(O.S. 6 ins. aTL 26 N.E., bTL 36 N.W., cTL 6 S.E., dTL 36 S.W.)
The parish of Elsworth, an irregular area of 3839 acres,
is exceeded in size only by those of Gamlingay and
Bourn. The land slopes from about 220 ft. in the S.,
where the Cambridge to St. Neots highway forms the
boundary, to some 50 ft. at points in the N. where
small streams drain down to the Ouse through the
intervening parishes of Conington and of Hilton
(Huntingdonshire). One of these streams divides Elsworth on the W. from Boxworth; its upper reaches are
in the parish of Knapwell which is separated from Elsworth by an indented line based on pre-existing fields.
Boulder clay predominates on the higher ground;
lower down are Ampthill and other clays; while in and
to the N. of the village a limestone outcrop, sometimes
described as 'Elsworth rock', occurs.
The village is of nucleated type; the only suggestion
of an out-settlement is immediately W. of Elsworth
Wood where slight field indications (see Monuments
(45) and (46)), may be related to documentary references to 'Matheus Atewode' and 'le Wodecroft' in the
late 13th and early 14th centuries (Reaney, 'Placenames of Cambs.', 167). A total absence of mediaeval
buildings other than the ample 14th-century church (the
earliest of the houses, Low Farm (Monument (16)), is of
the late 16th century), and an unusually poor cartographical background preclude all but the most tentative conclusions as to the development of the village.
The Abbey of Ramsey owned virtually the entire parish
from the end of the 10th until the 16th century (J. A.
Raftis, The Estates of Ramsey Abbey (1957), 13 ff.); the
two manors passed then to the Wendys of Haslingfield
and were sold by them in 1656 to Samuel Disbrowe
(d. 1690) whose brother John was married to Oliver
Cromwell's sister. The manor house (Monument (3)) is
likely to have been built between 1656 and 1660; an
earlier house site (Monument (44)) lies a short distance
to the N.
Baker's county map of 1821 shows the manor house
standing in a small park of about 15 acres bounded on
the N. by Fardell's Lane and on the W. by Broad Street;
the road from Boxworth passes across its S.E. corner.
Two small houses of the 17th century (Monuments (4)
and (7)) lie within the area; they could well have been
built in Disbrowe's day. The Disbrowes may have been
lenient landlords; the siting of Monuments (20) and (21),
both probably of c. 1657, suggest encroachment on the
The history of Elsworth after 1660 seems to have
been one of peaceful decline. Enclosure was by act
of 1800, the award being made in 1802. The dwellings erected in the later 18th and 19th centuries, including several substantial farmhouses in the Regency
tradition and some semi-detached pairs and informal
terraces, are collectively of interest; a few of the more
individually noteworthy have been listed.
d(1) Parish Church of the Holy Trinity stands on
rising ground towards the E. side of the village. It is
oddly placed in the W. corner of a N.E. to S.W. oblong
churchyard and is separated from the rectory, some
30 yds. to the N.W., by a footpath in continuation of
Church Causeway. The churchyard is bounded on the
E., S. and W. by low walls with old stone coping. The
fabric consists of a long Chancel, Nave with Aisles and
South Porch, and West Tower. The walls are of field
stones and local limestone rubble, in part roughly
squared and coursed, with dressings of shelly limestone,
and, internally, of clunch; the roofs are leaded. Some
reused stonework in the fabric and a fragment lying in
the church (see Miscellaneous below) point to a 12th-century stone church, but the present structure is entirely
of the first half of the 14th century save for the 13th-century chancel arch and the late mediaeval S. porch.
The fabric has suffered from subsidence and there has
been a certain amount of piecemeal rebuilding at various
periods. The church was restored in 1876–7, again in
1891–2, under the supervision of W. M. Fawcett, when
the N. aisle was rebuilt.
Elsworth, the Parish Church of the Holy Trinity
Architectural Description—The Chancel (47 ft. by 19 ft.) has
a five-light E. window, the mullions and tracery of which are
modern but otherwise original, with external and internal
labels, the latter terminating in head stops. The side walls are
divided into three equal bays by buttresses; on the N. side
these have been partly rebuilt, perhaps in connection with the
construction and later demolition of a family vault. The first
and third bays in the N. wall have each a three-light window
with net tracery and external and internal labels; the outside
label to the second window has head stops. W. of centre in the
middle bay is a doorway, originally with continuously
moulded jambs to the N.; these have been cut back save for
part of the outermost wave moulding and the doorway now
has a door with modern jambs on the inside face. The S. wall
has a window in each bay, the first two similar to those on the
N. side; the third is of four lights with a square head which has
been substituted for the original tracery. Below the W. jamb
of the third window is a blocked rectangular 'low-side'
with moulded jambs, staples for an outside shutter, and an
iron grille. The chancel arch is of a single chamfered order to
the E.; to the W. it is of two hollow-chamfered orders, the
inner of which rises off short triple shafts with moulded caps
above and a moulded corbel below; for the rest the responds,
which were mutilated to fit a rood loft and have been restored,
are square on plan with chamfered arrises. On the E. face of
the wall above the chancel arch is the weather course of the
original roof; the walls have been heightened to accommodate
the present one.
The Nave (54¾ ft. by 18½ft.; Plate 74) has uniform arcades
of four bays each, with arches of two wave-moulded orders
and filleted quatrefoil piers with rolls between the foils and
moulded caps and bases. The clearstorey has a restored quatrefoil light over each pier. The North Aisle (14 ft. wide) has been
rebuilt, but on the old lines and re-using many of the old
dressings; the N. doorway, the four windows, buttresses and
string-courses resemble the corresponding features in the S.
aisle. At the E. end of the N. arcade, entered by a continuously
moulded doorway, set across the S.E. corner of the aisle, with
four-centred head, a later mediaeval rood stair has been intruded, with an upper doorway, in the angle of the nave,
formerly giving on to the loft, similar but chamfered. The
South Aisle (13 ft. wide) has a somewhat bizarre E. window
(Plate 10) of four boldly cinque-foiled lights in a two-centred
head with moulded labels; the remaining windows are each
of three trefoiled lights with net tracery and moulded external
and internal labels; the external labels of all the windows have
mask stops. The S. doorway is of two continuous wavemoulded orders separated by a three-quarter hollow. External
and internal string courses at window-sill level are lifted over
it as labels.
The West Tower (13½ ft. square) is of two stages externally
with a moulded plinth and embattled parapet. The three-stage
buttresses rise to crocketed pinnacles; the offsets between the
ground and intermediate stages being lightly embattled. A
projecting part-octagonal stair turret at the S.E. corner is
finished at the base of the bell chamber with a pyramidal stone
capping. The tower arch is of three orders with multiple wavemouldings and moulded label: the innermost order rises off
part-octagonal responds with chamfered plinths; the others die
against the side walls. Above the arch, in the N.E., N.W. and
S.E. corners, moulded corbels with adjacent lengths of wall rib
on the N. and E. walls are evidence for a vault or projected
vault. The W. doorway has continuously moulded jambs of
three orders, moulded label, and a moulded rear arch. The W.
window is of three trefoiled lights with net tracery and a
moulded external label with mask stops; below and to the N.
of it, on the inside, is a short length of moulded string. The
belfry windows are each of two ogee trefoiled lights with a
quatrefoil in the head and a moulded label.
The South Porch is late mediaeval. The entrance arch is of
two chamfered orders separated by a hollow and rises off
moulded jambs with small attached shafts rising to projecting
moulded caps. In each side wall is a restored window of three
cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head.
The Roofs of the chancel and both nave aisles are of the 16th
or 17th century; they are almost flat and the timbers are plain
chamfered. That of the chancel is divided into five bays by
cambered tie beams, each bay being sub-divided into four by a
ridge and side purlins. The rafters are exposed. The lean-to
aisle roofs are similar. The roof of the nave is modern but
eleven carved wooden figures placed on small stone corbels
in the clearstorey are presumably from its mediaeval
Fittings— Bells: four; 1st by Christopher Gray, 1675; 2nd
with initial cross, inscription and church warden's initials, 1616;
3rd with illegible inscription; 4th with doggerel hexameter
Latin verse, 1628. Bell frame: old. Benefactors' table: on W.
wall of S. aisle, inscribed stone with details of 17th-century
benefactions and parochial obligations. Brass indents: In
chancel—(1) for man and wife, with inscription plate; (2) for
inscription plate; (3) for priest, with inscription plate. In N.
aisle—(4) for man and wife, with inscription plate and two
groups of children. In S. aisle—(5) for man and wife, with
inscription plate; (6) for man and wife, with inscription plate,
worn; (7) for inscription plate surmounted by a small unidentified feature, worn; (8) for two figures and inscription
plate; (9) for figure, probably female, with inscription plate.
All are late mediaeval. Chair: of oak, with turned front legs
and plain back legs carried up to frame the two shaped and
enriched cross bars of the back; 17th-century. Chest: plain,
18th-century. Churchyard cross: immediately E. of chancel,
base only; mediaeval. Communion rails: of oak, with turned
balusters and panelled posts; 18th-century. Font: octagonal,
of limestone; small bowl with chamfered under-edge moulded
on the arris, plain stem and moulded base; original footpace
with lower octagonal and upper cruciform steps forming four
kneeling bays; late mediaeval.
Elsworth, the Parish Church of The Holy Trinity
Monuments and Floor slabs. Monuments: On N. wall of
chancel—(1) of Matthew Holworthy, rector, 1826, and Ann,
his wife, 1833; also of their children: Anna Sophia, 1801;
Frederick John, 1807; Matthew, rector, 1836; William Henry,
rector of Blickling with Erpingham, Norfolk, 1838; Mary,
1842; and Emma, 1848; white inscription panel in gothic
surround, erected 1850, signed W. Brown, Stonehouse,
Devon; (2) of Matthew Holworthy, 1728, and Elizabeth, his
wife, 1749; also of their children: Matthew, 1701; Disbrowe,
1721; Susanna, 1721; and Elizabeth (Heathcote), 1726; black
marble inscription panel in coloured marble surround, surmounted by a sarcophagus and cartouche of arms backed by
an obelisk; (3) of Ann, 1794, and her husband, Lawrence
Desborough, 1799. (4) Slots, with inscribed date 1751 (?), cut
into the S. buttress at the S.W. angle of the S. aisle, may be
traces of the 'very handsome Altar Monument' to Miss Frances
Brearey, 1744, alluded to by Cole (B.M. Add. MS. 5810, 79).
Floor slabs: In chancel—(1) of Thomas Whincop, rector, 1656,
with shield of arms; (2) of William Lunn, 1769, and Cornelia
(Disbrowe), his wife, 1775, with achievement of arms; (3) of
William Lunn, rector, 1746; (4) of Edward Lunn, rector, 1791;
(5) of Mary Waller, 1715; (6) of Samuel Disbrowe, 1690, with
achievement of arms; (7) of Thomas Lunn, 1749, and Elizabeth, his wife, 1793; (8) of William Lunn, 1828, signed 'Gilbert
Cambridge'. In S. aisle—(9) of Maria (Pamplyn?), 173(?1);
(10) of Edward Hustwait and Mary his wife, defaced, c. 1800;
(11) of John Hustwait, 1752, and Katharine Hustwait, defaced.
In tower—(12) of Rose Disbrow, 1698, with lozenge of arms.
Piscinae: In chancel—(1) double piscina (Plate 6) with central
shaft and uniform responds, and two trefoiled arches with
panelled spandrel beneath a common label; a shelf is contrived
behind the top foil of either arch; first half of 14th century,
but the two quatrefoil drains may be from an earlier piscina.
In N. aisle, partly cut into by S.W. jamb of lower doorway to rood stair—(2) with trefoiled head and circular drain;
first half of 14th century. In S. aisle—(3) with moulded jambs,
trefoiled ogee head framing a shelf, and quatrefoil drain; the
aisle string course is lifted over it to form a label; first half of
14th century. Plate: includes a flagon, London 1733, a cup,
a cover paten and an alms dish all inscribed and presented in
1733; and a brass alms dish, Continental, 16th- or 17th-century.
Pulpit (Plate 17): on a modern stem, octagonal, with six closed
sides enriched with applied tracery and two open; the tracery
is in two heights with cinque-foiled arches above and a cusped
saltire beneath; late mediaeval, restored. Recesses: In chancel,
at E. end of N. wall, with stone shelf under depressed head;
adjacent, at the N. end of the E. wall is the blocking of a
similar recess; both mediaeval. Reredos (Plate 74): now forming
S. side of vestry at W. end of N. aisle, divided into pedimented
centre piece and side bays by coupled Ionic columns. A central
eared and enriched panel is painted with the Commandments;
above it in the pediment is an inlaid sacred monogram surrounded by rays; side panels with the Lord's Prayer and Creed
are moulded and pedimented; according to Cole it was
installed by Elizabeth Holworthy between 1745 and her death
in 1749 (B.M. Add. MS. 5810, 72). Screen: N. of the chancel
entry, two panels of the lower part of a late mediaeval screen,
each having an applied mullion and tracery with carved
spandrels; S. of the entry one or two original timbers made up
with modern work. Seating: In N. and S. aisles, six pews each,
incorporating late mediaeval bench ends and other woodwork.
The bench ends are shaped and have chamfered edges enriched
with paterae; most retain carved poppy heads. Sedilia (Plate 6):
three, stepped, under moulded and trefoiled ogee heads, with
moulded labels, carried on small shafts with moulded caps and
bases and corresponding responds; first half of 14th century.
Stalls (Plate 19): In chancel, in two lengths against the western
half of either side wall and returned under the chancel arch.
They are in general of the 16th century but four return stalls
with shaped divisions and cappings placed against the restored
base of the screen are somewhat earlier. The backs of the N.
and S. sides are of linen-fold panelling, two panels high, with a
moulded cornice and continuous bench framing into half bench
ends at the E. extremities. The prayer desks have panelled
fronts, largely modern, with heavy 16th-century shaped ends
surmounted by foliated poppy heads. Beneath the book rests
are small panelled cupboards, those to the return desks retaining their original panelled and enriched doors with
wrought-iron furniture. Sundial: over entry to S. Porch,
square, dated 1628. Miscellaneous: loose in vestry, short length
of stone, enriched with cable ornament, perhaps part of a nook
d(2) Providence Chapel, built about 1830, consists of a
meeting house, school and manse. The Meeting house, which is
of white brick with low hipped and slated roof, has a front to
the street in three bays and two heights with hung-sash windows and central round-headed doorway of two continuous
plain orders with a blind tympanum inscribed 'Strict Baptist
Chapel "Providence"'. The interior has N., E. and W. galleries with panelled fronts carried on cast-iron columns; the
galleries are fixed to the brickwork by wall anchors and tie
rods. The Schoolroom is on the E. side of the meeting house
and has a round-headed door and one hung-sash window to the
front beneath a shaped parapet. The Manse is a detached twostorey Class-T house in the same materials a short distance to
Elsworth, The Manor House
d(3) Manor House, of whitewashed red brick, two
storeys high with attics and tiled roofs, was built on a
U-shaped plan with wings to the N., probably for
Samuel Disbrowe, Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland
during the Civil War, who bought the property from
the Wendy family in 1656 and died in 1690. The house
was refurbished during the 18th century and remodelled
c. 1800 when the entrance was moved from the S. to
the W. front and the main range heightened and
widened on the N. to make a first-floor saloon and
corridors. The W. wing, lengthened perhaps at the
same time, has since been reduced to its original dimension. There are some recent additions in the court.
Some fittings were removed prior to 1939; they included a mid 17th-century staircase having vertically
symmetrical balusters and square newel posts with four-sided shaped finials, elements of which are now at the
Mill House, Pebmarsh, Essex. The house is at present
divided into a number of tenements.
The symmetrical S. front has a slightly recessed centrepiece,
originally in five, now in two bays, flanked by the hipped ends
of the wings each in two bays with a small hipped set-back
dormer. At the junction of the range and the wings are
chimney stacks, each of three conjoined faces, set across the
main ridge. The 19th-century sash windows in the centre are
comparatively large; the rest, in original openings, are smaller
and earlier. The front wall has a chamfered plinth and applied
wooden fascia at first-floor level apparently in the place of an
original platband; the eaves, save for the heightened centrepiece, are boxed in wood. The side elevations are irregular, the
principal feature to the W. being the entrance doorway of c.
1800 with flanking pilasters, fan-light, and later side glazing;
on the E. side a blocking at mezzanine level indicates the site
of a tall window lighting the former stairs. The W. elevation
retains an original eaves cornice of moulded brick.
The N. ends of the wings, in a more conservative idiom than
the S. front, rise to gables, each with comparatively small
blocked windows: the E. gable end retains platbands at first-floor and eaves levels; the W. gable end has the E. end of a
wooden fascia at first-floor level and a moulded gable parapet
with shaped kneelers rising to a chimney stack similar to those
at the ends of the main range.
The old entrance hall on the ground floor of the main range,
with a ceiling divided into four bays by intersecting chamfered
beams, has fielded panelling, much altered, in two heights,
separated by a moulded rail. The room adjoining to the
E. has similar, but better preserved, panelling and a heavily
moulded plaster cornice, two doors each of six fielded panels,
and a grey marble fireplace surround. Some of the remaining
ground floor rooms have similar 18th-century details interspersed with others of c. 1800. On the first floor a number of
original chamfered ceiling beams, some intersecting, are
exposed. The former saloon has a reused door of six fielded
panels in an elaborate early 19th-century door-case enriched
with festoons, urns and paterae, and an enriched chair rail.
Inside blocked attic windows in both of the N. gables original
two-light ovolo-moulded wooden frames are visible.
d(4) House (Plate 79), originally one Class-K dwelling of the
17th century, now in several occupations, has a framed and
plastered N. and S. range of one storey and attic, with thatched
half-hipped roof. An 18th-century wing, partly brick-built,
has been added at right angles on the E. side. The W. front
retains traces of rectilinear pargetting. The triple chimney
stack with recessed centre is original. Inside are a number of
chamfered beams. Some of the tie beams have been cut to
improve access between the upper rooms.
d(5) Dear's Farm (Plate 36) consists of a two-storeyed
house of 1601, framed, plastered and thatched, with first
floor jettied along the S. side; and a W. prolongation in the
same materials, partly of the 17th and partly of the 18th century. There are some added outshuts. The central chimney of
the earliest part is built in an original chimney bay. The dividing cross beam immediately W. of it on the ground floor and
the axial beam which framed into it are both ovolo-moulded;
the former carries an inscription, the top edge of which has
been ceiled in: '(?) RH 1601 ISC'. S. of the chimney on the
upper floor is an original blocked two-light window. There
are some stop-chamfered beams and joists in the prolongation.
d(6) House (Class I), now derelict, one storey and attic with
thatched roof; it was originally framed but has been cased
with red brick in the 18th century and extended at the W. end
in the same material.
d(7) House (Plate 79), built to a central-chimney design
(approximately Class J) on an E.-W. axis in the 17th century,
is of one storey and attics, framed and plastered, with a thatched
roof. There is a stair-annexe on the N. side of the W. part; the
E. part has a slightly lower ridge and appears to have been at
first open to the roof. The chimney stack of two conjoined
diagonal flues is probably original.
d(8) Child's Farm (Class U), c. 1850, two-storeyed, of
plastered studwork with hipped slated roof, has a symmetrical
E. front in two heights and three bays with central front door
opening on to a stair hall. The windows are wooden casements. Three fireplaces in a spine wall parallel to the front
have flues which arch over and issue at the ridge in two stacks.
d(9) Meadow Farm consists of a house and buildings. The
House, two-storeyed, of plastered studwork with hipped slated
roofs, was built on an L-shaped plan c. 1840. The E. front to the
road is symmetrically designed in three bays with a central
front door. Much of the interior detail is original. Buildings to
the N. include a three-bay boarded barn and a brick dryingshed, both of the 18th or 19th century.
d(10) House (Class J) of one storey and attic, framed and
plastered, with corrugated iron roof, has the transcribed date
1646 on a modern plaster panel at the base of the chimney
d(11) Warehouse, at Avenue Farm, formerly two-storeyed,
with timber frame of five unequal bays each sub-divided by
secondary trusses, boarded and thatched, is of 16th- or 17th-century origin. The floor has been removed and an aisle added
on the N. side to make a barn. The upper floor was lit by
windows divided into three lights by diagonally-set square
mullions; four of these can be inferred from mortices in the
top plate. The main posts are worked with intermediate
brackets and tenoned to take the supporting beams of the lost
floor; they rise to enlarged heads and are braced to the tie
beams. The rafters above both main and secondary posts have
braces to purlins and are joined by collars.
d(12) Brockley Farm consists of a house and buildings. The
House, an E. and W. range two storeys high, of red brick,
with three rooms on either floor and attics, was built in 1753;
the date and initials WWT are cut on a brick on the N. front.
The E. end has a gable of 'tumbled' brickwork. The roofs are
covered with modern tile. In the 19th century the W. end of
the house was rebuilt and the whole refenestrated and enlarged;
this rebuilding has obscured the original plan which was
perhaps intermediate between Class J and Class T.
Surviving original features include a reset staircase with
turned balusters, square newels and moulded handrail, and a
door of six fielded panels, also reset.
The Buildings include a 19th-century laundry or brew-house
at the W. end, with inserted floor, and S. of it a detached 18th-century bake-house, now ruinous.
d(13) House and Bake-house. The two-storeyed brick and
slate house is combined with a single-storey bake-house at its S.
end. An advertisement in the Cambridge Chronicle of 25
November 1843 for a 'Bake House . . . recently rebuilt'
presumably refers to this building.
d(14) House, of red brick, roofed with asbestos tiles, two
storeys and attic, was built c. 1700 on a plan approximating to
Class 1 but with the chimney off-centre; it has since been
extended and altered. The larger ground-floor room was
originally divided to allow for a small unheated service room.
The house was formerly thatched and has lost its 'tumbled'
d(15) House (Class K), now two dwellings, of one storey and
attic, framed, plastered and thatched, is of the mid 17th
century. Inside are some exposed chamfered and stop-chamfered ceiling beams and joists.
Elsworth, Monument No. 16
d(16) Low Farm (Plate 78) consists of a house and barn. The
House, of two storeys, framed and plastered, with thatched
roofs, has the initials and date 'IHA 1595 EGD' carved on the
depressed arched head of the porch entrance (Plate 37).
The plan approximates to that of a Class-J house but with a
cross wing in place of the unheated end room and a staircase
projection and porch with projecting upper stage, both original, respectively N. and S. of the internal chimney. The N.
end is gabled with an added 18th-century chimney; the W.
and S. ends are half-hipped. There are traces of pargetting on
the S. side of the main range; against its N. side is a modern
Inside the house some chamfered ceiling beams and other
timbers are exposed. The original chimney serves two ground
floor fireplaces and a smaller fireplace to the W. room on the
first floor; all three have chamfered jambs and four-centred
heads. The roof of the main range is based on tie beams with
long braces to the principal posts some of which have been
cut to allow access between the first-floor rooms. The cross
wing, which is structurally independent though apparently
coeval, was originally divided on either floor into a larger N.
and smaller S. room. The main posts have enlarged heads and
the roof has braced tie beams and collars.
The 17th-century aisled Barn, S. of and parallel to the house,
is of four bays with a short fifth bay under the W. hip; it is
boarded and thatched.
d(17) House, on a plot of ground adjoining the churchyard
at its S.W. corner, of one storey and attics, framed and plastered, with half-hipped thatched roof. The original 17th-century building, to which a pair of 19th-century tenements
has been added, was of Class-I plan, but with the W. room
originally open to the roof.
d(18) School, of white brick with tiled roofs, in a Tudoresque
idiom, dated 1847, includes subsequent extensions. It is symmetrically designed with a large school room, flanked at right
angles to the N. by a smaller school room and to the S. by a
d(19) House, originally built as a relatively sophisticated
small two-storey framed house to a Class-J plan in the mid
18th century, has lost two rooms at the N. end, and acquired
a 19th-century wing to the E. It retains an original stair with
d(20) House (Class J), of one storey and attic, framed and
plastered, with thatched half-hipped roof. The date 1657
inscribed on the modern chimney pot of an added second flue
is probably that of erection. Inside are some chamfered and
crudely enriched beams.
d(21) House (Class L) adjoining the foregoing to the E. is
possibly coeval; it is framed, plastered and thatched. The studwork, largely exposed internally, consists of sparse and rough
uprights framed into plates of moderate scantling with
externally applied wattles coated with an earthen plaster mixed
with straw. Inside some stop-chamfered ceiling beams and a
number of blocked window openings are visible.
Elsworth, Monument No. 21
d(22) Dale's Farm (Plate 31), of white brick, two-storeyed
with cellars, and with hipped and gabled roofs, was built
c. 1840. The S. front to the road is symmetrically designed in
three bays with end pilasters and a narrow centrepiece in which
is set a front door with rectangular fan-light and shallow hood.
Inside is an original staircase. The piers of the contemporary
garden walls have cast-iron caps and finials.
d(23) Farm building, consisting of a combined granary and
pigeon loft, framed and boarded, with some brick underbuilding; the thatched roof is hipped and rises to two gablets;
d(24) Brown's Farm, originally an 18th-century Class-I
house, was remodelled and extended c. 1790; the walls are of
brick and the roofs tiled. Inside the extension is a reused ovolo-moulded beam. A staircase in the original house retains some
18th-century shaped balusters.
d(25) Almshouses, now derelict, single-storeyed, of red
brick, with gable-ended tiled roofs; they consist of three rooms,
each a separate tenement, in a straight range. According to the
Lysons (Cambridgeshire, 184), 'Dr Franklin, by his will, bearing
date June 27, 1695, bequeathed the sum of 400 l. for building
and endowing three alms-houses for poor widows'.
d(26) Windmill (N.G. TL 326641), without working parts,
now incorporated in a modern house. It consists of a tapered
brick tower with some original round-headed windows; 19th-century.
d(27) Common Farm (Class T; N.G. TL 303612), c. 1800,
two storeys and attics, partly of white brick, partly framed and
plastered, with tiled roof, has a symmetrical S. front in three
bays with central front door and triple sash windows on the
ground floor. Above are three first-floor sash windows, a
dentilled eaves cornice and three set-back dormers. The staircase, housed in a projection on the N. side entered from one of
the ground-floor rooms, is original.
c and d(28–43) Houses, of internal-chimney design (Classes
I and J) more or less altered, generally of one storey and attics,
and mostly framed, plastered and thatched; a number of these
were probably built before 1715. Monument (28) is an outlier
(N.G. TL 28856432).
d(44) Moated site (Class A 1 (a); N.G. TL 315637; ponds
only on O.S.), presumably that of the mediaeval manor house,
lies 250 ft. N.W. of its 17th-century successor (Monument (3)),
on level ground in clay soil. The site is under rough pasture,
marshy in the ditch. The remains are those of a rectangular
moat, now measuring 88 ft. N.W., by 133 ft. S.W., by 54 ft.
S.E., by 116 ft. N.E., with a partly wet ditch 30 ft. to 40 ft.
wide and 2 ft. to 3 ft. deep. The S. angle has been partly removed and the S.W. and N.E. sides have been widened and
deepened to form ponds holding 1 ft. to 3 ft. of water, distorting the original dimensions of about 120 ft. by 90 ft. A
small stream flows along the S.W. and N.W. sides and into the
pond at the N. angle, having passed through a partly-filled
rectangular pool 160 ft. long, 40 ft. wide and 2 ft. deep to the
S. of the moat. Suggestions of an entrance at the W. corner
may be due to differential quarrying of the ditch. Mounds and
a hollow in the interior seem to be recent.
d(45) Mound (N.G. TL 30806175; not on O.S.), on level
boulder clay 200 ft. above O.D., some 150 yds. E. of the Elsworth to Caxton road. The mound, 35 ft. in diameter and 2 ft.
high, with slight traces of a ditch 6 ft. wide and 6 ins. deep,
stands in an area measuring 200 ft. by 300 ft., which has no
sign of former ridge and furrow ploughing, and S. of an E.
to W. access way through the pre-enclosure arable.
(46) Cultivation remains (not on O.S.). Ridge and furrow
remains in closes around the village, e.g. between N.G. TL
320639 and 324641. The ridges are straight, 80 yds. to 170 yds.
long, 6 yds. to 11 yds. wide and 6 ins. to 9 ins. high. In fields
to the E. of the village, around N.G. TL 323639, a hollow-way
between ridge and furrow indicates an older course of the
existing road; an area of unploughed land to the N.W. may
have been enclosed from common pasture along the roads.
All these were old enclosures in 1800. To the E. and S.E. of the
village, e.g. around N.G. TL 320636 and 321637, are fields with
curving ridge and furrow, 130 yds. to 180 yds. long, 7 yds.
to 9 yds. wide and 6 ins. to 9 ins. high, with headlands 6 yds.
to 10 yds. wide; these were also old enclosures in 1800 and had
clearly been enclosed from open fields. Similar remains in old
enclosures taken from open fields lie S.W. of Elsworth Wood
around N.G. TL 308616 where reversed-S ridge and furrow
runs E. and W. on either side of a N. to S. hollow-way 40 ft.
wide and 2 ft. deep; the ridges are 170 yds. to 190 yds. long,
7 yds. to 11 yds. wide and 1 ft. high with headlands 10 yds.
Traces of curving ridge and furrow can be seen on air
photographs over much of the parish, all belonging to the
former open fields. There is some evidence that Elsworth was
a two-field village.
(Ref: enclosure map 1800 (C.R.O.); W. E. Tate in C.A.S.
Procs., XL (1944), 58; air photographs: 106G/UK/1490/3233–5,
3348–54, 3380–4, 4370–98.)