by Colin Hinson ©2013
"FEN DITTON, (or Ditchton Fen), a parish in the hundred of Flendish, in the county of Cambridge, 2 miles north-east of Cambridge, its post town. It is situated on the river Cam, and the railway to Ely passes through the parish. This was formerly a market town, by virtue of a charter granted to the bishops of Ely in 1270. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely, value £404, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. The tithes were commuted under an Enclosure Act in 1803. The parochial charities produce about £6 per annum. An almshouse for six widows was built in 1665 by one of the Willeys family.
- The Monumental Inscriptions in the graveyard of St. Mary for the years 1713-1980 are recorded in the Cambridge Records Office and are available, on microfiche, from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search)
- The Census Records from 1841-1891 can be found in the Cambridgeshire Archives. In addition the 1851 Census for Fen Ditton is available in full transcript form, on microfiche, from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search)
- "The church of St. Mary, which stands near a bend of the river and on its south bank, is an edifice of Barnack Ashlar in the Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of four hays, aisles, south porch and a western tower containing 5 bells: the chancel is a beautiful example of rather late Decorated work, but the nave, arcades and the clerestory are Perpendicular: the font, which bears shields of arms, is of the same date: the Early English tower, a curious structure supported on four arches, was taken down to the foundations in 1881 and carefully rebuilt under the direction of J. L. Pearson esq. R.A. the north aisle and chancel being restored at the same time, and the east window filled with stained glass, as a memorial to Professor Haviland by his sons: in 1888 further restoration was effected, and the total cost of both amounted to £4,060 : in the chancel is a mural monument with arms, to Richard Willys, of the Inner Temple, ob. 1625; a slab, with arms, to Jane, wife of John Cornwall S.T.P. ob. 1712; and another, also with arms, to Humfrey Gardner esq. oh. 1691. This church was visited in 1543 by Dowsing, the iconoclast, who "beat down two crucifixes, and ye 12 apostles, and many other superstitious pictures": in 1889 the south aisle, porch, clerestory wall and windows were thoroughly restored, and during the progress of the work two niches, quaintly painted, were discovered at the east end of the aisle, and also a piscine in a fair state of preservation there are 300 sittings. The register dates from the year 1538, and contains numerous references to the Willys or Willis family. The living is a rectory, net yearly value about £530, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Ely, and held since 1915 by the Rev. George Richards Christie M.A. of London University, and A.K.C. Near the church is a memorial of Portland stone, bearing the names of the men of the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18. A Church Hall was opened in 1914. The Primitive Methodist chapel, erected in 1850, will hold 100 persons. In this parish, and 2¼ miles from Cambridge, is the Cambridge Borough Cemetery, opened June 6th, 1903; the area is 25 acres: there is one mortuary chapel and a house for the superintendent."
[Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]
- Church of England
- Fen Ditton, St. Mary: The registers are at the church but indexed transcripts for baptisms, marriages and burials 1538-1902 reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives plus photocopies of baptisms 1800-38, marriages 1903-46, burials 1903-68 and banns 1904-34. The parish register transcripts, 1538-1902, are available on microfiche from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search) The Bishop's Transcripts for the years 1599-1651, 1661-1715 and 1725-1857 can be found in the Cambridge University Library.
- Primitive Methodist Church: Records exist for the Cambridge Primitive Seond Circuit of which Fen Ditton is part.
- "In this parish are the remains of Biggin Farm house, formerly a residence of the Bishops of Ely, and here also is "one of the three celebrated ditches or dykes thrown up by the East Angles to protect themselves from the incursions of their enemies, the Mercians ": the market granted to the Bishops of Ely for this place in 1270 has long since become obsolete."
[Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]
- A transcript of the FenDitton parish entries from Stepehen Whatley's 1750 Topographical Gazetteer of England,
- A transcript of the FenDitton parish entries from Samuel Lewis's 1835 Topographical Dictionary of England,
- A transcript of the FenDitton parish entries from 1929 Kellys Directory of Cambridgeshire
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Fen Ditton to another place.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TL481602 (Lat/Lon: 52.220105, 0.166597), Fen Ditton which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Old Maps Online (Other old maps.)
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
- The Fen Ditton War Memorial has been transcribed and researched.