The Settlements of Ramsey and District
Ramsey is a small fenland town with a population of about 6,000. It is situated about 10 miles south east of Peterborough, in Cambridgeshire. It has a long and interesting history. Around Ramsey are a number of villages of varying sizes.
Warboys, a few miles south east of Ramsey was long recognised as the largest village in the country. Other villages in the Ramsey district include Bury, Upwood, Ramsey Heights (external site), Ramsey Forty Foot, Ramsey Mereside, Ramsey St Mary's (external site), Great Ravely, Little Ravely, Broughton, Oldhurst, Woodhurst, Wistow, Somersham, Pidley, Bluntisham, Colne and Earith.
Warboys is one of the oldest settlements in the Ramsey district. The church of St Mary Magdalene dates from the 13th century, although it was partly rebuilt in 1832, due to a fire which destroyed most of the other buildings in the village.
Bury has a very good web site, so I won't say any more!
Wistow is a small village dating from the 12th century. The Church of St John the Baptist was built around 1500 AD, on the site of a 12th century church. It is an excellent example of late gothic work as little restoration has taken place.
Upwood is a small, attractive village and appears in the chronicles of Ramsey Abbey, as it was the home of its founder Earl Ailwine. It was given to him along with local fisheries by King Edgar. The picture to the right shows Upwood St Peter's Church.
Colne is a very ancient settlement. Two fairly large Romano-British sites have been excavated there. Some banks and ditches near the village are evidence of a settlement of fen fishermen. All that remains of the old church is a ruined porch and overgrown graveyard - the old tower collapsed in 1895, ruining the building. A new church, dedicated to St Helen, was built in 1900 using stones from the old church.
Brouhgton is tucked away in a secluded valley to the south of Ramsey. It was once a manor house of the abbots of Ramsey Abbey. An extensive range of earthworks show the course of the moat.
The village church of St Mary is like many churches in Brittany, having a chancel ending in three sides. In Bluntisham, it used to be possible for a bride to rid herself of all debts incurred before marriage, by walking across the road naked to the house of her groom.
Earith is famous even today for the chance to skate on the fens.
The name Woodhurst comes from the Anglo-Saxon word hyrst, a copse or wood. It is an excellent example of a ring village - a settlement made by clearing a stretch of woodland and surrounding the clearing by a road and fence to keep out wild animals.