Ramsey is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Huntingdonshire.

Alternative names: St Thomas a Becket

Parish church: St. Thomas à Becket

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1559
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1604

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Particular Baptist, Primitive Methodist, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

  • Conington
  • Holme
  • Upwood with Great Raveley
  • Benwick, Cambridgeshire
  • Doddington, Cambridgeshire
  • Wistow
  • Wood Walton
  • Whittlesey St Andrew, Cambridgeshire
  • Whittlesey St Mary, Cambridgeshire
  • Farcet
  • Warboys
  • Sawtry All Saints
  • Bury

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

RAMSEY, a town, a parish, and a sub-district, in the district and county of Huntingdon. The town stands at the foot of a hill, on Bury brook, on the borders of thefens, at the terminus of the Ramsey railway, 10 miles N N E of Huntingdon; took its name from an “eye” or island in a quondam mere or lake; originated and flourished round an ancient Benedictine abbey; suffered devastation by plague in 1666, and by fire in 1731; is now a seat of petty sessions and of manorial courts; comprises one long street called the Great Whyte, and another street called High-street, the two making a figurelike the letter T; and has a post office under Huntingdon, a railway station with telegraph, two banking offices, several inns, a police station, a public hall, a church, six dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic school, two endowed schools, with £245 and £47 a year, alms-houses with £12, and other charities about £50. The railway is a branch, 5½ miles long, from the Great Northern at Holme; was authorised in 1861, on a capital of £30,000 in shares and £10,000 in loans; and was opened in July 1863. The abbey was founded in 969, by Duke Ailwin; was a mitred one, and the head or seat of abarony; had a famous Hebrew library and school; was given, at the dissolution, to the Cromwells; gave placeto a modern mansion, now the seat of E. Fellowes, Esq.; and is now represented mainly by portions of the parishchurch and by a ruined gateway. The church is spacious and interesting; includes Norman and early Englishportions; has a W embattled tower; was restored in 1844; and contains a fine lectern, with a black lettercopy of Erasmus’ “Paraphrase of the Gospels.” The Roman Catholic school was built in 1863, and is in the pointed style. The abbey school was built in 1848; and is a large and handsome edifice in the Tudor style. Anew cemetery is near the town, at Wood-lane; and contams two chapels under one roof. Pop. of the town in 1851, 2, 641; in 1861, 2, 354. Houses, 553. The parish comprises 16, 196 acres. Real property, £32, 633. Pop. in 1851, 4, 645; in 1861, 4, 500. Houses, 971. The manor belongs to E. Fellowes, Esq. Ramsey and Ugg meres, the former covering about 400 acres, and both famous for fish and wild fowl, have been drained. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Ely. Value, £200. Patron, E. Fellowes, Esq. The p. curacy of Ramsey, St. Mary is a separate benefice.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

RAMSEY (St. Thomas à Becket), a market-town and parish, in the hundred of Hurstingstone, union and county of Huntingdon, 10 miles (N. N. E.) from Huntingdon, and 68½ (N. by W.) from London; containing 3680 inhabitants. A mitred abbey of Benedictine monks, of great magnificence, was founded here in 969, by Ailwine, alderman of all England, and duke or earl of the East Angles; it was dedicated to St. Mary and St. Benedict, and the revenue at the Dissolution was valued at £1983. 15. 3. The site is now occupied by a private residence, partially consisting of the remains of the ancient fabric; the gateway is in a fine state of preservation. The town is situated at the bottom of a hill, on Bury brook; the market is on Wednesday; and a fair takes place on July 22nd, for cattle and toys. A manorial court leet, at which a constable is appointed, is held in May or June. The parish comprises by computation 16,000 acres, of which about one-third is arable, and the remainder pasture, with the exception of 2000 acres of fen land, used for cutting turf, and growing sedge; the surface is exceedingly flat on the verge of the fens, and the soil generally rich. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £47; patron and impropriator, Edward Fellowes, Esq., whose tithes have been commuted for £648. 2. 10. The church is partly Norman, and partly in the early English style. Here are places of worship for Independents, Baptists, Primitive Methodists, Ranters, and Wesleyans. Various benefactions in land were made for the support of a free school and a spinning school, but owing to frequent inundations, the school-house became ruinous, and the institution declined: about forty years since, however, the land was drained, and a new school-house and dwelling for the master were erected. The rental of the fen land is £227; the spinning school, for 50 girls, has an income of £34. 10. There is a poor-fund of about £52 a year.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848


  • County: Huntingdonshire
  • Civil Registration District: Huntingdon
  • Probate Court: Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of Lincoln and of the Archdeacon in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon
  • Diocese: Pre-1837 – Lincoln, Post-1836 – Ely
  • Rural Deanery: St Ives
  • Poor Law Union: Huntingdon
  • Hundred: Hurstingstone
  • Province: Canterbury

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