Towns, Cities, Villages and Hamlets


Samuel Lewis's Topographical Gazeetter 1831

SWAVESEY, a parish in the hundred of PAPWORTH, county of CAMBRIDGE, 5¼ miles (E. S. E.) from St. Ives, containing 1029 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Ely, rated in the king's books at £7. 6.8., and in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of Jesus College, Cambridge. The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, anciently belonged to an Alien priory of Black monks, founded here, soon after the Conquest, as a cell to the abbey of St. Sergius and St. Bachus, and that of St. Briocus, at Angiers; at the suppression it was given by Richard II. to the priory of St. Anne, Coventry, and some slight remains of the monastic buildings are still visible. There is a place of worship for Baptists. A market and fair were granted, in 1243, to the family of Zouch, the site of whose ancient castle is about half a mile south-west from the church.

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

SWAVESEY is a large parish and village, with a station on the Cambridge and Huntingdon branch of the Great Eastern railway, 69 miles from London, 11½ north-west from Cambridge, 3 south-east from St. Ives and 9 south-east from Huntingdon, in the Western division of the county, hundred of Papworth, petty sessional division of Cambridge, union of St. Ives, county court district of Huntingdon, rural deanery of North Stowe and archdeaconry and diocese of Ely.

The church of St. Andrew, originally attached to the priory, is a building of stone in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel with aisles, or chantries, clerestoried nave of six bays, aisles, south porch and a western tower containing 6 bells: on the south side of the chancel are fine sedilia and piscina of the Decorated period: the entrance to the south chantry, rebuilt by Thomas Cockayne in 1852, is by two fine Early English arches, and it has Late Perpendicular sedilia; in this chantry is a quasi-classic marble tomb, to Anne (Kempe), wife of Sir John Cutts kt. of Childerley, who died 13th March, 1631; the inscription also mentions John Kempe, Cardinal Archbishop of York, and many other members of that and allied families; over the inscription is a shield with 9 quartering, another with 22, and other impaled coats on separate escutcheons; both chantries are inclosed by modern open screens of oak, in the Perpendicular style: the chancel is fitted with good modern stalls, restored from an old design and has an altar-piece representing the "Crucifixion" the south aisle retains an Early English piscina: the chancel arch is a fine example of 13th century work, and is fitted with a modern screen with halfgroined rood loft above: the north aisle with carved finals contains good old oak stalls: the font is Perpendicular, and lying near it are four Early English coffin slabs, with crosses: in 1867 the church was beautifully restored, principally at the expense of the Hon. Mrs. Dudley Ryder, daughter of Thomas Cockayne, late of Ickleton House, Hitchin: there are 500 sittings. The baptismal register dates from 1576; that for marriages and burials from 1613. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value about £ 170, including 3 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Master and Fellows of Jesus College, and held since 1895 by the Rev. Arthur Coleman Vidler M.A. of that college. The St. Peter's Church Mission house, at the south end of the village, erected in 1893 at a cost of £265, on land presented by the Master and Fellows of Trinity College Cambridge, is a wooden building and will seat 100 people John Jones Bush esq. of the Grange, Hilperton, Wilts, is the owner of the great or rectorial tithes, valued at about £550 a year. Here are two Baptist chapels, one for Primitive Methodists, and a Friends' Meeting House. Bethel Baptist chapel, built by subscription, in 1868, at a cost of about £850, is of brick, and will hold about 420 persons.

A market and fair were held here formerly, but have long been obsolete. The Benedictine priory once existing here was founded by Alan de Zouche in the time of William 1 as a cell to the monastery of St. Sergius, at Angers, and dedicated to St Andrew. The Priory, the residence of George Long esq. J.P. is supposed to stand on or near the site. Mr. John Osborne Daintree is lord of the manors of Swavesey, with the members, Hobbledodds with Bennets and the Rectory manor. Mr. John Dodson Daintree, Capt Arthur Vipan, of Stibbington Hall, Lincs, Trinity College, Mr. William Carter Cole, George Long esq. Christopher Parsons and W. W. Warner are the principal landowners. The soil is mostly clay; subsoil, clay. The chief crops are wheat, barley and beans. The area is 3,968 acres of land and 14 of water; rateable value, £6,163; the population in 1891 was 1,069.

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



Domesday Book Entry

In Papworth Hundred.

The Count holds SWAVESEY himself. 13 hides. Land for 14 ploughs. In lordship 6 hides; 3 ploughs there; a fourth possible. 10 villagers with 19 smallholders and 8 Freemen hold 3 hides of this land. Together they have 10 ploughs. 17 cottagers; 2 slaves; 1 mill at 40s; from fisheries 4,000 eels less 250; meadow for 14 ploughs; pasture for village livestock. Total value £16; when acquired £8; before 1066 £18. Edeva held this manor. The 8 Freemen could sell their land themselves without her permission.

In SWAVESEY Picot holds 1 hide from Robert. Land for 1 plough, 2 smallholders. Meadow for 1 plough. The value is and was 5s; before 1066, 20s. Leofsi, Earl Watheof’s man, held this land; he could grant and sell. Picot the Sheriff holds these lands from Robert Gernon, in his wife’s marriage portion.

In Swavesey Gilbert holds 1 hide. Land for 1 plough; it is there, with 2 villagers; 3 smallholders; 2 cottagers. From the marsh 225 eels. The value is and was 10s; before 1066, 20s. Ulf, King Edward;s thane, held this land.

(Haslingfield: In the same village the count holds ½ hide himself in lordship; it belongs to Swavesey, his manor…….)

(In TOFT the Count holds… This land is an outlier in Swavesey…)

Military History

For more detailed and comprehensive information about the men of Swavesey who died in the Great War see Phil Curme's Swavesey Roll of Honour on the same site is various other information related to Swavesey. There is also a listing of the memorial hall and St Andrew's memorials on the Roll of Honour web site.



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