A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1936.
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The present volume, the third and last of the History of the County of Huntingdon, and the ninety-fourth of the Victoria County History, was begun under the supervision of the late Dr. Page, who, at the time of his death in February 1934, had revised the topographical descriptions of twenty-two parishes in Leightonstone Hundred and of two parishes in Norman Cross Hundred, and had himself written the description of Conington.
A short Memoir by Sir Charles Peers, with a bibliography of Dr. Page's writings, appeared in the second volume of the History of the County of Rutland, the last volume of the Victoria History completed under his editorship, and it has not been thought necessary to attempt any appreciation of his life and work in this volume, the last in the series in which he had a share. The surviving Editors, however, desire to take this opportunity of expressing their sense of the deep loss which the History has sustained by his death and of testifying to the affection and respect which he inspired in all those whose good fortune it was to work with him. The History—to quote Sir Charles Peers's apt words—is his Memorial, and whatever developments may be in store for it his name will ever come first in its story.
The progress of the work has been seriously retarded as a result of Dr. Page's death, and the Editors, in order to avoid further delay, have found it necessary to abandon their original intention of including chapters on Agriculture and Military History. Some information bearing on Agriculture will be found in the chapters on Political History, Social and Economic History, and the Middle Level of the Fens and its Reclamation, but the time and research required for the production of separate chapters on Agriculture and Military History would have involved an almost indefinite postponement of the issue of the volume. The omission of the chapter on Military History is partly made up for by the Historical Record of the Thirty-first or the Huntingdonshire Regiment of Foot, by R. Cannon (1860); The History of the 31st Foot Huntingdonshire Regiment, 70th Foot Surrey Regiment, subsequently the 1st and 2nd Battalions the East Surrey Regiment, Volume I (1702–1914), by Colonel Hugh W. Pearse, D.S.O. (1916); and by two recent publications dealing with the war-time service of the Bedfordshire Yeomanry, one squadron of which ('D') had its headquarters at Godmanchester and was recruited from the County, viz. The Bedfordshire Yeomanry in the Great War, by L. J. C. Southern (1935), and O.C. Beds Yeomanry, by Colonel Sidney Peel, C.B., D.S.O., T.D. (1935). Further information on the 31st Foot will be found in the Recollections of Sir George L'Estrange (1874) and Personal Adventures and Recollections of an Old Officer, by Colonel James P. Robertson, C.B. (1906).
The Royal Commission on Historical Monuments had completed their Inventory for Huntingdonshire, and Buckden, Hinchingbrooke and Kimbolton had been fully illustrated in Country Life, before the topographical portion of this History had been begun. The Editors, being anxious to supplement rather than to duplicate such work, have devoted great care to the selection of points of view from which photographs of buildings should be taken. The work of photographing was entrusted to Mr. G. H. Tyndall, and the Editors desire to express their gratitude to him for the admirable manner in which it has been carried out.
In the case of buildings which have altogether disappeared or have undergone great alteration, use has been made, wherever possible, of old photographs, drawings and plans, many of which will be of increasing interest as the years pass on. Several old maps have been included, the early map of the Fens, bearing the name of Sir Robert Cotton, being reproduced for the first time.
Since the appearance of Volume I a considerable amount of fresh information has been collected, mainly by local workers, on Geology, Early Man, Romano-British Remains, Anglo-Saxon Remains, and the Domesday Survey. A list of notices on these subjects published since 1926 is given on page xxi.
In the case of subjects dealt with in Volume II there are few fresh discoveries of importance to be recorded, but mention may be made of a note on a crucifix from Spaldwick, by Dr. J. R. Garrood (Antiq. Journ. viii, 360–361); a note on St. Benedict's Church, Huntingdon, by S. Inskip Ladds (ibid. x, 164–166); and a note on Little Stukeley Church, by S. Inskip Ladds (ibid. xiv, 428–429). Two charters relating to Brampton Church are described in an article on 'Seven Charters of Henry II at Lincoln Cathedral,' by V. H. Galbraith (ibid. xii, 269–278), which appeared after the description of Brampton in the present volume was already completed.
The Editors desire to make their acknowledgments to the Rev. Canon Warren Hastings and E. Swallow, Esq., for help in preparing the description of Botolphbridge; to Messrs. Ginn & Co. for information about Farcet Manor; to G. Wyman Abbott, Esq., for information about Yaxley Manor; to the Cambs and Hunts Archæological Society and the Rev. H. T. HavardJones for the loan of blocks; to Mr. Percy J. Slater and Mr. J. H. Freeman for leave to reproduce copyright photographs; to H.M. Stationery Office for leave to reproduce plans from the Huntingdonshire Inventory of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments; to the Trustees of the British Museum for leave to reproduce the drawing of Little Gidding, which forms the frontispiece to the present volume, from the Department of Prints and Drawings, and a map, plan, and several drawings from the Department of MSS.; to the Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Curator of the Sir John Soane Museum, the Curator of the Peterborough Museum, the Clerk of the County Council for the County of Huntingdon, Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, Bart., J. Norman Heathcote, Esq., Miss Louisa Boothby-Heathcote, Owsley Rowley, Esq., and C. F. Tebbutt, Esq., for permission to reproduce plans, drawings and photographs.
Special thanks are due to Miss Valerie Cunningham, whose long and honourable connection with the History has come to an end as a result of its being made over to the University of London, but whose services were placed at the disposal of the Editors for the completion of the present volume. Miss Cunningham had acted for many years as Secretary and Assistant to Dr. Page, and her unique experience and detailed knowledge of everything relating to the production of the work in all its stages have greatly lightened and shortened their labours.
A list of corrigenda is included in the present volume, and an Index Volume is in course of preparation.