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

"WICKEN, a parish in the hundred of Staploe, county Cambridge, 7 miles south-east of Ely, 8 north-west of Newmarket, and 3 south of Soham. The village and parish are situated in a fenny district, intersected by the Buckingham canal. The manor belonged to the Gernons, from whom it came to the Peytons in the reign of Edward III., and subsequently to Henry, son of the Protector Cromwell, who died at Spinney Abbey. This mansion, now in ruins, occupied the site of a small priory founded by Sir Hugh de Malebisse in the time of Henry III. for Augustine Canons. An Act was passed in 1840 for enclosing the waste lands. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ely, value £90. The church, dedicated to St. Lawrence, contains a brass of Margaret Peyton, bearing date 1414, and the vault of the Cromwell family, in which the Protector's wife Elizabeth and his son Henry lie interred. The register dates from 1564. There are National schools, partially endowed, also an almshouse for widows. Coins and other antiquities have been found here."

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


  • Records of the Monumental Inscriptions from the churchyard of Wicken, St. Lawrence exist in the Cambridgeshire Archives for the years 1727-1908, the transcriptions of these are available on microfiche from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search).





Church History

  • "The church of St. Lawrence is an ancient edifice of stone in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles, containing 3 bells, the oldest of which was cast in the latter part of the 15th century: there is a vault within the church in which the remains of several members of Oliver Cromwell's family were buried, but these remains have been removed from the vault to make room for those of another family: on the chancel floor is an inscribed marble slab to Henry Cromwell, fourth son of the Protector, ob. 1673: the church was thoroughly restored in 1879 and 1880, at a cost of over £900, and affords 400 sittings. The register dates from the year 1564."
  • "There is a Jubilee Mission hall in connection with the church, erected in 1887, and Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels. There is a cemetery, one acre in extent, which is under the control of the Parish Council."
    [Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929].

Church Records

  • Church of England
    • Wicken, St. Lawrence: Records of baptisms 1564-1866, marriages 1566-1968, burials 1564-1856, banns for 1754-1838 reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives alongside microfilm copies of the Bishop's Transcripts 1567-1639, 1663-99. Indexed transcripts exist for baptisms 1564-1866, marriages 1566-1866 and burials 1564-1856. Parish register transcripts, 1564-1866, are available in full transcript form, on microfiche, from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search) The Bishop's Transcripts 1567-1639, 1663-1836 can be found in the Suffolk Record Office.
  • Methodist Church




  • "Ancient Roman coins and other antiquities have been found in the neighbourhood. The monastery of Spinney, or de Spineto, a cell of Ely in 1449, was founded here in the time of Henry III. (1216-17) by Beatrix Malebise and Mary de Bassingbourne, for canons of the order of St. Augustine, and was dedicated to St. Mary and the Holy Cross: on the site now stands a farm house, built out of the materials of the priory." [Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929].


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TL565707 (Lat/Lon: 52.312108, 0.294325), Wicken which are provided by:


Military History

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


  • Milling
    • The Corn Windmill at Wicken is one of only two surviving 12-sided smock mills in Britain today. After having been out of working order for many years, the windmill is currently being restored to its former glory.

Probate Records

  • Three courts cover Wicken as follows:
    • Peculiar Court of Wicken and Freckenham: Jurisidiction in Wicken 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 of the 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 Wicken 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 1710, 1798 (on microfilm), 1829-32, 1878-88 and 1918-1948.