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Yaxley (St. Peter)

YAXLEY (St. Peter), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Peterborough, hundred of Norman-Cross, county of Huntingdon, 1½ mile (N. E.) from Stilton; containing 1211 inhabitants. The parish comprises by measurement 4077 acres, chiefly arable; the soil is various, in some parts fenny land, and in others a retentive clay. The village is irregularly, but neatly, built, extending for a considerable distance along the road from Stilton to Farcet; and is amply supplied with water. At a short distance to the east is Whittlesea mere, one of the most extensive sheets of water in the kingdom, six miles in length, and three broad, and abounding with fish. The barracks of Norman-Cross, in the parish, were used during the late war, as a place of confinement for French prisoners, but are now partly dismantled. The neighbourhood is extremely productive of sedges and reeds, the preparation of which affords employment to a considerable number of the inhabitants. A fair for cattle is held on Holy-Thursday. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £11, and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £177; impropriator, the Earl of Carysfort. The church, situated on an eminence at the western extremity of the village, is a handsome structure, principally in the later English style, with some portions of earlier date; the tower is surmounted by a finely-proportioned crocketed spire, supported by flying buttresses, and conspicuous for many miles round. There is a place of worship for Independents. A workhouse and school were established under the wills of Frances and Jane Proby, who bequeathed certain property to the parishes of Yaxley, Elton, and Flitton: the share appropriated to Yaxley amounts to about £70 per annum, out of which a master, who has the free use of the school premises, receives the sum of £50 for instructing twenty boys.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.