A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973.
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Arrington is the most westerly parish in Wetherley hundred and lies on Ermine Street about 10 miles south-west of Cambridge. (fn. 1) It is long, narrow, and rectangular in shape and contains 1,407 a. The parish is bounded on the south by the river Cam or Rhee and on the east by Ermine Street, except for an eastward projection of c. 2/3 of a mile into Wimpole. The north and west boundaries follow a trackway and field boundaries. An irregular chalk escarpment runs north-south across Arrington, and rises to over 250 ft. in the north part of the parish, forming a plateau of boulder clay on chalk. The land descends gradually to below 75 ft. at the river, and in the southern half of the parish lies on the gault. Four small streams drain the parish, running eastwards down the scarp: the most northerly runs into Decoy Pond. The parish is in general sparsely wooded: some belts of trees were planted near Decoy Pond on Arrington Hill, probably in connexion with the landscaping of Wimpole Park. (fn. 2) The part of Arrington that lies east of Ermine Street is well wooded because it is almost entirely within Wimpole Park.
Arrington, 'the farm of Earna's people', (fn. 3) was closely involved with Ermine Street, which derived its name from the same root. Early settlement probably lay along the spring line below the scarp, round the site of the church. The church is 250 yds. west of Ermine Street, along which houses were later built. A messuage adjoining the street was recorded c. 1205, (fn. 4) and in 1638 nine houses were standing in Arrington on the east side of the street. In the early 19th century only two houses remained on that side (fn. 5) after the emparking of Wimpole, and most of the village houses were either grouped round the church or scattered along the west side of the street. Since then the shape of the village has remained the same although some buildings have been erected in the north part of the parish along Ermine Street and there has been some infilling among the older houses on the west side of Ermine Street.
Many of the buildings along Ermine Street in Arrington are in two-storeyed terraces or pairs which were probably built in the 18th and early 19th centuries as estate cottages. Bridge Farm and Wragg's Farm date from the 17th century and are partly framed and plastered two-storeyed buildings. Opposite the main entrance to Wimpole Hall stands a range of six red-brick alms-houses, built to the design of H. E. Kendall in 1846 for Susan, countess of Hardwicke. (fn. 6)
In 1944 a United States Air Force hospital was established in the grounds of Wimpole Hall and most of the buildings were in Arrington parish. Shortly after the end of the Second World War the hospital was converted to use as a temporary teachers' training college but later reverted to use as a military hospital. (fn. 7) The buildings were sold in 1960 and demolished, and the land was restored as park. (fn. 8)
Ermine Street dominates the parish. In 1385 a royal grant of pavage was made to the inhabitants for the maintenance of Ermine Street, (fn. 9) and in 1401 an episcopal indulgence was granted for the repair of the road from Arrington to Royston. (fn. 10) Bequests towards its repair in Arrington occur frequently in local wills. (fn. 11) Ermine Street was turnpiked in 1663. The Cambridgeshire gate was first sited at Caxton, later at Arrington, and was finally re-established at Caxton. (fn. 12) The river crossing at Arrington Bridge, on the southern boundary of the parish, had been used in Roman times, (fn. 13) and in 1535 commissioners made the repair of the bridge the responsibility of certain Cambridgeshire towns. (fn. 14) The bridge described in the earlier 17th century as 'one of the greatest passages now in this kingdom' (fn. 15) was probably the wooden bridge which was later replaced with a brick one. The brick bridge was pulled down and replaced in 1950. (fn. 16) The WimpolePotton road runs across the southern end of the parish and was turnpiked in 1826. (fn. 17) It was disturnpiked in 1879, (fn. 18) and until 1968 one of its tollhouses stood in Arrington at its junction with Ermine Street. (fn. 19) A minor road runs along the escarpment from Arrington village to Croydon.
In 1634 a building called the sign of the White Hart was recorded in Arrington, (fn. 20) and in 1638 there were probably four inns in the parish along Ermine Street. (fn. 21) Two tenements called the Tiger and the Bull were leased from Overhall manor in 1650, (fn. 22) and the Tiger was again recorded in 1747. (fn. 23) The Talbot (fn. 24) and the Hardwicke Arms were standing in the late 18th century, and by the mid 19th century only the Hardwicke Arms remained as a coaching inn. It is a two-storey range of the 18th century built in brick and tile, and in 1891 was also the house of a farm of 196 a. (fn. 25) The farm buildings at the rear have been demolished. Turnpike trusts and other public bodies met at the inn to transact business. (fn. 26) Probably because of its position on the main road Arrington developed into a centre of local government for the surrounding area. By the 18th century the justices were meeting there, (fn. 27) and by 1851 the petty sessions for the Arrington and Melbourn divisions of the county were held there. (fn. 28) A police station was built c. 1866 opposite the Hardwicke Arms and the sessions were held in it. (fn. 29) Petty sessions for the Arrington division continued to be held there until 1958 when the police station was closed and the courts were transferred to Melbourn. (fn. 30) By 1968 the former police station had been converted into two private houses. There was a petrol filling-station in Arrington as early as 1933. (fn. 31) In 1945 a trust was established to run the Arrington Assembly Rooms and Institute. (fn. 32)
Seventeen people were enumerated in Arrington in 1086 (fn. 33) and 41 in 1279. (fn. 34) The 13th-century church is of such a size as to suggest a fairly large population. In 1327 only 25 people were assessed for tax, the smallest number in the hundred, (fn. 35) but in 1377 taxpayers numbered 119. (fn. 36) In 1676 there were said to be 55 adults in the parish, (fn. 37) and 23 families c. 1728. (fn. 38) It was one of the least populous parishes in the hundred with 190 inhabitants in 1801, rising to 317 in 1841. The population was fairly constant until it fell to 257 in 1881 and in 1921 was 200. The establishment of the military hospital probably accounted for the rise to 648 in 1951, for in 1961 the population had fallen to 360. (fn. 39)
Manors and Other Estates.
Between 942 and c. 951 Theodred, bishop of London, devised his estate at Arrington to the king as part of his heriot. (fn. 40) No later record of the estate has been found until 1066 when Alvric, a king's thegn, held a manor of 3½ hides. By 1086 the manor had passed to Roger, earl of Shrewsbury. (fn. 41) On the dispersal of the earl's estates following the forfeiture of his son Robert de Bellême in 1102 Earl Roger's Cambridgeshire estates passed to the earls of Gloucester, (fn. 42) and the overlordship of Arrington descended with the honor of Gloucester. (fn. 43) After the death of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, in 1314, his estates were divided and Arrington passed to his sister Margaret, whose second husband, Hugh de Audley, was created earl of Gloucester in 1337. He died in 1347 and his daughter and heir Margaret, wife of Sir Ralph Stafford, inherited Arrington. (fn. 44) The overlordship thereafter descended in the Stafford family, at least until the death in 1460 of Humphrey Stafford, duke of Buckingham. (fn. 45)
When the Gloucester estates were divided the view of frankpledge in Arrington passed to the earl's third sister, Elizabeth, (fn. 46) and remained with the honor of Clare. (fn. 47) It was granted to Cecily, duchess of York, in 1461, (fn. 48) and in 1511 the Crown acquired Arrington manor and the view of frankpledge from the heirs of Edward IV. (fn. 49) It seems likely that the view of frankpledge in Arrington passed to the earl's manors of Arrington and became confused with the overlordship. (fn. 50)
About 1211 Arrington was said to be held of the bishop of Lincoln who held it under the earl of Gloucester, (fn. 51) but no more is known of the bishop's interest in it. In 1223 and 1225 Roger Torpel claimed that Maud de Dive should perform feudal services to him for Arrington because she had done homage for it to her sister, Asceline de Waterville, Roger's mother. (fn. 52) In 1266 part of Arrington was found to be held of the earl of Winchester who held of the earl of Gloucester. (fn. 53) Asceline de Waterville, mother of both Asceline and Maud, had married as her second husband Saher de Quincy (d. 1190), whose successors became earls of Winchester. (fn. 54) It is not certain, however, that that was the origin of the earls' mesne lordship. After the death of Roger, earl of Winchester, in 1264 his possessions were partitioned among his three daughters. (fn. 55) Although part of Arrington, at least, was assigned to Helen, wife of Sir Alan la Zouche, (fn. 56) later records usually refer to the 'heirs of the earl of Winchester' as the holders of the lordship. (fn. 57) It probably had little significance after the 13th century, and is mentioned only in documents which refer to the Gloucester overlordship.
By 1212 Maud de Dive held one fee in Arrington (fn. 58) but it is uncertain whether it had come to her as part of her share in the barony of Bourn or by some other means. Maud died in 1228 and her heirs were her three granddaughters, Maud wife of Saher of St. Andrew, Alice wife of Richard de Mucegros, and Asceline wife of Simon de Mucegros. (fn. 59) Arrington was partitioned among the heirs and each third appears to have had the status of a separate manor. The third of Maud of St. Andrew became known as the manor of NETHERHALL. Maud granted it first to Laurence St. Andrew (fn. 60) and secondly, in 1273, to her daughter Alice de Amundeville (or Minderville) for life. (fn. 61) Maud died in 1274 and the earl of Gloucester's bailiff disseised Alice. (fn. 62) Alice's life tenure was upheld, with reversion to Maud's heir, (fn. 63) Roger St. Andrew. (fn. 64) Alice was still in possession of the manor in 1284. (fn. 65)
Ralph of Paxton held a manor, presumably Netherhall, in 1302 and 1316, (fn. 66) and in 1319 he conveyed a manor to Richard de Cammel, (fn. 67) the transaction still being incomplete in 1323. (fn. 68) The manor was said to be held by John St. Andrew in 1346 (fn. 69) and he died in 1360 seised of Netherhall jointly with his wife. (fn. 70) John St. Andrew may have granted the manor or its reversion to Nicholas Green because in 1365 Green conveyed the manor to William of Haldenby and others. In 1377 the manor was apparently conveyed to Simon de Burgh, who conveyed a manor, formerly the property of John St. Andrew, to Sir William Staundon and others in 1393. (fn. 71) It was apparently settled on Staundon, who died in 1410, and the manor descended with his Wimpole property to the Chicheleys. (fn. 72)
The part of Arrington inherited by Asceline wife of Simon de Mucegros was later known as GOLDINGHAM'S or OVERHALL (fn. 73) manor, and probably passed to John de Mucegros, son of Simon. (fn. 74) John died in 1266 holding ⅓ knight's fee in Arrington; his heirs were his sisters Alice and Agatha. (fn. 75) In 1279 the manor was held by Ralph de Dive, Alice's husband. (fn. 76) Alice died c. 1305 and her heir was John Ratingdon, son of her sister, Agatha. (fn. 77) In 1320 Ratingdon granted his manor in Arrington to John de Wauton, who had formerly held it as his tenant. (fn. 78) It was probably this manor which Sir Gilbert Stanford conveyed to Sir John Goldingham in 1355, (fn. 79) although John Goldingham had already been returned as holding part of Arrington in 1346. (fn. 80) In 1384 or 1385 Sir John's son, Sir Alexander Goldingham, granted his manor to John Beck and others who then conveyed it to Sir John Goldesburgh and others, including Simon de Burgh. (fn. 81) In 1393 it was conveyed to William Staundon, his wife, and others, and descended with his other Arrington property. (fn. 82)
The manor belonging to Alice wife of Richard de Mucegros seems to have passed to Robert de Mucegros, perhaps Richard's son. (fn. 83) In 1262 Robert de Mucegros granted a messuage and 2 carucates of land in Arrington to Imbert Pugeys of Stoke Poges (Bucks.). (fn. 84) In 1269 Beatrice, Robert de Mucegros's widow, released her rights in Arrington to Imbert's son Robert for a payment of 40s. a year. (fn. 85) John de Asphall in 1279 was holding the manor of Robert Pugeys, (fn. 86) who was lord of the manor in 1302 and 1316 (fn. 87) and in 1319 settled the manor on his son Thomas and Thomas's wife Alice. Ralph of Paxton was then holding a life tenancy in the manor. (fn. 88) Thomas Pugeys died before 1328 (fn. 89) and his father died c. 1330. (fn. 90) Thomas's wife Alice still held the manor in 1346. (fn. 91) After her death it passed to one of Robert Pugeys's coheirs, his granddaughter Alice wife of William Langley, (fn. 92) who in 1374 confirmed a grant made by her husband to William Newport of all his rights in Arrington. (fn. 93) It was probably this manor which was divided between Nicholas Gascoyne, John Morell, and John Thormondeby in 1428. (fn. 94) Thereafter nothing is known of the descent of the property, although it is likely that it passed, with the rest of Arrington, to the Chicheley family.
The hearth tax of 1662 records one large house in Arrington with eleven hearths, occupied by Robert Ayres, (fn. 95) which may have been a manor-house. In 1680 2 a. called Neither Hall were recorded but not located. (fn. 96) No later trace of a manor-house has been found.
In 1066 Leveva held ½ hide of Eddeva the fair; (fn. 97) she may have been Leva wife of Alfsige of Langworth (Lincs.). (fn. 98) The land passed to Count Alan of Brittany, and in 1086 was held of him by Fulk, probably the same Fulk who held land of Count Alan in Croydon and Whitwell (in Wimpole). (fn. 99) About 1257 Isabel de Devenish gave land in Arrington held of the honor of Richmond, evidently therefore the same land, to the knights of St. John of Jerusalem at Shingay. The Hospitallers were holding the estate in 1279 (fn. 100) and held it until the Dissolution, when their property was granted to Sir Richard Long. (fn. 101) In 1541 he was licensed to settle the estate on his intended wife. (fn. 102) The Shingay estate passed with Elizabeth daughter of Henry Long to her husband William, Lord Russell, and thence to the dukes of Bedford. (fn. 103) The Arrington land was probably acquired by the Chicheleys.
In 1212 land in Arrington belonging to the abbey of Montivilliers (Seine Maritime) was ordered to be taken into the king's hand as part of the lands that the king had seized because of the war with France. (fn. 104) Between 1228 and 1230 the abbess claimed ¼ knight's fee in Arrington from the heirs of Maud de Dive on the ground that Maud had held it from the abbey at farm. The plea seems to have gone against the abbess by default. (fn. 105) No more is known of the abbey's interest in Arrington.
In 1086 Arrington was assessed at 4 hides and was divided into two estates. T.R.E. three sokemen had held 3½ hides, valued at £11, which Earl Roger held in 1086 when the estate was said to be worth £9. There were 2 hides held in demesne and 3 ploughs on it with room for a fourth. There was arable for 8 ploughs and meadow for 2 teams, and the other 4 ploughs belonged to 6 villani. The smaller estate, that of Count Alan, contained ½ hide which in 1086 was said to be worth 10s., half its value in 1066. There was land for ½ plough. Both estates together supported 8 villani, 6 cottars, and 3 servi. There were 195 sheep kept in the parish. (fn. 106)
In 1279 Arrington was divided into four estates. Of the three parts of Maud de Dive's manor, the demesne of John de Asphall was c. 100 a. and the other two each c. 120 a.; the Shingay estate contained 140 a. Eight freemen together held c. 26 a. of the Dive manors. Each villein-holding in the Dive manors contained 22 a. or 11 a., and one of 22 a. in Netherhall manor was held freely for life of the lady of the manor. In the Shingay estate free and villein tenements contained an average 12 a. Altogether the four estates supported 13 freemen, 18 villeins, and 10 cottars. (fn. 107) In 1305 Overhall manor comprised 80 a. of arable and 2 a. of pasture held in demesne, and 4½ yardlands held by five customary tenants paying one mark for all services on each yardland. (fn. 108) The tax returns of 1327 suggest that although Arrington was a small village it was not poorer than its neighbours. The average assessment for each individual was higher than for any other parish in the hundred. (fn. 109)
In 1338 the Hospitallers held a messuage and 160 a. in Arrington. The assized rents from the estate then totalled only 2s. 8d. compared to some 15s. in 1279. The slight increase in the size of the demesne since 1279 and the fall in rent may possibly indicate that some land had been taken in hand since the late 13th century. Each demesne acre of this estate was valued at 1s. in 1332, (fn. 110) whereas in Overhall manor an acre had been valued at only 4d. thirty years earlier. (fn. 111)
In the early 15th century two at least of the Arrington manors came into the possession of the Chicheley family, (fn. 112) and one of them, Goldingham's or Overhall manor, was leased to tenant farmers. There were at least 4 tenants in 1491 (fn. 113) and 15 in 1650. (fn. 114) The Coo (or Co) family possessed a substantial estate in the 16th century (fn. 115) which was sold in 1576 to the North family. (fn. 116) Between 1659 and 1664 Thomas Chicheley bought estates in Arrington from William North, J. Russell, and Robert French, (fn. 117) which apparently completed the Chicheleys' acquisition of Arrington.
An open field called Low field was recorded in 1572. (fn. 118) In 1630 South Low field lay near the river. (fn. 119) Five fields, Low, Church, Colt, Middle, and Highway, were probably inclosed c. 1680. (fn. 120) There are scattered references to inclosure at Arrington before the 17th century. In 1336 a woman was presented at the leet for inclosing a croft on which the village had formerly had common rights. (fn. 121) In 1578 John Thurgood was similarly accused of inclosing Lammas land called Eastbury mead. (fn. 122) The greater part of the parish, however, seems to have been inclosed by Thomas Chicheley c. 1680. In 1753 it was recalled that in 1669 Chicheley had proposed to compensate Trinity College for any loss suffered from the inclosures that he intended to make at Arrington. (fn. 123) In 1680 immediately after the lands had been laid together there were 195 a. of open land and 27 a. of sheepwalk. Otherwise the whole parish had been inclosed, much of it in parcels of 50–100 a. Thirty-three acres had been taken into Wimpole Park. (fn. 124)
The parish thereafter was largely divided among tenant farmers. In 1797 there were 9 farming units; the largest, 503 a., was later divided into three. Other farms contained 291 a., 160 a., and 148 a. In 1813 there were 5 principal farms of which the two largest, held by Thomas Hayden and John Wragg, were over 300 a., and the others were of between 130 a. and 175 a. (fn. 125) In 1891 five farms in Arrington were offered for sale with the Wimpole estate. The two largest were Church farm (334 a.) and Wragg's farm (295 a.). Bridge farm also lay entirely in Arrington. Combe Grove and Valley farms, though lying principally in Arrington, had their homesteads and some land in Wimpole. Both Combe Grove and Valley farms were let at nominal rents to encourage improvement. (fn. 126) By 1893 some rearrangement had been made which seems to have resulted in rather smaller farming units. (fn. 127) In 1920 the Arrington farms were auctioned, and part of Wragg's farm, Low Barn tenement, had been detached and was sold separately. (fn. 128) All the six farms were sold, Church farm and Bridge farm to the tenants. Some of the other farms were later taken in hand by their new owners. (fn. 129) By 1931 almost all the Wimpole Hall estate in Arrington with the exception of some land and cottages had been disposed of, and the transition from tenant farmers to owneroccupiers largely effected. (fn. 130)
In 1803 most of the villagers were landless labourers, and in 1830 they were said to be fully employed although the roundsman system was in use. Cottage rents were usually low, ranging from 26s. to £2, (fn. 131) and in 1867 whole cottages were let for £3 3s. and many for less. (fn. 132) The villagers had no common rights, and in 1872 the Wimpole Hall estate was letting to them 16 allotments on the Croydon road in addition to several gardens. (fn. 133)
About 1793 the usual rotation was two crops and a fallow, and the produce of an acre averaged 17 bushels of wheat, 22 bushels of barley, 22 bushels of oats, or 12 bushels of peas and beans. Some turnips were also sown. Five hundred sheep were kept, and although there had been some losses from disease in 1792 it was hoped that better drainage and feeding methods would effect an improvement. (fn. 134) In 1813 c. 870 a. were under arable cultivation, and there were 220 a. of pasture in addition to 50 a. in Wimpole Park. Wragg's farm included 20 a. described as sheepwalk. (fn. 135) By 1920 much of the land formerly under arable cultivation had been converted to rough grazing (fn. 136) and a poultry farm was later established. (fn. 137) The amount of grazing land later decreased and by 1968 Arrington had reverted largely to arable farming.
In 1279 Walter the miller paid 3s. 6d. rent as a cottager. (fn. 138) No mill was then specifically mentioned in Arrington, but in 1319 one was included in the land settled on Thomas and Alice Pugeys by Robert Pugeys. (fn. 139) In 1322 Robert Sap claimed a mill and 1 a. in Arrington from Thomas Pugeys. (fn. 140) Nothing more is known of a mill in Arrington until the 19th century. No mill was shown on a map of c. 1810, (fn. 141) but in 1827 James Corney of Arrington mill wanted a loan to expand his business. (fn. 142) The mill, a tower windmill, stood on Arrington Hill and was worked by the Corney family for much of the 19th century. (fn. 143) In 1891 it was described as a windmill with auxiliary steam power, (fn. 144) and it was still working in 1908. (fn. 145) By 1926 the building was derelict and the top had been blown off. (fn. 146) In 1968 the remains of the mill were used for storage.
In 1279 it was stated that Arrington had formerly formed part of the sheriff's tourn but had been withdrawn c. 1247 and that the view of frankpledge was held by the earl of Gloucester and by the preceptor of Shingay for his own estate. (fn. 147) In 1299 Ralph de Monthermer, earl of Gloucester, and his wife Joan were summoned to justify their claim to have view of frankpledge, the assize of bread and ale, tumbrel, infangthief, and gallows in Bottisham, Litlington, and Arrington. (fn. 148) The leet of Arrington descended with the honor of Clare, eventually, in the 16th century, being held by the Crown as part of the duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 149) Court rolls survive intermittently between 1321 and 1585. (fn. 150)
The courts were concerned mainly with the minor offences of rural society and particularly with infringements concerning brewing, baking, and regrating. Ale-tasters were mentioned in 1321 (fn. 151) and on many later rolls but no record of their election at the leet has been found nor of any other manorial or parochial officials. The courts also promulgated occasional agricultural by-laws and in the later 16th century were much concerned with the state of the roads and ditches. (fn. 152) In the 14th century the courts seem to have been held in May or June, (fn. 153) but records are too fragmentary to reveal their frequency. In the later 16th century courts appear to have been held annually on the Wednesday of Easter week. (fn. 154) It is not known whether courts were also held by the tenants in demesne.
The total income raised from the rates increased from £22 in 1776 to £95 in 1803, of which £55 was spent on the poor. That was a small sum compared with the outlay of many other parishes of equivalent size and the rate, 2s. 6d. in the pound, was almost the lowest in the hundred. Five adults were then permanently in receipt of parish relief and three others were occasionally relieved. (fn. 155) By 1815 the number permanently relieved had risen to 11 and expenditure had increased by £20. (fn. 156) In 1830 £150 was spent on poor-relief. (fn. 157) In 1835 the Caxton and Arrington poor law union was formed, the union workhouse being established at Caxton. (fn. 158) In 1934 Arrington was transferred from the Caxton and Arrington R.D. to the South Cambridgeshire R.D. (fn. 159)
Between 1087 and 1093 Roger, earl of Shrewsbury, gave Arrington church, the priest's land, and part of the tithes to the abbey of St. Martin, Sées (Orne). (fn. 160) In 1205 the abbot and Geoffrey, rector of Arrington, settled a dispute by the abbot's granting Geoffrey 2/3 of the tithes of Arrington for life in return for an annual payment of 26s. (fn. 161) The rectory was taxed at 15 marks c. 1217, (fn. 162) and about that time, some 60 years before 1279, Maud de Dive (d. 1228) is said to have given the church and 30 a. of land to Ickleton Priory, which evidently soon appropriated the rectory. (fn. 163) In 1232 the prioress acknowledged the grant by Sées of 2/3 of the great tithes of the demesne. (fn. 164) The abbey retained a share of the tithes of Arrington in 1254, (fn. 165) and was entitled to 2 marks from Arrington in 1341. (fn. 166) In 1254 Ickleton Priory's interest in the church was taxed at 13 marks. (fn. 167) The alien priory of Swavesey had a share of the tithes, possibly part of Count Alan's endowment of its parent house at Angers (Maine et Loire), (fn. 168) which in 1272 it granted to Ickleton Priory in return for 12s. a year. (fn. 169) Swavesey's portion, amounting to £1 in 1339 when it had not been paid for 20 years, (fn. 170) later passed to the priory of St. Anne, Coventry, which retained it until the Dissolution. (fn. 171) In 1541 the Crown granted the impropriate rectory that had belonged to Ickleton to King's Hall, later Trinity College, Cambridge. (fn. 172) The college customarily leased the great and small tithes and the rectorial glebe to the lords of the manor, who collected the tithes from their tenants as part of their rent. In 1813 the glebe was said to be almost inseparable from the lords' own lands. (fn. 173) In 1838, when there were 22 a. of glebe, the tithes were commuted for a rent of £390, all payable to the college. (fn. 174)
A vicarage had been ordained by c. 1278, (fn. 175) and the prioress of Ickleton presented to it until the Dissolution. The Crown presented in 1538, (fn. 176) and granted the advowson with the rectory in 1541. (fn. 177) Trinity College presented vicars until 1926, (fn. 178) when it ceded the patronage to the Ely Diocesan Board of Patronage. (fn. 179)
In 1535 the clear value of the vicarage was given as £7 6s. (fn. 180) In 1537 £4 was said to be paid by the impropriator as a pension to the vicar. (fn. 181) There is no record of the vicar receiving the small tithes. In 1650 the living was valued at £25, (fn. 182) and by 1676 the vicarage received annually 2 quarters of malt and one of wheat from the lessee of the rectory as an augmentation. (fn. 183) The lessee was paying an annual stipend of £30 4s. 4d. in 1788 (fn. 184) and the vicar also received £30 a year from the college out of the rent of the rectory, but in 1813 it was unknown whether that represented a composition for small tithes. (fn. 185) In 1817 and 1824 the living was augmented by grants of £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty and the Parliamentary Grant Fund. (fn. 186) No part of the titherent-charge was apportioned to the vicar in 1838. (fn. 187) In 1873 the gross value of the vicarage was said to be £150 derived from Queen Anne's Bounty, vicarial tithes, and a grant from Trinity College, (fn. 188) but in 1884 the value was returned as being only £42 gross. (fn. 189)
In 1639 the vicarage included a house, barn, and c. 1 rood of land. (fn. 190) It appears that the continued non-residence of the incumbents from the 17th century (fn. 191) allowed the buildings to fall into disrepair. In 1728 the minister was said to have no tolerable place to board at, (fn. 192) and in 1783 the parsonage was described as a miserable cottage with its east end ruinous. (fn. 193) In 1807 the house was divided into two poor cottages which in 1836 were occupied by agricultural labourers. (fn. 194) No glebe house was returned in 1857 (fn. 195) and there was no suitable residence for the incumbent in 1873. (fn. 196) A new glebe house was built and the curate was resident there in 1907. (fn. 197)
In the Middle Ages the small income of the vicarage did not attract many graduates from Cambridge. By the later 16th century it appears to have been difficult to fill the living. The vicarage was returned as vacant at each triennial visitation between 1561 and 1579, a curate usually being employed to serve the cure. (fn. 198) Later incumbencies tended to be short, an exception being that of Henry Lilly (vicar 1614–42) who combined Arrington with the vicarage of Croydon. (fn. 199) In 1650 there was said to be no settled incumbent. (fn. 200)
By the end of the 17th century it appears to have become usual to put the revenues of the vicarage into the hands of a sequestrator who then made arrangements for serving the cure either himself or by another, without incurring all the obligations of a settled resident incumbent. That continued to be the usual method of serving the cure into the 19th century. (fn. 201) The sequestrators and occasional vicars were usually fellows of Trinity College who lived in Cambridge and often held college or university offices. (fn. 202) John Hailstone, sequestrator in 1796, was professor of geology, (fn. 203) and Dr. William Clark, vicar 1824–5, was professor of anatomy. (fn. 204) The curates who actually served the cure usually performed the duty at another parish also, usually Croydon or Orwell. (fn. 205) Later in the 19th century it became usual for Arrington to be held with the rectory of Wimpole, the incumbent usually residing at Wimpole. (fn. 206) In 1907 the rector of Wimpole employed a curate who lived at Arrington. (fn. 207) In 1970 the living was held in plurality with Wimpole and Orwell, the incumbent residing at Orwell. (fn. 208)
In 1599 some parishioners complained that the vicar, Samuel Utley (1587–1609), did not give them their proper sermons, a charge which the vicar denied. (fn. 209) Between 1601 and 1603 several parishioners were presented for not communicating at Easter, and it was also alleged that the minister refused to administer the sacrament to individuals. (fn. 210) In 1728 only one service was held each Sunday but most parishioners also attended the church at Croydon where the minister held another service. Communion was administered three times a year. (fn. 211) The pattern of services remained unchanged in 1825 when the minister also served Orwell. (fn. 212) In 1851 the congregation totalled 78, (fn. 213) and in 1873 two services were held on Sundays with communion four times a year. Communicants averaged only 7 or 8 in spite of efforts to increase the number. (fn. 214)
The parish church of ST. NICHOLAS, which bore that dedication by 1506, (fn. 215) stands 250 yds. west of Ermine Street, occupying a position in relation to the road remarkably similar to those of the churches of Longstowe and Caxton. (fn. 216) It has a chancel, a nave with south porch, and a west tower to the north of which there is a vestry. The early medieval church was completely rebuilt in the course of a continuous building operation in the later 13th century, which resulted in a chancel and nave of almost equal size and undivided by a chancel arch, north and south aisles, and a west tower. The roof of the chancel and nave, which has retained its pitch, was thatched. Alterations in the aisles in the 14th century included the replacement of most, if not all, of the windows. The original lead-covered timber spire may have been added at that time.
The later 16th century, when the church was for a time without an incumbent, was also a period of structural neglect. In 1554 the church was said to be in need of thatching, (fn. 217) and in 1599 the whole building was said to be very ruinous with windows and seats broken and the thatch blown off. (fn. 218) The building was still suffering from neglect in 1665, (fn. 219) and perhaps soon afterwards the aisles were demolished and their windows and the south doorway reset in the infilling of the nave arcades. The upper stage of the tower was reconstructed in the 17th century, but it became necessary to rebuild almost the whole tower and spire in the 18th century. The south porch and vestry were probably added at the time of the general restoration of the church in 1895. (fn. 220)
In 1552 there were 3 bells and a broken sanctus bell. (fn. 221) In 1968 there was one bell, made by John Dier 1583, and an old bell-frame remodelled in the 18th century. (fn. 222) In 1552 the church possessed a chalice and paten of silver, three vestments, and a cope. (fn. 223) In 1888 the set of communion vessels was described as almost new. (fn. 224) The plate includes a cup and paten cover by Thomas Buttell dated 1569. (fn. 225) The registers of marriages and burials date from 1538 and of baptisms from 1550. (fn. 226)
There were said to be two protestant nonconformists in Arrington in 1676, (fn. 227) and four families of dissenters in 1731, (fn. 228) and three families in 1783. (fn. 229) In 1807 about one-third of the inhabitants were said to be dissenters, (fn. 230) and in 1811 a house was registered for protestant dissenting worship. (fn. 231) No chapel was recorded in 1851. (fn. 232) From 1861 to 1893 Arrington was described as a preaching station of the Congregational church at Great Eversden, (fn. 233) although in 1873 it was reported that there was no dissenting chapel in the parish. (fn. 234)
There was a schoolmaster in 1616. (fn. 235) In 1624 John Wicks taught in the church without the permission of the minister and churchwardens, and was suspended; (fn. 236) by the following year he was licensed. (fn. 237) About 15 children received some teaching in 1728, (fn. 238) and in 1783 the vicar sent four poor children to be taught by a woman in the parish. (fn. 239) A Sunday school was recorded in 1788 (fn. 240) and 1807. (fn. 241) In 1818 a school for very young children had about 25 pupils, six of whom were paid for by Elizabeth, countess of Hardwicke, and two by the minister. Older children attended Lady Hardwicke's charity school at Wimpole, (fn. 242) which had 15 children from Arrington in 1825. (fn. 243) A mixed day-school, started in 1823, had 20 pupils in 1833, and a similar school 14; parents paid for tuition in each. (fn. 244) By 1836, however, there was no school in Arrington, and the children attended Sunday school at Wimpole. They attended day-school there in 1873, when Arrington had a Sunday school with 40 pupils. (fn. 245)
A mixed Church of England school, built by voluntary subscription aided by Charles Philip Yorke, earl of Hardwicke, was opened in 1878, (fn. 246) when an annual grant was received. There was one schoolroom with accommodation for 61, and fees were 1d. a week. (fn. 247) In 1906 the school was owned by Viscount Clifden; (fn. 248) by 1936 it had become a junior mixed and infants' school. (fn. 249) Attendance was 42 in 1879, (fn. 250) 34 in 1905–6, (fn. 251) and 15 in 1937–8. (fn. 252) The school was closed in 1962, (fn. 253) and in 1971 primary school children attended Petersfield Church of England School, Orwell. The school building, opposite the main entrance to Wimpole Hall, was in 1971 disused and up for sale.
Charities for the Poor.
A row of six alms-houses was built in 1846 by Susan, countess of Hardwicke, for the poor in Wimpole and Arrington. The building, on the west side of Ermine Street, faces the main entrance to Wimpole Hall and the site was apparently never conveyed to trustees. Lady Hardwicke supported the alms-houses and gave a weekly allowance to the inmates, two married couples and four single women, preferably widows. During her life she endowed the alms-houses with the reversion of stock that was worth £2,489 at her death in 1886; the reversion became fully effective in 1894. The alms-houses were regulated by a Chancery Scheme of 1897, which named them the Susan Countess of Hardwicke Charity. The inmates were to have lived in Wimpole or Arrington for seven years and to be unable to maintain themselves. The trustees were empowered to pay weekly allowances of 3s.–10s. and medical expenses, and to appoint a medical officer. The net income of the charity was c. £47 10s. in 1897. From 1935 there was difficulty in filling the alms-houses and, despite a Scheme of 1941 for waiving the residential qualification, one alms-house had been empty for two years in 1944 and another for longer. The capital endowment was increased from surplus income in 1909, 1926, and 1938, from the sale of timber in 1950 and from the sale of parts of the site c. 1957 and in 1963. The alms-houses were repaired and modernized in 1959 with the aid of a ministry grant and a loan from the R.D.C. A Scheme of 1959, superseding previous Schemes, required the trustees to invest £20 a year in a repair fund, and to spend the balance of the income for the benefit of the almspeople. The residential qualification was reduced to three years. Since it was still difficult to find enough inmates, a Scheme of 1961 made widowers and bachelors eligible. In 1960–1 receipts included £102 from investment and £59 from the inmates. In 1965 Mrs. Bambridge gave the charity £2,000, from which £750 was used for the purchase of part of the site, £693 was invested in stock, and the loan for rebuilding was repaid. (fn. 254)