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Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire

Historical Description

Kimbolton, a small town and a parish in Huntingdonshire. The town stands on the river Kym, and on the Kettering and Cambridge branch of the M.R., under Kimbolton Hill, 8 miles NW of St Neots, was anciently known as Kinnibantum, and there is a station, on the railway, 2½ miles distant from the town. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under St Neots. The church, dedicated to St Andrew, is a building of stone, chiefly in the Early English style, consists of nave, aisles, chancel, two chantries, and S porch, with W tower and broach spire, and contains a double piscina, some monuments of the Montagus, and some old armour and banners. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; net value, £76. Patron, the Duke of Manchester. There are Baptist, Moravian, and Wesleyan chapels. The grammar school affords a liberal education, including some instruction in agricultural chemistry, and has an endowed income of £220. A weekly market was formerly held on Friday, and fairs are held on Easter Friday, Whitsun-Friday, the Friday after Old Michaelmas, and 11 Dec. There is also a statute fair for the hiring of servants on 21 Sept. or the Wednesday nearest to it. The town gives the title of Baron to the Duke of Manchester. The parish contains also the hamlets of Wom-ditch, Newtown, and Stonely, and comprises an area of 5140 acres; population, 993. The manor belonged to the Man-devilles, the Bohuns, and the Staffords; formed part of the marriage dowry of Queen Catherine of Arragon, was given by Henry VIII. after her death, to the Wingfields, passed to the Montagus, and belongs now to the Duke of Manchester. Kimbolton Castle is the Duke's seat, a mansion in which Queen Catherine died, was built by Sir Richard Wingfield, and much improved by Sir John Vanbrugh on the order of Charles, first Duke of Manchester; is a quadrangular edifice, with embattled parapet and central court, has a hexastyle portico at the main entrance, and stands in an extensive well-wooded park. The castle is of red brick, with an exterior casing of stone brought from the Augustinian priory of Stonely, and the room in which Queen Catherine died in the S front is still intact. It has a fine collection of both ancient and modern paintings, and a large library containing some very valuable manuscripts. The estate maintains also a famous herd of shorthorn cattle. The Augustinian priory was founded at Stonely about 1180, by one of the Mandevilles, and there are still some remains. There are almshouses for four poor women and a large number of small charities.

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 CountyHuntingdonshire 
Ecclesiastical parishKimbolton St. Andrew 
Poor Law unionSt. Neots 

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


The Cemetery, to the north of the town, opened in the year 1858, is surrounded by a substantial brick wall, and contains two acres of ground, planted with evergreen shrubs: there is also a waiting room and a lodge residence for the porter.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1647.


Church of England

St. Andrew (parish church)

The church of St. Andrew is an edifice of stone, chiefly in the Early English style, consisting of chancel with north and south chapels, clerestoried nave of four bays, aisles, south porch, and a western tower surmounted by an octagonal broach spire relieved with three tiers of dormers on the cardinal faces and containing a clock and 5 bells, dated respectively 1571, 1634, 1666, 1702 and 1713 and all having inscriptions: the oldest portion of the edifice are the Transition Norman piers of the arcades: the window tracery generally, the oak roofs, the screens which divide the chapels from the aisles and the exterior embattled parapets are Perpendicular: in the south chapel is a plain double piscina, and on that side of the chancel arch is the staircase of the roodloft; on the opposite side of the arch and facing the nave is an interesting canopied shrine: in the south porch and near the north door are mutilated holy water stoups: the corbels of both the exterior and the interior and the bosses on the roof of the south aisle exhibit numerous grotesque carvings: the north aisle bosses are said to have been destroyed by the Roundheads, and the south door bears the marks of Cromwellian bullets: on the walls of the chancel are suspended various pieces of funeral armour, and banners and escutcheons bearing the arms of the Montagu family, dukes and earls of Manchester: in the south chapel is a fine mural monument of black and white marble, beneath which is a tablet tomb with a large cushion or pillow; the tablet is inscribed to Sir Henry Montagu kt. 1st Earl of Manchester (1626), sometime M.P. for Northamptonshire, recorder of London (1602), king's serjeant-at-law (1611), chief justice of England (1616), and lord high treasurer (1620), when he was created Baron Montagu of Kimbolton and Viscount Mandeville; he was the author of a work entitled "Manchester Al Mondo," consisting of meditations on life and death, and died 7th November, 1642: on each side are other marble monuments to Anne, daughter of Robert (Rich), Earl of Warwick and second wife of Edward, 2nd Earl of Manchester, a distinguished commander in the Parliamentary army, dated 1641, and to Essex, daughter of Sir Thomas Cheeke kt. and third wife of the same earl, dated 1658: in the opposite chapel is an ancient mural tablet to George Montagu M.P. for Northampton (1744-47), and near it is a stained window with the arms and motto of the Montagu family, dated 1857; beneath this chapel is the family vault: the stained east window was placed in Sept. 1887, and the tracery restored by subscription: in the chancel, on the south side, is a mural monument of white marble, inscribed:- " In loving memory of Consuelo Duchess of Manchester" (St. Marceaux, 1912): in the south aisle is a memorial window, erected by the parishioners in 1868 to the Rev. Thomas Ainsworth, a former vicar, one to the late Dr. Hemming, and some windows containing fragments of ancient stained glass: in the south chapel is a stained window, erected in 1890, in memory of William Drogo, 7th Duke of Manchester K.P. d. 1800; another in the Montagu chapel, placed in Jan. 1902, by Consuela, Duchess of Manchester, to her twin daughters the Ladies Jaqueline Mary, d. 15 March, 1895, and Alice Eleanor Montagu: the church was restored in 1881-2, at a cost of more than £900, and was reopened 27th October, 1882, by the Bishop of Ely: in 1903 the spire was restored: there are 500 sittings.


Moravian chapel

The Moravian chapel here, built in 1823, will seat 250.

Union chapel

The Union (Baptist and Congregational) chapel was erected in 1854, at a cost of about £1,000; it is endowed with £30 yearly, and will seat 400.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Kimbolton from the following:

Land and Property

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

Postal districtPE28
Post TownHuntingdon