Fenstanton High Street
Fenstanton shown within Cambridgeshire
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Known as Stantun in the 11th century, Staunton and Stanton Gisbrit de Gant in the 13th century, the name Fenstanton (and Fennystanton) appeared from the 14th century. The name "Fenstanton" means "fenland stone enclosure".
Lying on the Via Devana, the Roman road that linked the army camps at Godmanchester and Cambridge, Fenstanton was the site of a Roman villa, probably designed to keep the natives in order after their attack on the forces of the IX Legion Hispana as they retreated from an ambush at Cambridge by Boadicea's tribesmen.
The inhabitants of Fenstanton again saw action when they rose in support of Hereward the Wake. From his stronghold on the Isle of Ely Hereward led resistance against the Normans causing King William I to assemble a force in Cambridge to deal with the problem. Men were summoned from Huntingdon but they did not pass Fenstanton and escaped with their lives only by swimming across the river.
In the 18th century Lancelot "Capability" Brown, the famous landscape gardener, bought the Lordship of the Manor of Fenstanton and Hilton from the Earl of Northampton. Brown and his wife are buried in the parish churchyard and the chancel bears a memorial to them.
The parish church of St Peter and St Paul dates from the 13th century, though there was an earlier church on the site listed in the Domesday Survey.
The octagonal spire on the west tower dates from the 14th century, and the church is noted for its chancel, built by 14th century rector William de Longthorne. The east window, 17 feet in width, is impressive for a church of its size. The six bells date from the 17th and 18th century, the latest being hung in 1981, a gift from The Howland Society in America, descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims mentioned above.
The village also has both a Baptist and a United Reformed Church.
The village supports four pubs: The Crown and Pipes, The George, King William IV, and The Tudor. In 1851 there were eight recorded pubs: The Bell, The Crown, The George, King William IV, The Rose & Crown, The Royal Oak, White Horse, The Woolpack.
Also The Blue Cow & The Chequers
There is a post office, as well as a primary school, shared with neighbouring Hilton.
Fenstanton is the current operating base of Stagecoach in Huntingdonshire.
- Dady, Jack. (2000) Beyond Yesterday: A History of Fenstanton. Huntingdon: Archived Books. See village website
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