A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1936.
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Haddon lies between Chesterton, on the north, and Morborne, on the south; the Ermine Street divides it from Alwalton, on the east, and the Billing Brook forms its western boundary. The parish lies mostly at a level of 74 ft. to 180 ft. above Ordnance datum, and the soil and subsoil are clay. It has an area of 1,224 acres and, in 1921, a population of 99. A letter of 1672 complaining that illegal demands had then been made by the military, upon the constables of Haddon and Denton, to supply 3 carts and 5 horses and a wagon for transport, said Haddon then consisted of only 4 small farms. (fn. 1) The chief crops are wheat, barley, beans and peas.
The small village is situated 3 miles south-west of Orton Waterville Station, on the London Midland and Scottish Railway, and 8 miles south-west of Peterborough, and lies near the centre of the parish, within a circle of about a quarter of a mile, on the Haddon road, which runs from the Ermine Street but takes a turn to the north in the village. The church is at the southern end of the street, with the rectory and Grange Farm to the west; the manor house, now the residence of Mr. Lionel George Trower, to the north, and the manor farm, the school and smithy still farther north. There is no domestic architecture worthy of note. At the south-eastern limit of the parish is a plantation called Haddon Nursery, with Shark's Lodge to the north of it; Toon's Lodge lies near the eastern boundary.
HADDON was given to the Abbey of Thorney by King Edgar, (fn. 2) and was returned among their lands in the Domesday Survey in 1086. It was assessed at 5 hides, with land for 12 ploughs, and was valued at 100s. (fn. 3) The abbey retained it until the Dissolution. (fn. 4) In 1279 it was stated that Thorney held Haddon in pure and perpetual alms of King Edgar's gift; that there was there a garden of ½ acre, and that to the whole vill there belonged 6½ hides and ½ virgate of land, of which the abbot had in demesne 2 hides and 2½ virgates, with 6 acres of meadow and one of pasture. (fn. 5) In 1286 the abbot claimed view of frankpledge in Haddon and Wood Easton from ancient times. (fn. 6) A lease of the site of the manor for 80 years at a rent of £6 13s. 4d. was granted in 1530 by the abbey to Robert Banff of Haddon in succession to William Wright, formerly farmer there. After the Dissolution, Sir Robert Kirkham, in 1542, obtained from the Crown a grant in fee, inter alia, of the reversion of the manor and of the rent reserved on the lease, with the advowson and a rent of 5s. out of the rectory of Haddon (all being the property of Thorney Abbey), to hold with the manor and hamlet of Elmington, at 52s. 8d. rent, as 1/20 of a knight's fee, free of all other charges except 26s. 8d. a year to the bailiff of Haddon. (fn. 7) Sir Robert made a settlement in 1550 of the manor and advowson, on the marriage of his son and heir William with Mary, daughter of Thomas Carrell, (fn. 8) and they were dealing with the property in 1569 (fn. 9) and 1570. (fn. 10) William settled it in 1586 in tail male on his son William, who married Isabel, daughter of John, Lord St. John of Bletsoe. (fn. 11) He died in 1599, survived by his wife Mary. (fn. 12) William and Isabel had a son Walter, who succeeded his father in 1611, (fn. 13) and was dealing with both manor and advowson in the following year, and in 1614. (fn. 14) In 1615, he and his wife Elizabeth conveyed them to Sir Robert Beville, K.B., of Chesterton, (fn. 15) who received a grant of free warren in 1619, with licence to inclose 300 acres of arable land in his manors of Chesterton and Haddon, parcels of the Duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 16) He made a settlement in 1617 on the occasion of his marriage with Dame Elizabeth Wakering, widow of Sir George Wakering, late of Rickmansworth, of the manor and advowson on his wife as jointure, and another on 20 November 1634 in tail male on his sons, Sir Robert Beville, K.B., and his second son William. He died at Chesterton in the same year, (fn. 17) his wife Dame Elizabeth surviving him until 1647. In 1637, his son Sir Robert Beville was engaged in Chancery proceedings against tenants of the manor with regard to their rents, (fn. 18) and died in 1640. The manor has since descended with that of Chesterton (q.v.), (fn. 19) the Rev. W. F. Buttle being the present owner.
That a family of de Haddon was living in Haddon in the 14th century is indicated by the appearance in 1300 of Geoffrey de Haddon as a juror; (fn. 20) in 1304–5 John de Haddon was in default for the homage, fealty, and suit owed by him at the abbot's court at Yaxley for a tenement and virgate in Haddon, in part of which, called Keyney Furlong, he had beasts which were then distrained. (fn. 21)
The church of ST. MARY consists of a chancel (22¾ ft. by 13½ ft.), nave (30½ ft. by 16¾ ft.) with western extension (10 ft. by 16 ft.), north transept (10 ft. by 10½ ft.), south transept (10 ft. by 9¼ ft.), north aisle (7 ft. wide), south aisle (7 ft. wide), belfry (above the western extension), and north porch. The walls are of stone rubble with ashlar dressings, and the roofs are covered with lead and slates.
The church is mentioned in the Domesday Survey (1086), and probably the eastern wall of the nave belongs to this church, although the chancel arch is of 12th-century date, from which it may perhaps be inferred that the chancel was rebuilt at that time. Early in the 13th century the north aisle and transept were added and an arcade built on the line of the old north wall. Some thirty years later the same thing was done on the south side, but in this case the arcade appears to have been built slightly to the north of the old south wall; the nave was elongated westward some ten feet; a north porch was added; and the chancel was rebuilt and widened to the south. The clearstory windows appear to have been formed early in the 16th century, probably without materially raising the walls. Much later in the same century the belfry was formed over the western extension of the nave. The church was restored in 1745, (fn. 22) 1897 and 1901.
The 13th-century chancel has a triple lancet window in the east wall under one segmental-pointed reararch. The north wall has a two-light window under a distorted label moulding and with a foliated cross carved between the heads of the lights. The south wall has a similar two-light window but without the carved cross in the head; a lancet window; a plain square recess; and the sill and parts of the jambs of a destroyed window. The 12th-century chancel arch is semicircular and of two orders; the inner order has a large roll on the soffit, and the outer order has a smaller roll and some star-ornament; the responds are composed of a semicircular engaged shaft and a detached shaft at the side, all with either cushion or scalloped capitals, some of which are carved with interlaced work. In the chancel, on each side of the arch, are recesses for seats; that on the south has the remains of a 13th-century jamb-shaft and arch, but both have been much mutilated. The roof is modern.
The nave has an east wall probably of 11th-century date; the quoins of the north-east angle are visible outside. The early 13th-century north arcade has three semicircular arches of two chamfered orders on two octagonal piers with moulded capitals and bases; the responds have short corbel-shafts with moulded capitals. The mid 13th-century south arcade is generally similar to that on the north, but there is nail-head ornament in the capitals and the base mouldings are of later form. The early 16th-century clearstory windows of the south wall are small squareheaded two-lights; those on the north are blocked, the wall apparently having been refaced on the outside and plastered inside. The roof is modern, but a few early 16th-century timbers and some carvings remain.
The mid 13th-century western extension has a west window of two grouped lancets with rear-arches springing very awkwardly from a central engaged shaft. A late 16th-century arch on plain responds has been built across the eastern end of the extension, and higher up two plain arches have been thrown across to carry the north and south walls of the belfry. The plain parapets of the nave are carried along the side walls of the extension and the string-course below them follows the line of the old west gable of the nave.
The early 13th-century north transept has no window in the east wall, but in the north wall is a 13thcentury lancet window. There is a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders opening into the north aisle, and springing from the eastern pier of the nave arcade on one side and from a corbel-shaft on the other. The late 16th-century roof is flat with moulded beams.
The mid 13th-century south transept has no east window, but in the south wall is an early 14th-century three-light window with intersecting tracery; and an original piscina with two-centred head and a mutilated basin. The arch to the south aisle is similar to the corresponding arch on the north.
The early 13th-century north aisle has in the north wall a 14th-century three-light window reset, and an original doorway with a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders and having detached shafts with moulded capitals and bases in the jambs. The west wall has an original single-light window with semicircular head.
The mid 13th-century porch has a plain two-centred outer arch resting on responds of three grouped shafts with moulded capitals and bases, the former having nail-head ornament. The side walls have small two-light windows with rounded heads.
There are considerable remains of 15th-century wall-paintings: over the chancel arch, a 'doom' with figure seated on a rainbow and remains of other figures on each side, buildings, etc.; in the two transepts, remains of masonry lines and diapering.
There are three bells, inscribed: (1) Johannis est nomen ejus; (2) a b d e n e r 1568 s; (3) Edwarde Newcome. The first by John Danyell, and the other two by Newcome. The first and second bells were broken for many years, (fn. 23) and all three were lowered to the ground in 1901; they were recast and rehung in 1906 by Taylors of Loughborough.
There are some stone seats against the west walls of the transepts and the side walls of the aisles. A carved stone figure of a lion, perhaps from a monument, lies loose in the church. On the churchyard wall is the greater part of a coped coffin-lid with a cross and the double-omega ornament.
The registers are as follows: (i) baptisms, marriages and burials, 21 March 1538/9 to 9 February 1773, marriages end 30 January 1754; (ii) baptisms and burials, 28 June 1778 to 22 November 1812; (iii) marriages, 23 June 1755 to 30 March 1812; (fn. 24) the usual modern books.
The church plate consists of the following: a coarse silver cup, engraved on base 'Parish of Haddon, Huntingdonshire, June 1798' and hallmarked for 1798–9; (fn. 25) a silver cover-paten for same with the same inscription and hall-mark; a coarse silver plate with the same inscription and hallmark; (fn. 26) a silver standing paten engraved with the arms of Beville, and hall-marked for 1648–9; (fn. 27) a small silver box with no inscription or hall-mark.
The church was given to Thorney Abbey with the manor by King Edgar and remained in their possession until the Dissolution. (fn. 28) It afterwards followed the descent of the manor, (fn. 29) to the Marquess of Huntly, who still owned it in 1916, but it passed soon after to the Rev. W. F. Buttle, the present patron. The rectory was united to that of Chesterton by Order in Council of March 1863.
A pension of 5s. from the Rectory of Haddon had been reserved to Thorney Abbey before 1220 (fn. 30) and was granted with the manor and advowson to Sir Robert Kirkham, after the Dissolution. (fn. 31) The church was valued at £10 13s. 4d. in 1291, (fn. 32) and £12 3s. 2d. in 1535. (fn. 33) In 1549 it was stated that 3 roods of land in Haddon, with a yearly value of 4d., had been given as lamp land. (fn. 34)
St. Thomas's Day Charity for the Poor.—The endowment of this charity originally consisted of a rentcharge of 5s. issuing out of certain lands and hereditaments known as the Grange and Manor Farms in Haddon. The rentcharge was redeemed in 1913 in consideration of a sum of £10 Consols, the dividends on which are distributed by the rector to the poor of the parish.