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WATERBEACH: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.

[Transcribed information from A Topographical Dictionary of England - Samuel Lewis - 1835]
(unless otherwise stated)

"WATERBEACH, a parish in the hundred of NORTHSTOW, county of CAMBRIDGE, 5 miles (N. E. by N.) from Cambridge, containing 814 inhabitants. The jiving is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Ely, rated in the king's books at £5. 15. 7., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Ely. The church is dedicated to St. John. A charity school was founded in the year 1687, and endowed with lands, by Grace Clarke and Dorothy Staines; the master's salary is upwards of £40 per annum, with a good house and garden, and the number of scholars is limited to eighteen. An almshouse for six poor widows was founded, in 1628, by a bequest from Mr. John Yaxley, alderman of Cambridge, and endowed with £ 12 per annum; to which a rent-charge of £ 15 was added by Mrs. Jane Brighamj in 1705. About the year 1160, a cell to the monastery of Ely was established in a small island, called Elmeneye, but was shortly after removed to Denney, both in this parish; in the following century it was occupied by the Knights Templars, who then possessed the manor of Waterbeach. In 1293, an abbey for minoresses of the order of St. Clare was ftnmded by Dionysia de Mountchensi, which, in 1338 (the order of the Templars being then abolished), was transferred to their house at Denney: at the dissolution there were twenty-five nuns, and the annual value of the lands was estimated at £ 172; the abbey house and the demesnes have been many years rented as a farm, andv>ithe refectory has been converted into a barn."

"DENNEY, a hamlet in the parish of WATERBEACH, hundred of NORTHSTOW, county of CAMBRIDGE, 7 miles (N.N.E.) from Cambridge. The population is returned with the parish. A cell to the Benedictine abbey of Ely, with a church dedicated to St. James and St. Leonard, was founded here in the twelfth century, and in the next was occupied by the Knights Templars: in the 15th of Edward III., Mary, Dowager Countess of Pembroke, converted it into an abbey for nuns minoresses, to the honour of the Blessed Virgin and St. Clare, to which the monastery at Waterbeach was united: at the dissolution, there were in Denney abbey twentyfive nuns, whose revenue was valued at £218. 0. 1."

[Description(s) transcribed by Mel Lockie ©2010]