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[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013

"HADDENHAM, a parish in the hundred of South Witchford, Isle of Ely, county Cambridge, 7 miles south-west of Ely, its post town, and 15 from Cambridge. It is situated in a remote part of the Fens, and contains the hamlets of Aldreth, or Alderwith, and Hill Rows. The inhabitants are principally employed in agriculture. The soil is clayey and gravelly, and the land chiefly arable. The parish has an area of upwards of 9,500 acres. The hamlet of Aldreth, anciently called Audrey, is supposed to derive its name from Queen Etheldreda, to whom it was given as a dowry on her marriage, as also the ancient road across the Fen, called Aldreth Causeway, which was originally constructed by the Romans, but repaired by William the Conqueror, who lost nearly half his army here by the burning of his pontoons whilst endeavouring to drive out Hereward, the Saxon patriot, from his fastnesses in the Isle of Ely. At a spot still called the Hermitage was a cell to the priory at Ely. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ely, value £235, in the patronage of the Archdeacon of Ely. The church is an ancient cruciform stone structure, standing on a hill, and has a lofty tower. There are chapels for Wesleyans and Baptists, and two free schools. Roman and early British coins are frequently found here, and some ancient weapons have been dug up. The Earl of Hardwicke is lord of the manor, and impropriator of the great tithes."

"ALDRETH, (or Alderwith), a hamlet in the parish of Haddenham, in the hundred of South Witchford, Isle of Ely, in the county of Cambridge, 1 mile from Haddenham and 7 south-west of Ely, situated in the remote part of the fen land, which is well cultivated, and yields crops of wheat, barley, oats, and turnips.

[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]


  • The Monumental Inscriptions for the churchyard of Holy Trinity are recorded for the years 1677-1894. The Baptist churchyard is also recorded for the years 1840-95. Both sets of records can be found in the Cambridgeshire Archives.





Church History

  • The church of Holy Trinity, originally founded by St. Ovin in 673 A.D. is a building of stone consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, transepts, north and south porches and an Early English tower 72 feet high, rebuilt in 1876 at a cost of £1,900 and containing a clock (placed in 1878) and 6 bells, rehung to the memory of Charles Phillip Yorke, 4th Earl of Hardwicke, who died Sept. 17, 1873: the font in use, a 14th century work, is curiously carved, but in the south perch stands an earlier and perfectly plain font, which was dug up in the churchyard, and is presumed to have belonged to the former church: the chancel was restored in 1878, at a cost of about £800, and in 1910, at a cost of about £200: the nave and aisles were also restored in 1878, at a coat, including the erection of a high-pitched roof, of over £4,000; the transepts were rebuilt at a cost of £800 as a memorial to Archdeacon France, of Ely, sometime president of St. John's College, Cambridge: the total cost of the restorations amounted to £5,450: in 1897 the churchyard was enlarged and new gates erected in commemoration of the sixtieth year of the reign of H.M. the late Queen Victoria: the interior was reseated some time previous to 1897, and now affords 700 sittings. The register dates from the year 1570, and is in a perfect state of preservation.
  • The Baptist chapel, erected in 1905, at a cost of over £2,000, has sittings for 300 persons; the old chapel is now used as a Sunday school; a new chapel was erected at ALDRETH in 1909, at a cost of about £700: there is also a Wesleyan Methodist chapel, restored in 1891 at a cost of £550.
    [Kelly's Directory - 1929]

Church Records

  • Church of England
    • Haddenham, Holy Trinity: Records of baptisms 1570-1985, marriages 1570-2003, burials 1570-2001 and banns for 1754-1800, 1823-1994 reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives, indexed transcripts exist for baptisms 1570-1851, marriages 1570-1851, and burials 1570-1851.The Bishop's Transcripts for the years 1599-1641, 1667-76, and 1700-1837 can be found in the Cambridge University Library. The parish record transcripts for Holy Trinity 1570-1851 are available on microfiche from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search)
  • Methodist
    • Wesleyan Methodist Church: Records exist at the Cambridgeshire Archives for baptisms 1838-1916, which include Ely, Littleport, Soham, Stretham (baptisms 1871-1900 are on microfilm) and Sutton, and for the Ely Wesleyan Circuit of which Haddenham is part.
  • Quakers
    • Records exist for the Isle Monthly Meeting, founded in 1667, of which Haddenham was part, these records contain births 1661-1763, 1779, marriages 1672-1771, burials 1668-1790 and can be found in the Cambridgeshire Archives. The Isle Monthly Meeting was subsequently merged with Cambridge Monthly Meeting in 1756.

Description and Travel

  • The Church hall, erected in 1907, is used as a Sunday school and is also licensed for entertainments: it will seat about 400 persons. A burial ground of one acre, in Church Lane, was purchased in 1862 and is under the control of the vicar and churchwardens. On Dec. 21st every year it has long been customary for poor widows in the parish to call at the various houses, collecting donations for themselves for Christmastide: this day is here called "Gooding Day," and in 1895 38 widows went round. The parish of Haddenham was originally part of the patrimony of Queen Etheldreda, foundress of Ely Cathedral A.D. 673: in this district the Saxons, under Hereward, kept William the Conqueror at bay for over three years, until they were finally subdued at Aldreth, as described by the late Canon Kingsley in "Hereward the Wake."
    [Kelly's Directory - 1912]



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Military History


Names, Geographical

  • "The area is 8,925 acres of land and inland water and a tidal water; the population in 1921 was 1,655, including Aldreth South, or Alderwith South, about 1½ miles south-west, and Hill Row West, 1 mile west, hamlets belonging to Haddenham."
    [Kelly's Directory - 1929]


  • Land Tax: records were compiled afresh each year and contain the names of owners and occupiers in each parish, but usually there is no address or place name. These records reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives for the years 1750-1948.