[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"YAXLEY, a parish in the hundred of Norman-Cross, county Hunts, 4 miles south of Peterborough, 1½ from Huntingdon, and 1½ mile north-east of Stilton. It is situated on the Great North Road, near the line of the ancient Ermine Street and Whittlesea Mere, one of the most extensive sheets of water in the kingdom, but now drained. In Domesday survey it is mentioned as Takesley, and bad formerly a market. The town occupies the eastern slope of a ridge of hills, and in 1861 had a population of 1,411. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Ely, value £177. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is, from its situation on an eminence at the western extremity of the village, conspicuous for many miles round. The Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Independents have chapels. There are endowed and National schools. The charities produce about £80 per annum. Abbot Yakesley of Thorney and Dr. O. Gregory were natives. A fair is held on Holy Thursday."
An index of surnames in the 1851 Census of the Peterborough Registration District (HO107/1747) in which Yaxley (Folios 123B-138B), Yaxley Fen (Folios 139-147) and Yaxley North (Folios 151-167B) were enumerated, and which took place on 30th March 1851, has also been produced by the Peterborough & District FHS.
The Index is available in either microfiche or A5 booklet form from Mr G Harbron, 7 Newby Close, Peterborough PE3 6PU, England.
The church of St. Peter consists of a chancel, north chapel, south chapel, nave, north transept, south transept, north aisle, south aisle, west tower and south porch. the walls of the porch, the east wall of the chancel and parts of the tower are faced with ashlar, and those of the rest of the church are of coursed rubble. The roofs are covered with lead.
The church is mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086. It seems probable that an early church, possibly with a central tower, was enlarged by the addition of large transepts in the middle of the 13th century, and that in the last decade of that century, the remainder of the church was rebuilt and further enlarged. Of this period are parts of the walls of the chancel and the two side chapels, and those of the two aisles. Apparently, when this enlargement was made, the old arches between the transepts and the aisles were not altered, but the widened aisles opened to the transepts by means of narrow arches (which still remain) on the outside of the older ones which were destroyed in the 15th century. About 40 years later, the east wall of the chancel was again rebuilt and a large window inserted in the end of the south transept. Towards the middle of the 15th century, the west tower and spire were built within the church, possibly to replace the central tower, for shortly afterwards the nave arches were rebuilt, together with the arches between the aisles and the transepts, and the clearstory was added. About the same time the porch was rebuilt.
The chancel, with its side chapels, was thoroughly restored in 1902-3, and the nave in 1904. The north transept and aisles were restored in 1908, and the south transept, aisle and west tower and spire in 1909-10.
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.
Yaxley was originally in the Peterborough Registration District of Northamptonshire from 1st July 1837. Subsequently it was transferred to the Stilton sub-District of Huntingdonshire. It was later transferred back to the Peterborough District.
From 1st April 1998, marriage records were transferred to the Huntingdon Registry Office, but the births and burial records were retained by Peterborough.