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Isleham

Pages 420-427

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10, Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (North-Eastern Cambridgeshire). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.

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ISLEHAM

The parish of Isleham (fn. 1) lies on the eastern edge of Cambridgeshire, about 13 km. (8 miles) north of Newmarket. (fn. 2) Covering 2,116 ha. (5,230 a.) (fn. 3) within an irregular triangle almost six miles long from north to south, it is separated from Suffolk on the north-east by the river Lark, further south towards Freckenham (Suff.), with which it formed, probably until 1837 × 1852, (fn. 4) a peculiar of the diocese of Rochester, by the Lee brook, a tributary of that river, and ancient field boundaries. Similar field edges, some bounding a narrow tongue running south to the Fordham- Freckenham road, divide Isleham from its Cambridgeshire neighbours to the west, Fordham and Soham, while further north a gently curving ditch divides Isleham and Soham fens.

Isleham c. 1800

In the upland south of the parish the Lower Chalk is exposed. Further north it is largely overlaid by river gravels, with beds of peat stretching along the centre of the parish. (fn. 5) Shrinkage of the ground level there, partly through early modern peat cutting, has left the river Lark raised well above it between embankments. The fens, which are virtually level at under 10 m., extended in the Middle Ages almost to the edge of the village, which lies above the 10 m. contour. Further south the land rises very gently, reaching over 15 m. in a few places. The southern third of the parish was therefore cultivated until inclosure in 1847 as open fields under a triennial rotation, while the northern part served as fen common pasture until its allocation in severalty in the 1660s and eventual drainage. (fn. 6) Until the early 19th century Isleham's links with the outside world were as much by water as by the few roads that entered its southern part. It had access by rail only c. 1883-1963. (fn. 7)

Traces of early human activity in the parish include finds of flint and bronze weapons and tools, mostly in the fen, from the Stone Age onwards. (fn. 8) Pottery sherds from a sandy hillock on the fen edge suggest an Early Bronze Age settlement there. (fn. 9) In 1959-60 c. 6,500 fragments of bronze cut up from tools, weapons, vessels, and harness fittings, probably a Late Bronze Age smith's stock of scrap metal, were found deposited in a pottery-lined pit near Little Isleham in the south-west of the parish. (fn. 10) Further north were found in 1907, in the bed of a former channel 1.5 km. north of the village, a group of 18 Romano-British pewter vessels. (fn. 11) Elsewhere fragments of pottery, draintiles, and tesserae, (fn. 12) including some found, 1935-6, at the earthwork called the Temple, west of the village, (fn. 13) indicate the presence of Roman habitations.

In 1086 57 peasants and 8 servi were reported, (fn. 14) and by 1279 there were c. 100 landholders. (fn. 15) In 1327 tax was levied on 39 villagers, (fn. 16) while 322 paid the poll tax in 1377. (fn. 17) The population probably grew by almost a half between the late 16th century and the mid 17th. (fn. 18) In the 1660s c. 165 dwellings were inhabited. (fn. 19) A possible subsequent decline in population may have continued into the early 18th century, (fn. 20) but by 1801 numbers had increased again, to 1,212. Thereafter they grew rapidly, by almost 450 in the 1810s, and, largely through endogenous growth, by c. 200 in each of the next two decades, reaching a peak of 2,236 in 1851. (fn. 21) In 1847 the vestry considered subsidizing the emigration of Isleham's settled poor. (fn. 22) Between the 1840s and 1867 46 people left Isleham for one Australian colony alone, the largest number from any parish in the area, (fn. 23) while 21 villagers were driven by poverty to America in 1852. (fn. 24) Emigration and epidemics (fn. 25) cut numbers by c. 300 by 1861. Then, after falling to 1,697 by 1881, the population stabilized at between 1,600 and 1,700 until the 1910s. It declined further to c. 1,490 in the 1920s and c. 1,340 in the 1950s, before a slow rise to 1,486 in 1971 and more rapid growth to 1,717 in 1981 and 1,951 in 1991. (fn. 26)

In the Middle Ages the main areas of settlement were the village of Great Isleham and a hamlet to the south-west by the Fordham border, called by the 1230s Little Isleham. (fn. 27) About 1465 that hamlet was partly bounded southward by Mill or Chapel lane and eastward by a way leading to its chapel. (fn. 28) Its name was still borne in the 19th century by 41 a. of closes occupying the southern end of the hamlet's former several inclosures, which covered altogether 75 a. (fn. 29) and extended northward to Thoroughfare close beside a way west from the village. In 1279 the tenants of Little Isleham fee had occupied 12 houses. (fn. 30) By the 1460s, of ten dwellings once occupied there, only 3-4 still stood. (fn. 31)

The main village, where c. 60 dwellings were reported in 1279, (fn. 32) also shrank between the 14th century and the mid 15th, especially towards its west end, apparently losing almost a third of c. 145 dwellings. (fn. 33) By the 1460s it had essentially its modern street pattern. (fn. 34) At its heart Church street, the modern high street, with Hall (called by 1762 Pound) (fn. 35) lane and Nekers (later Church) lane leading north from it, still had c. 1465 all but three of their 24 messuages standing. East street, recorded by c. 1300 (fn. 36) (renamed Sun Street in the early 19th century, probably after a public house), (fn. 37) which curved north-east past Hobbs pond, was still c. 1465 well built up on both sides, having kept 30 out of its 40 dwellings. From the 'priory green', south of a 12thcentury priory chapel, into which Church street widened at its west end, Up street, so named c. 1335 and still c. 1590, styled Upper Street c. 1760, (fn. 38) but called Mill Street by 1835, (fn. 39) ran south to a part of the fields still called Up Hall c. 1800. (fn. 40) By the 1460s Up street had no dwellings left on its west side, but still eight to its east. Blatherweyk street, so called from the 1330s (fn. 41) until the late 17th century, (fn. 42) but by the 1790s West (or Hall) Street, (fn. 43) ran west from the priory green. Parallel to it to the north was Newnham street, mentioned in 1336, which then already backed northward onto the fen. (fn. 44) Its medieval name suggests that it was a later development outside the original village layout. By 1700 its east end bore its modern name, Little London. (fn. 45) By the 1460s Blatherweyk street had lost 16 out of 35 and Newnham street 13 of 28 former messuages.

Isleham Village in the 1460s

The village streets retain few buildings from before 1600. (fn. 46) One timber-framed cottage, 16thcentury at latest, with a hall and cross wing, survives on Pound Lane. West Street has two also timber-framed houses of 1650 or later, one partly brick-cased, Little London two originally similar, much remodelled, cottages. (fn. 47) From the 17th century the wealthier villagers began to build their houses with two-storeyed fronts of red brick, usually of three or four bays, sometimes with dormers in their tiled roofs. They were sometimes later given sash windows and classical pedimented or reeded doorcases. The side and rear walls were often in the local clunch. One such house of c. 1700, derelict in 1995, with a hipped roof, stands on the northern side of Church Street's east end. Further east Sun Street has a farmhouse of c. 1700 in coursed clunch with rusticated pilasters at each end. Sunbury House, once the furthest east on that street, is entirely of locally made red brick, though mostly rendered, and has an 18thcentury doorway. (fn. 48) Another similar large house north of that street was apparently demolished soon after 1800. (fn. 49)

East of Mill Street stands another substantial early 18th-century house, whose original fivebayed front has a contemporary pilastered door case. When occupied by a branch of the Robins family, then Isleham's wealthiest, c. 1880-1930 and called the High House, it was balanced by their early 19th-century Red House to its south across Malting Lane. A smaller one-storeyed house to its north is also classically fronted in gault brick, with an early 19th-century doorcase resembling others on Church Street. One symmetrical grey brick late 18th-century house to the west across Mill Street was usually in the early 20th century occupied by the resident village doctor, (fn. 50) one of a line extending from c. 1850 (fn. 51) until after 1940. (fn. 52) A few 18th-century clunch-built cottages also survive on the older streets. (fn. 53) The older timber-framed dwellings often succumbed to fire, several on Church Street in 1840, seven cottages at East End in 1879. (fn. 54) The ancient centre of the village was made a conservation area in 1973. (fn. 55)

Houses still stretched c. 1800 (fn. 56) along the south side of West Street to a bend south-west of Isleham Hall, with a few dwellings, gone by the 1840s, scattered further west towards the Temple. The west end of that street's northern side, adjoining the manorial closes south of the Hall, was empty of houses. By 1800 the disappearance of Little Isleham, probably entirely uninhabited by 1640 when 30 a. of closes there was being cropped, (fn. 57) had been balanced by the growth of settlement at East End closer to the river Lark. Building developed there by the 1790s (fn. 58) beyond a wide gap occupied by chalkpits, around a junction where a road bending south-east from East Street meets the Causeway, once the 'backside lane' (fn. 59) running directly east from Church Street. No surviving houses at East End date from much before 1800. By 1841 (fn. 60) it had almost 100 dwellings, housing c. 440 people. Other dwellings, numbering 20 by the 1850s, were erected, some before 1790, (fn. 61) on intakes in the road, called Waterside, which led north from it to the river. The population of that end of the village gradually fell to 385 in 1861 and c. 300 from the 1870s.

In the main village numbers dwelling along the old streets steadily fell from c. 1,070 in 1841 to c. 930 in 1861 and c. 780 in 1881. To its south, however, there grew up after 1800 in a triangular former chalk quarry east of the south end of Mill Street a crowded settlement called the Pits, lying 20 ft. below street level; its impoverished inhabitants were almost all labourers. By 1834 78 cottages there were said to house 400 people. (fn. 62) Recurring epidemics, such as that of cholera reported in 1853-4, (fn. 63) probably helped, along with a gradual demolition of the closely set, gardenless, chalk-built cottages, (fn. 64) to reduce numbers there from 308 housed in 70 dwellings in 1861 to 184 occupying 52 dwellings by 1881. There were still 55 inhabited dwellings in the Pits in 1910. (fn. 65) By the 1960s most of the dilapidated cottages had been removed and only eleven were left by 1973. (fn. 66) By 1990, however, the Pits were again being developed with new brick houses. (fn. 67)

Isleham's population was raised in the mid 19th century by the spread of habitation to its fens, where by 1847 c. 5 houses and 30 cottages had been built, compared with c. 65 houses and 135 cottages around the village; over 20 of the new fen dwellings stood along the bank of the river Lark. (fn. 68) The number of fen dwellers, almost 400 in 1841, increased to 567 in 1851, but declined to only c. 300 from the 1860s. From the 1850s, out of some 100 inhabited dwellings in the whole fen, c. 45-55 stood on the river bank. (fn. 69) Others were scattered along northwardrunning fen droves lying further west, such as Little London, Two Coats, and East Fen droves. At the isolated Windy Hall in the south-west of the fen members of the Wells family, mostly labourers, established by 1816 a group of cottages which until the 1870s was effectively a clan settlement of 15-20 people. (fn. 70) In the 20th century c. 20 of the dwellings along the fen bank were removed. The population of traditional fenmen, in the 1930s numbering 70-100 and occupying 37 dwellings, had disappeared by the 1970s. (fn. 71)

In the village itself there were usually in the mid 19th century 40 or more dwellings on West Street and the lanes off it, but only 10-12 on Little London to its north. Mill Street, its west side still empty save at the north end, had 25-35 dwellings, but Church Street, its north side mostly taken up with public spaces such as the churchyard, only 10-17 houses. Pound Lane, however, where houses were being put up on the waste by 1788, (fn. 72) was, with c. 25 dwellings, well built up on its east side. Sun Street, once lined with walnut trees (fn. 73) and thickly built up as far as its bend eastwards, still had 15-20 houses.

The main village remained relatively compact within its ancient boundaries until the mid 20th century. (fn. 74) The total number of inhabited houses in the parish, after falling from 430 in 1871 to c. 390 by the 1880s, stood at c. 380 after 1900. (fn. 75) In 1910 there were c. 155 dwellings, two thirds styled cottages, on the old streets, with 50 more, mostly cottages, at East End and c. 70 in the fen, two thirds on the river bank. (fn. 76) There were still only 436 houses in the parish in 1951. In the 1950s and 1960s c. 45 were added in each decade, in the 1970s and 1980s c. 100 every ten years, raising the total to c. 725 by 1991. (fn. 77) From 1923 (fn. 78) there was some ribbon building by the road south from the village towards the railway station. After 1950 new building was undertaken at first largely south and east of the old village, including council housing on two streets south of the Causeway in the early 1950s and 1960s, and more after 1975 south of Malting Lane. (fn. 79) About 1976 the council also built 18 old peoples' homes around Limestone Close east of Mill Street. (fn. 80) Private houses, closely packed around closes, were built from the 1970s each side of the west end of Sun Street, north-east of the church, (fn. 81) and after 1980 beyond the former north end of Pound Lane. (fn. 82) Other new housing, including many bungalows, went up behind the old streetlines at East End. (fn. 83) By the mid 1970s there was also building along the previously empty Hall Barn Road, mentioned from the 1720s, (fn. 84) running south from opposite Isleham Hall's former farmstead, and in the 1990s on new closes being laid out each side of West Street. Electricity reached Isleham c. 1932, (fn. 85) along with mains water, but mains sewerage, based on a sewage works at the north end of Waterside, only in 1967. (fn. 86) In 1900 the Ely Waterworks Co. built on the Fordham road a massive pumping station, with arched windows dressed in red brick, still in use in the 1980s and still standing in 1995. (fn. 87)

Until the mid 20th century Isleham remained somewhat self-contained in its still isolated position: most inhabitants were native to the parish and intermarried with other native villagers, producing a community described as inwardlooking, suspicious of strangers, and slow to change. (fn. 88)

Early 16th-century bequests for road repairs included in 1514 one for the causeway at the west end of the town. (fn. 89) About 1580 it was alleged that corn could hardly be carted from Isleham to Wicken for much of the year. (fn. 90) Before 1850 Isleham's only effective road connection with the outside world was by a few fieldways over the arable to the south, (fn. 91) including Chippenham way running SSE., and further east a 'way toward Freckenham and Chippenham upon the hill'. Another, the modern Beck road, leading south-east, crossed the Lee brook by Beck bridge recorded by 1800, (fn. 92) beyond the Beck closes, mentioned from the 15th century to the 20th, on Isleham's south-eastern boundary. (fn. 93) Those ways and one south-west towards Fordham were mostly retained and straightened, though others were stopped up, when inclosure was completed in 1854. (fn. 94)

Equally important for communications until the late 19th century was the river Lark, whose present straight course along Isleham's northeastern boundary may represent a new cut made for transportation purposes in Roman times. (fn. 95) In the Middle Ages a navigable channel connecting the village with the river, possibly the common ripa, 'Remisue hethe', mentioned in the 1310s, running parallel with East street, may have led to loading basins at the north end of lanes leading north from the main east-west streets. One such depression at Hall Farm was still wet in the early 20th century. (fn. 96) Isleham was linked across the river with Mildenhall (Suff.) by Isleham ferry north-east of the village, attached to the manorial estate until its sale soon after 1800. (fn. 97) In the 19th century the ferry, a platform drawn with a chain, was usually worked by the occupant of the adjoining public house; that house, the Chair, was established by the 1760s and by 1800 renamed after the ferry. (fn. 98) In 1911 the ferry was still expected to yield tolls to its owner. (fn. 99)

In the 19th century a channel cut from the river to East End carried much traffic (fn. 100) until the opening in 1883-4 of the CambridgeMildenhall railway, in use until c. 1963, for which a station was built off the Chippenham road ½ mile south of the village. The station buildings were partly removed in the 1970s, the remainder being occupied c. 1985 by a tyre company. (fn. 101) The loss of work on the river allegedly made many former bargemen living at East End turn to poaching to help support themselves. (fn. 102) By the 1970s the neglected river was used only for bathing and pleasure craft, (fn. 103) though dredging was undertaken in the 1980s. (fn. 104) The construction in the early 1980s, on the Suffolk bank of the Lark near Isleham lock, of a marina with 106 chalets, each with moorings, was by 1989 increasing road traffic along Waterside. (fn. 105) Further north the roads in the fen long remained difficult; the rough, deeply rutted way along the river bank was often impassable, until it was made up in 1938, along with the parallel Black Drove to the west. (fn. 106)

One house bore the sign of the Rose in 1656. (fn. 107) By the mid 19th century Isleham was well supplied with public and beer houses, there being 17 altogether by 1851. (fn. 108) By 1900 there were nine in the old village, 1-3 on each street, often close together. The Pits dwellers had their own, the Maid's Head. Another five stood at East End and Waterside and four more, one open by 1790 and three by 1847, along the fen bank. (fn. 109) The largest in the village was the Griffin, (fn. 110) apparently so named by 1682 from the arms of the Peytons, former lords of the manor, (fn. 111) and possibly the inn providing 12 beds in 1686. (fn. 112) Styled a hotel by 1930, it was still open in the late 1990s. It occupied a timber-framed, 16th-century house, refronted in plaster, south of Church Street, with a carriage entrance to the east. (fn. 113) The White Horse, adjoining it to the west, opened c. 1800 and rebuilt after a fire in 1829 as a greybrick house, (fn. 114) closed after the 1930s. Its clubroom had housed by 1857 a society of Ancient Shepherds, with 120 members by 1873. (fn. 115) The only other public houses left in the 1980s, of six reported in 1962, were the Rising Sun, (fn. 116) in a early 17thcentury, timber-framed, dormered cottage on Sun Street, with an attached 18th-century clunch brewhouse, and the former Red Lion, renamed in 1992, in a similar cottage on West Street. (fn. 117) In 1989 the Red House on Mill Street became a restaurant. (fn. 118)

The traditional village feast, celebrated on Wednesday to Friday in Whitsun week, was still held in the early 20th century on the priory green and other open spaces, with showmen's stalls and a cricket match. (fn. 119) The feast continued as a three-or four-day event on the recreation ground until c. 1984; (fn. 120) it was apparently succeeded by an annual village gala held in July. (fn. 121) Mayday celebrations, in which the schoolchildren chose a May queen, were revived c. 1910 by the schoolmaster, and again after a 30-year gap in 1969. They were still kept up c. 1990. (fn. 122) A cottagers' horticultural society, founded c. 1875 by the fen chapel lay reader, (fn. 123) held from 1876 annual flower shows in July which continued into the early 20th century. (fn. 124)

By 1900 the Robins family, Isleham's leading farmers and traders, was lending for cricket a field west of Mill Street. Later, probably c. 1945-6, it was bought as a village recreation ground. (fn. 125) A village hall was built at its northeast corner in 1952 and improved c. 1985. (fn. 126) There was a reading room, apparently behind the fire station, from the late 1860s. (fn. 127) The Old Comrades' Club, established by 1922, was soon using as its clubhouse a barn at the west end of Church Street, later rebuilt in red brick, which was still in use in the 1990s. (fn. 128) Other clubs for cricket, started by 1882, football, and bowls still existed in the 1970s; a tennis club was defunct by 1985. (fn. 129) By the 1970s, and in 1986, there was an Angling Society, hiring its fishing rights from the parish. (fn. 130) An Isleham Society, initially having 50 members, founded in 1979 to preserve local amenities, sponsored occasional exhibitions in the priory chapel. (fn. 131)

In 1886, when labourers could first vote, each political party from Isleham carted its supporters to the poll at Fordham: the leading Tory E. W. Diver brought four waggons full, his rival builder the Liberal T. W. Brown, two. Up to 100 drunken Tory voters later attacked Brown and his supporters, halting voting. (fn. 132) In 1919 villagers chastised a returning soldier's errant wife, after a mocking procession, by burning effigies on the green. (fn. 133)

Footnotes

  • 1. Village life in late 19th and early 20th cent., described, M. Chamberlain, Fenwomen (1975), (disguised as Giselham); A. Houghton, Memories of Isleham Village (Isleham Soc. 1988).
  • 2. For the parish, O.S. Maps 6", Cambs. XXVII. SW.; XXXI. NW., SW., SE.; XXXVI. NW., NE. (1890 and 1903 edns.); 1/10,000, TL 67 NW., NE., SW., SE. (1958-9 and later edns.).
  • 3. Census, 1931, 1971.
  • 4. Below, churches.
  • 5. Geol. Surv. Map, solid and drift, 1/50,000, sheet 188 (1974 edn.).
  • 6. Below, econ. hist.
  • 7. Below.
  • 8. V.C.H. Cambs. i. 254, 266 n, 268, 271, 273 n, 280 n; Proc. C.A.S. xxxiii. 164; xxxvii. 165; xli. 78; lviii. 141; lxx. 61-74; Fox, Arch. Camb. Region, 56; Camb. Region, 1965, 117-8.
  • 9. Camb. Region (1938), 83-4.
  • 10. Antiquity, xxxiv. 279-82. Hoard deposited at Moyse's Hall Museum, Bury St. Edmunds (Suff.).
  • 11. Proc. C.A.S. xxxiii. 165-6; lii. 7.
  • 12. Ibid. xxxiv. 93; Fox, Arch. Camb. Region, 209, 216, 223; Camb. Region, 1965, 129.
  • 13. V.C.H. Cambs. ii. 33; Proc. C.A.S. xxxvii, p. xiii; cf. below, manors (Templars).
  • 14. V.C.H. Cambs. i. 360-1.
  • 15. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 504-5.
  • 16. Cambs. Lay Subsidy, 1327, 5.
  • 17. East Anglian, N.S. x. 93.
  • 18. Cf. baptisms recorded in C.R.O., P 98/1/1.
  • 19. P.R.O., E 179/84/437, rott. 82-3; E 179/244/22, ff. 130-132v.
  • 20. Cf. C.R.O., P 98/1/1-2.
  • 21. Census, 1801-51. For division of population among areas of settlement in parish, below.
  • 22. C.R.O., P 98/8/2, s.a. 1848.
  • 23. S.C. Holt, 'Family, Kinship, Community ... in Assisted Emigration from Cambs. ... to Victoria, 1840-67' (M.A. thesis, La Trobe Univ., Australia; copy in C.R.O.), 209.
  • 24. Camb. Chron. 21 Mar. 1852, p. 4.
  • 25. Below.
  • 26. Census, 1861-1991.
  • 27. Liber de Bernewelle, 260.
  • 28. C.R.O., 311/M 1, f. 56 and v.
  • 29. C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe award 1847-8, pp. 17, 20, 36.
  • 30. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 505.
  • 31. C.R.O., 311/M 1, ff. 56-57v.
  • 32. Rot. Hund. ii. 4-5. Assuming one cottage for each customary cotland.
  • 33. For layout of village c. 1465 (shown on map 28), with street names, and nos. of messuages standing and vacant, C.R.O., 311/M 1, ff. 58-68v.
  • 34. For layout of streets, closes, and dwellings, 1800-50, C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe map 1847-8; C.R.O., 311/P 1 (Buller estate map c. 1790).
  • 35. C.R.O., R 56/5/69.
  • 36. e.g. B.L. Cott. MS. Nero C. ix, f. 140; ibid. Eg. MS. 3047, ff. 197v.-198, 200v.; P.R.O., C 143/218, no. 7.
  • 37. e.g. P.R.O., HO 107/73 (13), f. 8; cf. below.
  • 38. e.g. C.R.O., 311/M 1, f. 45v.; P.R.O., C 110/45 (1), no. 34; C.R.O., L 1/91, f. 131.
  • 39. Camb. Chron. 13 Feb. 1835, p. 3; cf. P.R.O., HO 107/73 (12), f. 11v.
  • 40. Cf. C.R.O., 311/P 1.
  • 41. e.g. ibid. 311/M 1, f. 45v.
  • 42. e.g. P.R.O., C 110/45 (1), no. 32; C 110/45 (2), no. 113; C.R.O., L 1/89, f. 38.
  • 43. e.g. C.R.O., R 60/16/1/1.
  • 44. P.R.O., C 110/45 (1), no. 49A; cf. C.R.O., 311/M 1, f. 46v.
  • 45. e.g. C.R.O., L 1/89, ff. 38, 143; L 1/90, f. 35.
  • 46. Bldgs. to c. 1830, described, D.o.E. list.
  • 47. D.o.E. list, nos. 14/13-14. 21, 29, 31-2.
  • 48. Ibid. nos. 14/6, 25, 28; cf. below, educ.
  • 49. Drawn on C.R.O., 311/P 1.
  • 50. D.o.E. list, nos. 14, 16, 18; Houghton, Memories of Isleham, 50, 52; cf. below, manors (Robins estate); econ. hist.
  • 51. Camb. Chron. 18 Feb. 1854, p. 5; 24 Oct. 1890, p. 8; 1 Jan. 1892, p. 8; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1869-1937).
  • 52. J. W. McFeeters, Go and Find It (1987), 103-48; cf. Ely Standard, 27 Nov. 1969; Chamberlain, Fenwomen, 137.
  • 53. D.o.E. list, nos. 14/15, 19, 24, 27.
  • 54. Camb. Chron. 7 Mar. 1840, p. 2; 8 Mar. 1879, p. 8.
  • 55. Camb. Ind. Press, 16 Aug. 1973.
  • 56. Layout of bldgs. c. 1800 shown on C.R.O., 311/P 1.
  • 57. P.R.O., PROB 11/186, f. 10.
  • 58. Cf. C.R.O., L 1/93, pp. 55-6, 73; L 1/94, pp. 195-9; Camb. Chron. 2 June 1789, p. 4.
  • 59. C.R.O., Q/RDc 76, incl. map 1854.
  • 60. For nos. of houses and people in each area, 1841-81, in next three paras., P.R.O., HO 107/73 (12), ff. 7-19v.; (13), ff. 3-23v.; HO 107/1763, ff. 70-121; ibid. RG 9/1035, ff. 52-97v.; RG 10/1600, ff. 50-95v.; RG 11/1680, ff. 47-89v.
  • 61. C.R.O., P 98/5/1, s.a. 1791.
  • 62. Camb. Chron. 5 Dec. 1834, p. 2.
  • 63. Ibid. 12 Nov. 1853, p. 8; 19 Nov. 1853, p. 5; 24 June 1854, p. 4; cf. C.R.O., P 98/AM 2, p. 49.
  • 64. Houghton, Memories of Isleham, 52; illus.: ibid. 38.
  • 65. C.R.O., 470/O 86.
  • 66. Camb. News, 19 Nov. 1964; Draft village plan, 1973: copy in Cambs. Colln.
  • 67. The Times, 11 Mar. 1989.
  • 68. C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe award and map 1847-8.
  • 69. Discussed, P. Hill, in Proc. C.A.S. lxxxi. 97-114; cf. Newmarket Jnl. 20 Nov. 1980.
  • 70. E. & T. Wells, Wells People of Isleham (Mildenhall, 1989): copy in Cambs. Colln.; cf. E. Wells, Fenland Boyhood (Mildenhall, 1983).
  • 71. Wells, Fenland Boyhood, 40; P. Hill, Hist. Isleham Fen in 1930s (1990), 3, 5.
  • 72. e.g. C.R.O., L 1/92, p. 173.
  • 73. Houghton, Memories of Isleham, 50, 56; cf. P.R.O., C 110/44 (1), no. 31.
  • 74. For 20th-cent. bldg., see O.S. Maps 6", Cambs. XXXI. SW. (1950 edn.); 1/10,000, TL 67 SW. (1959, 1984 edns.); Draft village plan, 1973, and E. Cambs. District Local Plan, 1993, including maps: copies in Cambs. Colln.
  • 75. Census, 1871-1921.
  • 76. C.R.O., 470/O 86.
  • 77. Census, 1951-91; cf. The Times, 11 July 1989.
  • 78. Houghton, Memories, 53.
  • 79. Cf. Camb. Ind. Press, 5 Jan. 1962; 13 June 1974; Newmarket Jnl. 6 Feb. 1975; Camb. Evening News, 7 Mar. 1978.
  • 80. e.g. Newmarket Jnl. 18 Aug. 1975; 22 Apr. 1976; Ely Standard, 6 Nov. 1976.
  • 81. e.g. Ely Standard, 8 June 1972; Newmarket Jnl. 16 Jan. 1974; 17 Aug. 1976; Camb. Evening News, 15 Dec. 1977; Houghton, Memories, 56-7.
  • 82. Ely. Standard, 8 Apr. 1982.
  • 83. Cf. Newmarket Jnl. 22 May 1975; Newmarket Jnl. 28 Feb. 1989; Houghton, Memories, 59-60.
  • 84. e.g. Newmarket Jnl. 16 Sept. 1976; cf. C.R.O., L 1/89, ff. 148v., 155v.; L 1/90, f. 78; L 1/91, p. 42.
  • 85. Cf. Church Com. file 9286, corr. 1933.
  • 86. Houghton, Memories, 15; cf. McFeeters, Go and Find It, 106, 109; Camb. Ind. Press, 5 Jan. 1962.
  • 87. Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1900 sqq.); Camb. Ind. Press, 5 Jan. 1962; Ely Standard, 20 Aug. 1981; cf. Camb. Evening News, 1 Sept. 1992.
  • 88. Houghton, Memories, 18; Chamberlain, Fenwomen, 83-4, 145, 158, 162-3, 171.
  • 89. e.g. P.R.O., PROB 11/15, f. 92v.; PROB 11/17, f. 233v.; PROB 11/29, f. 15; cf. C.R.O., L 1/89, f. 55.
  • 90. P.R.O., REQ 2/250/19, bill.
  • 91. Named, C.R.O., 311/M 1, ff. 9, 10. For layout, ibid. 311/P 1.
  • 92. Cf. C.U.L., Maps, MS. Plan 587.
  • 93. e.g. C.R.O., 311/M 1, f. 68v.; King's Coll. Mun., ISL 28; C.R.O., L 1/93, p. 23; C.U.L., Maps, PSQ 19/21.
  • 94. C.R.O., Q/RDc 74, incl. map.
  • 95. V.C.H. Cambs. vii. 13; Proc. C.A.S. xxxiv. 26-7.
  • 96. Landscape History (1994), 49-55; cf. B.L. Eg. MS. 3047, ff. 197v., 200v.; Houghton. Memories, 64. For modern navigation on the Lark, D. Summers, The Great Ouse (1973), esp. 56-7, 113-15, 123-5, 150, 175, 179, 188-9.
  • 97. e.g. Camb. Chron. 19 July 1806, p. 3; cf. C.R.O., L 1/94, pp. 73-4.
  • 98. Houghton, Memories, 60; Camb. Chron. 9 Dec. 1814, p. 3; C.H. Spurgeon, Autobiography (1897), i. 147, 151, 153; E. Wells, Fenland Boyhood (1983), 34-5; C.R.O., Q/RLv 2, p. 79.
  • 99. C.R.O., 515/SP 15.
  • 100. Below, econ. hist.
  • 101. P. Paye, Mildenhall Branch, 65-8, 144, 147; Camb. Chron. 31 Mar. 1883, p. 8; Newmarket Jnl. 16 Jan. 1975; Clinker, Reg. Closed Stations (1978), 68; cf. Houghton, Memories, 44; above, Burwell, intro. (railway).
  • 102. Houghton, Memories, 19-21.
  • 103. Ely Standard, 9 Nov. 1972.
  • 104. Newmarket Jnl. 29 Mar. 1984; Ely Standard, 29 Nov. 1990.
  • 105. Ely Standard, 24 Jan. 1974; 16, 20 Nov. 1975; Newmarket Jnl. 8 July, 19 Aug. 1976; 15 Apr., 20 May 1982; 14 July 1983; Camb. Evening News, 25 Jan. 1989.
  • 106. Houghton, Memories, 18-19, 45, 58-9; J.W. McFeeters, Go and Find It, 125 sqq.; East Anglian Mag. xxxix. 142-4; Char. Com. file 202430, corr. 1936-7.
  • 107. P.R.O., C 110/44 (1), no. 45.
  • 108. Gardner's Dir. Cambs. (1851); cf. C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe award 1847-8.
  • 109. Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1858-1937); Houghton, Memories, 47, 50, 52, 55-6, 58-60; cf. Camb. Chron. 12 June 1847, p. 2; C.R.O., Q/RLv 3, pp. 245, 311; ibid. 296/SP 980; ibid. 515/SP 13, 487; cf. Hill, Hist. Isleham Fen, 6, 18.
  • 110. e.g. Camb. Chron. 4 Apr. 1778, p. 3; 4 Oct. 1793, p. 4; 11 Oct. 1793, p. 2.
  • 111. P.R.O., C 110/45 (1), no. 59; cf. Camb. Chron. 11 Oct. 1793, p. 2.
  • 112. P.R.O., WO 30/48.
  • 113. C.R.O., Q/RLv 2, p. 298; D.o.E. list., no. 14/4; W. Suff. R.O., HE 500/1/1; Ely Standard, 24 Feb. 1989; 6 May 1993.
  • 114. C.R.O., Q/RLv 4, p. 136; Camb. Chron. 10 Apr. 1829, p. 3.
  • 115. Camb. Chron. 22 Mar. 1857, p. 4; 24 May 1873, p. 8.
  • 116. Cf. Ely Standard, 11 Feb. 1982; Camb. Evening News, 16 Sept. 1991.
  • 117. Camb. Ind. Press, 5 Jan. 1962; Newmarket Jnl. 29 Aug. 1991; Ely Weekly News, 22 Oct. 1992; D.o.E. list, nos. 14/23, 32.
  • 118. Camb. Evening News, 14 July 1989; 27 Jan. 1993.
  • 119. Houghton, Memories, 47-8; Camb. Ind. Press, 30 May 1891, p. 8; E. Wells, Fenland Boyhood, 15; 'Isleham Memories' (typescript 1934, in Cambs. Colln.); L.M. Munby, Village Hist. in Staploe Hund. (Soham, 1967), 65-6; Chamberlain, Fenwomen, 148.
  • 120. Ely Standard, 17 June 1967; 27 Nov. 1969; Camb. Ind. Press, 13 Jan. 1972; 14 Jan. 1980; Newmarket Weekly News, 2 Apr. 1984.
  • 121. Newmarket Jnl. 9 July 1992; 5 May 1994.
  • 122. Ely Standard, 8 May 1959; 11 May 1972; 4 May 1989; Camb. Ind. Press, 25 Feb., 28 May 1974; 1 May 1978; Chamberlain, Fenwomen, 59;
  • 123. Camb. Chron. 14 July 1877, p. 4; 11 Feb. 1881, p. 4; cf. ibid. 10 Aug. 1894, p. 3.
  • 124. e.g. ibid. 27 July 1878, p. 7; 22 July 1882, p. 7; 15 Aug. 1890, p. 4; 7 Aug. 1896, p. 4; Houghton, Memories, 46.
  • 125. Houghton, Memories, 46; Camb. Ind. Press, 5 Jan. 1962; Ely Standard, 19 Mar. 1970; Newmarket Jnl. 10 June 1976.
  • 126. Camb. Ind. Press, 5 Jan. 1962; Ely Standard, 28 Mar. 1974; 12 Aug. 1982; Newmarket Jnl. 14 June 1984; 27 Oct. 1985.
  • 127. Camb. Chron. 11 Jan. 1867, p. 8; 2 Feb. 1867, p. 5; 1 Mar. 1873, p. 8; 12 Dec. 1890, p. 8; cf. Houghton, Memories, 54.
  • 128. Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1922-37); Camb. Ind. Press, 28 May 1974; Houghton, Memories, 45-6, 48, 55.
  • 129. Camb. Chron. 22 July 1882, p. 7; Camb. News, 18 Jan. 1964; Camb. Ind. Press, 7, 21 Oct. 1971; 17 Jan. 1974; Camb. Evening News, 29 Aug. 1975; Ely Standard, 16 Dec. 1976; Newmarket Jnl. 8 Aug. 1985; 16 Dec. 1993; cf. Chamberlain, Fenwomen, 147.
  • 130. Camb. Ind. Press, 12 Dec. 1974; Ely Standard, 11 Dec. 1980; Newmarket Jnl. 11 Nov. 1986.
  • 131. Ely Standard, 15 Nov. 1979; 25 Apr. 1982; Newmarket Jnl. 23 May 1985; 5 May 1992.
  • 132. Camb. Chron. 13 Aug. 1886, p. 7; 20 Aug. 1886, p. 7; 27 Aug. 1886, p. 4; 3 Sept. 1886, p. 7; 12 Nov. 1886, pp. 7-8. Probably the origin of local tradition, cited, Chamberlain, Fenwomen, 133-4, of a lethal election-time fight. For Diver and Brown, below, econ. hist.
  • 133. Houghton, Memories, 16.