A Brief History

Mediaeval Eltisley

Tudor England

Victorian Times

The 20th Century

The 20th Century

[click on images to enlarge]

‘Remembering Eltisley’s Fallen 1914 – 1918’ wins an award!

In September 2015 we were presented with an award by the Cambridgeshire Association for Local History for publishing one of 2014’s best books on the local history of Cambridgeshire.

Publication of our book ‘Remembering Eltisley’s Fallen 1914 – 1918’


Geophysical Survey

John Gater (of Time Team fame) came to do a Geophysical Survey in fields around the village.

Chapel Demolition

The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Caxton End was demolished in January.

The Prisoner

Filming took place on the village Green for an episode of the cult TV series The Prisoner directed by David Tomblin and staring Patrick McGoohan. The episode was “The Girl Who Was Death” and many residents were extras, either as cricketers or in the crowd scenes.

New Church Organ

A new church organ was dedicated on 24th July.


Mains water arrives in Eltisley and the district council announced they would no longer maintain the 3 village pumps.

The Thanksgiving Organ is dedicated

On June 6th the Thanksgiving Organ was dedicated and a memorial plaque to fallen heroes Private John Hall and leading Seaman Ronald Mitchell was unveiled. The Bishop of Ely officiated and the service was followed by a recital on the new organ. The St Neots Advertiser reported that the church ‘was filled, perhaps as never before in its long history’.

The Old House Tea Room

The Old House was run as a Tea Room by Miss Ida Marr and her sister Mrs Dolly Brown for about 30 years. Miss Marr had been at one time governess to the youngest daughter of Queen Marie of Romania and had travelled as part of the Royal Family all over the world. The Tea Rooms visitors book shows many people she met on her travels visited her in Eltisley including Queen Marie and two of her sons.

The Lychgate Erected in memory of World War One Fallen

The Lychgate at the entrance to the churchyard is erected in memory of the men of the parish who fell in the First World War. It cost just over £100 and the money was raised by subscription, orgainsed by the Womens Institute. The Lychgate was designed by Architect Mr G M Oldrid Scott, Deans Yard, Westminster and built by Mr C G Evans of St Neots. There is an inscription in Lombardic capitals “Death is swallowed up in Victory”. Under cover are two panels bearing the inscription “To the ever glorious memory of Eltisley men who gave their lives in the in the Great War 1914-1918. Faithful Unto Death” and the names of the 14 men who died.

The Eltisley & Croxton Institute Founded

The Eltisley & Croxton Institute was founded. It was to be used as a reading room and in 1903/1904 had 57 members. It was equipped with daily papers and was open daily in the summer and thrice weekly in the winter.
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Victorian Times


Church Restoration

St John the Baptist & St Pandionia Church had major restoration, including new roof, oak pulpit and pews.

Childrens School built at Croxton

A school for Eltisley children was built by the Lord of the Manor, George Onslow Newton, at Croxton. He let the school rent free and paid the school mistress a salary of £50 a year. Labourers paid 1d a week for their children to attend, farmers of more than 80 acres paid 6d a week for their children. The school transferred to the County Council in 1928.


A steeplechase took place in the village

Methodist Chapel

A Primitive Methodist Chapel was built on the Green at a cost of £130. A Primitive Methodist mission had been formed in the village in 1845 and had used an earlier building on the site which was in poor repair and demolished to make way for the new chapel.

Cricket Club’s First Match

The first recorded match for Eltisley Cricket Club was in May 1854 when Eltisley defeated by 6 wickets a team picked from the surrounding villages

New Chapel Built

The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built in Caxton End.

The Leeds Arms

The Leeds Arms (now called The Eltisley) was first licensed as a public house. It was formerly a farm house belonging to the Leeds family and, despite the change of name, the pub sign still bears the Leeds family’s coat of arms.
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Tudor England


The Manor Sold

John Disbrowe (Desborough) purchases the Manor of Eltisley

High Profile Wedding

John Disbrowe (Desborough) marries Oliver Cromwell’s sister Jane in Eltisley village church.

John Disbrowe Born

John Disbrowe (Desborough) is born (1608-80) son of James Disbrow who lived in the Old House on the Green. He became Major General and took an active part in the English Civil War. After the trial of Charles 1 when England became a ‘Commonwealth’ he was chosen to be a member of the committee for legal reforms. In 1653 he became a member of the Protectorate Council of State and a commissioner of the treasury, and was appointed one of the 4 Generals at Sea and a commissioner for the army and navy.

Well Destroyed

St Pandionia’s well was destroyed by the Rector Roger Palmer (during the protestant reign of Elizabeth 1) as it was said to be the site of “idolatorous and popish practices”. Rector Palmer was wildly odd and was accused of playing cards instead of holding services.
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Mediaeval Eltisley


St Pandionia reburied

St Pandionia’s body was exhumed and reburied inside the church beneath the alter. It is quite rare for a village church to retain the body of a saint; relics are usually acquired by richer monastic institutions (her likeness is depicted on the village sign).

Deer in Eltisley Woods

Written evidence of a Medieval Deer park in Eltisley woods and the adjacent fields to the south owned by Henry de Nuthale.

Eltisley Storm

The Eltisley Storm is depicted as bolts of lightning on the village sign. Legend states that there was a great famine in July 1234 and the villagers were so hungry that they invaded the farmers fields and helped themselves. The following Sunday the angry farmers asked the church to excommunicate all those who had stolen crops. One farmer spoke out and said he did not begrudge the starving people feeding themselves with his crop. Roger of  Wendover writes “scarcely had the priest begun to pronounce the sentence and there suddenly arose a mighty storm of thunder and lightning…and the corn in the fields was lifted as by a blast from hell: and all that grew therein and the cattle, and the very birds were destroyed. But that honest and just man discovered his lands to be without any trace of harm”… Well, that’s the story. It has passed into Eltisley folk-lore as a result of being included in a pamphlet on the history of the church re-printed in the 1980’s which was based on a story published in a Cambridge newspaper in 1934. But research into Roger of Wendover’s writings (he was a chronicler and monk at St Albans and died in 1236) shows that in his ‘Flores Historiarum’ he makes no mention of Eltisley at all. An earlier version of the church pamphlet  – about 1960 or 1970 – gives more details of the original newspaper article and reveals where ‘our’ story comes from. The newspaper article gives as its source the Lansdowne Manuscripts in the British Museum and it quotes the Miracle of Abbotsley. “In those days” the article says “Eltisley was known as Aldboldesly ” Unfortunately, of couse, Eltisley has never been known as any such thing. And why the jounalist should have made the error when the village of Abbotsley is only 3 miles away remains a mystery. And the ‘Great Storm of Eltisley’ remains…a story.

Village Church Nave and Aisles

The nave and aisles of the village church are thought to originate from this time

St Pandiona was canonised

Upon her death

Pandionia buried

Pandionia died as was buried beside a well near the Church The legend is that she was the daughter of a 10th Century Scottish King who fled an unwanted marriage to live a religious life with a community of nuns in Eltisley. She was made a saint and eventually her body was exhumed and reburied inside the church in 1344. The actual site of the well is unknown.
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