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

"ISLEHAM, a parish in the hundred of Staploe, county Cambridge, 4 miles west of Mildenhall, and 8 north of Newmarket railway station. The village, which is considerable, is situate near the ferry which crosses the river Lark. There formerly existed here a cell to the alien priory of St. Jacutus, in Brittany. This place is famous for its excellent limestone, large quantities of which are sent to various parts of the country. The road from Ely to Mildenhall passes within 2 miles of the village. In the fens have been found deers' horns in juxtaposition with human bones, and those of the extinct British beaver. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Ely, value £450, in the patronage of the Bishop of Peterborough. The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, is an ancient building, with a square embattled tower containing a clock and seven bells. In the interior are an old font and brasses of J. Bernard and Sir T. Peyton, bearing dates 1451 and 1484 respectively. The register dates from 1556. Near the church are the remains of the old Norman church belonging to the priory, which is now used as a barn. The parochial charities produce £209 per annum, £136 of which is the endowment of the twelve' almshouses founded by Sir T. Peyton. There are chapels belonging to the Methodists, Baptists, and Calvinists; also a National school. Isleham Hall is the principal residence."

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


  • Records of the Monumental Inscriptions from the churchyard of Isleham, St Andrew exist in the Cambridgeshire Archives for the years 1451-1938, the transcriptions of these are available on microfiche from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search).





Church History

  • "The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £13 3s 1 1/2d ; net income £450; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of Rochester: there are about three acres of glebe, and a glebe-house. The church, a handsome edifice, belonged to a priory dedicated to St. Margaret, founded here as a cell to the abbey of St. Jagitto, in Brittany, and granted by Henry VI to Pembroke College, Cambridge; the revenue was valued at £10 3s 4d. The building was new roofed in the reign of Henry VII; it contains many fine monuments, of which some are of the fourteenth century. There are places of worship for General and Particular Baptists." [Extracted from Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 7th edition 1848 (4 volumes)].

Church Records

  • Church of England
    • Isleham, St Andrew: Records of baptisms 1566-1992, marriages 1566-1987, burials 1566-1992, banns for 1754-93, 1813-1862 and 1884-1986 reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives alongside the Bishop's Transcripts 1675-80, 1702-1812. The Bishop's Transcripts 1782-83 can be found in the Suffolk Record Office. Indexes to transcripts exist for 1566-1851.
  • Independent Church
    • Independent Church: Indexed transcripts exist in the Cambridgeshire Archives for baptisms 1695-1805, marriages 1695-96 and burials 17457-1805.
  • Baptist Church
    • Baptist Church: A copy of births exists in the Cambridgeshire Archives, on microfilm, for 1821-37.
  • Methodist Church
    • Methodist Church: A copy of baptisms 1962-76 and marriages 1955-75 exists in the Cambridgeshire Archives. Records also exist for the Ely Primitive Circuit of which Isleham is part.




  • "An hospital for five widowers and five widows was founded by the lady of Sir Robert Peyton, who died in 1518; the annual income amounts to £135 16s. The remains of a very old church here are now used as a barn." [Extracted from Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 7th edition 1848 (4 volumes)].


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TL642743 (Lat/Lon: 52.342197, 0.40893), Isleham which are provided by:


Military History


Probate Records

  • Three courts cover Isleham as follows:
    • Peculiar Court of Isleham and Freckenham: Jurisidiction in Isleham and Freckenham, Suffolk. Peculiar of the Bishop of Rochester.
      • Records at Suffolk Record Office covering wills, 14556-81, 1613-1636, 1647-1857, administrations, 1613-36, 1662-1851, inventories, 1661-1850. Indexed to 1700 with the records f yje Archdeaconry Court of Sudbury in the Index Library of the British Record Society, volumes 95 and 96.
      • Some wills were proved in the Consistory Court of Norwich, and in some in the Consistory Court of Rochester, whose records are held at the Centre for Kentish Studies. After 1649 some wills and administrations are to be found in the records of the Archdeaconry Court of Huntingdon.
    • Consistory Court of Norwich: Records are held at the Norfolk Record Office. Wills 1370-1857, administrations, 1370-1499, 1549-1640, 1666-1857, inventories, 1584-1846. There is an index to wills covering 1370-1857 published by the Norfolk Record Society, volumes 16, 21, 34, 38 and 47.
    • Commisary Court of the Bishop of Lincoln and of the Archdeacon in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon: Although this court mainly covers Huntingdonshire areas some wills and adminstrations of the Cambridgeshire peculiars of Isleham and Thorney are found among its records
      • Records are held at the Huntingdon County Record Office. These cover wills, 1479-1858, administrations, 1560-1614, 1662-1857, inventories, 1508-1831. An index of wills in the Bishop's registers, 1320-1547 and in probate records, 1506-1652, 1660-1700 have been published and can be found in the Index Library of the British Records Society, volumes 28, 41 & 101, miscellaneous wills, 1549-1730 can be found in volume 57 and administrations, 1540-1659, in volume 52.


  • 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 1759-63, 1789-1846 and 1865-1948.