18. COLNE (E.d.).
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XV S.E., (b)XIX N.E.)
Colne is a small parish and village nearly 5 m.
N.E. of St. Ives.
a(1). Village Site, to the S.E. of the Chatteris
Road, about 1½ m. N.N.E. of the church. The
site covers about 15 acres and is known locally as
Camp Ground; it is separated from the road by a
narrow strip of fenland, now often flooded. From
the edge of the site and towards this strip of low
ground runs a series of short ditches, suggesting
docks for small boats. The main area is a complex
of shallow hollows and ditches, apparently dug in
a haphazard manner. In the middle is a comparatively level space (about 250 ft. by 90 ft.) of
roughly rectangular form surrounded by a ditch;
within it are several hollows, one obviously of
subsequent date as it cuts into part of the ditch.
Five of the hollows were examined by Mr. C. F.
Tebbutt in 1925–6; they were dug down into
undisturbed gravel, two yielded nothing, one some
ox-bones and two domestic rubbish. One of the
last was dug out completely; it was almost a
circle of 20 ft. diameter and had a sloping bottom.
The section showed a foot of loam with a few
Romano-British pot-sherds; then 3 in. to 9 in. of
clay, and under this a fine black earth containing
domestic rubbish lying on the undisturbed gravel.
Sherds and animal-bones were found in the black
earth with a few oyster-shells, some carbonised
wood, a bone pin or stylus and part of a twisted
wire bracelet. The pot-sherds were very numerous
and were mostly of large corn-jars and ollæ of very
coarse, porous brown ware; other types included
a mortarium of late hammer-head type, pateræ of
black ware and five beakers. The finest piece was
part of a narrow-necked olla-like vessel of greengrey ware ornamented with bands of parallel
brownish lines crossing one another. The Samian
fragments included one with a mid 2nd-century
potter's stamp (Saturnini). Castor ware was
of common occurrence. The evidence appeared
to indicate a community of fishermen and hunters,
owning some domestic animals, living during the
Roman period on dry gravel land as near the Fens
as possible and using small boats. Their huts
were of perishable material (as digging has revealed
no trace of building-material), and were surrounded
by ditches. They used, and perhaps made, corn
jars and cooking-pots similar to those of the Early
Iron Age, but obtained better pottery from the
Castor and Horningsea kilns, both of which were
on the supposed line of the Car Dyke.
Romano-British Village Colne.
(Mr. C. F. Tebbutt in Antiq. Jour., VI, p. 190.
See also Fox, Arch. of the Cambridge Region, p. 223,
and Allcroft, Earthworks of England, p. 557). See
also sub Somersham.
b(2). Parish Church of St. Helen stands in the
village. The old church stood 600 yards to the
W.N.W. The old church, which fell down in 1896,
consisted of a chancel, nave, N. and S. aisles, W.
tower and S. porch; the only part still standing
is the early 16th-century South Porch. The new
church in the village was completed in 1900 and
incorporates a considerable quantity of material
from the old building.
Architectural Description—The South Porch of
the old church is of early 16th-century date with
diagonal buttresses; the outer archway has stop-moulded jambs, four-centred arch and moulded
label. The side walls have each a window of two
square-headed lights. The inner doorway is of
18th-century or modern date.
The New Church incorporates, besides a certain
amount of re-used ashlar, the following features
from the old building:—The chancel has in the N.
wall two windows, the eastern of early 14th-century
date, partly restored and of two pointed lights
with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head;
the western window is of the 13th century and of
two pointed lights in a round-headed outer order.
In the S. wall is a window similar to the eastern
window in the N. wall. The nave has a 14th-century S. arcade of three bays with two-centred
arches of two chamfered orders; the octagonal
columns have moulded capitals and bases. In the
N. wall is a partly restored 15th-century window
of two cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head
with a moulded label; there are also re-used stones
in the other windows. The S. aisle has an early
14th-century E. window of two cinque-foiled lights
with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a
moulded label and mask-stops. In the S. wall are
three partly restored 14th-century windows, each
of two trefoiled lights and a 14th-century doorway
with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch. The
tower has re-used stones in the responds of the N.
and E. tower-arches, and some re-used voussoirs
in the N. arch; there is also a four-centred head
to the doorway of the stair-turret, which dates
from the 15th century.
Fittings—All in the new church. Bells: four;
1st and 4th by John Draper, 1607; 2nd by Miles
Graye, 1654; 3rd by Charles Newman, 1700.
Brackets: In chancel—in E. wall, two moulded
brackets, with knotted terminations, c. 1300.
Brass Indents: In S. aisle—(1) of man in armour,
with canopy, two shields above and inscription-plate below, late 14th-century; (2) of inscription-plate. Coffin-lids: In tower—three fragments with
parts of ornamental crosses. In churchyard—part
of lid with head of ornamental cross, all late 13th- or early 14th-century. Font: plain octagonal
bowl with chamfered under-edge and plain cylindrical stem, probably 14th-century. Monument:
In chancel—on N. wall, to Charles Wandisford,
1693, white marble draped cartouche with cartouche-of-arms. Piscinae: In chancel—double,
with moulded jambs and mullion and trefoiled
heads with soffit-cusping and octofoil drain, early
14th-century, W. half of W. bay modern. In S.
aisle—double, with hollow-chamfered jambs, trefoiled heads and central shaft with moulded capital
and base, trefoil in spandrel, multifoil drain, early
14th-century. Miscellanea: Used as corbels in
S. aisle, portions of 12th-century ornament. Set
in tower, portions of 12th- and 13th-century detail.
In churchyard, foliated capital of respond, part
of a similar capital and springer of a stone
vault, 13th-century, probably brought from
Condition—Of porch, poor.
b(3). About 300 yards E. of the remains of the
b(4). About 200 yards W. of the remains of the
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century and of two
storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs
are tiled or thatched. Some of the buildings have
original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good.
b(5). Cottage, on W. wide of road, about 280
yards N. of the new church, was built probably
early in the 18th century.
b(6). Church Farm, house 180 yards E. of the
remains of the old church, has been refaced in
brick and the roof covered with corrugated iron.
One original casement remains, with a moulded
frame and cornice.
b(7). House, on W. side of street, 200 yards
S.S.W. of the new church, was built probably
late in the 16th century and has cross-wings at
the N. and S. ends. The original central chimney-stack has three octagonal shafts with moulded
bases. Inside the building is an early 16th-century
moulded beam, probably re-used.
b(8). Green Man Inn, on N. side of street, 210
yards S. of the new church, has been refaced with
modern brick and the roofs covered with corrugated
iron. The original central chimney-stack has four
detached shafts set diagonally on a square base.
b(9). Cottage, 20 yards E. of (8), was built probably early in the 18th century. The walls are of
b(10). Cottage, two tenements, 50 yards E. of (9),
has a cross-wing at the W. end. The walls are
mainly of brick.
b(11). House, two tenements, 50 yards N.E. of
(10), has an original chimney-stack with grouped
b(12). House, 80 yards E. of (10,) is of L-shaped
plan with the wings extending towards the E.
and N. The upper storey projects slightly at the
W. end of the S. front and has been under-built
b(13). Cottage, opposite and S. of (8), was built
probably early in the 18th century; the walls are