Swaffham Prior

Pages 273-278

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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The ancient parish of Swaffham Prior, (fn. 1) lying eight miles (11.5 km.) north-east of Cambridge and five (8 km.) west of Newmarket, forms a very elongated rectangle (fn. 2) extending for six miles (9.5 km.) south-eastwards between the river Cam on the north-west and the line of the Icknield way on the south-east, along which the Great Chesterford to Newmarket turnpike ran between 1724 and 1871. (fn. 3) Swaffham Prior covered 5,587 a., almost evenly divided between 'high land' in the south and fenland in the north, (fn. 4) from the late 17th century (fn. 5) to 1954 when 698 a. were detached to form a new civil parish around the ancient hamlet of Reach; (fn. 6) the area of the new parish had previously been divided between Swaffham and Burwell to its north-east. Thereafter Swaffham Prior comprised 1,979 ha. (4,889 a.). (fn. 7) Although until 1667 it had contained two ecclesiastical parishes, both of whose (rebuilt) churches survived in 1993, (fn. 8) it was reckoned from the mid 11th century as a single vill, derived from the north-eastern portion of the 'ham of the Swaefe', so named by the 950s. (fn. 9) By 1066 it was distinguished from its southern neighbour, the modern Swaffham Bulbeck. (fn. 10) Its modern name of Swaffham Prior, from the Ely priory manor in it, has been officially in use since the early 13th century. (fn. 11) The alternative name, recorded from the 1250s, (fn. 12) of Great Swaffham, by comparison with its smaller southern neighbour, was commonly used locally as late as c. 1900. (fn. 13)

In the fenland the north-eastern boundary with Burwell north of Reach has, probably since the Middle Ages, run along Old Reach Lode; (fn. 14) its northernmost section followed the lode's former course, slightly further out. (fn. 15) In the south the boundary with Swaffham Bulbeck followed from the 13th century open-field borders. (fn. 16) Elsewhere boundaries were not finally settled until the 19th century. The southern part of the boundary with Burwell ran along the Devil's Ditch, but the two parishes could not agree upon its exact line. Swaffham held that it followed the top of the bank, but Burwell claimed that it ran along the bottom of the ditch and that crosses cut in the ground, at which before 1550 Swaffham's Rogationtide procession walking along a cartway beside its fields had paused for prayers, had lain south-west of the ditch's edge. (fn. 17) The dispute led to occasional clashes. On Rogation Monday 1441 the inhabitants of Burwell marched along that edge, trampling Swaffham's crops. (fn. 18) Swaffham reported that in one skirmish c. 1525 it had captured Burwell's processional cross, preserved as a trophy in a Swaffham Prior church until the Dissolution. (fn. 19) In a lawsuit of 1585 each parish produced aged men, Burwell's from slightly older dates, as witnesses that its bounds had for fifty years or more been beaten along its preferred route. (fn. 20) Any judgement then given was not conclusive: in the 1720s Burwell still beat its bounds along the ditch bottom. (fn. 21) The main practical point at issue was the right to pasture sheep and cattle on the bank and ditch. (fn. 22) Into the 1760s Burwell shepherds still sometimes drove their sheep to feed in the ditch, where Swaffham flocks fed unchallenged, but submitted when Swaffham shepherds 'hunted' them back over the bank. (fn. 23) From 1806 Swaffham's inclosure commissioners fixed the boundary along its present course on the summit of the bank. (fn. 24)

In the late 13th century the fenland between Swaffham Bulbeck Lode and Reach Lode had been reckoned as intercommonable for the two Swaffhams, whose lords long shared the profits of agisting cattle there. (fn. 25) In 1455, however, after the bailiff of the earl of Oxford, lord of Michell Hall in Swaffham Bulbeck, had sought to brand Swaffham Prior cattle at the yearly 'catching day' or drift, the prior of Ely claimed to be principal lord of the soil of those fens, and so solely entitled to those profits and to fines for breaches of commoning rules there. (fn. 26) Intercommoning continued until after 1600, but when portions of those fen commons were inclosed in the mid 17th century as part of the Bedford Level, (fn. 27) disputes arose about which parish they belonged to, both ecclesiastically and civilly. There was much argument which parish church the few herdsmen dwelling in the fens by the 1610s had attended and rendered tithe to. Swaffham Prior claimed that fen landholders had regularly been assessed in it to rates and taxes and that for over forty years its Ely manor court had made and enforced bylaws on commoning throughout those fens, while c. 1640 it had taken in all the fens not under water in its perambulation. (fn. 28) In the consequent lawsuit c. 1668 its case, ably promoted by its vicar Martin Hill, prevailed. Of the 3,372 a. at which the two Swaffhams' fens were then measured, (fn. 29) it received an area which in 1680, when it was separated by the long straight 'Division cut' from the Adventurers' Ground in Swaffham Bulbeck to its west, was reckoned to cover 2,532 a., (fn. 30) but 2,498 a. at inclosure c. 1805. (fn. 31)

In the south-eastern third of the parish the soil lies upon the Upper Chalk, in its central part upon the Lower Chalk, while the northwestern fenlands rest upon gault mostly, save at their southern edge, covered with river gravels overlaid in turn with peat. (fn. 32) From c. 30 m. in its far south-east, heathland until 1800, the ground dips briefly before rising again to c. 40 m., partly called Middle Hill, and then descends gradually to a sudden drop from a 25-m. ridge. The village stands at the foot of that drop, just on the spring line. The land extending north-west from there to the river is largely level at 8 m. or less. No ancient woodland is recorded. The park around Swaffham Prior House was extensively planted over former grassland in the 19th century. (fn. 33) Since the Middle Ages the parish has been mostly devoted to farming, its southern half cultivated as arable under a triennial rotation, its northern fens serving as common pasture, until inclosure in 1807. (fn. 34) The existing lesser drainage ditches in the fens, mostly following the boundaries of holdings then allotted there, probably date from the early 19th century. (fn. 35)

Scattered relics of human activity from the Stone Age to pre-Roman times have been found across the parish, including many Mesolithic and Neolithic flint implements spread over 50 a. on the fen edge, suggesting the presence of flint tool makers. (fn. 36) In 1902 the main landowner C. P. Allix excavated a Bronze Age round barrow 68 ft. across in high ground at Middle Hill near the south-eastern border, containing a female burial and fragments of urns. Five ring ditches from other barrows, all but one ploughed out, have been traced on the high southern chalkland. (fn. 37) A Roman villa, excavated by Allix in 1892-3 c. 500 m. north-east of the village, had a house of brick-quoined flint 130 ft. long with apsed wings projecting 42 ft. It had tesselated pavements and some painted walls, one main room containing a hypocaust, while a bath was attached on the south-west. (fn. 38) The survival of Roman pottery fragments elsewhere on the fen edge, including much 2nd-century Horningsea ware, indicates Roman settlement there, a little north of the line of the modern village, into the 3rd century. (fn. 39) An Anglo-Saxon cemetery south-east of the village was discovered in 1991. (fn. 40)

The major earthwork to the north-east was not named the Devil's Ditch or Dyke until the late 16th century. (fn. 41) It had commonly been called locally, c. 1250-1550, the Great or Mickle ditch, (fn. 42) and in the late 16th century also the King's Ditch. (fn. 43) It extends beside the parish's ancient north-eastern border for almost four miles, with one slight bend, from Reach hamlet to the south-eastern boundary, and is c. 130 ft. wide. From the ditch on the south-west side, 65 ft. wide and cut 15 ft. deep, the ground inclines upwards for 60 ft., the bank being up to 18 ft. high. It was shown in 1924 to overlie Roman pottery fragments. (fn. 44) Since it formed until 1837, and as was noted during the 1585 lawsuit, (fn. 45) the traditional boundary between the dioceses of Norwich and Ely, it has commonly been taken since the 1920s to have been a line of defence or demarcation between the East Anglian and Mercian kingdoms, and to have been created between 600 and 800 A.D. Many sections of the ditch have been almost filled in through ploughing, while in places the bank has been cut through for roads or quarried for materials for road work or other purposes. Gaps recorded c. 1585 included one for the Swaffham-Burwell road and another nearer Reach. (fn. 46) About 1800 the former was distinguished as Burwell gap from Newmarket gap further south, probably identical with the Beacon or Running gap used from the 17th century for horse racing. The intermediate Exning gap accommodated a way to that village. (fn. 47)

Only 16 peasants were recorded in Swaffham Prior in 1086, besides 4 servi, (fn. 48) but by 1279 there were c. 110 landholders, (fn. 49) and 54 inhabitants were taxed in 1327. (fn. 50) After the Black Death two houses and three cottages on one manor were for a time left empty and ruinous in its lord's hands. (fn. 51) In 1377 265 adults paid the poll tax. (fn. 52) There were 83 households in 1563. (fn. 53) After 1580 numbers may have risen sharply into the 1640s, before declining from the 1650s. (fn. 54) Under Charles II there were c. 145-50 houses, (fn. 55) containing 242 adults in 1676. (fn. 56) In 1682, when there were 105 commonable houses, only 42 of their 69 owners dwelt in them, the rest being let. (fn. 57) In 1728 only 110 households were reported, (fn. 58) and the population, which had continued to decline, did not begin to increase substantially from a low point, possibly below 400, until the mid 1750s. (fn. 59) By 1800 the whole parish contained c. 800 inhabitants, and its population rose to reach 979 in 1821 and 1,102 in 1831. (fn. 60) About 1850 one prominent farmer was helping the poor to emigrate to Australia. (fn. 61) In the mid 19th century the number inhabiting the village varied between 770 and peaks, attained in 1851 and 1871, of c. 800; the number of outdwellers to its south and north increased from 154 in 1841 to c. 220 from the 1850s to the 1870s. Their number declined marginally by 1881 when the village had lost 170 inhabitants in a decade. (fn. 62) In the whole ancient parish numbers declined gradually from 1,006 in 1891, young men especially leaving in the 1890s, to 866 by 1931, recovering slightly to 920 in 1951. (fn. 63) After Reach was detached the population left in Swaffham, though reduced in 1961 to 634, usually numbered c. 685-95 in the late 20th century. It rose to 771 in 1991. (fn. 64)

From the Middle Ages the village stretched for almost ¾ mile along a street meandering gently north-eastward with a parallel line of medieval moats, several identifiable as manorial, lying c. 250 yds. to its north. (fn. 65) In 1800, and probably earlier, habitation was confined, apart from Reach, to c. 270 a. of ancient closes surrounding the street. (fn. 66) North-east of the churchyard the north-western side of the street was mostly occupied in 1800 by manorial and other substantial farmsteads whose long closes extended to the fen edge. Its south-eastern side was lined with cottages in crofts of 1-2 roods. After a wide gap opposite Shadworths farmstead six or more dwellings stood isolated on that side at the north-east end. Apart from manorial houses, c. 12 houses, five of them possibly 17th-century, survive from before 1800, mostly timber-framed, though often partly brick-cased, and a few still thatched. Among them are two, single-storeyed with dormers, facing the churchyard: one originally late medieval, (fn. 67) the other, Priory Cottage, 16th-century with a 17thcentury chimney inserted in its hall. Further north the two-storeyed Home and Ivy Farms also partly date from before 1600, though much remodelled later. About 1567 a wealthy villager protested that the felling of a grove on land by his house had 'defaced' the beauty of the 'prospect' from it. (fn. 68) In the early 17th century 2-3 herdsmen's cotes also stood out in the fen. (fn. 69) A great fire of 1733 destroyed 23 houses. (fn. 70)

After 1807 farmhouses with dependent cottages were gradually built out on the former open fields and heath to the south, at least two by 1810, others including Partridge Hall Farm by the 1830s. (fn. 71) Others isolated (fn. 72) along the droveways in the fens included a group of five farmhouses near the river bank, in the far north close to Upware hamlet in Wicken parish. By 1851 and into the 1880s there were c. 30 houses in the fen, those near the Cam inhabited in 1873 by 100 people; by the 1860s there were also 10 or more dwellings on the 'heath'. (fn. 73) The number of dwellings in the village rose steadily from c. 155 in 1841 to almost 200 by 1861, when 12 were being built, and 215 in 1871. Most still stood along the main street, which had 130-5 houses in 1861 and 1881, c. 160 in 1871. New building there by farmers for labourers included several early 19th-century terraces of four or more cottages, one symmetrical and brick-faced. Such side roads as Vicarage Lane near the street's south end and Rogers Road leading off the north end had only 4-9 houses each. A few others straggled south-eastward up Cage Hill to a group around the windmills on Mill Hill, (fn. 74) where a road created at inclosure formed a kind of back lane. (fn. 75) From the 1880s there was a decline in habitation, 43 houses in the parish being empty in 1891 and still 25 or more by 1901. (fn. 76) In 1910 c. 30 houses and at least 125 cottages, out of c. 205 reported in the whole parish, stood in the village. (fn. 77) The early 20th century saw little new building, while some older cottages were demolished. (fn. 78)

The overall number of dwellings in the parish, standing at 230-40 into the 1920s, rose slightly to 252 by 1931. After 1950 growth was still slow, only 30 being added in the 1960s and 8 in the 1970s. (fn. 79) By the 1950s a few new houses had gone up along Rogers Road, while a council estate was begun on Greenhead Hill east of the main street. (fn. 80) New building was discouraged after 1970, (fn. 81) although a little infilling along the street was allowed. (fn. 82) The largest development was the completion in the early 1970s of the Greenhead council estate, extended after 1979, partly as a private estate around narrowly spaced closes, south-west across Cage Hill, (fn. 83) where 21 unwanted plots on 5 a. were from 1976 offered for private building. (fn. 84) In 1981, out of 251 dwellings in the parish, 88 were council housing, only 108 being owner-occupied. (fn. 85) In the 1970s council tenants late in paying rent were banished to distant cottages on the local county council estate. (fn. 86) By 1991 the council owned only a fifth of almost 300 dwellings. (fn. 87)

The village's main links to the outside were the road that led through Reach hamlet to the lode, (fn. 88) and that from Cambridge which crossed the Ditch to Burwell, recorded as Burwell way from the 1430s. (fn. 89) There were also fieldways running south-east towards the Icknield way, such as Woodway, mentioned c. 1319, (fn. 90) and Cambridge, (New)Market, Magdalen, Wilbraham, and Neat ways, mostly recorded by 1500. The heath was crossed by a network of other ways, among them Clerk's path running south-east, (fn. 91) mentioned in 1585. (fn. 92) At inclosure most of those ways were stopped, being replaced by a single 'private' road leading south towards the Beacon racecourse. (fn. 93) Some of the fen droveways then set out, such as White, Black, Little Fen, and Headlake droveways, (fn. 94) may substantially follow the curving lines of drainage channels created when the fen was first allotted in the late 17th century. (fn. 95) The fen droveways remained mere earth tracks until concreted over during the Second World War. (fn. 96) Their maintenance caused problems to the parish in the late 20th century. (fn. 97)

There was no local railway service until the Cambridge-Mildenhall line, championed by C. P. Allix of Swaffham Prior House from 1867, was built for the Great Eastern Railway in 1883. A station, more ornate than others in honour of Allix, who made a lime avenue to it across his park, was opened in 1884 north of the village by the road to Low bridge, thereafter Station Road. (fn. 98) The line, reduced by 1958 to two passenger trains daily, was closed for passenger traffic in 1962 and for freight in 1964. The tracks were removed the next year, leaving a brick bridge over the former line on the Reach road. The station survived as a private residence. (fn. 99) The village street, overloaded with traffic by 1970, was partly relieved by building a parallel bypass to its south in 1973-4. (fn. 100) From c. 1975 a section of the Newmarket bypass, running just north of the Beacon Course, mostly in cuttings, cut off Swaffham's southern end. (fn. 101)

In 1874 C. P. Allix built at the south-west end of the street a drinking fountain, covered with a pointed roof on brick arches. Its erection allowed the villagers to share the benefit of the reservoir made up the hill to serve his mansion. It was demolished by his son in 1957. (fn. 102) A bulky concrete water tower had been built in 1939 on Greenhead Hill next to the council estate, and the whole village had mains water by the 1950s and street lighting from 1955, while by 1973 a sewage plant sufficient for 1,000 people was established off Station Road. (fn. 103)

Out of 7-8 public houses recorded from the 1760s, the village's three principal ones, all standing on the high street, were the Red Lion, the Rose and Crown, which could stable 12 horses in 1827, and the Cock, facing each other across a small green below Cage Hill; (fn. 104) all three were still open in the 1930s. (fn. 105) The Rose and Crown was closed by 1960, as were other smaller beerhouses, some long-established. The Cock closed in 1970, and the Allix Arms, opened with a coalyard near the station after 1884, in 1975. (fn. 106) Only the Red Lion, occupying a timberframed 18th-century house, single-storeyed with attics, (fn. 107) was still open in 1992. The Anchor near the Cam, probably open by the 1760s, where the parishioners drank while beating their bounds in 1862, (fn. 108) closed soon after 1910. The larger public houses each had clubrooms. From the 1850s the Cock's usually accommodated the annual dinners of a branch of Ancient Shepherds, started c. 1848, numbering 40-50 by 1850 and 70-80 by 1860. (fn. 109) It succeeded a benefit society which had 21 members in 1803 and over 30 in the 1810s. (fn. 110)

The village feast, celebrated on the Town close, (fn. 111) was still held in the late 19th century for up to three days after Ascension Day. Though reportedly declining in the 1850s, through competition from Reach fair, it then attracted travelling photographers, besides the usual showmen's stalls and dancing booths, and in 1864 was enlivened with horse races, drawing 700 people. (fn. 112) It had been reduced to one day by the 1910s, when the traditional girls' Mayday 'dolling' ceremonies, continued to 1960, were still performed, as was the revived bacchanalian Plough Monday plough-drawing (left to children c. 1920-39) by beribboned village lads with blackened faces. (fn. 113) In 1862 some farmers had sought to divert their labourers from the latter custom, offering instead tea and singing by the chapel choir. (fn. 114) In the 1930s the parish was still hiring out Town close for a five-day pleasure fair in Rogation week, as part of the feast, which was occasionally revived in the late 20th century, being held a week after Reach fair. (fn. 115)

Occasional cricket matches were recorded from the 1840s. (fn. 116) The cricket club formed in 1867, when C. P. Allix gave for its ground part of the former Camping close behind the modern village school, (fn. 117) continued to use that ground, which became the village recreation field, into the late 20th century, when it shared it with football and other sports. (fn. 118) A new pavilion there, opened in 1972, was again outgrown by 1988. (fn. 119) In 1868 C. P. Allix's aunts gave a reading room on part of that close. (fn. 120) It was regularly used in the late 19th century, replacing the school, for meetings, lectures, and concerts. (fn. 121) In 1973 the parish council acquired it from the Allix estate for use, after enlargement in 1974, as a village hall. (fn. 122) It accommodated most parish societies and functions, (fn. 123) except the youth club started c. 1960, housed from 1981 in a long, converted hut on Town close. (fn. 124) From 1898 flower shows had been held by a Horticultural Society shared with Swaffham Bulbeck, (fn. 125) and in the 1980s the parish promoted 'Fenland Country Fairs' in August with an attendance of thousands. (fn. 126)

From the late 17th century the penultimate portion of the Long or Beacon Course of Newmarket racecourse ran along the northern edge of the heath, other parts of which accommodated the whole of the rhomboidal Round and Duke's Courses; the last two were set out c. 1665 so as to fit just within the parish's southeastern boundary. (fn. 127) When inclosure was proposed, the Jockey Club warned in 1805 that, unless both courses were assigned to it and fenced out of the inclosure rate, it would use its parliamentary influence to obstruct the bill. Swaffham's landowners protested that racing over that ground was purely by 'indulgence' of the owners of sheepwalk there, and that the Round Course had been seldom used lately; one owner threatened to plough up the course. They were willing to leave the Beacon Course in place, (fn. 128) and the Act reserved a strip 50 yds. wide each side of it for racing. (fn. 129) In practice the part of the Round Course leading into the Beacon Course was also left available, only those sections projecting further north disappearing. From the early 19th century its last two miles, parallel to the Devil's Ditch, were used for summer racing as the July Course. (fn. 130) In the early 20th century the Jockey Club obtained possession of most of the land south of the Beacon Course: by 1910 it was leasing and c. 1920 it bought from the Allix estate c. 440 a. in its eastern part, by 1900 called Bunbury's farm. In 1920 it also acquired 65 a. to the south-west, once rectorial glebe, having owned the intervening 80 a. from 1915. (fn. 131) From the 1970s most of that land was divided, partly with belts of trees, into paddocks for use by the National Stud. (fn. 132)


  • 1. This account was completed in 1993. Modern hist. of parish partly covered in 'Swaffham Prior', illus. typescript compiled by W.I., 1958, hereafter cited as 'Swaffham' (W.I. 1958); 'Changing Face of Swaffham Prior', typescript locally compiled, 1988 (copies in Cambs. Colln.). Neither paginated.
  • 2. For the parish, O.S. Maps 6", Cambs. XXXV. NW., SW., SE.; XLI. NW., NE., SE.; XLVIII. NE. (1889-90, 1903 and later edns.); ibid. 1/10,000, TL 56 NW., NE., SE.; 66 SW. (1958-9 and later edns.).
  • 3. Above, Fulbourn, intro.
  • 4. e.g. C.U.L., Add. MS. 6074, ff. 43, 56v.
  • 5. Below, parish boundaries.
  • 6. Census, 1891, 1961.
  • 7. Ibid. 1971-81.
  • 8. Below, churches.
  • 9. Liber Elien. (Camd. 3rd ser. xcii), pp. 109-10.
  • 10. Separately hidated: V.C.H. Cambs. i. 403-4. In this hist., Swaffham Prior will usually be referred to simply as Swaffham, except where it needs to be distinguished from Swaffham Bulbeck, which will be designated by that name when mentioned.
  • 11. P. N. Cambs. (E.P.N.S.), 133.
  • 12. e.g. P.R.O., CP 25/1/25/28, no. 4.
  • 13. e.g. Camb. Chron. 29 Jan. 1803, p. 3; 29 Dec. 1804, p. 3; 5 Apr. 1811, p. 4; 9 Oct. 1841, p. 2; 13 Jan. 1844, p. 2; 9 Jan. 1875, p. 4; 26 Aug. 1887, p. 7.
  • 14. P.R.O., E 134/20 Chas. II/East. 25, interr. 3 for def.; ibid. C 229/2, no. 41. For boundary c. 1805, C.R.O., Q/RDz 7, p. 372.
  • 15. Cf. R.C.H.M. Cambs. ii, pp. liv-v, 129-31. The Lode discussed in detail, above, Reach, intro.; econ. hist.
  • 16. e.g. B.L. Eg. MS. 3047, f. 195.
  • 17. Fenland N. & Q. ii. 293-4; P.R.O., E 134/28 Eliz. I/Hil. 5, esp. interr. for pl. 3-5, 7-8, 18, and for def. 4, and deposns. thereto; cf. the 'old cross': ibid. C 5/601/21, bill.
  • 18. C.U.L., E.D.C., 7/12/6, ct. roll 20 Hen. VI.
  • 19. P.R.O., E 134/28 Eliz. I/Hil. 5, interr. for def. 9. No witnesses produced, but cf. Cambs. Ch. Goods, temp. Edw. VI, 22.
  • 20. P.R.O., E 134/28 Eliz. I/Hil. 5, interr. for pl. 4-5, 7-8, 11, 17, and for def. 2, 4, and deposns. thereto.
  • 21. C.U.L., Doc. 656, no. 57.
  • 22. Fenland N. & Q. ii. 293; P.R.O., E 134/28 Eliz. I/Hil. 5, interr. for pl. 10, 12, 15-16, 20, 22, and for def. 3, 5, 7-8, 11, and deposns. thereto.
  • 23. C.U.L., Doc. 656, no. 57.
  • 24. Ibid.; ibid. Add. MS. 6074, ff. 35v., 36v.; C.R.O., Q/RDz 7, p. 372; cf. O.S. Map 6", Cambs. XLI. NE. (1903 edn.).
  • 25. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 484; cf. above, Swaffham Bulbeck, intro.; econ. hist.
  • 26. C.U.L., E.D.C., 7/12/6: 33 Hen. VI.
  • 27. Below, econ. hist.
  • 28. P.R.O., E 134/20 Chas. II/East. 25, esp. interr. for pl. 4-5; interr. for def. 3-5, and deposns. thereto.
  • 29. Ibid. passim; C.R.O., P 150/3/2, pp. 3-4; Palmer, Wm. Cole, 112-13; cf. map 20.
  • 30. P.R.O., C 229/7, no. 1.
  • 31. C.R.O., Q/RDz 7, p. 372.
  • 32. O.S. Geol. Surv. Map, 1/50,000, solid and drift, sheet 188 (1974 edn.).
  • 33. Below, manors (Allix fam.).
  • 34. Below, econ. hist.
  • 35. Shown on incl. map tracing, C.R.O., R 60/24/2/67, and in sketch form, B.L. Maps, O.S.D. 251 (surveyed 1811).
  • 36. e.g. V.C.H. Cambs. i. 256, 261, 268, 273 n, 300; Proc. C.A.S. v, p. cxxix; ibid. xxxii. 17-23; R.C.H.M. Cambs. ii. 128.
  • 37. Proc. C.A.S. x. 442; Fox, Arch. Camb. Region, 47-8; R.C.H.M. Cambs. ii. 128.
  • 38. Camb. Chron. 25 Nov. 1892, p. 8; Proc. C.A.S. viii. 173, 229, 233; xliv. 15; Fox, Arch. Camb. Region, 184; V.C.H. Cambs. vii. 45, 78, and pl. iv (air view).
  • 39. R.C.H.M. Cambs. ii. 128-9; cf. V.C.H. Cambs. vii. 71-3.
  • 40. Newmarket Fnl. 28 Mar. 1991.
  • 41. P.N. Cambs. (E.P.N.S.), 34.
  • 42. e.g. B.L. Eg. MS. 3047, f. 194v.; C.U.L., E.D.C., 1c/1, f. 2 and v.; ibid. Queens' Coll. Mun., 56, deed 9 Edw. II; ibid. 13/5, f. 1; P.R.O., SC 12/22, no. 43, m. 1.
  • 43. P.R.O., E 134/28 Eliz. I/Hil. 5, interr. for pl. 2. Possibly from St. Edmund, King and Martyr, whose abbey's Suffolk liberty it partly bounded: P. N. Cambs. 34.
  • 44. Discussed in detail, C. Fox in Proc. C.A.S. xxvi. 90-129; V.C.H. Cambs. ii. 7-9; R.C.H.M. Cambs. ii. 139-44.
  • 45. P.R.O., E 134/28 Eliz. I/Hil. 5, interr. for pl. 21, and deposns. thereto.
  • 46. Ibid. interr. for pl. 7, 13, 18, and for def. 3, and deposns. thereto.
  • 47. C.U.L., Doc. 656, no. 57; C.R.O., Q/RDz 7, pp. 372-4. Six gaps N. of turnpike existing in late 18th cent. shown: J. Chapman, Map of Newmarket Heath [1768].
  • 48. V.C.H. Cambs. i. 403-4. Figures given to 1831 include, unless otherwise stated, the Swaffham part of Reach.
  • 49. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 484-7.
  • 50. Cambs. Lay Subsidy, 1327, 8-9.
  • 51. C.U.L., E.D.C., 7/12/5: 24-7 Edw. III.
  • 52. East Anglian, N.S. xii. 257.
  • 53. B.L. Harl. MS. 594, f. 199v.
  • 54. Estimated from C.R.O., transcripts of St. Mary's and St. Cyriac's par. reg., baptisms.
  • 55. P.R.O., E 179/244/22, ff. 104-6; E 179/244/23, rott. 70-1.
  • 56. Compton Census, ed. Whiteman, 165, with 164 n, on identification.
  • 57. P.R.O., C 229/7, no. 7.
  • 58. C.U.L., E.D.R., B 8/1, f. 30.
  • 59. Changes in population deduced from C.R.O., combined par. reg. transcripts, from 1662 onwards.
  • 60. Census, 1801-31.
  • 61. Camb. Chron. 26 Feb. 1870, p. 8.
  • 62. Figures for 1841-81 from P.R.O., HO 107/72 (3), ff. 3v.-18v.; HO 107/72 (4), ff. 3v.-6v.; HO 107/1762, ff. 212-47v; ibid. RG 9/1033, ff. 39v.-64v.; RG 10/1598, ff. 43v.-69; RG 11/1678, ff. 41-64; all of which include village and outlying houses, but exclude Reach hamlet, whose whole population was then enumerated under Burwell.
  • 63. Census, 1891-1951; cf. H.R. Haggard, Rural England (1906 edn.), ii. 3. No separate figs. for Reach available, 1891-1951.
  • 64. Census, 1961-91.
  • 65. For layout c. 1800 (shown on map 19), C.R.O., R 60/24/2/67. For bldgs. and earthworks before 1800, R.C.H.M. Cambs. ii. 121-9.
  • 66. C.R.O., Q/RDz 7, p. 372, gives 298 a.; c. 25 a. of closes near Reach deducted.
  • 67. See plate 32.
  • 68. P.R.O., REQ 2/25/242. For dating, e.g. ibid. REQ 2/203/16.
  • 69. Above.
  • 70. East Anglian Mag. xvii (1957-8), 623-4.
  • 71. Compare B.L. Maps, O.S.D. 235, and O.S. Maps 1", sheet 51 (1866-7 edn., reprinted 1977); cf. R.C.H.M. Cambs. ii. 128-9.
  • 72. Cf. Camb. Chron. 22 Oct. 1837, p. 2.
  • 73. e.g. P.R.O., HO 107/1762, ff. 238-47v.; ibid. RG 9/1033, ff. 58v.-65v.; RG 11/1678, ff. 58v.-64; cf. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/24.
  • 74. e.g. P.R.O., HO 107/72 (3), ff. 1-18; ibid. RG 9/1033, ff. 41-56v.; RG 11/1598, ff. 45-60v.; RG 11/1678, ff. 47-55v.
  • 75. C.R.O., Q/RDz 7, p. 372.
  • 76. Census, 1891-1901.
  • 77. C.R.O., 470/O 15.
  • 78. 'Changing Face' (1988) mentions c. 40 cottages removed or remodelled since 1920s, replaced by no, or fewer, dwellings.
  • 79. Census, 1901-81. Of 289 recorded in 1951 almost a third were probably at Reach (q.v.). Compare ibid. 1951-61.
  • 80. O.S. Map 6", Cambs. XLI. NE. (1950 edn.).
  • 81. Draft village plans, 1974, 1991: copies in Cambs. Colln.; cf. Camb. Evening News, 25 Mar. 1974; 26 Feb. 1976.
  • 82. e.g. Camb. Evening News, 21 Oct. 1984; Newmarket Jnl. 17 Sept. 1989.
  • 83. Camb. Evening News, 18 Sept. 1970; 2 May 1975; 7 May, 8 June 1979.
  • 84. Newmarket Jnl. 8 Dec. 1975; Camb. Evening News, 23 Mar. 1976; 2 Nov. 1977; cf. O.S. Maps, 1/10,000, TL 56 NE. (1958-74 edns.); 1/25,000, TL 46/56 (1985 edn.).
  • 85. Parish Profile, 1981 (1983): copy in Cambs. Colln.; cf. Census, 1981.
  • 86. Camb. Evening News, 13 Dec. 1975; 29 Mar., 15 Sept. 1976.
  • 87. Parish Profile, 1991 (1993).
  • 88. Above, Reach, intro.
  • 89. C.U.L., E.D.C., 7/12/6: 16 Hen. VI.
  • 90. Ibid. 1C/1, f. 1 and v.
  • 91. For 15th-18th. cent. way names and approximate directions, ibid. Queens' Coll. Mun., 13/5, ff. 1-3; ibid. CC 95587 (transcribed, E.G. Whetham, 'Open Fields of Swaffham Prior, 1491-1814' (1970): copy in Cambs. Colln.); C.U.L., CC 137750. For late 18th-cent. layout, J. Chapman, Map of Newmarket Heath [1768].
  • 92. P.R.O., E 134/28 Eliz. I/Hil. 5, interr. for def. 10-11, and deposns. thereto.
  • 93. C.R.O., Q/RDz 7, pp. 372-3.
  • 94. Ibid. pp. 374-5.
  • 95. Cf. ibid. R 54/14/17/2A, f. 21; C.U.L., CC 137751/7.
  • 96. e.g. Char. Com. file 201117 A/1, corr. 1943-6.
  • 97. e.g. Camb. Evening News, 9, 14 July 1977; 14 Nov. 1980.
  • 98. P. Paye, Mildenhall Branch (1988), 1-4, 9, 11. Swaffham Prior pt. of line described, ibid. 47-9; cf. Camb. Chron. 24 Apr. 1885, p. 4.
  • 99. P. Paye, Mildenhall Branch, 141, 146-7; cf. Camb. Evening News, 10 Oct. 1975; 16 Jan. 1981; 'Swaffham' (W.I. 1958); 'Changing Face', no. 56.
  • 100. Camb. Evening News, 18 Sept. 1970; 14 Dec. 1971; 12 Apr., 20 Oct. 1973.
  • 101. Cf. ibid. 19 Mar. 1973; O.S. Map, 1/25,000, TL 46/56 (1985 edn.).
  • 102. 'Changing Face', nos. 70-1; Camb. News, 9 Mar. 1959, incl. illus.
  • 103. Camb. Ind. Press, 17 Feb. 1961; Draft village plan, 1973.
  • 104. e.g. C.R.O., Q/RLv 2, pp. 17, 308; Q/RDz 7, p. 372; Camb. Chron. 12 Sept. 1801, p. 3; 3 May 1817, p. 3; 5 Oct. 1827, p. 3; 27 Nov. 1827, p. 3; 'Changing Face', nos. 27, 36.
  • 105. For public houses open c. 1760-1830, C.R.O., Q/RLv 2-6 (by cat.); for c. 1850-1940, Gardner's Dir. Cambs. (1851); Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1858-1937); cf. C.R.O., L 76/199; ibid. 296/SP 967; ibid. 515/SP 469.
  • 106. Camb. Ind. Press, 17 Feb. 1961; 'Changing Face', nos. 17, 27, 28, 36, 53, 57, 58; Camb. Evening News, 22 May 1974; 12 Sept. 1975; cf. C.R.O., 515/SP 469.
  • 107. R.C.H.M. Cambs. ii. 124.
  • 108. Cf. C.R.O., Q/RLv 2, p. 17; ibid. L 76/199; Camb. Chron. 6 Dec. 1862, p. 8.
  • 109. Camb. Chron. 5 Jan. 1850, p. 2; 6 Jan. 1855, p. 5; 9 Jan. 1858, p. 5; 7 Jan. 1860, p. 5.
  • 110. Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 38-9; 1818, 30-1.
  • 111. 'Changing Face', nos. 41, 57.
  • 112. Camb. Chron. 26 May 1855, p. 5; 11 June 1859, p. 5; 23 May 1863, p. 8; 14 May 1864, p. 8.
  • 113. Mrs. L. Butler, 'Reminiscences' (typescript 1987); M.G. Witt, MS. notes on par. hist. pp. 59-60 (both in Cambs. Colln.); Porter, Cambs. Customs, 99-100, 111; 'Swaffham' (W.I. 1958), incl. illus. See plate 41.
  • 114. Camb. Chron. 18 Jan. 1862, p. 8.
  • 115. C.R.O., P 150/25/49; Camb. Evening News, 29 May 1979; 17 May 1985.
  • 116. Camb. Chron. 9 Oct. 1841, p. 2; 28 Sept. 1844, p. 2.
  • 117. Ibid. 21 Apr. 1867, p. 8; 2 May 1868, p. 8; cf. 'Changing Face', no. 50.
  • 118. Camb. Ind. Press, 17 Feb. 1961; 15 Sept. 1967; Camb. News, 17 July 1968; Newmarket Jnl. 3 Mar. 1977; cf. Draft village plan, 1973.
  • 119. Newmarket Jnl. 19 Feb. 1976; 22 Dec. 1988.
  • 120. Camb. Chron. 6 June 1868, p. 8; cf. ibid. 8 Jan. 1859, p. 4.
  • 121. e.g. ibid. 13 Mar. 1869, p. 8; 9 Jan. 1875, p. 4; 10 Jan. 1888, p. 8; cf. ibid. 28 Jan. 1867, p. 8.
  • 122. Camb. Evening News, 3 Sept. 1970; 2 Dec. 1971; 15 Mar. 1973; 20 Aug., 2 Sept. 1974.
  • 123. e.g. ibid. 4 Dec. 1975; 16 Sept. 1976; 11 Dec. 1990; cf. Char. Com. file 267862, Scheme 1973.
  • 124. Camb. Evening News, 19 Nov. 1980; 11 July 1981; Camb. Ind. Press, 17 Feb. 1961.
  • 125. E.D.R. (1898), 155; Camb. Chron. 29 Apr. 1898, p. 8; 14 July 1899, p. 4.
  • 126. Camb. Evening News, 1 Sept. 1982; 6 July 1984; 28 Aug. 1985.
  • 127. V.C.H. Cambs. v. 280, and plate facing p. 279; cf. J. Chapman, Map of Newmarket Heath [1768].
  • 128. C.U.L., Doc. 656, nos. 7, 29-30, 32, 35, 48.
  • 129. Swaffham Prior Incl. Act, 45 Geo. III, c. 97 (Private, not printed), p. 9.
  • 130. O.S. Map 1", sheet 51 (1866-7 edn.); cf. V.C.H. Cambs. v. 283.
  • 131. C.R.O., 470/O 15; ibid. 280/O 25, s.a. 1914-15, 1919-20, 1923-4; Church Com. file 87601, corr. 1920; cf. O.S. Map 6", Cambs. XLI. SE. (1903 edn.), and below, manors (bpric. Ely estate).
  • 132. Compare O.S. Maps 1/10,000, TL 66 SW. (1972 and 1982 edns.); cf. V.C.H. Cambs. v. 286.