[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"WISTOW, a parish in the hundred of Hurstingstone, county Hunts, 6 miles north-west of St. Ives, 3 south-west of Ramsey, and 7 north-east of Huntingdon. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely, value £355. The church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. There is a National school. The charities produce about £6 per annum."
A surname index of the 1881 Census of the St. Ives Registration District, in which Wistow was enumerated (RG11/1605, Folios 31a - 39b), and which took place on 3rd April 1881, is available as fiche set C4 from the Huntingdonshire FHS.
A full transcription of the 1891 Census of the Warboys sub-District of the St. Ives Registration District (RG12/1238) in which Wistow was enumerated, and which took place on 5th April 1891, has also been produced by the Huntingdonshire FHS (as Fiche C-10). This is available from the Huntingdonshire FHS.
The church of St John the Baptist is built of rubble with dressings of Barnack Stone; the roofs are covered with lead and slates. It consists of a chancel, nave, north aisle, south aisle and west tower.
A church existed here in 1086 when it is mentioned in the Domesday survey, but nothing now remains of the 11th century building. Probably it fell into ruins and was largely rebuilt during the Abbacy of Robert Triaynel, (Abbot of Ramsey 1180-1200), when the yearly tithes from a virgate of land were assigned to the parishioners for its repair. Some fragments built into the walls, particularly a small capital of perhaps a little later date, may have belonged to this church.
The whole church, however, was again rebuilt in the first half of the 14th century. The chancel was the earliest part to be completed and was consecrated in 1347, and the rest of the church was dedicated in 1351 when rights of burial were granted, and the churchyard dedicated giving an increased importance to the church. At this date, the building consisted of a chancel, south aisle and probably a north aisle. About 1500, the church - with the exception of the south wall of the south aisle - was for a third time rebuilt. The south arcade was built somewhat more to the north than the earlier arcade had been, possibly to give a wider chapel at the east end of the aisle. The tower was added at about 1560, and the south porch at a later date.
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 Bookstall.
The parish of Wistow was originally in the St. Ives Registration District from 1st July 1837. It then became part of the Warboys sub-District. From 1st April 1997 it again is directly part of the Huntingdon Registration District.