Towns, Cities, Villages and Hamlets

Fen Drayton

Samuel Lewis's Topographical Gazeetter 1831

DRAYTON (FEN), a parish in the hundred of PAPWORTH, county of CAMBRIDGE, 3¾ miles (S.E. by S.) from St. Ives, containing 326 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Ely, and in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of Christ College, Cambridge. The inhabitants have the right of sending four boys to the free school of Fen-Stanton, in Huntingdonshire.

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

FEN DRAYTON (or Fenny Drayton) is a parish and village, about 4 miles south-east from St Ives, 9½ northwest front Cambridge and 2¾ south west from Swavesey station on the St. Ives and Cambridge section of the London and North Eastern railway ; it is in the hundred of Papworth, Cambridge petty sessional division, union of St. Ives, county court district of Huntingdon, rural deanery of North Stowe and archdeaconry and diocese of Ely.

The church is a small edifice of stone in various styles, from the Early English to the Perpendicular, and consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, north and south porches and a western tower with spire containing one bell , there is a memorial window, erected in 1901, to the late Rev. Frederick Shaw M.A. vicar here 1850-90, and to his wife: the church was restored in 1855 and the nave end south aisle were refloored and reseated in 1906 : there are 220 sittings. The register of baptisms dates from 1575: marriages, 1580; burials, 1574. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £200, with residence, in the gift of Christ's College, Cambridge, and held since 1927 by the Rev. Leonard Byam Sewood Abbott A.K.C. who resides at Conington. The Wesleyan chapel, erected in 1866, at a cost of £1,035, is of white and red dressed bricks in the Gothic style, and has a turret: the windows are partly stained, and there are 240 sittings. The proceeds of 22 acres of land are applied to parish purposes. In the village is an obelisk of stone, erected in 1920, as a memorial to the men of this parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18.

The soil varies and in parts is very fertile producing wheat, beans, barley, oats, turnips, mangolds, potatoes and large quantities of flowers; the subsoil is gravel. The area is 1,482 acres of land and 10 of water; the population in 1921 was 246.

[Extracts from Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]

Domesday Book Entry


In (Fen) DRAYTON 2 Freemen hold ½ hide from the King. Land for 4 oxen, and meadow. The value is and always was 2s. The very same men held it; they could grant and sell.

In (Fen) DRAYTON the Abbot also holds 3 virgates. Land for 4 oxen; they are there. Meadow for 4 oxen. 2 slaves. The value is and always was 3s. This land lies and always lay in the Church’s lordship.

In (Fen) DRAYTON 5 Freemen hold 4½ hides from the Count. Land for 2 ploughs; they are there, with 1 villager; 5 smallholders; 3 cottagers. Meadow for 2 ploughs; pasture for the village livestock. The value is and was 20s; before 1066, 27s. The Freemen held (it) themselves under Edeva; they could sell to whom they would.

In (Fen) DRAYTON Gilbert holds 3 hides and 1 virgate. Land for 1½ ploughs. In lordship 1 hide; 1 Freeman who has 1 hide and 1 virgate. 4 villagers. Meadow for 1½ ploughs; pasture for the village livestock. The value is and was 10s; before 1066, 20s. Ulf, King Edward’s thane, held this land; the one Freeman was his man; however, he could grant and sell his land without his permission.

In (Fen) DRAYTON Roger holds 1 hide from Picot. Land for ½ plough; 2 oxen there. Meadow for 4 oxen. The value is and was 3s; before 1066, 5s. 2 Freemen held this land. One of them, the Abbot of Ely’s man, could sell his land without the jurisdiction. The other, King Edward’s man, found 1 escort for the Sheriff and could grant his land.

War Memorial

The war memorial and the men on it have been documented on the Roll of Honour website for Cambridgeshire pages.


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