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HADDENHAM

[Transcribed and edited information mainly from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]

"HADDENHAM, a parish in the hundred of South Witchford, Isle of Ely, county Cambridge, 7 miles south-west of Ely, its post town, and 15 from Cambridge. It is situated in a remote part of the Fens, and contains the hamlets of Aldreth, or Alderwith, and Hill Rows. The inhabitants are principally employed in agriculture. The soil is clayey and gravelly, and the land chiefly arable. The parish has an area of upwards of 9,500 acres. The hamlet of Aldreth, anciently called Audrey, is supposed to derive its name from Queen Etheldreda, to whom it was given as a dowry on her marriage, as also the ancient road across the Fen, called Aldreth Causeway, which was originally constructed by the Romans, but repaired by William the Conqueror, who lost nearly half his army here by the burning of his pontoons whilst endeavouring to drive out Hereward, the Saxon patriot, from his fastnesses in the Isle of Ely. At a spot still called the Hermitage was a cell to the priory at Ely. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ely, value £235, in the patronage of the Archdeacon of Ely. The church is an ancient cruciform stone structure, standing on a hill, and has a lofty tower. There are chapels for Wesleyans and Baptists, and two free schools. Roman and early British coins are frequently found here, and some ancient weapons have been dug up. The Earl of Hardwicke is lord of the manor, and impropriator of the great tithes."

"ALDRETH, (or Alderwith), a hamlet in the parish of Haddenham, in the hundred of South Witchford, Isle of Ely, in the county of Cambridge, 1 mile from Haddenham and 7 south-west of Ely, situated in the remote part of the fen land, which is well cultivated, and yields crops of wheat, barley, oats, and turnips.

[Transcribed mainly from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson 2010

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