The History of The Stukeleys in Cambridgeshire

Historical notes about the town of The Stukeleys in Cambridgehsire.

The Parish of The Stukeleys

The notes below are from the Victoria County History printed in 1932 the main change over time is that through traffic no longer transits either village as that has been re-routed onto the A14 trunk road to the west

GREAT STUKELEY

Stiuecle (xi cent.); Stiueclai, Stiuekelea (xii cent.); Styvecle, Magna Steuecle, Stiuekle (xiii cent.); Stuecle (xv cent.); Stewkeley, Stukelie, Steukeley (xvi cent.) covering 2,875 acres, lies in the centre of the county, adjoining Huntingdon on the south. The Great Northern Railway runs through the parish in the east. The land is low-lying and fertile; towards the south-west, where Alconbury Brook forms part of the boundary, the pasture land is liable to flood, the highest land being in the northeast.

The parish is mainly arable land, the soil being clay, but there is a small amount of woodland. The principal crops are wheat, barley, and beans.

The scattered village lies on both sides of Ermine Street, the Roman road, which crosses the parish on its way from Peterborough to Huntingdon. The village is divided into three districts. Church End, with the church, vicarage, schools, Wesleyan chapel and some houses and cottages form the more westernly portion; Owl End to the north-east, bordering on Stukeley Hall and Park, the residence of Mrs. Walter Fenwick, consists of the Manor Farm, a 17th-century L-shaped house with later additions, Cartwright's Farm and the cottages subsidiary to these farms and the Hall. Further to the north-east is Prestley Wood, in which is a moated inclosure marking the site of the manor house of Prestley Manor. To the south is Green End, comprising a group of 17th-century half-timbered houses.

LITTLE STUKELEY

Stiuecle (xi cent.); Stiuecleya Abbatis, Stiuecle parva, Stiuecle minor (xiii cent.).

Little Stukeley is a parish of 1,523 acres lying near the centre of the county, some three miles north-west of the county town; it is a narrow strip of land, bounded mainly by the parishes of Great Stukeley and Alconbury. The land is highest in the north; towards the south, near Alconbury brook, the low lying pasture-land is liable to flood. The soil is stiff clay and part gravel; subsoil clay. The chief crops are wheat, barley, roots and beans.

The village lies at the crossing of Ermine Street by the road to Abbots Ripton. The more important part of it, including the church, rectory and schools, is on the north side of Ermine Street along the Abbots Ripton Road, where there are many picturesque timber framed, thatched or tiled houses and cottages of the 17th and 18th centuries. The post office at the north-east corner of the crossing is a 17th-century two-story building with an early 18th-century addition. On the south side of Ermine Street the houses are more scattered. Here at the south angle of the crossing is a house, which was formerly the Swan and Salmon Inn, a two-storied brick house with tiled roof and a gabled projection in front. On a chimney-stack on the north-east side is a panel showing a chained and collared swan and a shield with initials C. and E. D. for Christopher and Elizabeth Druell and the date 1676. Under this is another roughly made panel showing a pike on metal, probably the arms of Elizabeth [Pickering]. At the Manor Farm, further south, are the foundations of an earlier house.

A Purbeck marble effigy wearing a chasuble and alb with feet resting on two couchant rams, apparently representing Ralf, Abbot of Ramsey (d. 1253), was found by Dr. Philip Nelson used as a mounting stone at an inn at Little Stukeley. The figure when complete would measure 7 ft. 6 in. by 2 ft. 3 in.

Victoria County History; Huntingdonshire ~ 1932