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Houghton shown within Cambridgeshire
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Houghton and Wyton|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Houghton // is a village in the English county of Cambridgeshire. Prior to 1974, it was part of the former county of Huntingdonshire. The village is in the civil parish of Houghton and Wyton and is situated between Huntingdon and St Ives on the A1123 road, and not far south of RAF Wyton. It lies on the north bank of the River Great Ouse, where Houghton Mill is located.
Houghton is mentioned in the Domesday Book and described as "Hoctune".
It has had a number of serious floods.
There used to be an old piece of film footage taken by the Houghton Scout group of the village.
The first RAF sortie of the second world war was flown out of RAF Wyton.
Houghton has a beautiful old watermill owned by the National Trust that is still used for demonstrating flour milling.
There is a fine Norman (Anglican) church, St Mary's and a former chapel that has been converted into a retreat centre.
Other Places of interest
There is a picturesque village centre, known affectionately as "the green" (although no grass has been present for very many years) and marked by a thatched clock tower. On the village green there is a statue to Potto Brown, a traditional old water pump and red phone box.
It is possible to walk from Houghton to Hemingford Abbots across the flood meadows and to St Ives along the Thicket Path. There is a nature reserve (Wildlife Trust)along the Thicket Path known as Houghton Meadows ("Far Close") that shows markings of traditional ridge and furrow farming.
In the village centre there is a War memorial hall.
On Houghton Hill there is a cemetery.
There used to be two veterinary poultry research centres, one on Houghton Hill and the other in "The Elms".
There are a number of old houses of interest, particularly in the village green and near the playing field. The playing field is used for football, tennis and cricket. The eastern half of the field is leased to the Parish Council by the Anderson family, whose family used to farm in the village. On the field there is a bowling club, cricket pavilion, tennis courts, football pitch and a scout hut.
At the village green is the former home of artist Charles Whymper. He was a relative of Edward Whymper who led the first ascent of the Matterhorn, in which members of the team (including schoolboy Douglas Hadow died during the descent under what some consider controversial circumstances. A model of the mountain is in the garden and just visible from the green.
The village is also home to the Three Horseshoes and Three Jolly Butchers pubs.
Punts and rowing boats can be hired at the riverside across the watermill footbridge.
The disused railway line runs through Houghton near the river.
Every summer (normally the first fortnight of July) there is a week of community events, entitled "feast week". This has included a fun run, fayre and other sporting and fancy dress events. Other events include:
Scarecrow competition Drama evening Tennis tournament Fishing competition Homecraft competitions Gardening competition Poetry (for children) Photo competition Bowls tournament Musical performance Cricket Bingo Fun Run - prize for best Potto Brown lookalike. Riverside Picnic Duck race and face painting Jazz at Houghton mill Car treasure hunt Football competition Antiques road show Golf challenge Cheese and wine and Quiz Open air church service Bread and baking with Houghton Mill Flour
The only school in the village is Houghton Primary School for children aged five to eleven. The school straddles the boundary between Houghton and Wyton. Children from the school normally feed into St Peters school, Huntingdon, although some pupils go to St Ivo school, Hinchingbrooke school, or Ramsey Abbey school.
Notable residents and people associated with Houghton
- Potto Brown
- Claud Vernon Burder
- George Christopher Burder MC (died 17 April 1945 in Germany) formerly of Wyton Rectory and son of Revd. Claud Vernon Burder and Mary Gabrielle Fielding Burder. He has been described by the Torenmuseum De Peperbus museum in Geffen as the 'hero of Geffen'
- Lee Coombs, DJ and composer
- Charles Whymper, artist
- John Leslie Green, awarded the Victoria cross during world war one
- John Galbraith Graham, crossword compiler and former minister at St Mary's Church, Houghton
- David McCandless, author (attended Houghton primary school)