March, a market-town, a parish, and the head of a petty sessional division and county court district in Cambridgeshire. The town stands on the banks of the navigable None, 9 miles S from Wisbech, 14 NWfrom Ely, 14½ E from Peterborough, and 86 from London by rail, at an important junction of the G.E.R. and G.N.R., on which it has a station. It is situated for the most part on the southern bank of the Nene, over which there is a handsome bridge of one arch, rebuilt in 1850; comprises a spacious market-place and several well-built streets; has during recent years undergone great improvements, and is a busy, thriving place. It is governed by an urban district council of sixteen members, and is supplied with water by the Wisbech Waterworks Co., the water being brought through mains from Wisbech, a distance of about 10 miles. The public buildings include a guildhall, temperance hall, corn exchange, police station, post office, and grammar school. The guildhall, which stands in the High Street, is a plain building of brick. The temperance hall has a coffee house and hotel attached, and was erected in 1885 at a cost of upwards of £1000. The corn exchange is used for a weekly market, which is held on Wednesday, for corn and seeds. A public hall at the end of Broad Street was erected in 1895. The police station stands at the back of the county court, High Street; and the post office, which was erected in 1887, stands in the High Street, close to the bridge over the Nene. The grammar school, founded in 1696 and endowed with lands in White's Fen, was rebuilt in 1876, and has accommodation for eighty boys. The land of the parish is flat and naturally marshy, but has been greatly improved and is kept in good condition by steam drainage. It is divided into six districts, for the purpose of effecting the drainage, and it yields heavy crops of good wheat, oats, and potatoes. The industries of the town and neighbourhood include numerous mills, driven by steam and wind, for grinding corn, engineering works, manure works, and the manufacture of agricultural implements. There are two banks, a head post office, and three chief inns. Fairs are held on the first Monday before Whit-Sunday, and the third Tuesday in Oct. For ecclesiastical purposes the town is divided into the four ecclesiastical parishes of St Wendreda, St Mary, St John, and St Peter. The church of St Wendreda, which stands about a mile from the town on the London Road, was erected in 1343, and is a building in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, S porch, and an embattled western tower and spire. It is celebrated for its splendidly-carved oak roof of fine Perpendicular open work, which is one of the richest of its class in England. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; net value, £550 with residence. The church of St Mary, which stands at Westry, about 2 miles N of the town, is a modern building of stone in the Decorated style. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; net value, £963 with residence. The church of St John, which stands on the Station Road, is a modern building of stone in the Early English and Decorated styles. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; net value, £648 with residence. The church of St Peter is a fine building of stone, with a lofty tower and spire. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; net value, £530. A chapel of ease to St Mary was erected in 1891 at West Fen, and is a small building of stone in the Decorated style, and there are Congregational, Wesleyan, and Baptist chapels. There is a cemetery of about 3½ acres, on the Station Road, -with a mortuary chapel. Area of the parish, 19,669 acresof land and 108 of water; population of the civil parish, 6988; of the ecclesiastical parish of St Windreda, 972; of St Mary, 634; of St John, 3685; and of St Peter, 1697. Three urns and some Roman coins were found in 1730 at Eobin Goodfellow's Lane, near the town, and an altar, coins, and other relics were found at Elm.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Poor Law union||North Witchford|
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 March from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (March)
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Cambridgeshire is available to browse.
Online maps of March 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.