished state using the old materials,
Opened in 1846 by Professor John Henslow, k Charles Darwin’s teacher research libraries with six million books, one including flint rubble and Roman bricks. The
and mentor, this heritage-listed Botanic Garden displays over 8,000 million maps and 350,000 manuscripts. Church of the Holy Sepulchre, always known
l
plant species, including important collections of species tulips, Cambridge also has many fine Churches, as the Round Church, is one of only five
m as the finest arboretum in
geraniums, lavenders and fritillaries, as well some of them used by the colleges before they surviving circular churches in England.
the East of England.
n built their own chapels. Among the most
The majestic Main Walk of towering evergreens forms the
backbone of the superb 19 century Garden
th o that also boasts the flamboyant Glasshouses notable are St Mary the Less, originally
dedicated to St Peter (from which nearby
Around Cambridge
of tropical and desert plants, and the Rock p Garden, which displays the alpine plants of
every continent geographically and affords a wonderful vantage point over the Lake. The Peterhouse College gets its name); St Benet’s
GIRTON
Woodland Garden is a stunning mix of mature q trees and rich herbaceous underplanting, (its 11th-century tower is the oldest in the
3 miles NW of Cambridge off the A14
whilst the extraordinary, unique Systematic r Beds, designed in 1845, display over 95 county); St Mary the Great, the ‘University
families of hardy herbaceous plants. Church’, a marvellous example of Late The first Cambridge college for women was
th s
The 20 century Garden reflects the horticultural and scientific developments of the Perpendicular Gothic; Our Lady & the founded in 1869 in Hitchin, by Emily Davies. It
t
time: the British Wild Plants collection is unparalleled; the Dry Garden is an on-going English Martyrs; Holy Trinity, known for its moved here to Girton in 1873, to be ‘near
experiment to create a gorgeous garden that can survive the dry Cambridge climate without
any watering; the Genetics Garden tells the u story of the sweet pea experiments undertaken connections with the Evangelical movement, enough for male lecturers to visit but far
and St Peter Castle Hill. This last is one of the enough away to discourage male students from
here by William Bateson in the 1900s, which v led to the modern science of genetics; the smallest churches in the country, with a nave doing the same’. The problem went away when
ancestry of the modern rose is unravelled in the Rose Garden and the Winter Garden is an
inspirational lesson in achieving colour, beauty and scent in the winter months. measuring just 25 feet by 16 feet. Originally Girton became a mixed College in 1983.
much larger, the church was largely
A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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18 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 19

churches of St Mary and


DAISY CHAIN

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
St Cyriac stand side by
2 High Street, Histon, Cambridgeshire CB24 9LG side, a remarkable and
Tel: 01223 232121 dramatic sight in the
e-mail: gifts@daisychainhiston.co.uk
steeply rising churchyard.
website: www.daisychainhiston.co.uk
St Mary’s became the
Daisy Chain is a delightful shop selling a tempting array of
gifts, cards, jewellery and accessories that are very much out
parish church, but St
a
of the ordinary. The spacious shop is perfect for browsing Cyriac’s has the ring of six
among the innovative range of products - selected to suit every budget and occasion. Other bells in its handsome
b
products include household accessories, children’s clothing, baby gifts and personalised items. This
octagonal bell tower. One
wonderful variety is regularly updated and stock is purchased in small quantities to maintain a
c
diverse assortment. The owners invite you to get away from the stresses and strains of city of the mills, a restored
d
shopping and wander around Daisy Chain’s fascinating array of colours and aromas. 1850s tower mill, still
produces flour and can be
RAMPTON e the Knights Templar, Franciscan nuns of the Anglesey Abbey, Lode visited by appointment.
6 miles NW of Cambridge off the B1049 f Poor Clares order and the Countess of
At Swaffham Bulbeck, a
Pembroke, and from the 16th century was a
C Giant’s Hill g farmhouse. The old farm buildings have been watermill that runs on the first and third little way to the south, stands another church
A charming village in its own right, with ah Saturdays of each month. There’s also a plant of St Mary, with a 13th-century tower and
splendidly renovated and converted to tell the
tree-fringed village green, Rampton is also the story of village life and Cambridgeshire centre, shop and restaurant. In the house itself 14th-century arcades and chancel. Look for
site of one of the many archaeological sites in is Lord Fairhaven’s magnificent collection of the fascinating carvings on the wooden
farming up to modern times. The museum is
K
the area. This is Giant’s Hill, a motte castle paintings (a seascape by Gainsborough, benches and a 15th-century cedarwood chest
ideal for family outings, with plenty of hands-
with part of an earlier medieval settlement. L on activities for children and a play area, gift landscapes by Claude Lorraine), sumptuous decorated with biblical scenes.
i shop and weekend tearoom. furnishings, tapestries, Ming porcelain and REACH
MILTON clocks.
3 miles N of Cambridge off the A10 j LODE
8 miles NE of Cambridge off the A4280
J Milton Country Park k 6 miles NE of Cambridge on the B1102 BOTTISHAM The charming village of Reach is home to the
5 miles E of Cambridge on the A1303 oldest fair in England, which celebrated its
Milton Country Park offers fine walking and l A Anglesey Abbey
A Holy Trinity Church 800th anniversary on 1st May, 2000.
exploring among acres of parkland, lakes and m Anglesey Abbey dates from 1600 and was
woods. There’s a visitor centre, a picnic area
n built on the site of an Augustinian priory, but John Betjeman ventured that Bottisham’s BURWELL
and a place serving light refreshments. the house and the 100-acre garden came Holy Trinity Church was ‘perhaps the best in 10 miles NE of Cambridge on the B1102
o together as a unit thanks to the vision of the the county’, so time should certainly be made
WATERBEACH A Church of St Mary B Museum C Devil’s Dyke
p 1st Lord Fairhaven. His mother was American, for a visit. Among the many interesting
6 miles NE of Cambridge on the A10 his father English, and when he left the Abbey features are the 13th-century porch, an Burwell is a village of many attractions with a
q history going back to Saxon times. Burwell
A Denny Abbey B Farmland Museum to the National Trust in the 1960s he wanted 18th-century monument to Sir Roger Jenyns
r the house and garden to be kept to ‘represent and some exceptionally fine modern Museum reflects many aspects of a village on
Denny Abbey, easily accessible on the A10, is
an English Heritage Grade I listed Abbey with
s an age and way of life that is quickly passing’. woodwork in Georgian style. the edge of the Fens up to the middle of the
The garden, created in its present form from 20th century: a general store, model farm,
ancient earthworks. On the same site, and run t SWAFFHAM PRIOR
1926, is a wonderful place for a stroll, with 98 local industries and children’s toys are among
as a joint attraction, is the Farmland u acres of landscaped gardens including wide 8 miles NE of Cambridge on the B1102 the displays.
Museum. The history of Denny Abbey runs
from the 12th century, when it was a
v grassy walks, open lawns, a riverside walk and Swaffham Prior gives double value to the Next to the museum is the famous Stephens
one of the finest collections of garden visitor, with two churches in the same Windmill, built in 1820 and extensively
Benedictine monastery. It was later home to
statuary in the country. Lode Mill is a working churchyard and two fine old windmills. The restored.

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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20 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 21

The man who designed parts of King’s cats, birds, snakes and insects. For children there The American Air Museum, where many of GRANTCHESTER

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
College Chapel, Reginald Ely, is thought to is a play area and, in summer, pony rides and a the aircraft are suspended as if in flight, is part 2 miles SW of Cambridge off the A603
have been responsible for the beautiful St bouncy castle. of this terrific place, and the centrepiece of E Paradise Nature Reserve G The Orchard
Mary’s Church, which is built of locally Chilford Hall Vineyard, on the B1052 between this part of the complex is a B-29A
quarried clunch stone and is one of the finest Suprefortress, the only example of its kind A pleasant walk by the Cam, or a leisurely
Linton and Balsham, comprises 18 acres of
examples of the Perpendicular style. Notable vines, with tours and wine-tastings available. outside the United States. Major air shows take punt on it, brings visitors from the bustle of
internal features include a 15th-century font, a Some two miles further off the A1307, Bartlow place several times a year, and among the Cambridge to the famous village of
medieval wall painting of St Christopher, aand Hills are the site of the largest Roman burial site permanent features are a reconstructed Grantchester, where Rupert Brooke lived
roof carvings of elephants, while in the to be unearthed in Europe. wartime operations room, a hands-on and Byron swam. The walk passes through
churchyard, a gravestone marks the terribleb exhibition for children, and a dramatic land Paradise Nature Reserve.
night in 1727 when 78 Burwell folk died inc a DUXFORD warfare hall with tanks, military vehicles and Rupert Brooke, who spent two happy years
8 miles S of Cambridge off A505 by J10
barn fire while watching a travelling Punchd &
of the M11
artillery. Everyone should take time to see this at Grantchester, immortalised afternoon tea at
Judy show. marvellous show - and it should be much The Orchard and wrote of his love of the
e B Duxford Aviation Museum A St John’s Church more than a flying visit! But it can actually be
Behind the church are the remains of place in a poem while staying in Berlin.
Burwell Castle, started in the 12th centuryfbut Part of the Imperial War Museum, Duxford
just that, as Classic Wings offer visitors the
God! I will pack, and take a train,
never properly completed. g Aviation Museum is Europe’s premier
chance to fly over Duxford in an elegant
And get me to England once again!
1930s de Havilland Rapide. Next to the green,
The Devil’s Dyke runs through Burwell hon aviation heritage complex, with an outstanding For England’s the one land I know,
its path from Reach to Woodditton. This the Church of St John features many striking
collection of 200 historic aircraft, more than Where men with splendid hearts may go;
amazing dyke, 30 yards wide, was built, it is wall paintings and some exquisite carvings.
60 of which are in airworthy condition. First And Cambridgeshire, of all England,
thought, to halt Danish invaders. K World War bi-planes join with the Lancaster, At nearby Hinxton, a few miles further
The shire for men who understand;
LINTON
L Concorde, Gulf War jets and the SR-71 south, is another mill: a 17th-century water
And of that district I prefer
mill that is grinding once more.
10 miles SE of Cambridge on the B1052 i Blackbird spyplane in this extraordinary The lovely hamlet of Grantchester.
collection, which is located on a former key SHEPRETH
C Bartlow Hills E Zoo j Battle of Britain airfield. And of the afternoon tea experience:
8 miles S of Cambridge off the A10
The village is best k Stands the church clock at ten to three
E Nature Reserve E Wildlife Park
known for its zoo, but l And is there honey still for tea?
visitors will also find E Docwra’s Manor
m The Orchard, first planted in 1868, became
many handsome old A paradise for lovers of nature and gardens and a tea garden by chance in 1897 when a group
buildings and the church n a great starting point for country walks, of Cambridge students asked the owner, a
of St Mary the Virgin, o Shepreth L Moor Nature Reserve is an L- Mrs Stevenson, if she could serve them tea
built mainly in Early p shaped area of wet meadowland - now a rarity - under the trees in the orchard rather than on
English style. that is home to birds and many rare plants. The
q the front lawn. So started a great tradition that
A world of wildlife set nearby Shepreth Wildlife Park is a haven in continues to this day. Brooke died at sea in
in 16 acres of r natural surroundings to a wide variety of
1915 on his way to the Dardanelles and is
spectacular gardens, s animals, which visitors can touch and feed. The
buried on the island of Scyros.
Linton Zoo is a major t 18th-century Docwra’s Manor is a series of
Time should also be allowed in
wildlife breeding centre enclosed gardens with multifarious plants that is
and part of the inter-zoo u worth a visit at any time of year. Fowlmere, on Grantchester for a look at the Church of St
breeding programme for v the other side of the A10, is another important Andrew and St Mary, in which the remains of
endangered species. nature reserve, with hides and trails for the a Norman church have been incorporated into
Collections include wild Imperial War Museum, Duxford serious bird-watcher. the 1870s main structure.

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22 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 23

BARTON Madingley Hall is a Tudor mansion set in a museum’s exhibits include an extensive

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
3 miles SW of Cambridge off the A603 Capability Brown garden. It was leased in collection of Cromwell family portraits and
1861 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert personal objects, among them a hat and seal,
Looking south from this pleasant
for the use of their son the Prince of Wales contemporary coins and medals, an impressive
village you can see the impressive
during his brief spell as an undergraduate. Florentine cabinet - the gift of the Grand
array of radio telescopes that are part
The Hall was acquired by Cambridge Duke of Tuscany - and a surgeon’s chest made
of Cambridge University’s Mullard
University in 1948. by Kolb of Augsburg. This fine collection
Radio Astronomy Observatory.
a helps visitors interpret the life and legacy of
ARRINGTON
11 miles SW of Cambridge off the
b Huntingdon Cromwell and the Republican movement.
All Saints Church, opposite the Cromwell
A603 c A Hinchingbrooke House B Cromwell Museum Museum, displays many architectural styles,
A Wimpole Hall E Wimpole Home Farm d J Spring Common E Hinchingbrooke Country Park from medieval to Victorian. One of the two
surviving parish churches of Huntingdon, All
J Wimpole Park e G All Saints Church G St Mary’s Church
Saints was considered to be the church of the
Arrington’s 18th-century Wimpole f The former county town of Huntingdonshire Hinchingbrooke part of the Cromwell family,
Hall, bequeathed to the National g St Andrew’s Church, Wimpole Hall
is an ancient place first settled by the Romans. though no memorials survive to attest to this.
Trust by Elsie Bambridge, a daughter It boasts many grand Georgian buildings, The Cromwell family burial vault is contained
h
of Rudyard Kipling, is probably the including the handsome three-storeyed within the church, however, and it is here that
most spectacular country mansion in the CAXTON Town Hall. Oliver’s father Robert and his grandfather Sir
whole county, and certainly the largest K 6 miles W of Cambridge off the Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon Henry are buried. The church has a fine
18th-century country house in L A12198/A428 in 1599 and attended Huntingdon Grammar chancel roof, a very lovely organ chamber, a
Cambridgeshire. The lovely interiors are the School. The schoolhouse was originally part truly impressive stained-glass window and the
work of several celebrated architects, andi
Caxton is home to Britain’s oldest surviving
post mill, and at Little Gransden, a couple of of the Hospital of St John the Baptist, font in which Cromwell was baptised - the old
there’s a fine collection of furniture and j founded during the reign of Henry II by font from the destroyed St John’s Church,
miles further southwest on the B1046, another
pictures. The magnificent, formally laid-out k David, Earl of Huntingdon. Samuel Pepys was discovered in a local garden in 1927.
venerable mill has been restored. A scheduled
grounds include a Victorian parterre, a rose also a pupil here. Huntingdon’s other church, St Mary’s,
garden and a walled garden.
l ancient monument, it dates from the early
17th century and was worked well into the Cromwell was MP for Huntingdon in the dates from Norman times, but was almost
Landscaped Wimpole Park, with hills, m early years of the 20th century. Parliament of 1629, was made a JP in 1630 completely rebuilt in the 1400s. It boasts a fine
woodland, lakes and a Chinese bridge, n and moved to St Ives in the following year. Perpendicular west tower, which partially
provides miles of wonderful walking and iso MADINGLEY Rising to power as an extremely able military collapsed in 1607. The damage was extensive,
perfect for anything from a gentle stroll to a 4 miles W of Cambridge on the A428 commander in the Civil War, he raised troops and the tower was not completely repaired
strenuous hike. p from the region and made his headquarters in until 1621. Oliver Cromwell’s father, Robert,
C American Cemetery
A brilliant attraction for all the family is q the Falcon Inn. contributed to the cost of the repairs, as
The American Cemetery is one of the
Wimpole Home Farm, a working farm thatr Appointed Lord Protector in 1653, recorded on the stone plaque fixed to the east
loveliest, most peaceful and most moving
is the largest rare breeds centre in East Anglia. Cromwell was ruler of the country until his wall of the nave, north of the chancel arch.
s places in the region, a place of pilgrimage for
The animals include Bagot goats, Tamworth death in 1658. The school he attended is now Cowper House (No 29 High Street) has an
pigs, Soay sheep and Longhorn cattle, and t
the families of the American servicemen who
the Cromwell Museum, located on impressive early 18th-century frontage. A
operated from the many wartime bases in the
there’s also a pets corner, mini pedal tractorsu Huntingdon High Street, housing the only plaque commemorates the fact that the poet
county. The cemetery commemorates 3,811
and a horse-drawn wagon ride. Children willv public collection relating specifically to him, William Cowper (pronounced ‘Cooper’) lived
dead and 5,125 missing in action in the Second
happily spend hours with the animals or in the with exhibits that reflect many aspects of his here between 1765 and 1767.
World War.
adventure playground. political, social and religious life. The Among Huntingdon’s many fine former

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24 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 25

coaching inns is The George Hotel. Although cars produced by Lola joined a parade on (inventor of the lunchtime favourite that bears
Around Huntingdon

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
badly damaged by fire in 1865, the north and October 12th. his name) was one of the most flamboyant
west wings of the 17th-century courtyard About half a mile southwest of town stands politicians of the 18th century. The house is
HARTFORD
remain intact, as does its very rare wooden Hinchingbrooke House, which today is a open for guided tours, including lovely cream
½ mile N of Huntington off the B1514
gallery. The inn was one of the most famous school but has its origins in the Middle Ages teas served in the Tudor kitchens.
of all the posting houses on the old Great when it was a nunnery (ghostly nuns are said to Hinchingbrooke Country Park covers At just half a mile from Hartford Marina, this
North Run. It is reputed that Dick Turpin haunt the building to this day). The remains of 180 acres of grassy meadows, mature lovely village offers plenty of excellent
used one of the rooms here. The medieval a the Benedictine nunnery can still be seen. It was woodland, ponds and lakes. There is a wide riverside walks.
courtyard, gallery and open staircase are the given to the Cromwell family by Henry VIII in variety of wildlife including woodpeckers,
scene of annual productions of Shakespeare.b 1538. Converted by the Cromwell family in the herons, kestrels, butterflies and foxes. The
WARBOYS
c 7 miles NE of Huntingdon off the B1040
Along the south side of the Market Square, 16th century and later extended by the Earls of network of paths makes exploring the park
the Falcon Inn dates back in parts to the d Sandwich, today’s visitors can see examples of easy, and battery-powered wheelchairs are An interesting walk from Warboys to Ramsey
1500s. Oliver Cromwell is said to have used every period of English architecture from the provided for less able visitors. The Visitors’ takes in a wealth of history and pretty scenery.
e
this as his headquarters during the Civil War. 12th to early 20th centuries. King James I was a Centre serves refreshments at peak times. St Mary Magdalene’s Church has a tall, very
In October 2008 Huntingdon celebrated f 50 regular visitor, and Oliver Cromwell spent part Half a mile north, Spring Common offers splendid tower.
years of success for the motor company of g of his childhood here. The 1st Earl of another chance to enjoy some marvellous
Lola, which has won races in Formula One, Sandwich was a central figure in the Civil War RAMSEY
h Cambridgeshire countryside. Covering 13
9 miles NE of Huntingdon on the B1040
Champ Cars and IndyCars. Many of the 4,000 and subsequent Restoration, while the 4th Earl acres, its name comes from the natural spring
that runs constantly and has long been a A Abbey B Rural Museum
JOHNSON’S OF OLD HURST K gathering place. The town developed around, A Church of St Thomas à Becket of Canterbury
Church Farm, Church St, Old Hurst, Huntingdon, L rather than within, this area of rural
A pleasant market town with a broad main
tranquillity, which boasts a range of diverse
Cambridgeshire, PE28 3AF i street down which a river once ran, Ramsey is
Tel: 01487 824658 habitats including marsh, grassland, scrub and
j home to the medieval Ramsey Abbey, founded
Johnson’s of Old Hurst is a paradise of quality and streams. Plant life abounds, providing food
in AD969 by Earl Ailwyn as a Benedictine
service. At Johnson’s they have been producing k meat and shelter for a variety of animals,
monastery. The Abbey became one of the
for over 100 years and their animals are still reared in amphibians, birds and invertebrates.
l
the traditional manner. They have their own butchery most important in England in the 12th and
on the farm and you can be assured that they m are
fanatical about the quality of preparation and trimming.
13th centuries, and as it prospered, so did
Ramsey, so that by the 13th
You would need to go a long way to find anyone n else with such century it had become a town
an intimate knowledge of the meat they were preparing.
Available are home and local farm reared beef,opork, lamb, with a weekly market and an
poultry, game, venison and ostrich. p annual three-day festival at the
The farm makes for a great day out, many of the animals time of the feast of St
q where
are on view to the public, there is an animal corner
children are encouraged to mix with the livestock, and as of
Benedict. After the
r
autumn 2008, you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the Dissolution of the
new tearoom and gardens. s Monasteries in 1539, the
What’s more, this traditional farm is not afraid to pilot a Abbey and its lands were sold
truly unique venture in the UK, establishing a tfully working
to Sir Richard Williams, great-
u
crocodile farm. Andy Johnson has several crocodiles for breeding stock, including one that is 9ft
long! Crocodile can be eaten as a meat steak or even spare ribs; ‘It’s white, low fat meat with the grandfather of Oliver
grain of fish. Some people say it is similar to vchicken, but it’s not, it tastes of crocodile,’ says Cromwell. Most of the
Andy. A new crocodile enclosure should be completed in 2009 and this will put the crocodiles on buildings were then
view for the public for the first time. Watch this space!
Ramsey Abbey, Ramsey

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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26 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 27

UPWOOD marmosets and mongooses, lemurs, gibbons,


Ramsey Rural Museum

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
8 miles NE of Huntingdon off the B1040 possums and sloths, snakes and even creepy-
The Woodyard, Wood Lane, Ramsey, Huntingdon, E Woodwalton Fen E The Great Fen Project crawlies such as cockroaches.
Cambridgeshire PE26 2XD
Tel: 01487 815715 E Holme Fen National Nature Reserve STILTON
The museum is housed in 17th-century farm buildings and Upwood is a pleasant, scattered village in a 12 miles NW of Huntingdon off the A1
is set in open countryside on the edge of a friendly market very tranquil and picturesque setting. Stilton has an interesting high street with many
town. So why not step back in time and find out how life Woodwalton Fen nature reserve, reached
was lived in small fenland community. a fine buildings, and is a good choice for the
from Chapel Road, covers 208 hectares and hungry or thirsty visitor, as it has been since the
Find out how your medicines would b have been prepared in the chemists shop and how
comprises wildflower meadows, reed beds heyday of horse-drawn travel. Journeys were a
shoes would have been repaired in the clothes shop. How would you have managed in the
c
war? Would you have liked to wear a gas mask? Step inside some Victorian Rooms and find
and woodland and hosts a vast range of little more dangerous then, and Dick Turpin is
out how mothers managed without running d water or electricity. wildlife, including almost half of Britain’s said to have hidden at the Bell Inn.
What sort of job would your father have had? Perhaps he would have worked on a farm, dragonfly species. It is at the southern end of
e The Great Fen Project, which will connect ELLINGTON
cut peat or dug ditches. Would he have been a blacksmith or a thatcher?
Researching your family history? Thef local family history archive includes: monumental with Holme Fen National Nature Reserve 4 miles W of Huntingdon off the A14
gmaps, births, deaths, marriages, documents and
inscriptions, photographs, census returns, to create a 3,700 hectare wetland between Ellington is a quiet village just south of the
land deeds. Microfiche readers and a photocopying service are available Huntingdon and Peterborough. It will
h provide a haven for wildlife and a massive
A14 and about a mile north of Grafham
Water. Both Cromwell and Pepys visited,
demolished, the stones being used to build many pilgrims who flocked to Ramsey in the green space for people, creating new having relatives living in the village, and it was
Caius, King’s and Trinity Colleges at K 13th century. The church has what is reputed opportunities for recreation, education and in Ellington that Pepys’ sister Paulina found a
Cambridge, the towers of Ramsey, to be the finest nave in Huntingdonshire, business. Follow progress on the website:
Godmanchester and Holywell churches, the
L dating back to the 12th century and consisting
husband, much to the relief of the diarist,
www.greatfen.org.uk. who had written: ‘We must find her one, for
gate at Hinchingbrooke House and several i of seven bays. The church’s other treasure is a
SAWTRY she grows old and ugly.’ All Saints Church
local properties. In 1938 the house was j 15th-century carved oak lectern, thought to
8 miles NW of Huntingdon on the A1 is magnificent, like so many in the area,
converted for use as a school, which it remains have come from the Abbey.
to this day.
k and among its many fine features are the
Most of Ramsey Rural Museum (see The main point of interest here has no point! 15th-century oak roof and the rich carvings in
To the northwest are the ruins of the once l panel above) is housed in an 18th-century All Saints Church, built in 1880, lacks both the nave and the aisles. The church and its
magnificent stone gatehouse of the late 15thm farm building and several barns set in open tower and steeple, and is topped instead by a tower were built independently.
century - only the porter’s lodge remains, butn countryside. Among the many fascinating bellcote. Inside the church are marvellous
inside can be seen an unusual, large carved things to see here are a Victorian home and brasses and pieces from ancient Sawtry Abbey. WOOLLEY
effigy made of Purbeck marble and dating back o school, a village store, and restored farm 5 miles W of Huntingdon off the A1/A14
Just south of Sawtry, Aversley Wood is a
p
to the 14th century. It is said to represent Earl equipment, machinery, carts and wagons. The conservation area with abundant birdlife and This quiet and secluded hamlet attracts a
Ailwyn, founder of the Abbey. The gatehouse, q wealth of traditional implements used by local plants. broad spectrum of visitors including anglers,
now in the care of the National Trust, can be craftsmen such as the farrier, wheelwright,
visited daily from April to October.
r thatcher, dairyman, animal husbandman and HAMERTON
golfers, walkers and riders, drawn by its lush
and picturesque beauty and rural tranquillity.
The Church of St Thomas à Becket ofs cobbler offer an insight into bygone days. 9 miles NW of Huntingdon off the A1
Canterbury forms an impressive vista at thet The unusual Ramsey War Memorial is a E Zoological Park SPALDWICK
end of the High Street. Dating back to about u listed Grade II memorial consisting of a fine 6 miles W of Huntingdon off the A14
Hamerton Zoological Park has hundreds of
1180, it is thought to have been built as a bronze statue of St George slaying the dragon
hospital or guesthouse for the Abbey. It wasv
animals from tortoises to tigers. Specially A sizable village that was once the site of the
atop a tall, octagonal pillar crafted of
designed enclosures make for unrivalled views Bishop of Lincoln’s manor house, Spaldwick
converted to a church to accommodate the Portland stone.
of the animals, and the park features meerkats, boasts the grand church of St James, which

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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28 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 29

dates from the 12th century and has seen got Samuel his job at the Admiralty. imprisoned here, where she died in 1536. The

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
restoration in most centuries, including the castle is now a school, but can be visited on
20th, when the spire had to be partly rebuilt GRAFHAM certain days in the summer (don’t miss the
after being struck by lightning. Two miles 5 miles SW of Huntingdon on the B661 Pellegrini murals).
further west, Catworth is another charming E J Grafham Water
village, regularly voted Best Kept Village in
BUCKDEN
Created in the mid-1960s as a reservoir, 4 miles SW of Huntingdon on the A1
Cambridgeshire and well worth exploring. Grafham Water offers a wide range of
C Buckden Towers
BARHAM a outdoor activities for visitors of all ages, with
6 miles W of Huntingdon off the A1/A14 b 1,500 acres of beautiful countryside, including This historic village was an important
the lake itself. The 10-mile perimeter track is coaching stop on the old Great North Road. It
This delightful hamlet boasts 12 houses, 30c great for jogging or cycling, and there’s is known particularly as the site of Buckden
people and an ancient church with box pews,d excellent sailing, windsurfing and fly-fishing. Towers, the great palace built for the Bishops
surrounded by undulating farmland. Nearby
e The area is a Site of Special Scientific of Lincoln. In the splendid grounds are the
attractions include angling and sailing on Interest, and an ample nature reserve at the 15th-century gatehouse and the tower where
Grafham Water, go-karting at Kimboltonf and western edge is run jointly by Anglian Water Henry VIII imprisoned his first wife,
National Hunt racing at Huntingdon. g and the Wildlife Trust. There are nature trails, Katherine of Aragon, in 1533 (open only on
KEYSTON h information boards, a wildlife garden and a certain days of the year).
12 miles W of Huntingdon off the A14 dragonfly pond. Many species of waterfowl
LITTLE PAXTON
stay here at various times of the year, and
A Church of St John the Baptist K bird-watchers have the use of six hides, three
8 Miles SW of Huntingdon off the A1
A delightful village with a pedigree that canLbe of them accessible to wheelchairs. An E Paxton Pits Nature Reserve Buckden Towers, Buckden
traced back to the days of the Vikings, i exhibition centre has displays and video Fewer than three miles north of St Neots at
Keyston has major attractions both sacred and presentations of the reservoir’s history, a gift Little Paxton, is Paxton Pits Nature
j
secular: the Church of St John the Baptist is shop and a café.
The wealth of wildlife means that the area is
Reserve. Created alongside gravel workings, an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest)
impressive in its almost cathedral-like k the Reserve attracts thousands of water and ensures a plethora of colour and activity
KIMBOLTON
proportions, with one of the most magnificent l 8 miles SW of Huntingdon on the B645
birds, which visitors can observe from hides. all year round. The site also features nature
spires in the whole county, while The Pheasant
m
is a well-known and very distinguished pub- A Castle
restaurant. n
History aplenty here, and a lengthy pause is in
Paxton Pits Nature Reserve
o order to look at all the interesting buildings. St High Street, Little Paxton, Huntingdon,
BRAMPTON Cambridgeshire, PE10 6ET
2 miles SW of Huntingdon off the A1 p Andrew’s Church would head the list were it
Tel: 01480 406795
q not for Kimbolton Castle, which, along with
Brampton is where Huntingdon Racecourse is its gatehouse, dominates the village. Parts of At Paxton Pits Nature Reserve you can enjoy
situated. An average of 18 meetings (all r the original Tudor building are still to be seen,
peaceful and gentle strolls as well as longer
walks through 75 hectares of lakes, meadow,
jumping) are scheduled every year; in s but the appearance of the castle today owes grassland, scrub and woodland. As well as the
November, the Grade II Peterborough Chase much to the major remodelling carried out by
is the feature race.
t Heron and Meadow Trails, the River Trail, and
Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor in the some of the Permissive paths surrounding
Brampton’s less speculative attractions u first decade of the 18th century. The Paxton Pits are also waymarded. The
include the 13th-century church of St Mary,v gatehouse was added by Robert Adam in permissive paths are not part of the reserve
and Pepys House, the home of Samuel’s uncle, but the landowners have given permission for
1764. Henry VIII’s first wife, Katherine of
them to be used.
who was a cousin of Lord Sandwich and who Aragon, spent the last 18 months of her life

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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30 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 31

trails and a visitors’ centre. It BUSHMEAD add to the peace and splendour - the house

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
has thousands of visiting 12 Miles SW of Huntingdon off the B660 takes its name from the ornamental island
waterfowl, including one of that forms part of the grounds. Octavia Hill
The remains of Bushmead Abbey, once a
the largest colonies of was sometimes a guest, and wrote effusively
thriving Augustinian community, are well
cormorants, and is to her sister that Island Hall was ‘the
worth a visit. The garden setting is
particularly noted for its loveliest, dearest old house, I never was in
delightful, and the surviving artefacts
wintering wildfowl, such a one before.’ Open only to pre-
include some interesting stained-glass. Open
nightingales in late spring a booked groups.
weekends in July and August.
and kingfishers. There are Wood Green Animal Shelter at Kings
about four miles of walks, b GODMANCHESTER Bush Farm, Godmanchester is a purpose-built,
some suitable for c 2 miles SE of Huntingdon off the A1 50-acre centre open to the public all year
St Neots Museum, St Neots
wheelchairs. Spring and d A Island Hall E Wood Green Animal Shellter
round. Cats, dogs, horses, donkeys, farm
summer also bring a feast of animals, guinea pigs, rabbits, llamas, wildfowl
wild flowers, butterflies and dragonflies.
e St Neots repays a visit on foot, since there E Port Holme Meadow
and pot-bellied pigs are among the many
f
Just north again is the Great Paxton church,
are many interesting sites and old buildings
Godmanchester is linked to Huntingdon by creatures for visitors to see, and there is a
tucked away. The famous Market Square is
originally a Saxon Minster. g one of the largest and most ancient in the a 14th-century bridge across the River Ouse. specially adapted nature trail and restaurant.
It was a Roman settlement and one that St Mary’s Church is Perpendicular in style,
ST NEOTS h country. A market has been held here every
continued in importance down the years, as though not totally in age, as the tower is a 17th
10 miles SW of Huntingdon off the A1 Thursday since the 12th century. In the centre of
the number of handsome buildings testifies. century replacement of the 13th century
A Church of St Mary the Virgin B Museum K the square is the Day Column, a cast-iron
structure erected in 1822 by John Day, a local
One such is Island Hall, a mid-18th- original. A footpath leads from the famous
A Market Square L brewer, to enhance the square and to provide century mansion built for John Jackson, the Chinese Bridge (1827) to Port Holme
Receiver General for Huntingdon; it Meadow, at 225 acres one of the largest in
i lighting. The magnificent parish Church of St
St Neots dates back to the founding of a Saxon contains many interesting pieces. This family England and the site of Roman remains. It is a
j Mary the Virgin, Eynesbury, is a very fine
Priory, built on the outskirts of Eynesbury in home has lovely Georgian rooms, with fine Site of Special Scientific Interest, with a huge
AD974. Partially destroyed by the Danes in edifice, known locally as the Cathedral of diversity of botanical and bird species.
1010, it was re-established as a Benedictine k
period detail and fascinating possessions
Huntingdonshire. It is an outstanding example Huntingdon racecourse was once situated
relating to the owners’ ancestors since their
Priory in about 1081 by St Anselm, Abbot of l of Late Medieval architecture. The gracious
first occupation of the house in 1800. The here, and it was a training airfield during the
Bec and later Archbishop of Canterbury. For m interior complements the 130-foot Somerset- tranquil riverside setting and formal gardens First World War. Another site of considerable
the next two centuries the Priory flourished. style tower, with a finely carved oak altar,
Charters were granted by Henry I to hold fairs
n excellent Victorian stained-glass and a Holdich
and markets. The first bridge over the Great o organ, built in 1855. James Toller, known as the MONACH FARM RIDING STABLES
Ouse, comprising 73 timber arches, was builtpin ‘Eynesbury Giant’, was reputed to be 8ft 6in tall The Green, Hilton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 9NB
Tel: 01480 830426
1180. The name of the town comes from the
q when he died in 1818 at the age of 20. He was
buried beneath the font to avoid the attention of e-mail: emy2@dialstart.net website: www.monachfarm.co.uk
Cornish saint whose remains were interred in
the Priory some time before the Norman r body-snatchers. An ABRS Approved yard, Pony Club Centre and NVQ outreach
centre. It offers adult restart classes, takes children from 4 years
Conquest. With the Dissolution of the s St Neots Museum - opened in 1995 - tells of age and provides group and private tuition for all abilities. In
Monasteries, the Priory was demolished. In the t the story of the town and the surrounding area. the school holidays it offers a range of activity days. Wildlife
early 17th century, the old bridge was replaced Housed in the former magistrates’ court and walks and nature trails available on the farm’s own land. Based
by a stone one. This was then the site of a u police station, it still has the original cells. Eye-
on a working livestock farm with cattle, sheep, pigs and goats,
as well as a Farm Shop selling traditional meat and Caprilatte ice
battle between the Royalists and Roundheadsvin catching displays trace local history from cream.
1648 - an event sometimes re-enacted by Sealed prehistoric times to the present day. Open Set on the picturesque village green, with one of only three turf mazes in the country and just a
Knot societies. Tuesday to Saturday. 20-minute drive from Cambridge city centre, Monach Farm is a unique rural experience.

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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32 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 33

natural activity is designer and soon became the leading ST IVES

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
Godmanchester Pits, landscape artist in England, known for the 6 miles E of Huntingdon off the A1123
accessed along the Ouse natural, unplanned appearance of his designs. B Norris Museum E Wilthorn Meadow
Valley Way and home to a His nickname arose from his habit of
E Holt Island Nature Reserve
great diversity of flora and remarking, when surveying new projects, that
fauna. the place had ‘capabilities’. Brown, his wife This is an ancient town on the banks of the
and his son are buried in the medieval Great Ouse thatonce held a huge annual fair.
PAPWORTH The town’s motto is ‘sudore non sopore’,
a church. His grave is inscribed with a eulogy
EVERARD meaning ‘by work, not sleep’ – a pun on Slepe,
by the poet and landscape gardener William
6 miles SE of Huntingdon b Mason. Any visit here should also take in the the town’s original name. Its present name
on the A1198
c 17th-century manor house and the red-brick remembers St Ivo, said to be a Persian bishop
One of the most recent of d Clock Tower. who came here in the Dark Ages to spread a
the region’s churches, St little light.
Peter’s dates mainly from
eThe Manor at Hemingford Grey, Hemingford Abbots HOUGHTON
In the Middle Ages, kings bought cloth for
the mid-19th century. f 5 miles E of Huntingdon on the A1123
their households at the village’s great wool
Neighbouring Papworth St Agnes has an g century church of St Margaret, along the A Houghton Mill fairs and markets, and a market is still held
h banks of the Great Ouse. Opportunities for
older church in St John’s, though parts of Houghton is a popular tourist destination here every Monday. The Bank Holiday
that, too, are Victorian. Just up the road at angling and boating facilities, including rowing thanks to its proximity to Houghton Mill and Monday markets are particularly lively affairs,
Hilton is the famous Hilton Turf Maze, cut boats for hire, as well as swimming, country opportunities for riverside walks, as well as its and the Michaelmas fair fills the town centre
in 1660 to a popular medieval design. K walks, golf and a recreation centre are all charming thatched buildings and shops. for three days.
L within a couple of miles. The village hosts a Milling takes place on Sundays and Bank Seagoing barges once navigated up to the
BOXWORTH flower festival every two years. Holiday Mondays. Houghton Meadows is a famous six-arched bridge that was built in the
7 miles SE of Huntingdon off the A14 i Just to the east is Hemingford Grey, with its 15th century and has a most unusual two-
Site of Special Scientific Interest, with an
E Overhall Grove j church on the banks of the Ouse. The Manor abundance of hay meadow species. One of storey chapel in its middle. Oliver Cromwell
k
A village almost equidistant from Huntingdon at Hemingford Grey is reputedly the oldest the most popular walks in the whole area links lived in St Ives in the 1630s; Frederick
continuously inhabited house in England, built Pomeroy’s statue of him on Market Hill, with
and Cambridge, and a pleasant base for l Houghton with St Ives.
touring the area, Boxworth’s Church of St around 1130. Visits (by appointment only) will its splendid hat, is one of the village’s most
Peter is unusual in being constructed of
m reveal all the treasures in the house and familiar landmarks. It was
pebble rubble. n garden. made in bronze with a
A mile south of Boxworth is Overhall o Portland stone base, and was
FENSTANTON
Grove, one of the largest elm woods in thep erected in 1901. It was
7 miles SE of Huntingdon off the A14 bypass
country and home to a variety of wildlife. originally designed for
q G ‘Capability’ Brown Huntingdon, but they
The Great Ouse Valleyr Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716-1783) wouldn’t accept it! The
Victoria Memorial marked the
s was Lord of the Manor at Fenstanton from
1768, and served for a time as High Sheriff Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in
HEMINGFORD ABBOTS t 1897, but it wasn’t put up until
of Huntingdonshire. Born in
3 miles SE of Huntingdon off the A14
u Northumberland, Brown started his working 1902. The inscription on the
A Hemingford Grey Manor side says that it was unveiled
v life as a gardener’s boy before moving on to
Stowe, where he worked under William Kent. on June 26th, the day of
Once part of the Ramsey Abbey Estate,
When Kent died, Brown set up as a garden Edward VII’s coronation –
Hemingford Abbots is set around the 13th- St Ives Bridge & Chantry, St Ives
but it wasn’t. The coronation
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34 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 35

EARITH once had a palace for the Bishops of Ely,


DOLLS HOUSE NUMBER NINE

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
4 miles E of St Ives on the A1123 and its splendid church of St John would
The Coach House, 9 The Broadway, St Ives, have done them proud.
Cambridgeshire PE27 5BX E Ouse Washes
Tel/Fax: 01480 464684 The Ouse Washes, a special protection
e-mail: dollshousenumber9@btinternet.com area, runs northeast from the village to Peterborough
website: www.dollshousenumbernine.co.uk Earith Pits, a well-known habitat for birds
Established in 1990 as a model railway specialist, Dolls A Cathedral B Museum B Railworld
and crawling creatures; some of the pits are
a
House Number Nine has expanded to include dolls’
used for fishing. The Washes are a wetland B Nene Valley Railway
houses and miniatures, teddies, gollies, Scalextric sets
b
and Airfix kits. In the Grade II listed building, the well of major international importance H Thorpe Meadows Sculpture Park
c
laid-out displays include a wide range of hand-built MDF and birch ply houses, room boxes and
conservatories. Houses can be made to order to specific designs. The shop can supply all dolls’
supporting such birds as ruffs, Bewick and The second city of Cambridgeshire has a
Whooper swans, and hen harriers. The
d
house and miniature needs including furniture, wallpaper, carpeting, flooring, gardens, ponds,
average bird population is around 20,000.
long and interesting history that can be
flowers, food and lighting. The shop is open from 9.15am to 5pm (by appointment only Thursday traced back to the Bronze Age, as can be
and Sunday). e Some of the meadows flood in winter, and seen in the archaeological site at Flag Fen.
f ice-skating is popular when the temperature Although a cathedral city, it is also a New
was postponed because the king was ill, and life-size replica of a 160-million-year-old really drops. There’s a great tradition of ice-
g
the Memorial was unveiled a few days later, ichthyosaur. There are remains of woolly
Town (designated in 1967), so modern
skating in the Fens, and Fenmen were the development and expansion have vastly
but no one got round to changing the h mammoths from the Ice Age, tools and pottery national champions until the 1930s. increased its facilities, while retaining the
inscription. from the Stone Age to Roman times, and relics
SOMERSHAM quality of its historic heart.
The beautiful parish church in its K from the medieval castles and abbeys. Also on 4 miles NE of St Ives on the B1040/B1060 Peterborough’s crowning glory is, of
churchyard beside the river is well worth a show are toys and models made by prisoners of
visit. The quayside provides a tranquil L the Napoleonic Wars. E Raptor Foundation
course, the Norman Cathedral, built in the
12th and 13th centuries on a site that has
mooring for holidaymakers and there are i Just outside St Ives are Wilthorn Meadow, The Raptor Foundation is located here, a seen Christian worship since AD655. Henry
wonderful walks by the riverside. j a Site of Natural History Interest where major attraction where owls and other birds VIII made the church a cathedral, and his
Clive Sinclair developed his tiny TVs and Canada geese are often to be seen, and Holt
k of prey find refuge. There are regular flying first queen, Katherine of Aragon, is buried
pocket calculators in the town; another famous Island Nature Reserve, where high-quality displays and falconry shows. Somersham here, as for a while was Mary Queen of
son of St Ives was the great Victorian rower l willow is being grown to reintroduce the
Scots after her execution
John Goldie, whose name is remembered each m traditional craft of basket-making. Allow at Fotheringay. Features to
year by the second Cambridge boat in the n some time for spotting the butterflies, Peterborough Cathedral, Peterborough
note are the huge (85-
Boat Race. dragonflies and kingfishers.
o foot) arches of the West
The Norris Museum, in a delightful setting BLUNTISHAM Front, the unique painted
p
by the river, tells the story of Huntingdonshire wooden nave ceiling,
3 miles NE of St Ives on the A1123
for the past 175 million years or so, with q some exquisite late 15th-
everything from fossils, mammoth tusks and There’s an impressive church here in
r Bluntisham, with a unique 14th-century
century fan vaulting, and
models of the great historic reptiles, through to the tomb of Katherine.
flint tools, Roman artefacts and Civil War s chancel that ends in three sides. The rector
Though the best-known
armour as well as lace-making and ice-skatingt here at one time was the father of Dorothy L
of the city’s landmarks,
displays, and contemporary works of art. A u Sayers (creator of nobelman sleuth Lord Peter
the Cathedral is by no
truly fascinating place that is open throughout Wimsey) and Dorothy once lived in the large
va means the only one. The
the year, admission is free. Exhibitions include Georgian rectory on the main road.
Peterborough Museum
and Art Gallery covers

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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36 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 37

PLANTATION Elton Hall and Gardens

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
Oundle Road, Polebrook, Peterborough, PE8 5LQ Nr Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE8 6SH
Tel 01832 274755 www.plantation.co.uk Tel: 01832 280468
e-mail: info@plantation.co.uk e-mail: office@eltonhall.com website: www.eltonhall.com
Plantation is a new, independent plant centre located
Elton Hall is an extraordinary, romantic, part Gothic house
just outside the beautiful and historic market town of
that has been in the Proby family since 1660. It lies at
Oundle. It was purpose-built in 2006 and grows a
the heart of a 3,800-acre Estate made up of a mixture of
a
broad range of plants and trees on its four acre site.
With its all-wooden shop and inspirational plant property including farms, houses and cottages,
b
displays it offers a refreshing and different experience commercial property and woodland. The Estate straddles
for both keen gardeners, looking for specific plants, and the Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire borders and is
c
new gardeners who want help and ideas in developing well located for access from the East and West along the
their garden.
d A14 and A47 and is 86 miles north of London, just off
Other products include pots and containers, topiary, the A1.
e
hedging, grow your own kits, composts, seeds and
The Hall is a mixture of styles. The garden or south
organic pest controls. Plantation also offers garden
f
consultation and encourages customers to bring along
front incorporates the 15th century tower and chapel,
which were built at the time of Henry VII. In the 17th
g
photos or drawings and will help in advising on suitable
century, a new wing was added to the west.
plants for space and use. Open days are held regularly
h
with special events and courses running throughout the The garden you see today was laid out in 1913 with the construction of the paths, the
year. Please look at the website for details or call ahead. lawns, the lily pond, the well-head and the rose garden wall. By 1980 a large part of the
In the shop you will find garden related gifts and tools. Refreshments and cream teas are Edwardian garden had fallen into disrepair and since the early 1980s there has been a major
K
available seasonably. Oundle hosts an international music festival, Festival of Literature and restoration programme. The rose garden has been replanted and a new sunken garden, a
Farmers’ Market and has a wide range of independent shops and activities. It is well worth a visit shrub garden and an arboretum created.
any time. L
The Gothic orangery was built to celebrate the Millennium and a Gothic arbour was
i completed to mark the Jubilee celebrations.
all aspects of the history of Peterborough
j
from the Jurassic period to Victorian times. Around Peterborough
There are twin attractions for railway k
ELTON LONGTHORPE Farm and Country Centre, whose
enthusiasts in the shape of Railworld, a l
6 miles SW of Peterborough on the B671 2 miles W of Peterborough off the A47 centrepiece is a working watermill. All kinds
hands-on exhibition open daily dealing withm A Longthorpe Tower of farming equipment are on display, and
modern rail travel, and the wonderful Nene A Elton Hall
Valley Railway, which operates 15-mile n
there’s a collection of farm animals, along with
Elton is a lovely village on the river Nene, Longthorpe Tower, part of a fortified manor gardens, nature trails and general interest trails,
steam-hauled trips between Peterborougho house, is graced by some of the very finest
with stone-built houses and thatched roofs. play areas, a gift shop and a restaurant serving
and its HQ and museum at Wansford. A p 14th-century domestic wall paintings in
Elton Hall (see panel opposite) is a mixture light refreshments.
feature on the main railway line at Europe, featuring scenes both sacred and
q of styles, with a 15th-century tower and
Peterborough is the historic Iron Bridge, secular: the Nativity, the Wheel of Life, King BURGHLEY
r chapel, with a major Gothic influence. The
part of the old Great Northern Railway and David, the Labours of the Months. The 14 miles NW of Peterborough off the A1
grandeur is slightly deceptive, as some of
still virtually as built by Lewis Cubitt in s paintings were discovered during renovations A Burghley House
the battlements and turrets were built of
1852. after the Second World War.
t wood to save money. The hall’s sumptuous The largest and grandest house of the
Just outside the city, by the river Nene, is
Thorpe Meadows Sculpture Park, one u
rooms are filled with art treasures THORNHAUGH Elizabethan Age, Burghley House presents a
of
(Gainsborough, Reynolds, Constable) and 8 miles NW of Peterborough off the A1/A47 dazzling spectacle with its domed towers, walls
several open spaces in and around the cityv
the library has a wonderful collection of of cream coloured stone, and acres of
with absorbing collections of modern E Sacrewell Farm
antique tomes. windows. Clear glass was still ruinously
sculpture. Hidden away in a quiet valley is Sacrewell
A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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38 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 39

expensive in the 1560s, so Elizabethan reclaimed and planted with specimen trees and Crowland Abbey, Crowland the 19th century by the Dukes of Bedford.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
grandees like Cecil flaunted their wealth by shrubs, and now provide a sylvan setting for a The main innovation was a 10,000-gallon
having windows that stretched almost from number of dramatic artworks by water tank that supplied the whole village;
floor to ceiling. Burghley House also displays contemporary sculptors. other villages had to use unfiltered river water.
the Elizabethan obsession with symmetry - Throughout the summer season, Burghley Open Easter to the end of September.
every tower, dome, pilaster and pinnacle has a hosts a series of events of which the best
corresponding partner.
FLAG FEN
known, the Burghley Horse Trials, takes place
2 miles E of Peterborough signposted from the
Contemporaries called Burghley a ‘prodigy a at the end of August.
A47 and A1139
house’, a title shared at that time with only one
other stately home in England - Longleat in
b PEAKIRK C Bronze Age Centre
Wiltshire. Both houses were indeed prodigious c 7 miles N of Peterborough off the A15
Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre (see panel on
in size and in cost. At Burghley, Cecil d A charming little village, somewhat off the page 342) comprises massive 3,000-year-old
commissioned the most celebrated interior beaten track, Peakirk boasts a village church
e timbers that were part of a major settlement
decorator of the age, Antonio Verrio, to create of Norman origin that is the only one in the and have been preserved in peaty mud. The
rooms of unparalleled splendour. In his Heavenf country dedicated to St Pega, the remains of site includes a Roman road with its original
Room, Verrio excelled even himself, populatingg whose hermit cell can still be seen. surface, the oldest wheel in England, re-
the lofty walls and ceiling with a dynamic h creations of a Bronze Age settlement, a
gallery of mythological figures. CROWLAND
museum of artefacts, rare breed animals, and
The 18 State Rooms at Burghley house a vast
10 miles NE of Peterborough off the A1073
a visitor centre with a shop and restaurant.
treasury of great works of art. The walls areK A Trinity Bridge C Abbey Ongoing excavations, open to the public,
crowded with 17th-century Italian paintings and L It is hard to imagine that this whole area was make this one of the most important and
Japanese ceramics, and rare examples of exciting sites of its kind.
i once entirely wetland and marshland, dotted
European porcelain grace every table, alcove with inhospitable islands. Crowland was one
and mantelpiece; the wood carvings of Grinling j THORNEY WHITTLESEY
such island, then known as Croyland; back in 5 miles E of Peterborough off the A605
Gibbons and his followers add dignity to k the 7th century, a small church and hermitage
8 miles E of Peterborough on the A47
almost every room. Also on display are four l was established, which was later to become A Abbey B Heritage Museum B Museum F Straw Bear Procession
magnificent state beds along with important one of the nation’s most important
tapestries and textiles. m Thorney Abbey, the Church of St Mary and The market town of Whittlesey lies close to
monasteries. The town’s impressive parish St Botolph, is still a dominating presence, even the western edge of the Fens and is part of
In the 18th century, Cecil’s descendants n church was just part of the great edifice one of the last tracts to be drained. Brick-
though what now stands is but a small part of
commissioned the ubiquitous Capability Brown o thatonce stood on the site. A wonderful what was once one of the greatest of the making was a local speciality, and 180-foot
to landscape the 160 acres of parkland
p exhibition can be found in the Abbey at Benedictine abbeys. Gravestones in the brick chimneys stand as a reminder of that
surrounding the house. These enchanting Crowland, open all year round. The remains once-flourishing industry. The church of St
q churchyard are evidence of a Huguenot colony
grounds are open to visitors and are also home cover a third of the Abbey’s original extent. Andrew is mainly 14th century, with a 16th-
that settled here after fleeing France in the
to a large herd of fallow deer, first establishedr Crowland’s second gem is the unique century tower; the chancel, chancel chapels
wake of the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre
in Cecil’s time. Brown also designed the elegants Trinity Bridge - set in the centre of town on and naves still have their original roofs.
of 1572 to settle the drained fenland at the
Orangery, which is now a licensed restaurant dry land. Erected in the 14th century, it has
t request of Oliver Cromwell. A walk around this charming town reveals
overlooking rose beds and gardens. three arches built over one over-arching The Thorney Heritage Museum is a small, an interesting variety of buildings: brick, of
A more recent addition to Burghley’s u structure. Before the draining of the Fens, course, and also some stone, thatch on timber
independently-run museum of great
attractions is the Sculpture Garden. Twelve v Trinity Bridge crossed the point where the frames, and rare thatched mud boundary walls.
fascination, describing the development of the
acres of scrub woodland have been River Welland divided into two streams. village from a Saxon monastery, via The Whittlesey Museum, housed in the
Benedictine Abbey to a model village built in grand 19th-century Town Hall in Market

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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40 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 41

Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre FOX NARROWBOATS

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
The Droveway, Northey Road, 10 Marina Drive, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 0AU
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE6 7QJ Tel: 01354 652770
Tel: 91733 313414 Fax: 01733 349957 e-mail: reception@foxboats.co.uk
e-mail: office@flagfen.co.uk website: www.foxboats.co.uk
website: www.flagfen.com There can be few more relaxing ways to take a break
from the daily routine than on a comfortable narrowboat,
Flag Fen is one of Europe’s most important Bronze
a
Age sites; this archaeological jewel is situated on
and the family business of Fox Narrowboats is among
the leaders in its sphere. They built their first narrowboat
b
the outskirts of the Cathedral City of Peterborough, in 1973 and four years later became hire fleet operators. In 1981 the business moved to a
on a religious site that pre-dates the Cathedral by nearly 2,000 years. The Museum of the purpose-built marina with a capacity that has risen from 50 to 200 moorings. The Fox
c
Bronze Age contains artefacts found on the site over the past 20 years of excavating. The narrowboats, developed over 35 years, are solidly built and easy to control, with optimum use
d
park is entered through a uniquely designed 21st-century roundhouse; this visitor centre is made of space. The exteriors are regularly maintained and painted in a stylish colour scheme. They
your portal to the past, with information boards and pictures. Once out on the park you are all Quality in Tourism 5-Star graded.
e
will be stepping back in time with the chance to see how your ancestors used to live, as
f
you explore the Bronze Age and Iron Age roundhouses in their landscape setting. March and the surrounding area, and includes CHATTERIS
The Preservation Hall contains undercover archaeology, along with a 60-metre mural
g
depicting life in the Bronze Age in the Fens. During the summer months, archaeologists can
a working forge and a reconstruction of a 8 miles S of March off the A141
h turn-of-the-century house. B Museum
often be seen at work, uncovering Peterborough’s past.
Workshops and Lectures are among our full programme of events, which include Sword The uniquely dedicated Church of St
A friendly little market town, where the
and Bronze Casting, Flint Knapping, Theatre in the Park, and our Annual big event, which Wendreda, at Town End, is notable for its
K Chatteris Museum and Council Chamber
attracts visitors from across the country. If you would like details please contact us. magnificent timber roof, a double
features a series of interesting displays on
L hammerbeam with 120 carved angels, a fine
Fenland life and the development of the town.
i font and some impressive gargoyles. John
Street, features an archive of displays on local Whittlesey was the birthplace of the Themes include education, agriculture,
Betjeman declared the church to be ‘worth
archaeology, agriculture, geology, brick-makingj writer L P Hartley (The Go-Between) and of cycling 40 miles into a headwind to see’.
transport and local trades, along with
and more. Reconstructions include a 1950s k General Sir Harry Smith, hero of many temporary exhibitions and local photographs,
The Nene-Ouse Navigation Link runs all housed in five galleries.
corner shop and post office, blacksmith’s forge 19th-century campaigns in India. He died in
l through the town, affording many attractive The church of St Peter and St Paul has
and wheelwright’s bench. 1860, and the south chapel off St Mary’s
m riverside walks and, just outside the town off some 14th-century features but is mostly more
A highlight of Whittlesey’s year is the Straw Church (note the beautiful spire) was
the B1099, Dunhams Wood comprises four modern in appearance, having been
Bear Procession that is part of a four-day n restored and named after him.
acres of woodland. The site contains an substantially restored in 1909.
January festival. A man clad in a suit of strawo
MARCH enormous variety of trees, along with
dances and prances through the streets, calling
p 14 miles E of Peterborough off the A141 sculptures and a miniature railway.
at houses and pubs to entertain the Wisbech
townspeople. The origins are obscure: perhaps q A St Wendreda’s Church B Museum STONEA
it stems from pagan times when corn gods r J Nene-Ouse Navigation Link 3 miles SE of March off the B1098 A Peckover House
were invoked to produce a good harvest; B Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House
s March once occupied the second-largest C Stonea Camp
perhaps it is linked with the wicker idols used B Elgoods Brewery B Wisbech & Fenland Museum
‘island’ in the great level of Fens. As the land
by the Druids; perhaps it derives from the t Stonea Camp is the lowest hill fort in Britain.
was drained the town grew as a trading and Built in the Iron Age, it proved unsuccessful H Angles Theatre
performing bears that toured the villages until u religious centre, and in more recent times as a
the 17th century. What is certain is that at thev against the Romans. A listed ancient monument One of the largest of the Fenland towns, a
market town and major railway hub. March whose banks and ditches were restored after port in medieval times and still enjoying
end of the jollities the straw suit is
and District Museum, in the High Street, excavations in 1991, the site is also an shipping trade with Europe, Wisbech is at the
ceremoniously burned.
tells the story of the people and the history of increasingly important habitat for wildlife. centre of a thriving agricultural region. The
A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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42 WALK|13
The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 43

Wisbech WALK DIRECTIONS: overmantels, and ornate

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
1|Turn right into Love Lane, going towards the
plaster decorations. At the
Distance: 3.1 miles (4.8 kilometres) church. At the church turn right, then left along the back of the house is a
Typical time: 120 mins street that leads to the Market Place. Turn left into beautiful walled garden
Height gain: 5 metres Market Street. with summer houses and
Map: Explorer 235 2|At the T-junction, turn left around The Crescent. an orangery with 300-
Turn right along High Street, then left along the year-old orange trees.
Walk: www.walkingworld.com ID:739
alley, New Inn Yard. Turn left along River Nene
Contributor: Joy & Charles Boldero a Quay to the statue. Cross the road and continue
No 8 South Brink is the
birthplace of Octavia Hill
ACCESS INFORMATION:
b along Post Office Lane, crossing the road to the car
(1838-1912), co-founder
park. Cross the car park, keeping to the right-hand
Bus service: ring the Tourist Information Centre cin side. Turn right from the car park, then left along of the National Trust and
Wisbech on 01945 583263. There are several free d Somers Road and continue along Coal Wharf Road. a tireless worker for the
car parks in the town. The walk starts from the cause of the poor,
3|Turn right at T-junction along South Brink with
large Love Lane car park off Alexandria Road,e near
the river on the left. Cross road at traffic-lights, turn particularly in the sphere
the church. f left along North Brink. Cross two roads. At of housing. The house is
DESCRIPTION: g Elgood’s Brewery retrace your steps, crossing one
Georgian houses beside River Nene, Wisbech
now Octavia Hill’s
Wisbech is an ancient port and has many historic road. Birthplace House, a
h
buildings. There is a fine brass on the floor of St 4|Turn left along Chapel Road. Turn right up museum with displays and
Peter and St Paul’s Church of Thomas de Exchange Square, then left at road, left again along 18th century in particular saw the building of exhibits commemorating her work.
Braustone, Constable of Wisbech Castle in the Old Market. Cross the road and continue along
1400s.
K North Street. Go over the river bridge and keep
rows of handsome houses, notably in North More Georgian splendour is evident in the
L right beside it for a short distance.
Brink and South Brink, which face each other area where the Norman castle once stood. The
The Norman Castle was replaced by a Bishop’s
across the river. The finest of all the castle was replaced by a bishop’s palace in
Palace in 1478, and in the 17th century this was i 5|Cross the road and turn left signed Pedestrian
properties is undoubtedly Peckover House,
replaced by a mansion house built for John Thurloe, Zone. Cross School Lane and turn right along 1478, and in the 17th century by a mansion
who was Oliver Cromwell’s Secretary of State. j Scrimshire’s Passage. Turn left along Hall Street. Turn built in 1722 and bought at the end of the built for Cromwell’s Secretary of State, John
Later, this was replaced by the Georgian Crescentkin right by Boots the Chemist, cross the market square 18th century by Jonathan Peckover, a member Thurloe. Local builder Joseph Medworth built
1816. Along New Inn Yard on the left is one of the and go along Market Street opposite. of the Quaker banking family. The family gave the present Regency villa in 1816; of the
oldest timber-framed buildings in the town. l 6|Turn left, then left again going down steps. Turn the building to the National Trust in 1948. Thurloe mansion, only the gate piers remain.
Along South Brink on the left is the house m right into Love Lane which leads to the car park. Behind its elegant façade are splendid panelled The Wisbech and Fenland Museum is
where Octavia Hill was born, now a museum. She
was one of the founder members of the National
n 0 200 400 600 800metres 1
KILOMETRES
MILES
rooms, Georgian fireplaces with richly carved one of the oldest purpose-built museums in
o
0 200 400 600yards ½
Trust. Along North Brink there are many old
historic houses including the 18th-century
Peckover House, owned by the NT. Elgood’s
p PETER A CROFTS
Brewery has a museum; the brewery has q 117 Elm High Road, Wisbech,
functioned for the past 200 years. The Wisbech
r 5 Cambridgeshire PE14 0DN
and Fenland Museum has many interesting items Tel: 01945 584614
including the manuscript of Great Expectations by s Peckover
Peter A Crofts, now trading as Patricia L Crofts, has been
House
Charles Dickens.
t 4 2 owned and run by the same husband-and-wife team since
3 1950. In a showroom attached to their bungalow, laid out for
FEATURES: u 1
6
easy access and viewing, the stock they display includes
River, Pub, Toilets, Museum, Church, Castle, Stately furniture (mostly antique or pre-1950), porcelain, glass, silver
Home, National Trust/NTS. Good for v Wisbech and wooden boxes, jewellery, copper and brass. There’s no sign outside the premises, which are
wheelchairs. located on Elm High Road (A1101) just south of the junction with the main A47 south of Wisbech.
All viewing must be by appointment.

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks
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44 The Countr y Li ving Guide to Rural England - Cambridgeshir e 45

the country, and in charming Victorian water features and lawns leading to a maze Angles Theatre – one of the oldest
The Fens Around

CAMBRIDGESHIRE
surroundings visitors can view displays of planted with thuja and laurel. Also well worth working theatres in Britain – is a vibrant
porcelain, coins, rare geological specimens, a look is the impressive 68-foot limestone centre for the arts, located in a Georgian Wisbech
Egyptian tomb treasures and several items of memorial to Thomas Clarkson, one of the building with a history stretching back over
national importance, including the earliest leaders of the abolitionist movement. 200 years. Some of the best talent in the WEST WALTON AND WALTON
manuscript of Charles Dickens’ Great He was born in Wisbech, son of the nation, from poets and musicians to dance, HIGHWAY
Expectations, Napoleon’s Sèvres breakfast set headmaster of the Grammar School. The comedy and theatrical troupes come to 3 miles NE of Wisbech off the A47/B198
captured at Waterloo, and an ivory chessa set monument, which towers over Bridge Street, perform in the intimate 112-seat auditorium.
B Fenland & West Norfolk Aviation Museum
that belonged to Louis XIV. was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in Wisbech’s Lilian Ream Photographic
Wisbech is the stage for East Anglia’s
b Gothic style. Clarkson’s tireless efforts in the Gallery is named after a daughter of Wisbech Several attractions can be found here, notably
c campaign against slavery were finally
premier Church Flower Festival, with flowers born in the late 19th century who, at the time the Church of St Mary the Virgin in West
in four churches, strawberry teas, crafts, d
bric- recognized nationally in 1997, 150 years after of her death in 1961, had amassed a Walton with its magnificent 13th-century
a-brac, plants and a parade of floats. The his death, when a plaque was laid in his collection of over 1,000 photographs of detached tower that dominates the landscape.
e memory in Westminster Abbey. Walton Highway is home to the Fenland and
event takes place at the beginning of July. Wisbech people, places and events, making
The most important of the churches is the f Still a lively commercial port, Wisbech for a unique and fascinating insight into the West Norfolk Aviation Museum, whose
Church of St Peter and St Paul, with twog boasts a restored Marina and new facilities history and culture of the town. The gallery exhibits include Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, a
naves under one roof and an independent Lightning jet, a Vampire, crashed aircraft, a
h for small craft that include floating pontoons is housed in the Tourist Information Centre
Jumbo jet cockpit simulator, uniforms and
tower with a peal of 10 bells. Note the royal with berths for 75 yachts. River trips are in Bridge Street.
arms of James I and, in the north chancel, a available from the yacht harbour.
mosaic by Salviati of K
Leonardo’s Last L
The Wildfowl &
Supper.
i Wetlands Trust
Another sight to see Hundred Foot Bank, Welney, Wisbech,
in Wisbech is Elgoods j Cambridgeshire PE14 9TN
Brewery on the banks k Tel/Fax: 01353 860711
of the River Nene. l e-mail: welney@wwt.org.uk
Visitors can watch website: wwt.org.uk
traditional brewing m The Wildfowl & Wetland Trust Welney is
methods using original n a wetland paradise of international
open copper vessels, importance with something to offer
o whatever the season. In winter, enjoy
before sampling a
selection of Elgood’s
p the magic of hundreds of Whooper and
Bewick’s Swans accompanied by flocks of thousands of ducks. During the day, carpets of
wide range of prize- q Wigeon graze this precious wetland, while flocks of Pintail, Teal, Gadwall and Shoveler
winning real ales in the r dabble in the pools and lagoons. Late afternoon is a special time as flocks of swans flight-in
Visitors Centre bar. to claim their night roosting sites. Summer brings an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity
s broken only by the piping calls of waders, drumming Snipe and the chatter of warblers. Lush
Behind the brewery is a
four-acre garden t meadows are bordered by a dazzling display of Purple Loosestrife, Great Willowherb and
Marsh Woundwort.
incorporating specimen u
Visitors can stroll along the boardwalks through rustling reedbeds, and spend a while
trees about 200 years
v pond-dipping for water beasts. The Visitor Centre houses displays, educational facilities and
old, herbaceous a well-stocked gift shop. WWT Welney also runs a packed programme of special events
Elgoods Brewery and Gardens, Wisbech
borders, a lake, rockery, throughout the year.

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks