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Holywell Cum Needingworth

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

"HOLYWELL-CUM-NEEDINGWORTH, a parish in the hundred of Hurstingtone, county Huntingdon, 1¾ mile east of St. Ives, its post town. The village, which is small, is situated on the river Ouse. Fragments of Roman pottery have been discovered here. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, value £528. The church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is an ancient structure with a square tower. The churchyard commands an extensive view of the river Ouse. Near the church is a holy well, from which the village derived its name. There are places of worship for the Wesleyans and Baptists."

"NEEDINGWORTH, a hamlet in the parish of Holywell cum Needingworth, hundred of Hurstingstone, county Huntingdon, 2 miles north-east of St. Ives, its post town. It was formerly a chapelry, but the chapel, dedicated to St. James, has long disappeared. The hamlet, which is of large extent, was the birth-place of Sir Ambrose Nicholas, Lord Mayor of London in 1576. The Baptists and Wesleyans have each a place of worship."

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


  • Monumental Inscriptions from the Parish Churchyard (approximately 393 entries - £1.50 inclusive of postage worldwide) are available from the Huntingdonshire FHS Bookstall.



  • Census information for this parish (1841 - 1891) is held in the Huntingdon Records Office.
  • The full 1841 Census of Holywell-cum-Needingworth Parish is available as fiche set C99.
  • The full 1851 Census of Holywell-cum-Needingworth Parish is available as fiche set C49.
  • A surname index of the 1881 Census of the St. Ives Registration District, in which Holywell (RG11/1609, Folios 4a - 6a) and Needingworth (RG11/1609, Folios 6b - 19a) were enumerated, and which took place on 3rd April 1881, is available as fiche set C4.
  • A full transcription of the 1891 Census of the St. Ives Registration District (RG12/1234) in which Holywell-cum-Needingworth parish was enumerated,and which took place on 5th April 1891, is available as fiche set C12.
  • The above mentioned fiche are available from the Huntingdonshire FHS.



Church History

  • OS Grid Square TL 336708.
  • The church of St John the Baptist consists of a chancel, south vestry, nave, north aisle, south aisle and west tower, together with a modern south porch. The walls are of rubble with stone dressings, the west tower is of ashlar and the roofs are of tiles and slates.
  • Although mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086, it is doubtful if anything earlier than the 13th century remains, to which date the chancel may be assigned. the north arcade and aisle were built towards the end of the century, and about the year 1300, the south arcade and south aisle were added. The tower is recorded as having been built in 1547 of stone brought from Ramsey Abbey, the material being largely of 14th century date. The clearstory is of the early 16th century.
  • The church was rather drastically restored in 1862 when the vestry was added and the porch rebuilt. The tower was restored in 1915 and other works were done in 1919.
  • A Baptist chapel was built in the centre of Needingworth since 1861, and at the western end of this village was a Methodist Chapel dating from 1888.

Church Records

  • These are available in the Huntingdon Records Office.
    • Baptisms: 1667-1747, 1747-1812, 1813-1858, 1858-1912
    • Banns: 1754-1822, 1823-1956, 1955-1980
    • Marriages: 1667-1746, 1747-1754, 1754-1812, 1813-1837, 1837-1963, 1963-1968, 1968-1973, 1973-1977, 1977-1979, 1979-1986
    • Burials: 1667-1746, 1747-1812, 1813-1901
    • BTs.: 1604-5, 1607-8, 1610, 1612, 1618-19, 1625, 1660-8, 1670-1, 1674, 1676-78, 1684-87, 1690-91, 1693-1716, 1718-20, 1722-1751/1752-87, 1789-1813/1813-19/1822-35, 1837-43, 1845, 1848-56.
  • The Huntingdonshire Marriage Indexes include marriages from this parish. These are, at present, issued in alphabetical listings in series: 1601-1700, and 1701-1754, and are available from the Huntingdonshire FHS.

Civil Registration

  • The parish of Holywell-cum-Needingworth was originally in the St. Ives Registration District from 1st July 1837; this subsequently became a sub-District. Since 1st April 1997, it has come directly under the Huntingdon Registration Office.

Description and Travel



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Military History

  • The war memorial with detailed information about those who fell is available on the Roll of Honour site for Huntingdonshire.

Names, Geographical

  • Hoywell:
    • Haliewell (xi cent.),
    • Halywell (xiii cent.).
    • Needingworth:
    • Nidingworth (xiii cent.),
    • Niddyngworth (xiv cent.).
  • Holliwell-cum-Needingworth (xvii cent.).

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • The parish of Holywell-cum-Needingworth was in the St. Ives Union for Poor Law administration.
  • Births and deaths registered in the St Ives Union Workhouse (1836 - 1913) are available, as fiche set D9, from the Huntingdonshire FHS.


  • Population in 1801 - 623
  • Population in 1851 - 915
  • Population in 1901 - 653
  • Population in 1951 - 684
  • Population in 1971 - 1398
  • Population in 1991 - 2464