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

"HORNINGSEA, (or Hornsea), a parish in the hundred of Flendish, county Cambridge, 3; mile north-east of Cambridge, its post town. The village, which is small, is situated on the east bank of the river Cam. In former, times it belonged to the see of Ely. Here are the ruins of a priory called Biggin Abbey, which was destroyed by the Danes in 870, and afterwards given to the Hospital of St. John. The inhabitants are principally employed in agriculture. On the enclosure of the parish in 1802, an allotment of land was given instead of tithes. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ely, in the patronage of St. John's College, Cambridge. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is an ancient structure with a tower containing four bells. The register dates from 1628. The parochial charities produce about £4 per annum. There is a National school for both sexes, supported by voluntary contributions.

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



  • St. Peter's Church, Horningsea.


Church History

  • "The church of St. Peter is a building of stone in the Transition Norman and later styles, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and a western tower containing 5 bells: the chancel dates from about 1220; the north arcade of the nave is Decorated, and the south Transition Norman; some of the windows are of the late Decorated period, and have beautiful tracery: the east end of the south aisle, anciently a chantry, retains a large niche: a brass tablet was erected in 1919, inscribed with the names of the men of this parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-1918: the south porch has grotesque sculptures at the eaves: the church was thoroughly restored in 1865 at a cost of over £1,000, the chancel at the expense of St. John's College, and the nave by subscriptions from parishioners and friends: in 1890 the tower and other portions of the fabric were repaired at a cost of £400: further extensive repairs were carried out during 1923-5: there are 250 sittings. The register dates from the year 1628." [Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]

Church Records

  • Church of England
    • Horningsea, St. Peter: Records of baptisms 1628-1878, marriages 1628-1979, burials 1628-1941 and banns 1778-1940 reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives. Index transcripts of baptisms 1628-1878, marriages 1628-46, 1660-1878 and burials 1628-56, 1661-1878 also reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives. The Bishop's Transcripts for the years 1599-1840 can be found in the Cambridge University Library.The parish register transcripts, for the years 1628-1878, are also available on microfiche from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search)


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Military History


Names, Geographical

  • "CLAYHITHE is a hamlet in this parish, bounded on the east by the river Cam. A toll bridge, erected by the Clayhithe Bridge Co. crosses the river Cam at Clayhithe and connects the parishes of Horningsea and Waterbeach." [Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 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 1757-63, 1789-1837, 1880-92 and 1903-48.