Pages 82-89

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire, Volume 1, West Cambridgshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1968.

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In this section


(O.S. 6 ins. aTL 26 N.E., bTL 36 N.W., cTL 6 S.E., dTL 36 S.W.)

The parish of Elsworth, an irregular area of 3839 acres, is exceeded in size only by those of Gamlingay and Bourn. The land slopes from about 220 ft. in the S., where the Cambridge to St. Neots highway forms the boundary, to some 50 ft. at points in the N. where small streams drain down to the Ouse through the intervening parishes of Conington and of Hilton (Huntingdonshire). One of these streams divides Elsworth on the W. from Boxworth; its upper reaches are in the parish of Knapwell which is separated from Elsworth by an indented line based on pre-existing fields. Boulder clay predominates on the higher ground; lower down are Ampthill and other clays; while in and to the N. of the village a limestone outcrop, sometimes described as 'Elsworth rock', occurs.


The village is of nucleated type; the only suggestion of an out-settlement is immediately W. of Elsworth Wood where slight field indications (see Monuments (45) and (46)), may be related to documentary references to 'Matheus Atewode' and 'le Wodecroft' in the late 13th and early 14th centuries (Reaney, 'Placenames of Cambs.', 167). A total absence of mediaeval buildings other than the ample 14th-century church (the earliest of the houses, Low Farm (Monument (16)), is of the late 16th century), and an unusually poor cartographical background preclude all but the most tentative conclusions as to the development of the village. The Abbey of Ramsey owned virtually the entire parish from the end of the 10th until the 16th century (J. A. Raftis, The Estates of Ramsey Abbey (1957), 13 ff.); the two manors passed then to the Wendys of Haslingfield and were sold by them in 1656 to Samuel Disbrowe (d. 1690) whose brother John was married to Oliver Cromwell's sister. The manor house (Monument (3)) is likely to have been built between 1656 and 1660; an earlier house site (Monument (44)) lies a short distance to the N.

Baker's county map of 1821 shows the manor house standing in a small park of about 15 acres bounded on the N. by Fardell's Lane and on the W. by Broad Street; the road from Boxworth passes across its S.E. corner. Two small houses of the 17th century (Monuments (4) and (7)) lie within the area; they could well have been built in Disbrowe's day. The Disbrowes may have been lenient landlords; the siting of Monuments (20) and (21), both probably of c. 1657, suggest encroachment on the manorial waste.

The history of Elsworth after 1660 seems to have been one of peaceful decline. Enclosure was by act of 1800, the award being made in 1802. The dwellings erected in the later 18th and 19th centuries, including several substantial farmhouses in the Regency tradition and some semi-detached pairs and informal terraces, are collectively of interest; a few of the more individually noteworthy have been listed.


d(1) Parish Church of the Holy Trinity stands on rising ground towards the E. side of the village. It is oddly placed in the W. corner of a N.E. to S.W. oblong churchyard and is separated from the rectory, some 30 yds. to the N.W., by a footpath in continuation of Church Causeway. The churchyard is bounded on the E., S. and W. by low walls with old stone coping. The fabric consists of a long Chancel, Nave with Aisles and South Porch, and West Tower. The walls are of field stones and local limestone rubble, in part roughly squared and coursed, with dressings of shelly limestone, and, internally, of clunch; the roofs are leaded. Some reused stonework in the fabric and a fragment lying in the church (see Miscellaneous below) point to a 12th-century stone church, but the present structure is entirely of the first half of the 14th century save for the 13th-century chancel arch and the late mediaeval S. porch. The fabric has suffered from subsidence and there has been a certain amount of piecemeal rebuilding at various periods. The church was restored in 1876–7, again in 1891–2, under the supervision of W. M. Fawcett, when the N. aisle was rebuilt.

Elsworth, the Parish Church of the Holy Trinity

Architectural Description—The Chancel (47 ft. by 19 ft.) has a five-light E. window, the mullions and tracery of which are modern but otherwise original, with external and internal labels, the latter terminating in head stops. The side walls are divided into three equal bays by buttresses; on the N. side these have been partly rebuilt, perhaps in connection with the construction and later demolition of a family vault. The first and third bays in the N. wall have each a three-light window with net tracery and external and internal labels; the outside label to the second window has head stops. W. of centre in the middle bay is a doorway, originally with continuously moulded jambs to the N.; these have been cut back save for part of the outermost wave moulding and the doorway now has a door with modern jambs on the inside face. The S. wall has a window in each bay, the first two similar to those on the N. side; the third is of four lights with a square head which has been substituted for the original tracery. Below the W. jamb of the third window is a blocked rectangular 'low-side' with moulded jambs, staples for an outside shutter, and an iron grille. The chancel arch is of a single chamfered order to the E.; to the W. it is of two hollow-chamfered orders, the inner of which rises off short triple shafts with moulded caps above and a moulded corbel below; for the rest the responds, which were mutilated to fit a rood loft and have been restored, are square on plan with chamfered arrises. On the E. face of the wall above the chancel arch is the weather course of the original roof; the walls have been heightened to accommodate the present one.

The Nave (54¾ ft. by 18½ft.; Plate 74) has uniform arcades of four bays each, with arches of two wave-moulded orders and filleted quatrefoil piers with rolls between the foils and moulded caps and bases. The clearstorey has a restored quatrefoil light over each pier. The North Aisle (14 ft. wide) has been rebuilt, but on the old lines and re-using many of the old dressings; the N. doorway, the four windows, buttresses and string-courses resemble the corresponding features in the S. aisle. At the E. end of the N. arcade, entered by a continuously moulded doorway, set across the S.E. corner of the aisle, with four-centred head, a later mediaeval rood stair has been intruded, with an upper doorway, in the angle of the nave, formerly giving on to the loft, similar but chamfered. The South Aisle (13 ft. wide) has a somewhat bizarre E. window (Plate 10) of four boldly cinque-foiled lights in a two-centred head with moulded labels; the remaining windows are each of three trefoiled lights with net tracery and moulded external and internal labels; the external labels of all the windows have mask stops. The S. doorway is of two continuous wavemoulded orders separated by a three-quarter hollow. External and internal string courses at window-sill level are lifted over it as labels.

The West Tower (13½ ft. square) is of two stages externally with a moulded plinth and embattled parapet. The three-stage buttresses rise to crocketed pinnacles; the offsets between the ground and intermediate stages being lightly embattled. A projecting part-octagonal stair turret at the S.E. corner is finished at the base of the bell chamber with a pyramidal stone capping. The tower arch is of three orders with multiple wavemouldings and moulded label: the innermost order rises off part-octagonal responds with chamfered plinths; the others die against the side walls. Above the arch, in the N.E., N.W. and S.E. corners, moulded corbels with adjacent lengths of wall rib on the N. and E. walls are evidence for a vault or projected vault. The W. doorway has continuously moulded jambs of three orders, moulded label, and a moulded rear arch. The W. window is of three trefoiled lights with net tracery and a moulded external label with mask stops; below and to the N. of it, on the inside, is a short length of moulded string. The belfry windows are each of two ogee trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in the head and a moulded label.

The South Porch is late mediaeval. The entrance arch is of two chamfered orders separated by a hollow and rises off moulded jambs with small attached shafts rising to projecting moulded caps. In each side wall is a restored window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head.

The Roofs of the chancel and both nave aisles are of the 16th or 17th century; they are almost flat and the timbers are plain chamfered. That of the chancel is divided into five bays by cambered tie beams, each bay being sub-divided into four by a ridge and side purlins. The rafters are exposed. The lean-to aisle roofs are similar. The roof of the nave is modern but eleven carved wooden figures placed on small stone corbels in the clearstorey are presumably from its mediaeval predecessor.

Fittings— Bells: four; 1st by Christopher Gray, 1675; 2nd with initial cross, inscription and church warden's initials, 1616; 3rd with illegible inscription; 4th with doggerel hexameter Latin verse, 1628. Bell frame: old. Benefactors' table: on W. wall of S. aisle, inscribed stone with details of 17th-century benefactions and parochial obligations. Brass indents: In chancel—(1) for man and wife, with inscription plate; (2) for inscription plate; (3) for priest, with inscription plate. In N. aisle—(4) for man and wife, with inscription plate and two groups of children. In S. aisle—(5) for man and wife, with inscription plate; (6) for man and wife, with inscription plate, worn; (7) for inscription plate surmounted by a small unidentified feature, worn; (8) for two figures and inscription plate; (9) for figure, probably female, with inscription plate. All are late mediaeval. Chair: of oak, with turned front legs and plain back legs carried up to frame the two shaped and enriched cross bars of the back; 17th-century. Chest: plain, 18th-century. Churchyard cross: immediately E. of chancel, base only; mediaeval. Communion rails: of oak, with turned balusters and panelled posts; 18th-century. Font: octagonal, of limestone; small bowl with chamfered under-edge moulded on the arris, plain stem and moulded base; original footpace with lower octagonal and upper cruciform steps forming four kneeling bays; late mediaeval.

Elsworth, the Parish Church of The Holy Trinity

Monuments and Floor slabs. Monuments: On N. wall of chancel—(1) of Matthew Holworthy, rector, 1826, and Ann, his wife, 1833; also of their children: Anna Sophia, 1801; Frederick John, 1807; Matthew, rector, 1836; William Henry, rector of Blickling with Erpingham, Norfolk, 1838; Mary, 1842; and Emma, 1848; white inscription panel in gothic surround, erected 1850, signed W. Brown, Stonehouse, Devon; (2) of Matthew Holworthy, 1728, and Elizabeth, his wife, 1749; also of their children: Matthew, 1701; Disbrowe, 1721; Susanna, 1721; and Elizabeth (Heathcote), 1726; black marble inscription panel in coloured marble surround, surmounted by a sarcophagus and cartouche of arms backed by an obelisk; (3) of Ann, 1794, and her husband, Lawrence Desborough, 1799. (4) Slots, with inscribed date 1751 (?), cut into the S. buttress at the S.W. angle of the S. aisle, may be traces of the 'very handsome Altar Monument' to Miss Frances Brearey, 1744, alluded to by Cole (B.M. Add. MS. 5810, 79). Floor slabs: In chancel—(1) of Thomas Whincop, rector, 1656, with shield of arms; (2) of William Lunn, 1769, and Cornelia (Disbrowe), his wife, 1775, with achievement of arms; (3) of William Lunn, rector, 1746; (4) of Edward Lunn, rector, 1791; (5) of Mary Waller, 1715; (6) of Samuel Disbrowe, 1690, with achievement of arms; (7) of Thomas Lunn, 1749, and Elizabeth, his wife, 1793; (8) of William Lunn, 1828, signed 'Gilbert Cambridge'. In S. aisle—(9) of Maria (Pamplyn?), 173(?1); (10) of Edward Hustwait and Mary his wife, defaced, c. 1800; (11) of John Hustwait, 1752, and Katharine Hustwait, defaced. In tower—(12) of Rose Disbrow, 1698, with lozenge of arms.

Piscinae: In chancel—(1) double piscina (Plate 6) with central shaft and uniform responds, and two trefoiled arches with panelled spandrel beneath a common label; a shelf is contrived behind the top foil of either arch; first half of 14th century, but the two quatrefoil drains may be from an earlier piscina. In N. aisle, partly cut into by S.W. jamb of lower doorway to rood stair—(2) with trefoiled head and circular drain; first half of 14th century. In S. aisle—(3) with moulded jambs, trefoiled ogee head framing a shelf, and quatrefoil drain; the aisle string course is lifted over it to form a label; first half of 14th century. Plate: includes a flagon, London 1733, a cup, a cover paten and an alms dish all inscribed and presented in 1733; and a brass alms dish, Continental, 16th- or 17th-century. Pulpit (Plate 17): on a modern stem, octagonal, with six closed sides enriched with applied tracery and two open; the tracery is in two heights with cinque-foiled arches above and a cusped saltire beneath; late mediaeval, restored. Recesses: In chancel, at E. end of N. wall, with stone shelf under depressed head; adjacent, at the N. end of the E. wall is the blocking of a similar recess; both mediaeval. Reredos (Plate 74): now forming S. side of vestry at W. end of N. aisle, divided into pedimented centre piece and side bays by coupled Ionic columns. A central eared and enriched panel is painted with the Commandments; above it in the pediment is an inlaid sacred monogram surrounded by rays; side panels with the Lord's Prayer and Creed are moulded and pedimented; according to Cole it was installed by Elizabeth Holworthy between 1745 and her death in 1749 (B.M. Add. MS. 5810, 72). Screen: N. of the chancel entry, two panels of the lower part of a late mediaeval screen, each having an applied mullion and tracery with carved spandrels; S. of the entry one or two original timbers made up with modern work. Seating: In N. and S. aisles, six pews each, incorporating late mediaeval bench ends and other woodwork. The bench ends are shaped and have chamfered edges enriched with paterae; most retain carved poppy heads. Sedilia (Plate 6): three, stepped, under moulded and trefoiled ogee heads, with moulded labels, carried on small shafts with moulded caps and bases and corresponding responds; first half of 14th century. Stalls (Plate 19): In chancel, in two lengths against the western half of either side wall and returned under the chancel arch. They are in general of the 16th century but four return stalls with shaped divisions and cappings placed against the restored base of the screen are somewhat earlier. The backs of the N. and S. sides are of linen-fold panelling, two panels high, with a moulded cornice and continuous bench framing into half bench ends at the E. extremities. The prayer desks have panelled fronts, largely modern, with heavy 16th-century shaped ends surmounted by foliated poppy heads. Beneath the book rests are small panelled cupboards, those to the return desks retaining their original panelled and enriched doors with wrought-iron furniture. Sundial: over entry to S. Porch, square, dated 1628. Miscellaneous: loose in vestry, short length of stone, enriched with cable ornament, perhaps part of a nook shaft, 12th-century.

d(2) Providence Chapel, built about 1830, consists of a meeting house, school and manse. The Meeting house, which is of white brick with low hipped and slated roof, has a front to the street in three bays and two heights with hung-sash windows and central round-headed doorway of two continuous plain orders with a blind tympanum inscribed 'Strict Baptist Chapel "Providence"'. The interior has N., E. and W. galleries with panelled fronts carried on cast-iron columns; the galleries are fixed to the brickwork by wall anchors and tie rods. The Schoolroom is on the E. side of the meeting house and has a round-headed door and one hung-sash window to the front beneath a shaped parapet. The Manse is a detached twostorey Class-T house in the same materials a short distance to the W.


Elsworth, The Manor House

d(3) Manor House, of whitewashed red brick, two storeys high with attics and tiled roofs, was built on a U-shaped plan with wings to the N., probably for Samuel Disbrowe, Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland during the Civil War, who bought the property from the Wendy family in 1656 and died in 1690. The house was refurbished during the 18th century and remodelled c. 1800 when the entrance was moved from the S. to the W. front and the main range heightened and widened on the N. to make a first-floor saloon and corridors. The W. wing, lengthened perhaps at the same time, has since been reduced to its original dimension. There are some recent additions in the court. Some fittings were removed prior to 1939; they included a mid 17th-century staircase having vertically symmetrical balusters and square newel posts with four-sided shaped finials, elements of which are now at the Mill House, Pebmarsh, Essex. The house is at present divided into a number of tenements.

The symmetrical S. front has a slightly recessed centrepiece, originally in five, now in two bays, flanked by the hipped ends of the wings each in two bays with a small hipped set-back dormer. At the junction of the range and the wings are chimney stacks, each of three conjoined faces, set across the main ridge. The 19th-century sash windows in the centre are comparatively large; the rest, in original openings, are smaller and earlier. The front wall has a chamfered plinth and applied wooden fascia at first-floor level apparently in the place of an original platband; the eaves, save for the heightened centrepiece, are boxed in wood. The side elevations are irregular, the principal feature to the W. being the entrance doorway of c. 1800 with flanking pilasters, fan-light, and later side glazing; on the E. side a blocking at mezzanine level indicates the site of a tall window lighting the former stairs. The W. elevation retains an original eaves cornice of moulded brick.

The N. ends of the wings, in a more conservative idiom than the S. front, rise to gables, each with comparatively small blocked windows: the E. gable end retains platbands at first-floor and eaves levels; the W. gable end has the E. end of a wooden fascia at first-floor level and a moulded gable parapet with shaped kneelers rising to a chimney stack similar to those at the ends of the main range.

The old entrance hall on the ground floor of the main range, with a ceiling divided into four bays by intersecting chamfered beams, has fielded panelling, much altered, in two heights, separated by a moulded rail. The room adjoining to the E. has similar, but better preserved, panelling and a heavily moulded plaster cornice, two doors each of six fielded panels, and a grey marble fireplace surround. Some of the remaining ground floor rooms have similar 18th-century details interspersed with others of c. 1800. On the first floor a number of original chamfered ceiling beams, some intersecting, are exposed. The former saloon has a reused door of six fielded panels in an elaborate early 19th-century door-case enriched with festoons, urns and paterae, and an enriched chair rail. Inside blocked attic windows in both of the N. gables original two-light ovolo-moulded wooden frames are visible.

d(4) House (Plate 79), originally one Class-K dwelling of the 17th century, now in several occupations, has a framed and plastered N. and S. range of one storey and attic, with thatched half-hipped roof. An 18th-century wing, partly brick-built, has been added at right angles on the E. side. The W. front retains traces of rectilinear pargetting. The triple chimney stack with recessed centre is original. Inside are a number of chamfered beams. Some of the tie beams have been cut to improve access between the upper rooms.

d(5) Dear's Farm (Plate 36) consists of a two-storeyed house of 1601, framed, plastered and thatched, with first floor jettied along the S. side; and a W. prolongation in the same materials, partly of the 17th and partly of the 18th century. There are some added outshuts. The central chimney of the earliest part is built in an original chimney bay. The dividing cross beam immediately W. of it on the ground floor and the axial beam which framed into it are both ovolo-moulded; the former carries an inscription, the top edge of which has been ceiled in: '(?) RH 1601 ISC'. S. of the chimney on the upper floor is an original blocked two-light window. There are some stop-chamfered beams and joists in the prolongation.

d(6) House (Class I), now derelict, one storey and attic with thatched roof; it was originally framed but has been cased with red brick in the 18th century and extended at the W. end in the same material.

d(7) House (Plate 79), built to a central-chimney design (approximately Class J) on an E.-W. axis in the 17th century, is of one storey and attics, framed and plastered, with a thatched roof. There is a stair-annexe on the N. side of the W. part; the E. part has a slightly lower ridge and appears to have been at first open to the roof. The chimney stack of two conjoined diagonal flues is probably original.

d(8) Child's Farm (Class U), c. 1850, two-storeyed, of plastered studwork with hipped slated roof, has a symmetrical E. front in two heights and three bays with central front door opening on to a stair hall. The windows are wooden casements. Three fireplaces in a spine wall parallel to the front have flues which arch over and issue at the ridge in two stacks.

d(9) Meadow Farm consists of a house and buildings. The House, two-storeyed, of plastered studwork with hipped slated roofs, was built on an L-shaped plan c. 1840. The E. front to the road is symmetrically designed in three bays with a central front door. Much of the interior detail is original. Buildings to the N. include a three-bay boarded barn and a brick dryingshed, both of the 18th or 19th century.

d(10) House (Class J) of one storey and attic, framed and plastered, with corrugated iron roof, has the transcribed date 1646 on a modern plaster panel at the base of the chimney stack.

d(11) Warehouse, at Avenue Farm, formerly two-storeyed, with timber frame of five unequal bays each sub-divided by secondary trusses, boarded and thatched, is of 16th- or 17th-century origin. The floor has been removed and an aisle added on the N. side to make a barn. The upper floor was lit by windows divided into three lights by diagonally-set square mullions; four of these can be inferred from mortices in the top plate. The main posts are worked with intermediate brackets and tenoned to take the supporting beams of the lost floor; they rise to enlarged heads and are braced to the tie beams. The rafters above both main and secondary posts have braces to purlins and are joined by collars.

d(12) Brockley Farm consists of a house and buildings. The House, an E. and W. range two storeys high, of red brick, with three rooms on either floor and attics, was built in 1753; the date and initials WWT are cut on a brick on the N. front. The E. end has a gable of 'tumbled' brickwork. The roofs are covered with modern tile. In the 19th century the W. end of the house was rebuilt and the whole refenestrated and enlarged; this rebuilding has obscured the original plan which was perhaps intermediate between Class J and Class T.

Surviving original features include a reset staircase with turned balusters, square newels and moulded handrail, and a door of six fielded panels, also reset.

The Buildings include a 19th-century laundry or brew-house at the W. end, with inserted floor, and S. of it a detached 18th-century bake-house, now ruinous.

d(13) House and Bake-house. The two-storeyed brick and slate house is combined with a single-storey bake-house at its S. end. An advertisement in the Cambridge Chronicle of 25 November 1843 for a 'Bake House . . . recently rebuilt' presumably refers to this building.

d(14) House, of red brick, roofed with asbestos tiles, two storeys and attic, was built c. 1700 on a plan approximating to Class 1 but with the chimney off-centre; it has since been extended and altered. The larger ground-floor room was originally divided to allow for a small unheated service room. The house was formerly thatched and has lost its 'tumbled' gable parapets.

d(15) House (Class K), now two dwellings, of one storey and attic, framed, plastered and thatched, is of the mid 17th century. Inside are some exposed chamfered and stop-chamfered ceiling beams and joists.

Elsworth, Monument No. 16

d(16) Low Farm (Plate 78) consists of a house and barn. The House, of two storeys, framed and plastered, with thatched roofs, has the initials and date 'IHA 1595 EGD' carved on the depressed arched head of the porch entrance (Plate 37).

The plan approximates to that of a Class-J house but with a cross wing in place of the unheated end room and a staircase projection and porch with projecting upper stage, both original, respectively N. and S. of the internal chimney. The N. end is gabled with an added 18th-century chimney; the W. and S. ends are half-hipped. There are traces of pargetting on the S. side of the main range; against its N. side is a modern lean-to.

Inside the house some chamfered ceiling beams and other timbers are exposed. The original chimney serves two ground floor fireplaces and a smaller fireplace to the W. room on the first floor; all three have chamfered jambs and four-centred heads. The roof of the main range is based on tie beams with long braces to the principal posts some of which have been cut to allow access between the first-floor rooms. The cross wing, which is structurally independent though apparently coeval, was originally divided on either floor into a larger N. and smaller S. room. The main posts have enlarged heads and the roof has braced tie beams and collars.

The 17th-century aisled Barn, S. of and parallel to the house, is of four bays with a short fifth bay under the W. hip; it is boarded and thatched.

d(17) House, on a plot of ground adjoining the churchyard at its S.W. corner, of one storey and attics, framed and plastered, with half-hipped thatched roof. The original 17th-century building, to which a pair of 19th-century tenements has been added, was of Class-I plan, but with the W. room originally open to the roof.

d(18) School, of white brick with tiled roofs, in a Tudoresque idiom, dated 1847, includes subsequent extensions. It is symmetrically designed with a large school room, flanked at right angles to the N. by a smaller school room and to the S. by a school-master's house.

d(19) House, originally built as a relatively sophisticated small two-storey framed house to a Class-J plan in the mid 18th century, has lost two rooms at the N. end, and acquired a 19th-century wing to the E. It retains an original stair with shaped balusters.

d(20) House (Class J), of one storey and attic, framed and plastered, with thatched half-hipped roof. The date 1657 inscribed on the modern chimney pot of an added second flue is probably that of erection. Inside are some chamfered and crudely enriched beams.

d(21) House (Class L) adjoining the foregoing to the E. is possibly coeval; it is framed, plastered and thatched. The studwork, largely exposed internally, consists of sparse and rough uprights framed into plates of moderate scantling with externally applied wattles coated with an earthen plaster mixed with straw. Inside some stop-chamfered ceiling beams and a number of blocked window openings are visible.

Elsworth, Monument No. 21

d(22) Dale's Farm (Plate 31), of white brick, two-storeyed with cellars, and with hipped and gabled roofs, was built c. 1840. The S. front to the road is symmetrically designed in three bays with end pilasters and a narrow centrepiece in which is set a front door with rectangular fan-light and shallow hood. Inside is an original staircase. The piers of the contemporary garden walls have cast-iron caps and finials.

d(23) Farm building, consisting of a combined granary and pigeon loft, framed and boarded, with some brick underbuilding; the thatched roof is hipped and rises to two gablets; 17th-century, altered.

d(24) Brown's Farm, originally an 18th-century Class-I house, was remodelled and extended c. 1790; the walls are of brick and the roofs tiled. Inside the extension is a reused ovolo-moulded beam. A staircase in the original house retains some 18th-century shaped balusters.

d(25) Almshouses, now derelict, single-storeyed, of red brick, with gable-ended tiled roofs; they consist of three rooms, each a separate tenement, in a straight range. According to the Lysons (Cambridgeshire, 184), 'Dr Franklin, by his will, bearing date June 27, 1695, bequeathed the sum of 400 l. for building and endowing three alms-houses for poor widows'.

d(26) Windmill (N.G. TL 326641), without working parts, now incorporated in a modern house. It consists of a tapered brick tower with some original round-headed windows; 19th-century.

d(27) Common Farm (Class T; N.G. TL 303612), c. 1800, two storeys and attics, partly of white brick, partly framed and plastered, with tiled roof, has a symmetrical S. front in three bays with central front door and triple sash windows on the ground floor. Above are three first-floor sash windows, a dentilled eaves cornice and three set-back dormers. The staircase, housed in a projection on the N. side entered from one of the ground-floor rooms, is original.

c and d(28–43) Houses, of internal-chimney design (Classes I and J) more or less altered, generally of one storey and attics, and mostly framed, plastered and thatched; a number of these were probably built before 1715. Monument (28) is an outlier (N.G. TL 28856432).


d(44) Moated site (Class A 1 (a); N.G. TL 315637; ponds only on O.S.), presumably that of the mediaeval manor house, lies 250 ft. N.W. of its 17th-century successor (Monument (3)), on level ground in clay soil. The site is under rough pasture, marshy in the ditch. The remains are those of a rectangular moat, now measuring 88 ft. N.W., by 133 ft. S.W., by 54 ft. S.E., by 116 ft. N.E., with a partly wet ditch 30 ft. to 40 ft. wide and 2 ft. to 3 ft. deep. The S. angle has been partly removed and the S.W. and N.E. sides have been widened and deepened to form ponds holding 1 ft. to 3 ft. of water, distorting the original dimensions of about 120 ft. by 90 ft. A small stream flows along the S.W. and N.W. sides and into the pond at the N. angle, having passed through a partly-filled rectangular pool 160 ft. long, 40 ft. wide and 2 ft. deep to the S. of the moat. Suggestions of an entrance at the W. corner may be due to differential quarrying of the ditch. Mounds and a hollow in the interior seem to be recent.

d(45) Mound (N.G. TL 30806175; not on O.S.), on level boulder clay 200 ft. above O.D., some 150 yds. E. of the Elsworth to Caxton road. The mound, 35 ft. in diameter and 2 ft. high, with slight traces of a ditch 6 ft. wide and 6 ins. deep, stands in an area measuring 200 ft. by 300 ft., which has no sign of former ridge and furrow ploughing, and S. of an E. to W. access way through the pre-enclosure arable.

(46) Cultivation remains (not on O.S.). Ridge and furrow remains in closes around the village, e.g. between N.G. TL 320639 and 324641. The ridges are straight, 80 yds. to 170 yds. long, 6 yds. to 11 yds. wide and 6 ins. to 9 ins. high. In fields to the E. of the village, around N.G. TL 323639, a hollow-way between ridge and furrow indicates an older course of the existing road; an area of unploughed land to the N.W. may have been enclosed from common pasture along the roads. All these were old enclosures in 1800. To the E. and S.E. of the village, e.g. around N.G. TL 320636 and 321637, are fields with curving ridge and furrow, 130 yds. to 180 yds. long, 7 yds. to 9 yds. wide and 6 ins. to 9 ins. high, with headlands 6 yds. to 10 yds. wide; these were also old enclosures in 1800 and had clearly been enclosed from open fields. Similar remains in old enclosures taken from open fields lie S.W. of Elsworth Wood around N.G. TL 308616 where reversed-S ridge and furrow runs E. and W. on either side of a N. to S. hollow-way 40 ft. wide and 2 ft. deep; the ridges are 170 yds. to 190 yds. long, 7 yds. to 11 yds. wide and 1 ft. high with headlands 10 yds. wide.

Traces of curving ridge and furrow can be seen on air photographs over much of the parish, all belonging to the former open fields. There is some evidence that Elsworth was a two-field village.

(Ref: enclosure map 1800 (C.R.O.); W. E. Tate in C.A.S. Procs., XL (1944), 58; air photographs: 106G/UK/1490/3233–5, 3348–54, 3380–4, 4370–98.)