The History of Barham and Woolley in Cambridgeshire

Historical notes about the town of Barham and Woolley in Cambridgehsire.

The Parish of Barham

This parish, the area of which is 742 acres, is composed of four large farms and an inn, and has a diminishing population. The land rises from the Woolley Brook, which runs through the south-western side of the parish, where it is about 100 ft. above the Ordnance datum, to a little under 200 ft. towards the north. The soil is clay. About half the parish is permanent grass and the other half arable land, the chief crops being cereals and beans. An Inclosure Award is dated 28 Dec. 1780. The nearest railway station is at Grafham.

The village is on high ground in the middle of the parish, on the road from Spaldwick to Buckworth. The church is at the north end of the village; near it are two 17th-century timber-framed and thatched cottages, and south of the church is an early 18th-century farmhouse of stone and brick with tiled roof.

The Parish of Woolley

Woolley is about 5 miles north of Grafham station on the Huntingdon and Kettering branch of the London Midland and Scottish Railway. It lies about 6 miles north-west from Huntingdon, and rather less north-east by north from Kimbolton, and is bounded by Alconbury on the east, Buckworth on the north, Ellington on the south, and Barham and Spaldwick on the west.

A road branching north from the Huntingdon to Thrapston road runs to the village, which lies in a hollow, about 80 ft. above Ordnance datum; the land all round rises, reaching 168 ft. in the north, though it is liable to floods along the banks of the Woolley Brook, which runs through the parish.

The area is 1,148 acres, and the soil and subsoil are clay, producing wheat, barley and beans.

The church stands near the centre of the parish, with the rectory, on the opposite side of the road, to the north of it, while the Manor House lies west of the church. There are some 17th-century almshouses in poor condition. Woolley Lodge is near the eastern boundary.

Mikepher Alphrey, a prince of the Russian imperial line, born in Russia, was appointed rector in 1618, removed under the Commonwealth, and reinstated at the Restoration, his presentation having resulted from some connection with Russian trade on the part of the lord of the manor, John Bedell. Richard Southgate, the antiquary, was rector from 1754 to 1761.

Victoria County History of Huntingdonshire - Printed 1932