[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"HEMINGFORD ABBOTS, a parish in the hundred of Toseland, county Huntingdon, 2¾ miles west of St. Ives, its post town, and 3 east of Huntingdon. The village, which is inconsiderable, is situated on the south bank of the river Ouse. It was given by Bishop AEthelic to Ramsey Abbey, and at the Dissolution came to the Pages and Barnards. The land is chiefly arable. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment under an Act of Enclosure in 1801. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, value £424. The church, an ancient edifice, is dedicated to St. Margaret, and contains tombs of the Dickenses. The parochial charities produce about £18 per annum.
The full 1841 Census of Hemingford Abbots Parish is available as fiche set C98.
The full 1851 Census of Hemingford Abbots Parish is available as fiche set C48.
A surname index of the 1881 Census of the St. Ives Registration District, in which Hemingford Abbots was enumerated (RG11/1609, Folios 57a - 65a), and which took place on 3rd April 1881, is available, as fiche set C4.
A full transcription of the 1891 Census of the St. Ives Registration District (RG12/1234) in which Hemingford Abbots parish was enumerated, and which took place on 5th April 1891, is available as fiche set C12. The above mentioned fiche are available from the Huntingdonshire FHS.
The parish church originally called St Margaret Church of the Virgin, is now dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch. It consists of a chancel with vestry and organ chamber on the north, nave, north aisle, south aisle, west tower and south porch. The walls are of rubble with stone dressings, with the exception of the chancel and vestry, etc. which are of brick. The roofs are covered with lead and slates.
The church is mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086, but nothing of this date remains. It is probable that in the 12th century the church had a central tower, of which small parts of the wall may remain. A complete reconstruction took place at the end of the 13th century, the aisles being the first to be rebuilt, followed by the arcades, including arches, in the north and south walls of the central tower (which was apparently then pulled down and its west wall removed), and a low clearstory. Late in the 14th century the west tower was built, partly within the church and absorbing part of the western bay of the nave.
Around 1500, the clearstory was raised and reconstructed. The chancel was rebuilt in the 18th century. The south aisle was restored in 1872, the porch in 1873, and a general restoration took place in 1875-6 and again in 1887. The spire was partly rebuilt in 1911, the nave roof was restored in 1915 and the roofs of the aisles in 1928-30.
The Huntingdonshire Marriage Indexes include marriages from this parish. These are, at present, issued in alphabetical listings in series: 1601-1700, and 1701-1754 and are available from the Huntingdonshire FHS.
Hemingford Abbots was originally in the Registration District of St Ives, which later became a sub-district of Huntingdon. From 1 April 1997, the parish is now in the Registration District of Huntingdon.
The Hemingfords Local History Society was founded in 1994 to enable people to meet others who share an interest in local history of Hemingford Abbots and Hemingford Grey. The Society aims to increase knowledge of earlier times in the Hemingfords and the surrounding locality by research and the exchange of information. Activities include a programme of talks and visits.
The Society meets on the third Thursday of every month from September to May at the Pavilion, Hemingford Grey. For more information please see their website.