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

"SAWSTON, a parish in the hundred of Whittlesford, county Cambridge, 6 miles north-west of Linton, and 1 mile from the Whittlesford station on the Cambridge section of the Great Eastern railway. The village, which is considerable, is situated on the river Grants and the London and Cambridge road. It was formerly a market town, and has still remains of the market cross. Some of the inhabitants are engaged in an extensive paper mill, and others in the manufacture of parchment. Queen Mary spent some time at the ancient manor house of the Huddleston family, which is situated in this parish. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment under an Enclosure Act in 1802. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely, value £170. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. The parochial charities produce about £169 per annum, of which £108 goes to Huntingdon's almshouses. There is a National school, also a place of worship for Independents."

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


  • "A cemetery, consisting of 1a. 11r. 8p. the gift of the late Ferdinand Huddleston esq. (d.1890), was formed in 1881, at a cost, including the laying out and inclosing of the grounds and the erection of a mortuary chapel, of about £400: it is under the control of the Parish Council." [Kelly's Directory Cambridgeshire 1900]
  • The Monumental Inscriptions within the church of St. Mary for the years 1423-1921 in the graveyard 1639-1982 are recorded in the Cambridge Records Office. These inscriptions are also available on microfiche from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search)





Church History

  • "The church of St. Mary is a structure of flint and rubble in the Norman, Early English and later styles, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, north porch and an embattled western tower containing a clock and 8 bells: the chancel retains a piscina, and below it is a trefoiled recess; on the north side are two large tombs in a debased Perpendicular style; the nave arcades are Norman and Early English, the roof Perpendicular, and the aisles have parcloses of this date: in the south aisle is a piscina, an aumbry and a bracket, and there is a hagioscope on each side of the chancel: within the church are several monuments to the Huntingdon and Huddleston families, dating from the 16th century, and a brass with effigy, vested, and holding a chalice, and inscribed to William Richardson, alias Byggins, rector of Rainham Mare, ob. 1527: there is another brass figure of a man in armour, wife and five daughters, believed to represent Robert Lockton esq. c. 1500, Joan (Alington), his wife, and their family; a brass effigy of a civilian (feet gone), c. 1420; and inscriptions on brass to Hera, daughter and heir of Thomas, 2nd baron Bradeston, and wife of Sir Walter de Ia Pole, ob. 1423; and to John Huntingdon esq. 1558, and Joyce, his wife, 1564, benefactors: the church was restored in 1870-1, and again during 1878-91, at a cost of £693, and affords 600 sittings. The register dates from the year 1640."
  • "The Congregational church in the High street, built and opened in 1879, is an edifice of red brick with Bath stone dressings: the old Congregational chapel is now used as a lecture room and for Sunday school purposes. There is also a Primitive Methodist chapel and Salvation Army barracks."
  • "Sawston Hall, the seat of Denys Alexander Shine Lawlor Huddleston esq. standing in the centre of the village, was rebuilt in the reign of Mary, and has a Roman Catholic chapel annexed, in which occasional services are held."
    [Kelly's Directory - 1929]

Church Records

  • Church of England
    • Sawston, St Mary's: Records of baptisms 1642-1966, marriages 1640-1998, burials 1645-1953 and banns 1754-1835, 1903-1985 reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives.The Bishop's Transcripts for the years 1599-1857 can be found in the Cambridge University Library. Index to registers for 1599-1940 and indexed transcripts of the BIshop's Transcripts baptisms and burials 1599-1641 reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives.
  • Methodist Church
  • Independent Church
    • Independent Church: Records exist for the baptisms 1813-37 on microfilm and indexed transcripts exist for baptisms 1812-37.
  • Congregational Church
    • Congregational Church: Records exist for the for baptisms 1868, 1871-88, marriages 1868, 1872 and burials 1868, 1872.

Description & Travel

  • Sawston Hall, the venerable seat of the ancient Roman Catholic family of Huddlestone, a nearly unaltered mansion of the 16th cent. The family of Huddlestone had long been settled in Cumberland, when William Huddlestone, early in the 16th centy., acquired Sawston by marriage with one of the coheiresses of the Marquis Montagu. Queen Mary was sheltered here after the death of Edward VI. by his son, Sir John Huddlestone, and was conveyed thence on horseback behind his servant to Framlingham. Her pursuers, foiled of their prey, burnt the old house to the ground, and it is said the Queen rebuilt it from the materials of Cambridge Castle. This tale of the Queen's gratitude however is not confirmed by the fact that the house was not finished until after her death. The dates on the house, 1557-1584, prove this. It is moreover built for the most part of brick. It seems probable that she only gave leave for the use of the materials from some portion of the ruined castle. The house is quadrangular. The original chapel remains, in the roof. There are family portraits in the gallery, including that of Queen Mary's adherent, who was knighted by and made Vice Chamberlain to her husband, Philip. He has a tomb in the church adjoining the park. This church has portions of various dates and some mutilated brasses. [ Murray's Handbook Eastern Counties 1895-96. Cambridgeshire Journey 33 ]




You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TL485497 (Lat/Lon: 52.125666, 0.167856), Sawston which are provided by:


Military History

  • The War Memorial has been transcribed and the men researched.


  • 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; 1798 is on microfilm at Huntingdon Record Office.