A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely

January 1978
36 black and white, 12 line illustrations
350 pages
30.5x20.8 cm
Victoria County History
ISBN: 9780197227466
Format: Hardback
Victoria County History

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely

Volume VI

Edited by A. P. M. Wright

This volume contains the histories of 24 parishes in south-east Cambridgeshire, forming the hundreds of Chilford, Radfield, and Whittlesford. Traversed, and in part bounded, by the Icknield Way and the ancient Wool Street, they stretch from the neighbourhood of Cambridge to the Suffolk border. In the valley of the Cam or Granta the arable was cultivated in open fields until the early- rgth-century inclosures. On the south-eastern upland the medieval clearance of ancient woodland in the heavy clays produced much early inclosure, while the heathland lying along the Icknield Way encouraged sheep-farming, and nearer Newmarket is used for stud-farms. Babraham was notable for 17th-century irrigated meadows, and as the home of the Victorian sheep-breeder, Jones Webb. The villages in the river valleys are mostly nucleated; in the less populous eastern part settlement has been more scattered. The former market town of Linton, near the centre of the area, had once two small religious houses, and Castle Camps a motte-and-bailey castle, held by the Veres. Among later mansions, the Tudor Babraham Hall, and Horseheath Hall, a grand classical house, destroyed through its owner's extravagance, have gone. Sawston Hall, the seat of the Catholic Huddlestons during four centuries, survives. The village of Sawston and its neighbours have grown since the 19th-century through the presence of such industries as tanning, paper-making, and the production of fertilizers, and more recently of adhesives, besides light engineering. Further east the land is still devoted mainly to farming.

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