Haddenham - Cambs
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
N 52° 21.486 E 000° 08.862
31U E 305774 N 5804697
Quick Description: The sign is on the green by the War Memorial and shows aN agricultural scene.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/10/2012 3:04:34 PM
Waymark Code: WMEKQ7
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dragontree
Views: 3

Long Description:
The village of Haddenham lies on the highest ridge (120 feet) in the Isle of Ely at its western border. Its two spurs lead to the causeways at Aldreth and Earith, which together with Stuntney were once the only routes into the Isle.
It was by the Aldreth causeway that the Romans first entered the Isle and later it was by the same route that William the Conqueror eventually overcame the resistance of Hereward having made a deal with the monks of Ely.

It was a monk Ovin or Owine who is credited with bringing Christianity to Haddenham. Ovin administered Etheldreda's dowry after the death of her husband, coming to the Isle from Northumbria in 673 and helping her to found the monastery in Ely, the beginning of Ely Cathedral.
In 1770 James Bentham, an Ely Cathedral canon discovered the base of a Saxon cross in Haddenham inscribed in Latin 'O God grant Thy light and rest to Ovin, Amen'. The stone was probably a monument to Ovin after his death in 680 and now stands at the Prior's Door at Ely Cathedral.

Evidence of settlement at Haddenham dates back 6,000 years to neolithic times through the barrow found at Foulmere Fen. Another barrow excavated in 1983 revealed a Roman-Celtic shrine, destroyed in Saxon raids in the third century. Further Saxon evidence was revealed by an ancient 26 feet long canoe hollowed from one tree and dug up in the fen gault in 1841 and much more recently the Saxon grave found in the footings of the Three Kings car park.
The Church dates from the 13th century and once supported a lofty steeple with five great bells which could be seen for miles around. During one refurbishment (the steeple having been removed earlier for safety reasons), the collecting treasurer is reputed to have fled to the United States with the money ---- and so Haddenham church remains 'spire less'.

Thomas Arundel, once Archbishop of Canterbury 1396-1414, is one of Haddenham's most famous churchyard inhabitants ---- he had previously been Bishop of Ely.
The Methodists have been active in Haddenham since about 1800 and the Baptists since 1814.
A school was established in Haddenham as early as 1688 under a bequest from Robert Arkenstall (d1640), whilst up to 28 public houses have been identified ---- no doubt helping the consumption of eels ---- Linden, a small part of Haddenham on the Aldreth spur, having to pay 3,333 eels to the Bishop of Ely every year!

Historic Places

Holy Trinity Church

When the monastery was founded in Ely in 673, Haddenham – meaning 'Haeda's homestead' – was part Queen Etheldreda's marriage endowment. A church has stood on the hill at Haddenham since 673 when Ovin (Etheldreda's minister and steward) had close connections with the village.

In 1743 a stone bearing the Latin inscription: Grant O God to Ovin Thy light and rest. Amen. was found being used as a horse mount outside a public house near the Church. The stone, known as Ovin's Cross, was taken to Ely Cathedral but a replica can be seen in Haddenham church.

It was recorded in 1552 that the Church was well equipped. It had two silver chalices, a silver chrismatory, five great bells in the steeple and a pair of organs – at a time when there were only 14 organs in the whole diocese of Ely. The font is of particular interest in that it contains the remains of an earlier font of simple design.

The Church took its present impressive form in the late 19th century when it was extensively restored. A smaller, modern vicarage was built in the early 1980s, and the large Victorian vicarage in Church Lane was sold as a private house.


The Great Mill

The Great Mill on the Aldreth Road is a brick tower mill built in 1803. The last miller, the late John Lawrence, shut it up and abandoned it in the early 1950s; later the sails and cap had to be removed when they became unsafe. It stood derelict until the Law family bought the property in 1992 and began to restore the Mill. Much of the machinery remains intact; a new cap with fantail was built and raised in 1994, and new sail frames added in 1995. The Great Mill may yet grind again thanks to a grant from the National Lottery in 1996. It is open to the public four times a year.


Porch House

Described in Pevsner's guide to Cambridgeshire as the best house in the village, Porch House stands about a mile west of Haddenham centre on the road leading across the fens to Earith and St Ives. Its most pronounced architectural feature is the porch, which bears the date 1657. However, internal evidence drawn from the style of brick-work and timbering suggests that the body of the house is older than this, and that 1657 was the date when the porch was added to the already existing house.

It is a typical Elizabethan long house, built probably around the end of the 16th Century, using the soft red brick then produced in the Haddenham brickyards. The two main rooms stand on either side of the central chimneystack, which is the commanding feature both of the interior of the house and of its exterior roofline. There appears to have been little alteration to the structure over the next three centuries. When its owner died in 1964 the house was in poor condition and might have been pulled down, had not an enterprising buyer carried out an extensive programme of restoration and improvement. Porch House is now a family home which combines modern comforts with the attractions of an historic building.


Guppy's Pond

Guppy's Pond – or lake, as it really is, being some 4.5 acres in area – was originally a clay pit, excavated by the London Brick Company through much of the Nineteenth Century, and the early years of the Twentieth. Hinton Hedges Lane, a private road which forms the northern boundary, was originally called Brick Kiln Lane, and it is so called in the Haddenham Award of 1843. The brick kilns stood to the north of this lane, though other kilns and buildings also stood at various places west of the lake.

The huge chain which drew the buckets of clay out of the pit is said to be wrapped around the foundations of No 56 Station Road, one of the two houses which were joined to form 'The Pond'. The other house, No 58 Station Road, was for many years on a separate small property on which stood the Haddenham Gas Works. The remains of the gas holder still stand in a field near the sewage works.

The earliest event in the history of Guppy's Pond of which we are aware took place some 50 million years ago when an ichthyosaurus – a small dinosaur – died there. Its bones were once abundant, but were dispersed by children. The lake was further excavated to encourage native British animals, birds and wild flowers, and is now in the care of the Parish Council, administered by Guppy's Pond Committee . Occasional open days enable visitors to enjoy the rich variety of flora and fauna of the Pond and its banks.


The Farmland Museum

The Farmland Museum began as a child's collection of 'bits and pieces' during the summer of 1969. It grew and grew until 1991 when, unable to find sponsorship, the Delanoy family reluctantly had to close it. The bulk of the collection remained intact, however. Artefacts with Haddenham connections remain in the village as the Haddenham Bygones Collection, housed in a Portakabin in the grounds of the Robert Arkenstall Primary School. The rest of the collection is being reinstated at Denny Abbey Farm, just off the A10 Ely–Cambridge road, reopening as the Farmland Museum, Cambridgeshire in 1997.
Location: on the green by the War Memorial

Plaque: no

Construction Material: carved painted wood on brick plinth

Artist: not stated

Web Address: [Web Link]

Sign Date: Not listed

Occasion Commemorated: Not listed

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