Towns, Cities, Villages and Hamlets
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ELY and neighbouring villages in the Isle by J.H. Clements 1868
This parish, four miles W. of Ely, and twelve N.E.E. from Cambridge, contains a population of about 1,200 souls. Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, purchased the manor of Stretham, and presented it to the monks of Ely ; it was afterwards annexed to the see of Ely, from which it was alienated to the Crown by Bishop Heton in 1600. It has since passed through the hands of several families. The church is dedicated to St. James. The living is a rectory, with the curacy of Thetford, in the deancry of Ely, rated in the K. B. at £22., and now worth about 800. nett. The Bishop of Ely is patron, and the Rev. H. H. Baber, about 90 years of age, incumbent.
STRETHAM (including Stretham Fen and the hamlet of Thetford) is a parish in the Isle of Ely, on the banks of the Cam, with a station, 1 mile north of the village, on the Ely, Haddenham, Sutton and St. Ives branch of the London and North Eastern railway, and is 4 miles south-by-west from Ely, 12 north-by-east from Cambridge and 75 from London, in the hundred of South Witchford, Ely union, petty sessional division and county court district, rural deanery of Ely, arch-deaconry of Wisbech and diocese of Ely. In May, 1844, a serious fire occurred here, when a great part of the place was burned. The church of St. James, which stands in the High street, is a fine old building of stone it the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of five bays, aisles, south porch and a western tower with lofty spire containing a clock and 5 bells: there is a very fine carved oak screen dating from 1440: the organ was enlarged and improved in 1907 by Mr. H. J. Lister: the church was thoroughly restored during the period 1876-87, at a cost of £4,400, and affords 350 sittings. The registers date from the year 1558. The living is a rectory, with the chapelry of Thetford annexed, joint net yearly value £794, including glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Ely, and held since 1906 by the Rev. Samuel Stewart Stitt M.A. of Pembroke College, Cambridge. The parish room at Stretham was built in 1886. There are Baptist and Wesleyan chapels, and a mission hall, erected here in 1884 for the use of the local branch of the London Evangelistic Mission; it has 400 sittings. A cemetery of one acre, formed in 1886, at a cost of £400, is under the control of the Parish Council. An ancient stone cross, dating from about 1400 and restored in 1910, stands on the high road, near the church: the base is octagonal and panelled in quatrefoils: at the top are four niches, with pedestals for images. Charities:- Rysley's, Digby and Lady Howard of Effingham's charities are now amalgamated and known as Stretham charities, from which the income is approximately £185 yearly. The soil is stiff clay and fen land; the subsoil is clay. The crops are grain of all descriptions. The area of the civil parish is 3,997 acres of land and 22 of water; the population in 1921 was 897 in the civil and 1,047 in the ecclesiastical parish.
[Extracts from Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]
Domesday Book Entry
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