Aldreth

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Aldreth
Aldreth top view.jpg
Aerial view of Aldreth
Aldreth is located in Cambridgeshire
Aldreth
Aldreth
 Aldreth shown within Cambridgeshire
OS grid reference TL446735
   – London 62 mi (100 km)  S
Civil parish Haddenham
District East Cambridgeshire
Shire county Cambridgeshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ELY
Postcode district CB6
Dialling code 01353
Police Cambridgeshire
Fire Cambridgeshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament South East Cambridgeshire
Website ECDC
List of places
UK
England
Cambridgeshire

Coordinates: 52°20′N 0°07′E / 52.34°N 00.12°E / 52.34; 00.12

Aldreth is a hamlet in Cambridgeshire with about 260 residents (2001 census). It is located near the larger village of Haddenham and falls under the same Parish council. Aldreth is surrounded by fenland on all sides and the River Great Ouse, or the Old West as the locals call it, runs close by. Aldreth has no church.

Blossoms & Bygones[edit]

Aldreth shares an annual village open day, Blossoms & Bygones, with neighbouring village Haddenham. Features of the day include tractor rides and vintage car and tractor displays, while many residents throw open their gardens to visitors. Blossoms & Bygones celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2011 with a VE Day theme, that saw the villagers of Aldreth dress up as if it was 1940.[1] They also have geocaching by the river which is good for dog walkers and explorers.

History[edit]

The origin of the name[edit]

According to one place-name authority, the name "Aldreth" occurs as "Alreheða" in the Pipe rolls, under the year 1170, and means "Landing-place by the alders", from a combination of the Old English words for "alder" and "hythe".[2] The name also occurs a number of times in the text of the 12th century Liber Eliensis, as "Alreheðe", with one variant as "Alhereðe".[3] The origin of the name There are other theories about how Aldreth got its name. Here are the most popular ones: It may be a derivation of the words Alder Hithe (the old shore), which relates to the Old West river flowing near Aldreth. It could also come from the words Alder Reche (the old reach), which also relates to the Old West river.

Two battles[edit]

Main article: Hereward the Wake

Aldreth may have been the site of two battles[4][5] in history between Hereward the Wake (Saxons) and William the Conqueror (Normans). Aldreth was one of three routes, or causeways, into the Isle of Ely at that time; Stuntney Causeway 2.25 miles (3.62 km) to the south-east, the Earith Causeway 10 miles (16 km) to the west-south-west and the Aldreth Causeway 7 miles (11 km) south-west of the Isle of Ely.[6][7] For comparison of such causeways, consider the Bronze-Age causeway discovered in 1934 between Little Thetford and Fordey Farm, Barway.[8]

Geography[edit]

old yellowing map of east Cambridgeshire showing Isle of Ely surrounded by water
Map showing Isle of Ely surrounded by water
Joan Blaeu (1648) Regiones Inundatae

Geology[edit]

The village is on an east-west running boulder clay (middle-Pleistocene till) ridge sitting on a belt of mainly Jurassic Kimmerigian clays running south-west from The Wash. To the east is a north-south running belt of geologically more recent Upper-Cretaceous Lower Greensand capped by Lower-Cretaceous Gault Clay; the whole area is surrounded by even more recent fen deposits. To the west, again running north-east—south-west, is a scarp belt of middle-Jurassic sedimentary rocks including limestone and sandstone.[9][10]

The flat fenland countryside around the village, typical for this part of the region, lies about 16 feet (5 m) above sea-level. The highest point in the village is 23 feet (7 m) above sea-level and the highest point in the area is 85 feet (26 m) at Ely, seven-mile (11 km) north-east.[11] In contrast, the highest point in Cambridgeshire, 479 feet (146 m) above sea-level, is at Great Chishill, 21 miles (34 km) almost due south. Holme at nine feet (2.75 m) below sea-level is East Cambridgeshire's (and the United Kingdom's) lowest point, and is 18 miles (29 km) north-west.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ely People - Blossoms & Bygones story". 
  2. ^ Ekwall, E., The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names (4th ed.), OUP, 1960, p. 5 (Aldreth). Cf. Mills, A.D., A dictionary of British place-names, OUP, 1991-2003, p. 5 (Aldreth). Note that Head (1995), p. 86, quotes "Freeman" as follows: "…Aldreth, a corruption of the name of the patron saint Æthelthryth". Head does not give a reference for, or expand on, the statement from "Freeman", but see Head (1995), pp. 7-8, and cf. Freeman, E.A., History of the Norman Conquest of England (5 vols. & Index), OUP, 1867-9.
  3. ^ Blake, E.O. (ed.), Liber Eliensis, Camden 3rd Series XCII, Royal Historical Society, 1962, pp. 178, 185, 194, 314(x2), 315, 322, 328; the variant "Alhereðe" is at p. 314.
  4. ^ Miller (1895) chap. XXI
  5. ^ Miller (1895) chap. XXV
  6. ^ Head (1995) p. 149 plus google earth for distances
  7. ^ Darby (1970) p. 106–118 and fig. 16 on p. 107
  8. ^ Lethbridge (1934) | pp. 86–89
  9. ^ Darby (1970) p. 3 fig. 1
  10. ^ Ordnance Survey (1981). Geological Survey of Great Britain (Map) (Based on 1st series 1:50000 map part of sheet 143 – 1974 ed.). Section Cambridge, Sheet 188.
  11. ^ Ordnance Survey. Get-A-Map (Map) (2010 1:25,000 Scale ed.). Section TL446735GB. http://getamap.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getamap/frames.htm?mapAction=gaz&gazName=g&gazString=TL446735. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  12. ^ "UK's lowest spot is getting lower". England: BBC. 29 November 2002. p. 1. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]