Towns, Cities, Villages and Hamlets
Samuel Lewis's Topographical Gazeetter 1831
ISLEHAM, a parish in the hundred of STAPLOE, county of CAMBRIDGE, 4¼ miles (W.) from Mildenhall, containing 1716 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the peculiar jurisdiction and patronage of the Bishop of Rochester, rated in the king's books at £13. 3. 14. The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, is in the plain Norman style of architecture, and belonged to a priory dedicated to St. Margaret, founded here as a cell to the abbey of St. Jagitto in Brittany, and granted by Henry VI. to Pembroke Hall, Oxford, at which period its revenue was valued at £10. 13. 4. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents. An Hospital for five widowers and five widows was founded by the Lady of Sir Robert Peyton, who died in 1518, the annual income of which is now about £108.
ISLEHAM is an extensive village and parish, with a station on the Cambridge and MiIdenhall branch of the London and North Eastern railway, 6 miles north from Newmarket, 11 south-east from Ely and 16½ from Cambridge, in the hundred of Staploe, union and petty sessional division of Newmarket, county court district of Soham and in the rural deanery of Fordham and archdeaconry and diocese of Ely. The church of St. Andrew is a spacious building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, transepts, south porch and an embattled western tower with squat spire containing a clock and 5 bells: the east window is filled with stained glass, erected by George Fletcher Robins esq. of this place, to his two daughters, Caroline Mary Carr, d. 28 Nov. 1875, and Alice Maude Robins, d. 10 Nov. 1866; there are others to Frederick and Caroline Robins, to George Fletcher Robins esq. his wife and his daughter, Mrs. Watson, to the Bev. Samuel Williamson Merry M.A. late vicar, 1872-89, to the late Dr. Edward Watson, and to T. W. Brown .esq.: the church was partially restored in 1862, under the superintendence of the late G. E. Street B.O. at, a cost of upwards of £3,000: the chancel and east window were restored in 1883, and a system of heating was adopted in 1886, at a cost of £180: in 1898 the external walls were refaced with hard stone at a cost of £400; in 1907 a new Organ was provided, and in 1911 the interior of the chancel was restored and new choir seats installed at a cost of £160; there are 450 sittings. The register dates from the year r566. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £460, with residence and 2 acres of glebe, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and held since 1925 by the Rev. Henry William Fiery M.A. of Fitzwilliam Hall, Cambridge. The rectorial tithes amount to £550. There is a Union chapel in Found lane, founded in 1693, with 350 sittings, and a Baptist chapel in High street, built in 1812, seating 450; both are endowed, the latter having about £50 a year ; there is also a Baptist Mission chapel in Isleham Fen, built in 1875, seating 150. The Rev. C. H. Spurgeon was baptized at the ferry in the river Lark near here, May 3rd, 1850. There is a small Primitive Methodist chapel. A cemetery of one acre was formed in 1856; in 1896 half an acre was added to it at a cost of £120; it is under the control of the Parish Council. The charities amount to about £150, including an endowment for the school, clothing &c. for the poor and payments to the inmates of the almshouses, founded and endowed by Elizabeth, wife of Sir Robert Peyton, who died in 1518, occupied by four males and four females : the income is about £90 yearly : an invalid room has been added. There are the remains here of the priory of St. Margaret, a cell to St. Jacutus, near Dol, Brittany, but afterwards given to Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, by Henry VI. The monks removed to Linton in 1254. The village and neighbourhood are famous for the production of limestone, lime and chinch, great quantities of which are sent to Wisbech, Peterborough and other parts by George Frederick Robins and Albert Simmons Frost. Here also is a pumping station of the Ely Water Works Co. The principal landowners are the County Council, the exors. of G. F. Robins esq. and Messrs. Richard Thomas Robins and George Thompson. The soil is various; subsoil, principally limestone. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The area is 5,207 acres of land and 23 of water; the population in 1921 was 2,490.
[Extracts from Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]
Domesday Book Entry
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