Colne, Cambridgeshire

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UK Colne Cambridgeshire.jpg
Signpost in Colne
Colne is located in Cambridgeshire
 Colne shown within Cambridgeshire
OS grid reference TL368754
District Huntingdonshire
Shire county Cambridgeshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Huntingdon
Postcode district PE28
Dialling code 01487
EU Parliament East of England
List of places

Coordinates: 52°22′N 0°01′E / 52.36°N 0.01°E / 52.36; 0.01

Colne is a village in the Huntingdonshire district of Cambridgeshire, England. It is near Earith and north-east of St Ives. The villages of Bluntisham, Woodhurst, and Somersham are close by.


The village was known as Collen in the 13th century and Colneye in the 14th century.[1] The name is pronounced like "cone".


The manor of Colne appears in the Domesday Book.[2] A large medieval pond, as well as the remains of an 18th-century building, were found in an archaeological excavation at Manor Farm on East Street. The team also found evidence of early to post-medieval pottery and a late medieval animal burial, as well as a 19th-century shoe.[3]

The historical quarrel between Thomas de Lisle, the Bishop of Ely and Blanche of Lancaster, daughter of Henry, Earl of Lancaster, and widow of Thomas Wake of Lidell, arose about property in the village. It is likely that Blanche claimed a mesne lordship over Colne's La Leghe Manor. The Bishop disputed her claim and in 1354 he and his men burnt some houses in the Manor. In 1355 he had Blanche's servant, William de Holme, murdered in Somersham Wood. He was rebuked by Edward III for both crimes and ordered to beg for forgiveness. In retaliation, he appealed to the Pope, and had Blanche and several others excommunicated.[1]

Drurys Manor existed to the east of the old church, but it was demolished circa 1787, and nothing remains of the original building. A site to the west of the old church is likely to be the location of La Leghe Manor, destroyed at an earlier date. The Carter family, Lords of the Manor in the 17th century, are likely to have lived in the village.[1]

Colne suffered a ruinous fire in 1844, which destroyed many of its historic houses and buildings. Several 17th century half-timbered houses and cottages survived, as did a late 16th century house near the centre of the village.[1]


The ancient church of St Helen was built between the 13th and 15th centuries. Its walls were chiefly of stone and rubble, but parts of it were brick and the roof was tiled. The nave and aisle were covered with one continuous roof in 1807. On 24 April 1896 the tower fell and destroyed much of the church - the chancel, the aisle walls and the porch were all that survived. The old church was taken down and a new church was built on another site. The church had four bells, three from the 17th century and a later bell from the early 18th century. Three of the bells were removed in 1892, while the fourth fell with the tower, but was undamaged. The south porch is all that remains of the original structure.[1]

The modern St Helens church was built in 1900 and is a Grade II listed building.[4] The building of the new church incorporated rescued elements from the ancient church (including partially restored 13th and 14th century windows and some of the ancient stone). Colne is a chapelry annexed with Pidley.[1]

Near to the centre of the village is the Baptist Chapel built in 1870.[1] The Chapel is now defunct.

Village life[edit]

There are no shops in Colne, although there is a pub (The Green Man) and a village hall. The Bluntisham & Colne Women's Institute meets at the village hall once a month.[5]

The nearest primary school is St. Helen's in Bluntisham. The nearest shops and amenities are also in Bluntisham.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Parishes - Colne". British History Online. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Colne Domesday Book". Open Domesday. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Medieval Building Remains at Manor Farm, Colne, Cambridgeshire Evaluation" (PDF). Archaeology Data Service. June 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "St Helen, Colne". A Church Near You. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Bluntisham & Colne Women's Institute". National Federation of Women's Institutes. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 

External links[edit]