[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013
"WHITTLESEY, comprising the parishes of St. Andrew and St. Mary. It is an ancient market town in the north division of Witchford hundred, Isle of Ely, county Cambridge, 6 miles south-east of Peterborough, in Northamptonshire, and 20 north-west of Ely. It is a station on the Peterborough, March, and Ely branch of the Great Eastern railway. This place, called Witesie in Domesday survey, is supposed to have been a Roman station, from the traces of a military way and the numerous relics of antiquity discovered in the neighbourhood, including a massive gold ring lately dug up. It consists of the two ancient parishes of St. Andrew and St. Mary, which have been united for civil purposes by special Act of Parliament of the 12th and 13th Victoria, though ecclesiastically still distinct. They consist of an extensive tract of fenny land, comprising 25,430 acres, and include the hamlets of Coates, Eastrea, and Pond's Bridge.
The lake or mere of Whittle, from which the place derives its name, was situated in the adjoining county of Huntingdon, and measured 2 miles in length by 1 mile broad, but is now entirely drained by the Middle Level Commissioners. The town, which is paved and lighted with gas, contains a townhall erected by the governors of the charities, the old market house, two branch banks, a library with news-room, two reading-rooms, and union workhouse. It has recently been much improved, and is bounded on the north and south by two branches of the Nene river. It is a polling place for the county elections, and has a market for corn recently revived. The population of the town in 1861 was 4,496, and of the parishes 6,966. It forms a separate Poor-law Union, but is included in the county court district of Peterborough. Courts leet and baron are held twice a year. The livings of both parishes are vicarages* in the diocese of Ely, that of St. Andrew value £550, and that of St. Mary £230, with residences. The register dates from 1683. Coates and Pond's Bridge are distinct parishes. The Wesleyans, New Connexion Methodists, Independents, and General and Particular Baptists have chapels. There are two handsome National schools. - The local charities produce about £520 per annum, including the revenues from town lands. Friday is market day. The town and neighbourhood are most salubrious, all traces of fen peculiarities of climate having disappeared by the system of drainage."
"EASTREA, a village in the parish of Whittlesey, county Cambridge, 2 miles east of Whittlesea. There is a station hereon the Peterborough and Ely branch of the Great Eastern railway."
[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]