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Babraham, Cambridgeshire

Historical Description

Babraham, anciently Badburham, or Bradburnham, a village and a parish in Cambridgeshire. The village stands on an affluent of the river Cam, near the Gogmagog Hills, 2½ miles ENE of Whittlesford station on the G.E.R., and 6½ SE of Cambridge. It has a post office under Cambridge; money order and telegraph office, Sawston. It was formerly a market-town. The parish comprises 2387 acres; population, 280. The manor belonged to Algar, Earl of Mercia; passed, about the year 1576, into the possession of Sir Horatio Palavicini, a Genoese; and now belongs to the Adeane fani ily. Sir H. Palavicini collected the Pope's taxes in England during the reign of Mary; converted them to his own use, and became Protestant, on the accession of Elizabeth; became a favourite of that queen, one of her negotiators in Germany, and a commander of one of her ships against the Spanish Armada; and died at his seat in Babraham; and his widow was married to Sir Oliver Cromwell, the uncle of the Protector. A curious epitaph on him is given in " Lord Orford's Anecdotes of Painting." The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; net value, -£126 with residence. An almshouse and a free school, with income of £134, were founded in 1723 by Lebinus Bush and Judith Bennet, and a monument to the latter is in the church. Babraham Hall is a fine red brick mansion, standing in a park of about 200 acres.

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 parishBabraham St. Peter 
Poor Law unionLinton 

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

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1561.


Church of England

St. Peter (parish church)

The church of St. Peter, situated in the park, about 100 yards west of the Hall, is a building of rubble, chiefly in the Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, large north and south porches and an embattled western tower containing 2 bells: the chancel retains a piscina and sedilia, and has some Early English windows: and on the south side of the chancel arch is a trefoiled niche: the tower is a very early structure, perhaps pre-Norman, and has a rude arch: in the south aisle is a marble monument, with two figures, to Richard Bennet esq. ob. 1658, and Sir Thomas Bennet bart. ob. 1667, who were formerly owners of the parish: there are also several memorials to the Adeane family, bearing date 1802, 1847, 1870 and 1853: the church affords 250 sittings.

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 Babraham from the following:

Land and Property

Babraham Hall is a red-brick mansion with stone facings in the Elizabethan style, pleasantly situated in the centre of the park of about 200 acres, and surrounded by gardens and pleasure grounds which have been laid out with great taste: it was rebuilt by Henry John Adeane esq. in the year 1832.

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


Online maps of Babraham are available from a number of sites:

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.

DistrictSouth Cambridgeshire
Postal districtCB22
Post TownCambridge