Wisbech St Mary



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

"WISBECH ST. MARY, a parish in the hundred of Wisbech, Isle of Ely, county Cambridge, 3 miles south-west of Wisbech. It is a station on the Peterborough, Wisbech, and Lynn branch of the Midland railway. The parish is situated near the Norfolk border, on the New Nene river, comprising the chapelry of Guyhirn, with the hamlets of Murrow Wisbech Fen, and Tholomas Drove. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ely, with the curacy of Guyhirn annexed. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, contains an old font, some curious brackets, and remains of the stoup. There is also a chapel-of-ease at Guyhirn, built in 1666. The register commences in 1560. The Independents have a chapel. The charities produce about £200 per annum, besides 16 almshouses, including the endowments of Hardy's charity school and Jobson's Sunday-school."

"GUYHIRN, (or Gyhern or Guyhirn) a chapelry in the parish of Wisbech St. Mary, county Cambridge, 5 miles north-west of March. The village is situated on Waldersea bank, near Guyhern Fen. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ely, value £80, in the patronage of the Vicar of Wisbech. The church is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene.

(See also Guyhirn with Ringsend Parish pages)

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


  • The Census Records from 1841-1891 can be found in the Cambridgeshire Archives and Wisbech Library. In addition the 1851 Census for Wisbech St. Mary is available in full transcript form, on microfiche, from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search)



Church History

  • "The Church of St. Mary is an ancient edifice of brick and stone in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, restored in 1873 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, clerestoried nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing a clock and 5 bells; there are a number of curious brackets, and in the south porch the remains of an ancient font and a stoup: the restoration of the church was Partially effected in 1894 at a cost of £831, and completed in 1901 at a cost of £950: new choir stalls were erected in 1906 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, at a coat of about £300, and a new altar presented: a fine east window was erected in 1920, at a cost of £400, in memory of the 25 men of the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-1918; in 1922 a window was erected in the Lady chapel, at a cost of £175, in memory of the Rev. B. D. Jones, a former vicar: in 1923 an ancient window was re-opened and a new stained window inserted in memory of Capt. and Mrs. Grimwade: the church affords 360 sittings. The register dates from the year 1557."
  • "A new Primitive Methodist chapel was opened in 1926, and seats about 300."
    [Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]

Church Records

  • Church of England
    • Wisbech St. Mary: Records of baptisms 1557-1880, marriages 1557-1676, 1697-1960, burials 1557-1879 and banns 1754-1837 reside in the Wisbech Museum. Microfilm copies of baptisms 1557-1880, marraiges 1560-1676, 1697-1960, burials 1557-1879, banns 1754-1863, 1805-45 and an indexed transcript of marriages 1560-1813 reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives. The Bishop's Transcripts for the years 1600-40, 1661-1857 can be found in the Cambridge University Library.




You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF421081 (Lat/Lon: 52.65202, 0.099184), Wisbech St Mary which are provided by:


Military History


Names, Geographical

  • " THOLOMAS DROVE is a hamlet 2 miles south-west of Wisbech St. Mary. There is a Primitive Methodist chapel."
  • THORNEY TOLL is a hamlet 7½ miles west from the parish church; it is included in the ecclesiastical parish of Guyhirn, which see. There is a United Methodist chapel in the Fen, at a place called 'The Alley.'" [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 1798-1803 and 1935-48.