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.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Thorney-Abbey St. Botolph|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
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:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Thorney-Abbey, (St. Botolph))
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Cambridgeshire is available to browse.
Online maps of Thorney are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Cambridgeshire papers online:
- Cambridge Independent Press
- Cambridge Chronicle and Journal
- Huntingdon, Bedford & Peterborough Gazette
The Visitations of Cambridgeshire 1575 and 1619 is available online.