The History of Bluntisham in Cambridgeshire

Historical notes about the town of Bluntisham in Cambridgehsire.

The Parish of Bluntisham

The four open fields of the old village can still be traced. Higham Field lay in the north-western part of the parish, about 100 ft. above sea level; Gull Field in the south-western part, gradually sloping down to the river Ouse, taking its name from the 'gulls' or water channels. From Higham Field eastward on the north side was Colneway Field; and between that and Bury Fen, which lies below the church, was Old Mill Field or Inhams, stretching from Bluntisham to Earith. North-west of Higham Field lay Barnfield Farm and until comparatively modern times on the declivity facing the south was a large wood which was probably that mentioned in the Domesday Survey. (fn. 3) It occurs in old records as the Hangar of Bluntisham and in 1341 it is given with Warboys as the boundary of the Bishop of Ely's right of hunting. (fn. 4) All that remains of this wood now is a group of trees called the Pingles, past which were the 'Cowgaps' whereby cows went from Bluntisham Fen on the south to the cow pastures on the slope. Speed's map of 1610 shows this wood as bigger than the famous Monks Wood. By the time of the inclosure it was divided into High Wood and Low Wood, the Pingles being then distinct by itself. Even in 1843 there were 68 acres of woodland left, but they have gradually disappeared leaving their names only. On the northern side of Barnfield lie two small spinneys, which were no doubt part of Somersham Forest. The western end of the parish was part of Somersham Heath, which was inclosed in 1797. There was no road across it before then. This part of the parish is still known as Bluntisham Heath.

The western end of the village of Bluntisham is called Wood End. Eastward is the road to Colne and Somersham, where are some of the oldest buildings, but the main part of the village runs straight north and south to the Rectory corner on the St. Ives road. At this point stood the village pound, and a small hamlet known as Little London. At the head of the High Street stands a barograph, erected as a memorial to some of the Tebbutt family. On it is recorded the height above sea level 60 ft., longitude 0 degrees 0 minutes 32 seconds; E., latitude 52 degrees 21 minutes 14 seconds. North of the Rectory stands a fine meeting-house of the Baptists, originally built in 1787 and rebuilt in 1875.

Victoria County History: Huntingdonshire ~ Printed 1932