A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 4, City of Ely; Ely, N. and S. Witchford and Wisbech Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.
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Haddenham is a large village in the south-west of the Isle, 7 miles south-west of Ely. It lies on the crest of a ridge rising to a height of 121 ft. (fn. 1) and in this countryside is therefore conspicuous from a distance. The hamlet of Aldreth lies 1½ mile south-west of the main village.
Haddenham is a road-centre of some importance. The north and east arms of the cross-roads round which it lies form part of a cross-country road from March and beyond. This road is often used by eastbound traffic to Newmarket and Bury in order to avoid awkward corners in Ely. The west arm of the cross forms one of the routes from Earith Bridge eastwards and is sometimes preferred to the main road through Sutton for the same reason. The railway to Ely was constructed in 1866, that to St. Ives in 1878. (fn. 2) The stations on this line, known as Haddenham and Earith Bridge, have, however, been closed since 1931. (fn. 3)
The village is spacious and dignified. The mansard roofs that cover several of its houses and the abundance of orchards and market gardens give it an appearance foreign to the Fens and more closely resembling that of a village in Huntingdonshire or upland Cambridgeshire. The best building in the village is Porch House, Hill Row, a fine brick structure of 17th-century date. The Limes, Station Road, is a building of 18th-century and later date perhaps with an earlier core. Other 18th century buildings of note are: the Vine House; the pair of cottages 40 yds. west of the Limes, Hill Row; the pair of houses (originally one house) 120 yds. north-west of Porch House; the farm 40 yds. east of Highfield House; Linden House; and the Bell Inn. St. Ovin's, Highfield House, and the Limes, Hill Row, are early19th-century buildings of note. The conspicuous windmill on the road between Haddenham and Aldreth was built in 1803. (fn. 4) In Cole's time Ovin's (fn. 5) stone, now in Ely Cathedral, stood on the east side of the road opposite the church. It was used as a mounting block. (fn. 6) Cole also mentions St. Audry's Well, ½ mile from the village on the Cambridge road, 'where the people of the neighbourhood do now resort to drink the waters of it, it being a sort of mineral water'. (fn. 7)
In the Middle Ages Haddenham and Aldreth commanded the principal land entrance to the Isle and derived a special importance from that fact. There was a crossing of the Ouse at Aldreth from early times. In 1169–70 a serjeant of the Bishop of Ely in Aldreth rendered 4s. 4d. to the Exchequer sede vacante for the farm of the fisheries and the passage of ships. (fn. 8) In 1172–3 the considerable sum of £6 10s. 9d. was spent on a 'brethasch' or causeway, (fn. 9) which suggests that at this time the original ferry to the mainland was being replaced by something more permanent. In 1279 a bridge is mentioned in addition to the causeway. Both had been out of repair for sixteen years, but had lately been restored by the bishop, who was responsible for their maintenance. His bailiff let the tolls for 20s. a year; horsemen paid ½d. each and foot passengers ¼d. (fn. 10) Though an indulgence was granted for the repair of the causeway by Bishop Fordham in 1406, (fn. 11) the duty of regular maintenance was in principle distributed among the customary tenants of the various episcopal manors. Even Outwell and Upwell, 20 miles away on the opposite side of the Liberty, were originally required to look after 44 perches of the causeway. In 1453, however, after attempts to disclaim their responsibility, their share was transferred to John Candeler, a Haddenham tenant who was in possession inter alia of part of the Queye property in Chewells manor (see below— Manors). (fn. 12) In 1548–9 the tolls of the bridge and causeway amounted to 17s. a year. (fn. 13) When Bishop Heton alienated Haddenham manor in 1600 he imposed the condition that he and his successors should be exempt from responsibility for Aldreth causeway. Thomas Lord Howard, on purchasing the manor in 1602, assumed the responsibility and was allowed a rebate of £300 for so doing. (fn. 14) Howard seems to have neglected his duties, for about 1613 the bridge collapsed and was replaced by a ferry, to the prejudice of the Bishop and Dean and Chapter of Ely and other landowners and their tenants. This ferry also was dangerous; by 1638 six or seven lives had been lost there. (fn. 15) By 1662 the bridge had perhaps been rebuilt. (fn. 16) It was certainly in existence again early in the 18th century, but in bad repair; William Cole, father of the antiquary, was in the habit, c. 1725, of dismounting from his horse before crossing. (fn. 17) Another partial collapse occurred in 1765, when the two middle piers fell down 'within a few minutes after two gentlemen had luckily got over' the bridge. (fn. 18) This disaster was probably caused by the succession of wet seasons and floods of the early 1760's. As early as 1676 (fn. 19) the existence of an entry into the Isle through Stretham (q.v.) is noticed. This is the present approach to the Isle from the south. By the late 18th century it was brought into good repair, and with the alternative route formed by the road from Cottenham to Wilburton via Twenty Pence Bridge caused the main stream of traffic to be diverted from Aldreth causeway. The causeway, however, was still used fairly frequently until c. 1870, and the bridge was rebuilt in 1901–2. (fn. 20)
No doubt the causeway helped to bring prosperity to Haddenham which in 1562 was the most populous village in the county. Its householders then numbered 188. (fn. 21) In 1639–40 Haddenham was assessed for shipmoney at £75 15s. Its rateable value at this time therefore was higher than that of the undivided parish of Doddington (£69 9s. 11d.) and not far below that of Ely (£85). (fn. 22) In Bishop Compton's census of 1676 Haddenham was credited with 700 persons of communicant age, which is a larger total than that assigned to any other village in the county. (fn. 23) Even in 1801, when Aldreth causeway was growing less frequented, the population of Haddenham was still larger than that of any other village in the Isle except Littleport and Thorney—both parishes with a greater acreage. The population increased with normal rapidity until 1851. It has subsequently declined greatly, so that at least six villages in the Isle now have a larger population. Moreover in density per acre Haddenham is now below the average for the Isle.
In 1612 Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, as lord of the manor of Haddenham, was granted the right to hold a market in Aldreth on Thursdays and fairs there on the Tuesday after Trinity and at Michaelmas. (fn. 24) In 1858 Haddenham had 'a few shops, but on a small scale'. (fn. 25) A Haddenham Gas Company was formed between 1865 and 1869, and in 1879 the principal streets were lit with gas. The Company had ceased to exist by 1900. (fn. 26)
Haddenham was inclosed in 1847 under an Act of Parliament of 1843. (fn. 27) This inclosure dealt with 2,638 acres, including 35 acres of old inclosures exchanged, but not the roads and drains across the area allotted. A supplementary award of 1851 dealt with a further 39 acres. The open fields were Haddenham End, Linden End, Aldreth, and Hilrow Fields, whose position is shown by their names, and Hinton Closes in the northeast of the parish. There were 162 allottees under the award of 1847, the largest being the Earl of Hardwicke (355 acres, including 4 as lord of Haddenham and Hinton manors and 37 as lessee of the great tithes under the Archdeacon of Ely), Caius College (167½ acres, 102 leased to the Earl of Hardwicke and 65½ to Thomas Oscar Drage), Mary Cropley (146 acres), Edward Humphreys Greene (108 acres), John Read (107½ acres), and T. O. Drage (99 acres in his own right). Various members of the Camps family, who were principal beneficiaries at Wilburton a few years later, received 144 acres in Haddenham, 84 being allotted to John Camps.
On 18 March 1947 the whole western end of Haddenham parish, more than 2,000 acres in extent, was inundated to the eaves of the houses. The damage was more serious than in any other part of the Isle, and this was the one area where it was not possible to grow crops for the 1947 harvest. (fn. 28)
From about 1665 to 1680 Haddenham was the scene of operations of Christopher Graye, a son of the well-known bell-founder Miles Graye of Colchester. Christopher cast the three existing bells at Witchford and others in the county. (fn. 29)
'Gooding Day' (21 December), on which the widows of the parish went round collecting in money and kind for their Christmas festivities, was long celebrated in Haddenham. (fn. 30)
In 1086 Haddenham was held by the Abbot of Ely in three portions. The first of these was LINDONE, now represented by Linden End Field south-east of the village, which was purchased for the convent by Abbot Brithnoth. (fn. 31) The abbot held in Lindone 4 hides with land for 6 ploughs, of which 2½ hides (4 plough-lands) were in demesne. There were two sokemen who neither then nor formerly could depart from their land, 9 cottars, 1 bordar, and 10 serfs. The fisheries were important for a place on the landward side of the Isle, producing 3,333 eels and 4s. in tribute. The value of Lindone was £4 when purchased. It had risen to £9 T.R.E. and in 1086 was £8. (fn. 32) HELLE, now Hill Row, was a berewick of Lindone and rated at 2 hides (5 ploughlands), of which 1 hide 1 virgate and 10 acres with 3 ploughs were in demesne. Here there were 10 villeins, 4 cottars, and 5 serfs; a rather mysterious entry states that there were 'from the port (portu) three ploughshares'. This estate was worth 40s. when received, £6 T.R.E. and 100s. in 1086. (fn. 33) HADDENHAM itself was rated at 3 hides and was held by 7 sokemen under the abbot; like those at Lindon they were tied to the soil. They had land for 5 ploughs, and there were 8 villeins each with ½ virgate, 4 bordars each with 5 acres, and 6 cottars. The value when received was £8, and again £8 in 1086, but prior to the Conquest it had risen to £12. (fn. 34) In all cases there was sufficient meadow for the plough-teams, and pasture for all the cattle of the vills. (fn. 35)
Haddenham, like most of the valuable manors of the Isle except those in the immediate neighbourhood of Ely, was allotted to the bishop in 1109. In the early Middle Ages the manor was generally known as Lindon. This suggests that Linden End was the more ancient settlement and that we have here an example of an early settlement in the middle of a piece of territory (Lindon) supplanted by one at a cross roads (Haddenham). This process is common in many parts of England but rare in Cambridgeshire (fn. 36). The theory is borne out by the absence of demesne in Haddenham in 1086, as opposed to Linden End and Hill Row.
The survey of Bishop de Fontibus (1221) (fn. 37) shows a demesne of 919 acres divided almost equally between the three fields of 'Northey', 'Middlefeld' and 'Scephey'.
There were 68 acres of mowable meadow, but some land of this type had been lost owing to floods. There were two meres, 'Alkesmere' and 'Sothemere', and two fisheries. Besides the two tenants by military service (see below) there were 117 householders, divided into the six grades of hundredarii (owing suit of court at the hundred), customary tenants, holders of full and half lands, cottars and half-cottars. The Northwold survey of 1251 (fn. 38) does not show so much progress as on many of the episcopal manors, but Haddenham on the landward side of the Isle had less room for expansion than, for example, Littleport, and even at Haddenham a few novi feoffati are recorded. The demesne had been slightly reduced to 834 acres, though assarts are mentioned in 'Sephey' and a small new field of 'Snota' is recorded. This demesne was rated at 5 carucates. The meadow land had increased to 134½ acres, besides 23 of 'great meadow' in the marsh. During the preceding generation the Ouse, now the Old West River, seems to have changed its course. Queenholm marsh, which formerly belonged to Haddenham, was now reckoned part of Willingham on the Cambridgeshire side. (fn. 39) The demesne was stocked with 30 cows and 2 bulls, 60 pigs and 2 boars, and 240 sheep. There was a windmill, let at 100s., and 6 fisheries producing 48s. and 5,000 sticks of eels. There were now 3 holders of fees, and 136 other tenants. Fourteen holders of plene terre are specified as living at Hill Row: one of the similar tenants in Lindon and Aldreth, of whom there were 20, (fn. 40) was Cassandra relict of William son of Robert. Commutation of services for money rents had not gone far, the manor producing only £2 10s. 4d. on this score. During the vacancy of the see consequent on Bishop Balsham's death (1286) £4 16s. 9d. was received from commutation of 518 summer and 902 autumn works, and though the mill only realized £1 9s. 5d. the manor as a whole brought in £27 12s. 6d. (fn. 41) During the early years of the 14th century the value of the manor fluctuated; it was £51 6s. 11d. for the two years 1298 and 1299, (fn. 42) £35 0s. 8d. gross in 1302 (fn. 43) and £34 4s. 7d. gross in 1316. (fn. 44) In 1299 the fisheries, one of which was at Aldreth and the other on the extreme edge of the manor and county at Earith, were rated for 4,900 eels, commuted for £2 9s. 6d.; in 1302 and 1316 they produced, with the mill, £4 3s. 1d. and £2 16s. respectively. In 1302 works to the number of 1,347 were commuted for £2 17s. 7d.; in 1316 only 549 were commuted for £1 2s. 10d. In 1345 the corresponding figure, for an unstated number of works, was £4 19s. 8d. out of a total revenue from 'Lyndonby' of £65 5s. 5d. (fn. 45) The survey of 1356, (fn. 46) made during Bishop Lisle's tenure of the see, shows retrogression. The demesne had shrunk to 380 acres, valued at £17 15s. 11d., and 75 acres of meadow worth 6d. an acre. The immediate cause of this reduction was stated to be floods. The manor house, known as Lyndonbury, (fn. 47) was ruinous, like so many of the bishop's manor houses at this time, and had neither garden nor dovehouse from which profit could be extracted. The only sound portions were a small hall, chamber and kitchen, repairable for 2s. The outer gates were said to need complete rebuilding at a cost of 13s. 4d. The same was true of the hen house (domus gallin') at half that cost. Other farm buildings were repairable at 8s. 8d. The windmill now brought in £2, and five several fisheries £5 8s. Rents came to £5 19s. 1d. and the movable property, including crops and stock, was worth £31 5s. 8d. At this late date 26 niefs were recorded in the four hamlets of Haddenham, Hill Row, Lyndon, and Aldreth. The Aldreth causeway needed considerable repairs, estimated at £2, the Earith causeway 3s. 4d. only. The warren of Haddenham is mentioned in 1468 and 1490, when its custody was entrusted to Elias Cliderow and his son Clement for 3d. a day and perquisites. (fn. 48) In 1612 it was let to Alice Davye for 10s. a year. (fn. 49)
Haddenham continued, however, to be one of the bishop's most valuable manors, bringing in £118 2s. 2d. gross in 1518, though the windmill was now only worth £1 13s. 4d. and the fisheries £2 17s. 8d. (fn. 50) In 1541, when the receipts totalled £91 5s. 7½ d., it ranked third, after the episcopal property in Wisbech and Ely. (fn. 51) Another account of 1548–9 shows a slight surplus. Rents of assize (£85 1s. 5d.) and the rent of the Delphs (fn. 52) (£10) accounted for most of the revenue. (fn. 53) A survey (fn. 54) made during the long vacancy after Bishop Cox's death (1581–1600), possibly on the occasion of a lease (1593) to Edward Skipwith of the manor house and demesne, (fn. 55) shows a gross value of only £38 8s. 10d. No rents, however, are mentioned other than rents of assize fixed at £20. The 'Berrysted' with its demesne of 77 acres was let at £3 10s. a year under an eighty-year lease made in 1529–30 to Robert Stannyowght. (fn. 56) A little reclamation of the fen seems to have been attempted; John James a copyholder had erected a windmill which, judging by its value (3s. 4d.), must have been one of the small 'draining engines' occasionally overthrown by conservative fenmen. A series of late-16th-century bailiffs' accounts, (fn. 57) recording gross receipts ranging from £82 15s. 1d. to £112 17s., suggest that the estimate of this first survey may have been too low. Another survey of 1595 (fn. 58) valued the pastures of the Delphs, the windmill, fisheries, causeway tolls, rents of land, and tenements and perquisites of court, at £50. In addition the sum of £40 was allowed yearly for the repair of Aldreth and Earith causeways and bridges. (fn. 59) Thomas Lord Howard (later Earl of Arundel) purchased the manor in 1602, at which date the rents of assize and customary rents amounted to £81 11s. 5½d. (fn. 60)
In 1612 the manor was transferred to the Earl of Arundel's cousin, Thomas Earl of Suffolk. (fn. 61) In 1642 and 1643 an order was made by the House of Lords for 'protection of certain lands of the Earl of Suffolk at Haddenham'. (fn. 62) Some time between these dates and 1659 James Earl of Suffolk, Thomas's grandson, conveyed the manor to Dr. Aylett and John Aylett of the Middle Temple, from whom Edward Eltonhead agreed to buy the reversion for £1,200. Eltonhead became financially embarrassed and only paid £600, but John Aylett agreed to lease the manor to John Eltonhead, presumably Edward's son, for £50 yearly exclusive of taxes. (fn. 63) The manor is next found (1674–5) in the hands of Frances, Edward Eltonhead's daughter, and her second husband Sir Joseph Douglas, (fn. 64) after which its descent is for a time obscure. In 1718 it was with the March family, (fn. 65) already owners of the subordinate manors of Grays and Hinton (see below). From 1742 when Pell Gatward and Sarah Rowland (March) his wife were dealing with them (fn. 66) the three manors descended together. Isaac Wollaston, Sarah March's second husband, obtained the baronetcy of Lawrence (created 1748) by special remainder, and was lord for a short time before his death (1750). His son died a minor in 1756. (fn. 67) In 1766 the manors were obtained by Philip Yorke, 2nd Earl of Hardwicke, (fn. 68) in whose family they descended for more than a century. At the beginning of the 19th century they were vested in Philip Yorke (lost at sea in 1808) and his cousin Charles Philip, both Viscounts Royston and heirs to the earldom. (fn. 69) A series of accounts from 1820 to 1828 (fn. 70) shows ground rents from £52 18s. 7¼d. to £88 14s. 10¼d. Fines naturally varied greatly from year to year, but the balance due to the earl, after allowing for collector's expenses of £2 2s. and court expenses of about £10, averaged about £80 yearly. In the middle of the century the court proceedings were opened in the porch of the demolished manor house. (fn. 71) The manorial rights were still being exercised by the earl in 1900, but in 1933 the lords were Mr. James Spearing, and Mr. W. L. Raynes of Cambridge. (fn. 72)
In 1221 Simon de Insula held 3 carucátes in HINTON (Henegeton) as 1 fee, and Philip de Insula held them in 1251. (fn. 73) In 1341 Sir William de Ruston received licence for an oratory in his house at Hinton. (fn. 74) Some time before 1459 Thomas Freeman, having settled the manor of Hinton on John Prysot, Chief Justice, and John Cheyne, sold it to John Colan, his cousin. Colan was slow in fulfilling his side of the contract, but Prysot expressed himself willing to give up his interest on completion of the transaction. (fn. 75) No connexion can be traced between these successive holders of the manor, who seem to have been merely tenants at will under the bishops. In 1544 Sir Edward (later Baron) North had licence to alienate this manor to Thomas Wren of Haddenham, (fn. 76) who was already the tenant of the 'Delphs' under Bishop Goodrich. (fn. 77) His daughter Elizabeth later married Sir Edward's grandson, another Edward. (fn. 78) The estate pertaining to the manor extended into Wilburton, Wentworth, Witcham, and Sutton. Wren, who executed settlements of the manor on his wife Anne in 1565 and 1578, (fn. 79) died in the latter year leaving two daughters, Frances wife of John Wyllyams and Elizabeth (see above). He held the manor in chief by 1/10 knight's fee, and land and a fishery of the bishop in socage and fealty as of his manor of Haddenham. (fn. 80) The two halves of the manor were conveyed by the respective heiresses and their husbands to Francis Brakyn in 1581 and 1588. (fn. 81) In 1602 Brakyn, in association with John Williams and Frances (Wren) his wife, passed the manor to Sir John Jolles. (fn. 82) Jolles, who was an alderman of London and died in 1621, made a complicated settlement of the manor, preserving the two moieties into which it had recently been divided. One was to go to his niece Alice (Towers) for life, with remainder to Danett Poyntell, a nephew; the other was settled on Poyntell and his sons in tail male, with remainder to his daughters and finally to John Towers, Alice's eldest son and her other sons successively in tail male. (fn. 83) Accordingly the whole manor ultimately came to the Towers family, of whom Thomas was in possession at the end of the century. Being financially encumbered he sold it to David Rowland in 1693. (fn. 84) Rowland died in 1717: by the marriage of his heiress it came to the March family (fn. 85) and thereafter descended with the main manor (q.v.).
The second military tenure in 1221 was that of Richard de Chevall, who held 2 carucates as a fee. His son Niel held similarly in 1251. (fn. 86) This fee became the manor of CHEWELLS. A manor of the same name in Hatfield (Herts.) passed before 1303 from Niel de Chevell to John de Queye, who in that year was joint holder of ⅓ fee in Haddenham. (fn. 87) The de Queye family is recorded as holding by military service in Haddenham to 1428, (fn. 88) but had probably been extinct for some time, as Edmund de Suttone, the co-tenant in the 1346 inquiry, was in 1370 styled lord of 'Chiwalle' and had mortgaged his share, consisting of 2 messuages and 46¾ acres of land, to Sir Robert Busteler. The heirs of the latter were John Hanchache a minor and four others of full age, un-named in the inquisition. These five enfeoffed Robert Parys of one messuage and 16 acres, and John Wroth, a lessee under Busteler, of the other messuage, named 'Thunderesplace', and 30¾ acres. (fn. 89) Meanwhile the overlordship of this manor had been granted (1344) by Bishop Montacute to Peterhouse, Cambridge. (fn. 90) In 1594, when the college's tenant was the Betts family of Chatteris (q.v.), the manor was worth £10 a year. (fn. 91) In 1808 the tenant was the Revd. Samuel Hunt. (fn. 92) Court rolls exist for the period 1745 to 1937 in the strongroom of Messrs. Francis & Co., Cambridge.
In 1224 Hamon Passelewe was to be reseised of 1 carucate in 'Hedham' if Richard de Secheford, Beatrice his wife and Maud her sister had disseised him solely on account of the king's anger against Robert Passelewe, Hamon's brother. This anger seems to have been caused by Robert having taken the case to the court of Rome, and in 1225 he was reinstated in his carucate from which Richard and Beatrice de Secheford and Maud, with her husband Robert de Upwic had dispossessed him. (fn. 93) In 1277 Hamon Passelewe, perhaps Robert's nephew, held 25 acres in Haddenham of the manor of Rettendon (Essex) (fn. 94) for £1 a year. (fn. 95)
The co-tenant with John de Queye of a third fee in 1302–3 (fn. 96) was Fulk Baynard or Barnard. He or his ancestor of the same name had in 1271 and 1272 received two portions of an estate of 2 messuages, 3 carucates and 7 acres of wood in Haddenham and Hatfield (Herts.) from John de Ditton and Philip Pertrick and their wives, presumably co-heiresses. (fn. 97) In 1346 Edmund de Suttone had succeeded to the Baynard portion of this ⅓ fee, and his heirs are similarly recorded in 1428. (fn. 98) At the latter date John Grenelane and others held ½ fee in Haddenham. (fn. 99)
The manor of GRAYS originated in an estate of a messuage and 320 acres of land, with 6 marks rent, held by William de Grey of the Bishop of Ely by unknown service. His son Thomas was a minor at his father's death (1495). (fn. 100) In 1541, when Edmund Grey, probably William's grandson, conveyed it to Thomas Waters, it included lands and rents in several Isle parishes, as far as Chettisham. (fn. 101) In 1580 Edward Cowper granted an eighty-year lease of it to Robert March, (fn. 102) whose son of the same name died seised of it in 1601. He held it of the chief lord (Thomas Lord Howard) by fealty and a rent of a pound of cummin or 3d. yearly. (fn. 103) During the minority of Humberston March, son of Robert March the younger, the issues of the manor were taken by his mother Anne and her second husband Thomas Castell. Humberston and his son William were dealing with this manor in 1652. (fn. 104) Since the 18th century this manor has descended with the main manor (see above).
Another fee is mentioned in 1303–5. In the former year a commission of oyer and terminer was issued regarding persons who broke into the estate of William de Tuddeham, king's yeoman, at Haddenham, and fished in his free fishery. (fn. 105) In the latter year William brought a suit against his tenants Nicholas de Cokayne and his son and daughter, who had forcibly secured certain cattle that William had distrained for arrears of services for lands held of his fee. (fn. 106)
In 1537 William Buckenham, master of Gonville Hall, was licensed to alienate to his college 2 messuages called 'Madingleys' and 'Partriks' (fn. 107) (the latter in Hill Row), 2 tofts called 'Chevyns' and 'Codwyns', and 237 acres of land. This estate was worth £9 12s. a year and the purchase price was £200. (fn. 108) Minor adjustments during the following centuries reduced this estate to 171 acres, scattered in 283 pieces over the north and west of the parish. Under the Haddenham Inclosure Act (1843) the college received 167½ acres. When Grunty Fen was inclosed in 1861, it received a further 14 acres. These were near Wilburton railway station. Adjustments made with the Great Eastern Railway and others reduced the size of the estate slightly. The rents of the whole amounted to £332 in 1875, £346 in 1885, and £100 in 1895. (fn. 109) The reduction in rent in 1895 was due to the assumption by the college of responsibility for tithes and drainage taxes.
The antiquary William Cole also owned land in Haddenham, the history of which, as might be expected, is very well documented. (fn. 110) He traced his estate back to 1560, when Richard Tyrrell of London disposed of it by bargain and sale to Robert March of Ely for £160. It then consisted of a messuage and 72 acres, and had formerly been held by William Grace. In 1614 there were 4 messuages, including two called Graces and Hallyards and about 130 acres of land. In that year it changed hands within the March family for £1,000. Twenty years later it was sold by the Marches to Thomas Baron of Saffron Walden (Essex) for £920. The estate remained with the Baron family for nearly a century, gradually increasing in size and appreciating in value, (fn. 111) and was sold in 1728 by John Baron of Trumpington to William Cole of Babraham, father of the antiquary, for £2,205. The sale of 1728 included some 30 acres in Ewell Fen obtained by the Barons from the Mason, Phypers, and Worts families at the end of the preceding century. The total area sold in 1728 was 666 acres of arable, 26 of pasture, 95 of fen, and 10 of marsh (the Holmes), with 5 tenements including one with a 2-acre close at Aldreth. The then tenants of William Cole, the elder, were Francis Goodday and William Dunkin.
In 1754 Cole's tenant at Frog Hall, on the river bank near Aldreth High Bridge, was John Huckle. He showed the antiquary a document of 1728 rating the proprietors of lands in Ewell Fen at 4s. 3d. an acre for the repair of the fen bank. The 404 acres of the fen were divided amongst fourteen proprietors. The share of Cole's father amounted to 54 acres. This share was increased in 1733 by the antiquary's purchase of 2 closes from Joseph and Sarah Ogram. They totalled 24 acres and cost £525. The value of the property, and Cole's personal income, was much lowered by the serious floods of the 1760's. (fn. 112)
The church of Haddenham, like others on the manors granted to the see of Ely in 1109, remained in the bishop's hands, and is so recorded in 1251. (fn. 113) It was worth £30 in 1217, £40 in 1254, (fn. 114) and £80 in 1291, (fn. 115) and may therefore be reckoned a valuable rectory. During the early Middle Ages there were frequent disputes between the bishops and archdeacons of Ely regarding the rights of the latter in the Isle. (fn. 116) To settle these disputes, Bishop Fordham was licensed in 1401 to unite the rectory of Haddenham to the archdeaconry. (fn. 117) This arrangement was confirmed in 1406, (fn. 118) and prevailed until the middle of the 19th century. The church was in effect appropriated to the archdeacon, though no vicarage was ordained and the church was served by a succession of curates-in-charge. In 1837 the rectorial tithes which had come to the earls of Hardwicke as lords of the capital manor were commuted for a rent-charge of £1,850, whereas those due to the incumbent were commuted for £250 only, although they included a portion of the great tithes. (fn. 119) The position was normalized in 1865, when Archdeacon Emery transferred the tithes to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for £600 a year, (fn. 120) on condition that the living should be improved and a parsonage erected. This was done at various dates between 1866 and 1874, (fn. 121) and the living is now a vicarage in the gift of the Archdeacon of Ely. (fn. 122)
The rectory being a rich one, it is not surprising to find that the rectors and archdeacons treated it like a manor, and leased it. Thus in or before 1332 Geoffrey de Pakenham, rector, leased to Richard le Ferrour and his wife Margaret an acre of land in Haddenham for 6s. 6d. a year. (fn. 123) In 1601, when the rectory was leased to Richard Arkenstall for twenty-one years, the value of the rents was just over £8 a year; there were also 50 acres of glebe and the total value of the rectory was stated to be £100. (fn. 124) Arkenstall was shortly afterwards (1605) engaged in a lawsuit with Edward Phipers and other rectory tenants regarding his claim to the tithes. (fn. 125) From the latter half of the 17th century the rectory descended with the main manor, (fn. 126) but the tithes were sometimes leased out. (fn. 127)
The advowson lay with the bishops of Ely until 1401, and has since been held by the archdeacons, in accordance with the agreement of that year. (fn. 128) Before the transfer, a case of disputed presentation occurred, which dragged on for a great many years. In 1342 the rector in possession, John de Martham, was challenged by Henry de Harwedon, who during the vacancy of the see in 1337 had intruded himself by virtue of a papal provision. Harwedon continued his case against Bartholomew de Bourne, Martham's successor in 1344, and the advowson was for this reason retained in the king's hands after the other spiritualities were restored to Bishop Lisle (1345). Harwedon finally abandoned the suit in 1348 and was pardoned for contempt of court. (fn. 129) The rights of Martham and his successor Bourne were reaffirmed in 1363, but four years later Walter de Baketon was allowed to sue out possession of the church in ecclesiastical courts against Bourne by virtue of the papal provision of Harwedon, whose surrogate Baketon claimed to be. (fn. 130)
In 1386 the dedication feast of the church was changed from the vigil of the Nativity of the Virgin (7 September) to 20 October, as the former was a fastday. (fn. 131) By 1841 the feast was celebrated on Trinity Sunday; 143 strangers attended it. (fn. 132)
In 1335 the prior and convent confirmed a grant by Bishop Hotham to Robert de Orford, Agnes his wife, and Beatrice his daughter, of 30 acres in Westhall Field, reserving one good sheaf of corn per acre for the support of the lamp of St. Peter and St. Etheldreda in the cathedral. (fn. 133) In 1553 a ½ acre in tenure of Richard Wallis, (fn. 134) given for lights in Haddenham church, was granted to Sir John Butler and Thomas Chaworthe, (fn. 135) and 4 acres which had provided for a light in the rood loft were in 1571 granted to Richard Hill and Robert Don; they were then held by Edward Brome. (fn. 136)
In the early 16th century there were three guilds in Haddenham, of the Holy Trinity, All Saints and St. Katharine. (fn. 137) The hall of one of them was granted to Ralph Stretton and Edward Warner in 1561. (fn. 138)
The church of the HOLYTRINITY is built of ashlar and rubble with leaded roofs, and consists of chancel, north vestry, clerestoried nave, transepts, aisles, north and south porches, and west tower. The present building was constructed gradually during the 13th century, beginning with the chancel. The transepts were refashioned in the 15th century, the chancel arch rebuilt in the same period, and another stage added to the tower. In 1876 a drastic 'restoration' was begun, under the supervision of R. R. Rowe. (fn. 139) The tower was completely rebuilt as was the greater part of the walling of the aisles and transepts, and the vestry and north porch added. The roofs were completely renewed and the 15th-century rood screen was thrown out. It reposed for thirty years in a builder's yard but was eventually restored to its rightful position.
The chancel has an east window consisting of three lancets, which are entirely modern and replace a 15thcentury five-light window. There are 13th-century angle buttresses with one set-off. The south-east window, a late 13th-century insertion, is of two lights with trefoiled heads and a quatrefoil above; the jamb shafts have moulded caps and bases and there are external and internal hood-moulds terminating in heads. To the west are two lancets much renewed. The north-east window is a plain early 13th-century lancet. The doorway to the vestry is original 13th-century work with an arch of two orders, a continuous chamfer and a hood-mould. To the west is a modern arch of 13th-century character with corbelled responds. There is a much renewed 13th-century internal string-course. In the south wall is an aumbry and double piscina, the latter having a trefoiled head to its recess. The sill of the south-east window is lowered to serve as sedilia. In the north wall of the sanctuary is an aumbry and a tomb recess with trefoiled arch and a hood terminating in heads of late 13th-century date; at the back of the recess is a squint to the vestry with a trefoil-headed opening. The 15th-century chancel arch is of two orders with semicircular shafts to the responds, having moulded caps and bases, and there is a hood-mould on the west terminating in heads. The modern vestry has an east window of two trefoiled lights and a larger twolight window in the north wall, both of late-13thcentury origin but considerably renewed; they were probably removed from the north wall of the chancel when the present vestry was erected. There is a north doorway and a doorway and arch communicating with the transept, all modern.
The nave has arcades of seven bays, the easternmost arch on either side, which opens to the transepts, being larger than the others and of 15th-century date. The remaining arches on either side belong to the second half of the 13th century. The transept arches have an eastern respond consisting of a semicircular shaft with moulded cap and base; the western respond is modern with a brown marble shaft and a clumsy foliaged cap. The rest of the arches are of uniform design and are two-centred and of two orders with octagonal columns having moulded caps and bases. The west respond consists of a large and clumsy modern corbel. Several of the arches retain traces of red and yellow decoration. Above the arches is a modern string-course. The clerestory consists of six two-light windows on each side with trefoiled heads, except the first and fourth on the south and the second and sixth on the north which are uncusped; all appear to have had their tracery renewed but the rear arches are partly old and probably of late 13th-century date. There is a plain coped parapet. The tower arch is deeply recessed and acutely pointed, and springs from clustered shafts with moulded caps and bases; it belongs to the latter part of the 13th century but was rebuilt, largely with old materials, in 1876.
The south transept has an east window of two cinquefoil-headed lights with a spherical triangle above and jamb shafts with moulded caps and bases, and exterior and interior hood-moulds; it dates from the end of the 13th century. The rood stair turret is in the angle between the transept and the chancel with the entrance in the former and the upper doorway, now blocked, in the latter. There is a large shallow recess above the lower doorway with a cinquefoiled head. The south wall has been entirely rebuilt and has a window consisting of three lancets. The arch communicating with the aisle is probably of late 13th-century date and almost round; the south respond consists of clustered shafts with moulded caps and bases and the north respond, which is modern, consists of a marble column. There is a piscina recess in the east wall.
The north transept was completely rebuilt in 1876 and has a window consisting of three lancets in the north wall. The arch communicating with the aisle is similar to the corresponding one in the south transept. There is a canopied niche of 15th-century date in the north-east angle. Upon the outside wall of the former north transept there hung in Cole's time two dozen fire buckets. (fn. 140)
The south aisle has five two-light windows, the first and fifth cinquefoiled and the remainder trefoiled, the tracery being renewed except the two westernmost. There are four lateral buttresses and one at the west end, all with one set-off and renewed except the first and fourth. There is a plain coped parapet, mostly modern. The south porch is of early 13th-century origin, but rebuilt with old material farther to the west in the last century. It has an outer doorway with a twocentred arch of two orders having responds composed of clustered shafts with moulded caps and bases. There are angle buttresses with one set-off and a one-light trefoiled window under a square label in the east and west walls. There is a plain coped parapet and conical pinnacles. The inner doorway has continuous mouldings and a hood terminating in modern heads; above is a canopied niche. The plain bowl of a 13th-century font is fixed in the north-east angle of the porch.
The north aisle has been rebuilt, but it retains five old windows, similar to those in the south aisle, the tracery in which has been much renewed. The north porch is a modern addition with diagonal buttresses and a trefoil-headed single light in the east and west walls. The inner doorway is of early 14th-century date with continuous mouldings and a hood terminating in heads; the jambs have been renewed.
The fine tower was originally erected in the last quarter of the 13th century and consisted of three stages. In the 15th century another stage was added and the tower crowned with an embattled parapet and a lofty and slender leaded spire. In 1876 the whole structure was pulled down and the three lower stages rebuilt, largely with old materials; the top stage was not replaced. The old design has been followed more or less, but the stair turret, which was originally in the south-west angle, is now placed at the north-east. The west doorway is deeply recessed with an arch of five orders springing from jamb shafts with moulded caps and bases, all much renewed. The west window is of three lights with reticulated tracery and ball-flower ornament round the arch, and a hood-mould decorated with dogtooth ornament, which must be a later insertion. In the second stage there is a deeply recessed circular window on the north, south, and west filled with early geometrical tracery; those on the west and south have two circles of ball-flower in the splay while that on the north has in addition an inner circle of dog-tooth ornament. The belfry windows consist of recessed double lancets in each face with cinquefoiled heads and continuous mouldings. The tower is now finished with a corbel table. The modern stair turret in the north-east angle only reaches to the second stage and is crowned with a conical cap.
All the roofs are modern and poor, those of the chancel, nave and transepts being high-pitched and those of the aisles of lean-to type. Some of the stone corbels in the nave are ancient.
The font is octagonal and of 15th-century date with a shield bearing demi-angels and Tudor roses on the bowl and round the shaft seated lions and buttresses; it belongs to a type often found in Suffolk. The 15thcentury chancel screen is of the arched type; it consists of eight bays, the two centre being occupied by the doorway. The vaulting is lost and the base beam, panels of the wainscot and top beam are modern. The uprights are buttressed and the middle rail well moulded; each bay has good tracery of rectilinear character. In the south transept is an elaborately carved communion table of early 17th-century date. In the chancel is a brass to William Noion, Rector, and Canon of York, Lincoln, and Chichester, 1405. The effigy in a cope is missing but the inscription and double canopy remain. In the tower, but formerly in the north transept, is a brass to John Godfrey and Margaret his wife, 1454, with effigies of a civilian and lady, and inscription. At the west end of the nave is a slab with indents of the effigies of a civilian and lady, and of two groups of children beneath.
The plate includes a silver chalice inscribed 'for the Town of Hadnam on the Hil' with cover paten, 1569, and a large silver flagon, 1701. These have been on loan to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, since 1933.
The tower contains six bells, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd by Thomas Newman of Norwich, 1706, 4th by Joseph Eayre of St. Neots, 1741, 5th by T. Newman, 1725, 6th by George Oldfield of Nottingham, 1657, and inscribed in black letter 'All glory be to God for ever', with the churchwardens' names and founder's stamp. (fn. 141)
The registers begin in 1570 and are complete.
In 1672 the house of John Woodbridge was licensed for Congregational worship. (fn. 142) In 1676 there were 30 Dissenters. (fn. 143) The houses of Thomas Clark and John Smethey were licensed for Congregational worship in 1745 and 1787 respectively. (fn. 144) John Berridge preached at Haddenham about 1768, and there was a congregation served by itinerant Independent ministers in the village all through the latter part of the 18th century. It was regularly organized as a Baptist church in 1812, and from 1816 had its own pastor, a local surgeon named Pinchard. There were about 50 members in 1819. (fn. 145) The chapel at Haddenham was built in 1817 and that at Aldreth in 1844. A Wesleyan chapel was built in 1800, rebuilt in 1843, and again in 1891. (fn. 146) All these three chapels are still in existence; the old Haddenham Baptist chapel was used as a Sundayschool after 1905, in which year a new building was erected at a cost of £2,000. (fn. 147) Its spire rivals the nearby church tower. The Aldreth chapel was also rebuilt, in 1908. (fn. 148)
The early history of Arkenstall's School has already been narrated. (fn. 151) The buildings of 1863 provided 115 places; a new classroom was built in 1909, and the net result of this and the reorganization of the following year was to increase the accommodation to 129. The boys of 13 and over were in 1948–9 transferred to the Cromwell School at Chatteris. (fn. 152)
A British school was established by the Baptists in 1847. (fn. 153) It was still in existence in the 1860's, (fn. 154) but was closed by the School Board after the girls' and infants' school had been taken over and enlarged in 1874 (see below).
A school for children not old enough to attend Arkenstall's School was established under the will of Mrs. Elizabeth March (d. 1722), who left land at Oakington to provide five such schools at Haddenham, and at Brinkley, Fen Ditton, Fulbourn, and Histon in the county proper. Haddenham's share in this charity amounted to £20, and in the 1830's the churchwardens were in the habit of adding £14 from Arkenstall's charity and £6 from the extensive Town Lands to make up the schoolmaster's salary. In 1835 the master was teaching about 30 children. (fn. 155)
Haddenham presented a very favourable picture when the National Society made their inquiry in 1846–7. Education of some kind was provided for 468 children—almost the whole of the potential school population. There were 90 children in Mrs. March's infant school, 67 in a 'school of industry' for girls, and 197 in a National Sunday-school. There were also small primary schools at Aldreth and Hill Row. (fn. 156) The school of industry, the infant school and those in the hamlets employed 5 mistresses, and their total annual expenses were £83. (fn. 157)
In 1862 the girls' and infants' schools were rebuilt at a cost of £589. Of this sum £400 were subscribed locally. Support, however, was not sustained and in 1874 a School Board was established, which enlarged and improved the school. Further enlargements took place in 1879 and 1909–10 at a cost of £369 and £600 respectively. After the second enlargement the school provided for 122 girls and 98 infants. The two departments were amalgamated in 1927, and the senior girls transferred to Chatteris in 1948–9. (fn. 158)
In 1877 the Board rebuilt the Aldreth school as a mixed one for 80 children—a figure which was reduced to 63 in 1910. The chief interest of this school lies in the repeated attempts to close it. In 1907 there were only 14 children on the books as opposed to an average of 29 in 1900–4. The Board of Education, however, refused to sanction closure, as the number of children in Aldreth at that time was abnormally low, and the transfer of children from council to voluntary schools might have led to difficulties. The County Council, however, refused to appoint a new teacher and closed the school in August 1907. This led to a strike, the children assembling at the school and refusing to travel to Haddenham in the conveyance provided by the Council. The school was reopened in January 1908. Another attempt to close the school was made in 1929, when there were 40 on the books. This was abandoned owing to strong local opposition. The further proposal was made in 1940. It was held in abeyance for a time but was finally carried out in 1944. (fn. 159)
In 1846–7 the 42 pupils at the Hill Row school mostly attended on weekdays only. The school had probably been closed by 1851 and certainly by 1900. (fn. 160)
Besides the Arkenstall and March charities devoted to education, the following existed in Haddenham in 1837. Sir John Jolles, lord of Hinton manor, by his will dated 1618 left £2 a year to the poor of Haddenham, which was paid through the Drapers' Company, of which Jolles was a member. (fn. 161) In 1837 the books of this charity were 'regularly and creditably kept'.
Two messuages called the Town Houses belonged to the parish from time immemorial. The Town Lands, originally 10½ acres copyhold, were increased in 1677 by 132 acres freehold in the North Fen awarded under the Bedford Level Act. In 1837 they were worth £185 15s. annually. After drainage taxes of £44 2s. 5d. and the diversions to educational purposes had been paid, £102 9s. was available for the poor. This was distributed to about 300 persons in sums of 3s. to 12s. (fn. 162)