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Thorney, Cambridgeshire

Historical Description

Thorney, a small town and a parish in the Isle of Ely and Cambridgeshire. The town stands on a slight elevation, amid the quondam marshes of the Ken, with a station on the Midland and Great Northern joint railway, 7 miles ENE of Peterborough. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Peterborough. It was anciently called Ancarig and Thorn-ie-the latter signifying " the island of thorns; " rose round a monastery founded in 662; has been almost entirely rebuilt; and has a hotel; a church, a reading-room and library, and horse fairs on 1 July and 21 Sept. The ancient monastery was soon ruined by the Danes; was restored or rebuilt in 972, as a Benedictine abbey, by Bishop Ethelwold; had attached to it an hospital for the poor; gave its abbots a right to a seat in the upper house of parliament; and was given at the dissolution to the Russells. The abbey church was rebuilt in 1089, and became parochial in 1638; but the present church includes little more than the west end of the nave of the ancient one, has additions of 1840-41, and was thoroughly restored in 1888. The parish comprises 17,802 acres of land and 40 of water; population, 1863. The property belongs to the Duke of Bedford. The parish council consists of eleven members. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; gross value, £420 with residence. There is a Primitive Methodist chapel.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyCambridgeshire 
Ecclesiastical parishThorney-Abbey St. Botolph 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Thorney from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Cambridgeshire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Cambridgeshire papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Cambridgeshire 1575 and 1619 is available online.

CountyCity of Peterborough
Postal districtPE6
Post TownPeterborough