Towns, Cities, Villages and Hamlets


Samuel Lewis's Topographical Gazeetter 1831

CHESTERTON, a parish in the hundred of CHES-TERTON, county of CAMBRIDGE, 1¼ mile (N.E.) from Cambridge, containing 1187 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Ely, rated in the king's books at 10. 12. 3½., and in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, is principally in the decorated and later styles of English architecture. The name signifies the town next the castle or camp, Arbury camp being at a small distance from the village, three parts of the vallum of which are still remaining, enclosing a square area of nearly six acres, in which many Roman coins have been found, particularly a silver one with the head of Romulus on the obverse, and on the reverse Castor and Pollux on horseback. It appears that every one who kept a fire here, in 1154, was bound to pay a fly farthing, as it was called, to St. Peter's altar in the cathedral church of Ely; and the fourth farthing arising from this town and that of Grantchester used to be paid to the castle of Norwich, by the name of Ely ward penny, because that place received it before. In 1729, 5 per annum, out of money left to the parish for charitable uses, was appropriated, by a decree of the court of Chancery, towards the education of ten poor children. The remains of Cambridge castle are in this parish, and the river Cam runs through it.

For the Family Historian details of available records can be found on the Chesterton page of GENUKI Cambridgeshire.

War Memorial

The war memorials and the men on them have been documented on the Roll of Honour Cambridgeshire Chesterton and Chesterton Arbury Church pages.

Domesday Book Entry


CHESTERTON is a lordship village of the King's. It answers for 30 hides. Land for 16 ploughs. In lordship 3; a further 9 possible. 2 villagers, 16 smallholders and 6 cottagers with 4 ploughs. A priest has 1 virgate of land. Meadow for 8 ploughs; from the marsh 1,000 eels. It pays £15 assayed and weighed, and £13 8s 4d in white coin for honey, corn, malt and other customary dues; before 1066 it paid £15 at face value and, in proption to this, as much customary dues as was needed.

In CHESTERTON Hundred (these men) swore

Giffard of (DRY) DRAYTON Aelmer of COTTENHAM
Gilbert of HISTON Ledmer of (DRY) DRAYTON

and all other Frenchmen and ENglishmen of this Hundred swore.

CHESTERTON is a parish and village, and the head of a poor-law union, giving its name to a hundred, and a portion of the parish, under the "Boundary Act, 1868," has been included in the parliamentary borough of Cambridge. The village is a long, straggling place on the north bank of the river Cam, a mile and a half north from Cambridge station, in the Western division of the county, petty sessional division and county court division of Cambridge, and in the rural deanery of Cambridge and archdeaconry and diocese of Ely. The parish was constituted a Local Government District in 1880, but under the provisions of the "Local Government Act, 1885" (56 and 57 Vict. c. 73), an Urban District Council has been established, and the parish divided into two wards, called the East and West. It is lighted with gas and supplied with water by the Cambridge Gas and Water Companies.

The church of St. Andrew, picturesquely situated near the river, is a large and interesting embattled structure of flint, chiefly in the Decorated style with Perpendicular additions, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of seven bays, aisles, north porch and an embattled western tower, with a beautiful octagonal spire, and containing a clock and 5 bells: the chancel was restored about 1844, when a piscina and three sedilia of Late Perpendicular work were discovered: there are remains of Late screen and a roof of the 15th century: the nave is Decorated, but has a perpedicular clerestory and roof, some of the corbels bearing shields of arms: on the spandrels between the arches and in other parts of the church are remains of frescoes, c.1300: in the north aisle is a plain sepulchral recess; and both this and the south aisle have finely-carved corbels: the chancel still retains some good chestnut benches, richly carved: in the churchyard are several stone coffin slabs, bearing floriated crosses: there are 650 sittings, 600 being free. The register dates from the year 1564.

St. Luke's is a district parish, formed April 1, 1881: the church, built in 1784, at a cost of 10,240, is an edifice of white brick and stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, transept, nave of five bays and a tower with spire, the principal entrance being under the tower: there are 650 sittings. The register dates from the year 1874.

The Baptist chapel, in Chapel street, was erected in 1842, and enlarged and restored in 1863: the Wesleyan chapel, in High street, was erected in 1858. The Congregational church, in the Vistoria road, was built in 1884, at a cost of 4,000.

The General Cemetry, in the Histon road, opened in December, 1843, and covering an area of four acres, has one chapel, and is under the control of a private company, the offices being at 7 Downing street, Cambridge.

Her Majesty's Prison and the Shire Hall at Castle Hill are both in this parish, for an account of which see Cambridge. The Victoria Friendly Society's Asylum, for old members of friendly societies, opened in 1841, is also here. Here was once an ancient fortified house, said to have been built by the Abbot of Vercellis; a portion of this building, massively constructed and probably a well-room, still exists. About 60 yearly from land is distributed in fuel and money. In the parish are brick and tile manufactories and boathouses, where boats for the use of undergraduates of the University are built and kept. The boathouses built by the Cambridge University Boat Club in 1882, Christ's College in 1886, Caius in 1887, Jesus in 1882, King's in 1895 and Emmanuel and Pembroke in 1896 add much to the picturesqueness of the river at this point. The Recreation Ground is situated near the church. The manor belongs to the Benson family; and the principal landowners are Trinity, St. Catherine's, Clare, Queens' and St. John's Colleges and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Mrs. Wragg-Gurney and Mrs. E. Bell.

The soil is light, and the subsoil gravel and blue clay. The chief crops are wheat, barley, beans, root and seeds. The area is 2,778 acres of land and 17 of water; rateable value, 28,575; the population in 1871 was 4,102, in 1881, 5,706 and in 1891 7,526, including 153 officers and inmates in the workhouse and 84 in H.M. Prison. The population of Chesterton St. Andrew's in 1891 was 1,828, that of Chesterton St. Luke's being then 5,698.

[Extracts from Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1900]


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