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St Neots, Huntingdonshire

Historical Description

Neots, St, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union and county court district, in Huntingdonshire. The town stands on the river Onse, at the boundary with Beds, 1 mile E from the Great North Road, and has a station on the main line of the G.N.R., 8½ miles SW from Huntingdon, and 51 from London. It takes its name from the same recluse who gave name to St Neot in Cornwall; includes on the S the suburb of Eynesbury, where there was a Benedictine monastery; was the scene in 1648. at a bridge on the Ouse, of the capture of the Earl of Holland, who was one of the partisans of Charles L; consists chiefly of two wide well-built streets, with handsome rectangular market-place. It is governed hy a district council under the Local Government Act, 1894, consisting of thirteen members; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts; and has a head post office, three banks, some good hotels, a police station, a corn exchange, a church, Baptist, Congregational, and Wesleyan Methodist chapels, an endowed school founded in 1760, and two other elementary schools; and publishes a weekly newspaper. The Public Rooms, on the east side of the river Ouse, are capable of seating about 500 persons. The Victoria Museum, which was opened in 1887, stands in the High Street, and is chiefly devoted to natural history. There are a library and literary institute founded in 1863, and a working men's club established in 1881. There is a common of about 145 acres. A cemetery of 3 acres was formed in 1879. Eynesbury suburb, which is noticed separately, is separated from the town by a streamlet called the Hen Brook, and occupies the site of a Roman station. The Benedictine monastery there was founded in 974 by Earl Alric and his wife Ethelfleda; became associated with St Neot by the furtive conveyance to it of his relics from Cornwall; was made a cell to Bee Abbey in Normandy in 1113 by Bohais de Clere; was given at the dissolution to the Cromwells, and has left some remains. The Police Station of St Neots is a neat building, and stands adjoined to an apartment in which the petty sessions are held. The Corn Exchange was built in 1863 at a cost of £4000, and is a fine edifice in the Tudor style. The business of the county court is transacted here. The church, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a building in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, N and S porches, and a beautiful pinnacled tower 128 feet high; and is large, elegant, and symmetrical. In the chancel there is a beautiful and elaborately carved monument to Mr George William Powley and Jane Catherine his wife. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; net value, £160 with residence. A weekly market is held on Thursday, and fairs on Ascension Day, on the day three weeks after Ascension Day, on the Thursday after 11 Oct., and on the Thursday preceding 17 Dec. A statute fair, the date of which is fixed annually, is held on a Thursday in the latter part of Sept. There are large engineering works, extensive paper mills on a common about a mile from the town, by the side of the river Ouse, and large breweries, steam flour-mills, and some maltings.

The parish contains also the hamlets of Monks Hardwick and Wintringham. Acreage, 3695; population, 2962. The manor of St Neots belongs to the Earl of Sandwich, and that of Monks Hardwick to the Bowley family, whose seat is Priory Park. The mansion stands on a gentle eminence in the midst of a park of 100 acres. Monks Hardwick House was the residence of the Cromwells, and stands within a large rectangular moated area. An ancient chapel, founded in 1288, formerly stood at Wintringham. Friar Hugh of St Neots, Bishop F. White, and lord mayors Drope and Gedney were natives.

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

Administration

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

Ancient CountyHuntingdonshire 
Ecclesiastical parishSt. Neot's St. Mary 
HundredToseland 
Poor Law unionSt. Neots 

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


Directories & Gazetteers

Transcript of the description for St Neot from Pigot & Co. Directory of Huntingdonshire, 1839

We have transcribed the entry for St Neots from the following:


Land and Property

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

DistrictHuntingdonshire
CountyCambridgeshire
RegionEastern
CountryEngland
Postal districtPE19
Post TownSt. Neots