Benwick shown within Cambridgeshire
|Population||860 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Benwick is a village and civil parish in the Fenland district of Cambridgeshire, England. It is approximately 15 miles (24 km) from Peterborough and 30 miles (48 km) from Cambridge. Benwick comprises around 330 houses, and in the United Kingdom Census 2001 showed the population to be 860.
The settlement's name is derived from the Old English bean or beam, and wic, meaning "farm where beans are grown" or "farm by a tree-trunk." Benwick was an ancient fenland village, but is unique among them by not being built on an actual "island." In 1221, Benwick had 15 tenants and by 1251, 32. It used to be in the parish of Doddington, one of the largest parishes in England. Under the Doddington Rectory Division Act of 1856 it was divided into seven rectories.
From 1898 to 1966 Benwick was the terminus of the Benwick goods railway which ran from Three Horseshoes junction at Turves, on the Ely to Peterborough line. The station was on the road to Whittlesey. There was never a passenger service on the line, except a special enthusiasts train on 9 September 1956.
Benwick Bygones, a book on the History of Benwick was published in 2008 by Adam Keppel-Garner and Janet Fountain.
The Parish Council consists of seven members; elections are held every four years, the last were in 2011. Benwick is represented on Fenland District Council. Benwick is part of the parliamentary constituency of North East Cambridgeshire; the current Member of Parliament is Stephen Barclay.
Benwick Primary School, which caters for pupils aged 4–11, was built in 1873 and is located on the High Street.
In 1637–68 an unconsecrated chapel was erected at Benwick, and in 1850–51 St Mary's church, designed by Samuel Sanders Teulon, was built on its site. A Baptist chapel was built in 1818 on the site of the current Baptist graveyard but closed in 1965. St Mary's was demolished in 1985 and the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel fell into disuse in 2006, leaving Benwick without a church. The font and doorway from the parish church are now at St Jude's, Westwood, Peterborough and the church clock is in the museum in March.
A new church has been built alongside the Village Hall with access to the Hall. It opened in August 2012.
- Mills, A.D. (1998). A Dictionary of English Place-names. Second Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford. p34. ISBN 0-19-280074-4
- 'North Witchford Hundred: Doddington', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 4: City of Ely; Ely, N. and S. Witchford and Wisbech Hundreds (2002), pp. 110–116.
- Lilyholt Road: Benwick Parish Council. Retrieved 10 October 2012
- Find Your MP. Retrieved 18 December 2009
- Astbury 1987, p. 112 and plate 34–38.
- Office for National Statistics: Benwick CP: Parish headcounts. Retrieved 18 December 2009
- Lilyholt Road: Benwick Primary School. Retrieved 18 December 2009
- Cambridgeshire, p302, (Second edition) by Nikolaus Pevsner
- Lilyholt Road: Church. Retrieved 18 December 2009
- Fenland Citizen 10 August 2012
- Astbury, A K (1987). The Black Fens (3 ed.). Wardy Hill, Ely, Cambridgeshire: Providence Press. ISBN 0-903803-18-6.
- Fountain, J and Keppel-Garner, A (2008). Benwick Bygones (1 ed.). Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Victoire Press.
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