ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL
MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS OF ENGLAND
Report to The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
May It Please Your Majesty
We, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the Ancient and Historical
Monuments and Constructions connected with or illustrative of the contemporary culture, civilisation and
conditions of life of the people of England, excluding Monmouthshire, from the earliest times to the year
1714, and such further Monuments and Constructions subsequent to that year as may seem in our discretion
to be worthy of mention therein, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation, do humbly
submit to Your Majesty the following Report, being the twenty-seventh Report on the work of the Commission since its first appointment.
2. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our recording of the monuments in north-east
Cambridgeshire, an area including ten parishes containing 608 monuments.
3. Following our usual practice we have prepared an illustrated Inventory of the monuments in the area
which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication entitled North-east Cambridgeshire. As in the
Inventory of West Cambridgeshire (1968) accompanying the twenty-third Report, the Commissioners have
adopted the terminal date 1850 generally for the monuments described in the Inventory though exercising
discretion where reference to later monuments seemed desirable.
4. The methods adopted in previous Inventories of describing monuments have been followed; attention
paid in West Cambridgeshire to the topography and changes in the landscape has been continued.
5. The descriptions of churches and many other monuments in north-east Cambridgeshire have been
referred to the appropriate incumbents and owners, and we are satisfied that no significant standing
monument dating from between earliest times and 1850 has been omitted.
6. Our special thanks are due to incumbents and churchwardens and to owners and occupiers who have
allowed access by our staff to the monuments in their charge. We are indebted to the custodians of libraries
in London and Cambridge for their ready assistance, particularly the Cambridge University Library, the
Cambridge Antiquarian Society, the Cambridgeshire County Record Office, and the Royal Institute of
British Architects, and to Dr. J. K. S. St Joseph, Director in Aerial Photography in the University of
Cambridge. We are most grateful for specialized and local information offered by the Swaffham Internal
Drainage Board, and by Mr. J. Clarke, Mr. H. Gingell, Mr. K. S. G. Hinde, Mr. J. T. Norris and Dr.
7. The centres of those villages covered by the Inventory remain on the whole unchanged by modern
development since most of the new housing has been kept to the periphery. The medieval churches are
generally in good structural condition; however, particular attention has been paid to the study of headstones and memorial sculpture in churchyards because of the chances of their removal or destruction
during the current fashion for clearing churchyards. The fenland continues to be subject to artificial
drainage and intensive cultivation, but those areas on the chalk which were enclosed in the early 19th
century have, as a result of modern agricultural methods and the removal of hedges, reverted to the open
appearance which must have existed before their enclosure.
8. We humbly recommend to Your Majesty's notice the following Monuments in north-east Cambridgeshire as 'specially worthy of preservation':
(1) Parish Church: 13th-century west porch; early
14th-century nave of advanced design; 15th-century stone chancel-screen; 16th, 17th, 18th-century monuments.
(1) Parish Church: 12th-century tower; spacious
chancel and nave completed by 1464.
(1) Parish Church: 14th-century chancel; 15th-century nave.
(5) Biggin (see Secular).
(1) Parish Church: late 12th-century nave, with
plan probably influenced by a former pre-Conquest church; 13th-century chancel.
(3) Anglesey Abbey (see Secular).
Stow cum Quy
(1) Parish Church: 14th-century chancel and nave,
the latter incorporating 12th-century work.
(1) Parish Church: 14th-century chancel and nave;
15th-century carved bench ends.
(2) Benedictine Priory (see Secular).
(3) Lordship House (see Secular).
(1) Parish Church of St. Mary: 12th-century
church with west tower of octagon-on-square
(2) Church of St. Cyriac and St. Julitta; late 15th-century west tower; nave and chancel by Charles
(1) Parish Church: early 13th-century nave with
richly-carved capitals; 15th-century piscina and
(4) Bottisham Hall, house built c. 1797 in local
(5) House, 14th-century house with original features
indicating use as a lodging.
(40) Range of outbuildings at Parsonage Farm,
probably of the 16th-century, associated with
some industrial activity.
(2) The Hall, remains of 15th-century house incorporated in red-brick mansion of c. 1635; 17th-century staircase and panelling.
(3) Barn, probably 16th-century 'town house'.
(4) Old Rectory, 18th-century house incorporating earlier structures.
(5) Biggin, remains of 14th-century palace of
Bishops of Ely.
(3) Anglesey Abbey, remains of prior's lodging and
a hall of the 13th-century.
Stow cum Quy
(3) Quy Hall, late 16th-century house with 17th-century alterations; mid 19th-century patterned
brickwork and interior decoration.
(2) Benedictine Priory, remains of guest house or
prioress' lodging of c. 1300.
(3) Lordship House, orginally a 13th-century
(4) Burgh Hall, timber-framed manor house of
'Wealden' type, of c. 1500.
(39–63) Commercial End, housing and remains of
a mercantile establishment, as a group, mostly
of the early 19th century.
(5) Baldwin Manor, timber-framed manor house
of c. 1500.
(30) The Cage, brick lock-up with fire-engine house
Earthworks and Roman Remains
(47–55) Upper Hare Park, round barrows as a group.
(61–67) Bottisham Park, moats and other earthworks as a group.
(132) Castle, large earthwork of a castle begun by
King Stephen in 1144 but not completed.
Devil's Dyke, well preserved post-Roman linear
earthwork extending for 7 miles, into Reach
and Swaffham Prior (and Stetchworth and
Wood Ditton outside the area).
(29) Roman Settlement, site including remains of
We further recommend that all the earthworks included in the Inventory, in particular those listed above,
be investigated archaeologically before damage or
destruction, should either be unavoidable.
9. In compiling the foregoing list our criteria have been architectural or archaeological importance,
rarity, not only in the local but in the national field, and the degree of loss to the nation that would result
from destruction, always bearing in mind the extent to which the monuments are connected with or
illustrative of the contemporary culture, civilisation and conditions of life of the people in England, as
required by your Majesty's Warrant. We have not taken into account any attendant circumstances, such as
the cost of maintenance, usefulness for present-day purposes, or problems of preservation.
10. We desire to express our acknowledgement of the good work accomplished by our executive staff in
the preparation of this Inventory, in particular by Mr. S. D. T. Spittle, M.A., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., the
editor; Mr. C. C. Taylor, B.A., F.S.A., who recorded the earthworks; Mr. A. P. Baggs, M.A., F.S.A.,
Mr. C. A. Hartridge, M.A., F.R.I.B.A., and Mr. R. F. Taylor, B.A., who recorded the buildings; Dr.
B. E. A. Jones, who undertook documentary research; Mr. P. N. Hammond, who prepared the drawings,
and Mr. R. Braybrook, who took the photographs. We are also grateful for earlier work on recording
buildings by Mr. R. W. McDowall, O.B.E., M.A., F.S.A., and Dr. P. M. G. Eden, M.A., F.S.A.
11. We desire to add that our Secretary and General Editor, Mr. A. R. Dufty, A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., has
afforded constant assistance to us, Your Commissioners.
12. The next Inventory to be prepared by our Cambridge staff will be of the town of Stamford in
Lincolnshire. Simultaneously a survey of the earthworks and other early archaeological sites in Northamptonshire will be undertaken.
G. T. Hurrell
H. C. Darby
C. A. Ralegh Radford
H. M. Colvin
D. B. Harden
W. A. Pantin
A. J. Taylor
W. F. Grimes
M. W. Barley
S. S. Frere
R. J. C. Atkinson
J. N. L. Myres
A. R. Dufty (Secretary)