Alconbury

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Alconbury
Weeping willow in alconbury.jpg
A Weeping Willow in Alconbury, taken from across Alconbury Brook
Alconbury is located in Cambridgeshire
Alconbury
Alconbury
 Alconbury shown within Cambridgeshire
Population 1,569 (2011)
OS grid reference TL1875
District Huntingdonshire
Shire county Cambridgeshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HUNTINGDON
Postcode district PE28
Dialling code 01480
Police Cambridgeshire
Fire Cambridgeshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Huntingdon
List of places
UK
England
Cambridgeshire

Coordinates: 52°22′N 0°16′W / 52.36°N 00.26°W / 52.36; -00.26

Alconbury is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England.[1] Alconbury is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being an historic county of England. Alconbury lies approximately 5 miles (8 km) north-west of Huntingdon.

History[edit]

In 1085 William the Conqueror ordered that a survey should be carried out across his kingdom to discover who owned which parts and what it was worth. The survey took place in 1086 and the results were recorded in what, since the 12th century, has become known as the Domesday Book. Starting with the king himself, for each landholder within a county there is a list of their estates or manors; and, for each manor, there is a summary of the resources of the manor, the amount of annual rent that was collected by the lord of the manor both in 1066 and in 1086, together with the taxable value. [2]

Alconbury was listed in the Domesday Book in the Hundred of Leightonstone in Huntingdonshire; the name of the settlement was written as Acumesberie and Almundeburie in the Domesday Book.[3] In 1086 there was just one manor at Alconbury; the annual rent paid to the lord of the manor in 1066 had been £12 and the rent was the same in 1086.[4]

The Domesday Book does not explicitly detail the population of a place but it records that there was 17.5 households at Alconbury.[4] There is no consensus about the average size of a household at that time; estimates range from 3.5 to 5 people per household.[5] Using these figures then an estimate of the population of Alconbury in 1086 is that it was within the range of 61 and 87 people.

The Domesday Book uses a number of units of measure for areas of land that are now unfamiliar terms, such as hides and ploughlands. In different parts of the country, these were terms for the area of land that a team of eight oxen could plough in a single season and are equivalent to 120 acres (49 hectares); this was the amount of land that was considered to be sufficient to support a single family. By 1086, the hide had become a unit of tax assessment rather than an actual land area; a hide was the amount of land that could be assessed as £1 for tax purposes. The survey records that there was 18 ploughlands at Alconbury in 1086 and that there was the capacity for a further 2 ploughlands.[4] In addition to the arable land, there was 80 acres (32 hectares) of meadows at Alconbury.[4]

The tax assessment in the Domesday Book was known as geld or danegeld and was a type of land-tax based on the hide or ploughland. It was originally a way of collecting a tribute to pay off the Danes when they attacked England, and was only levied when necessary. Following the Norman Conquest, the geld was used to raise money for the King and to pay for continental wars; by 1130, the geld was being collected annually. Having determined the value of a manor's land and other assets, a tax of so many shillings and pence per pound of value would be levied on the land holder. While this was typically two shillings in the pound the amount did vary; for example, in 1084 it was as high as six shillings in the pound. For the manor at Alconbury the total tax assessed was 5 geld.[4]

In 1086 there was no church at Alconbury. The church is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul. The Great North Road passed through the village and Alconbury Weston to the north-west. The A1 was dualled from Water Newton to Alconbury Hill in three stages in 1958. The £1.25m two mile A1 bypass opened in December 1964, joining the road at the point where it now meets the A14 (former A604) at the junction at the top of a hill. It followed part of the former A604. In November 1998, the bypass was converted into the A1(M) which terminates next of the village. The former road is partly the B1043 which is also part of the former A14 and the rest of the former A1 to Peterborough. Units of the US Air Force were based at Alconbury from 1942-1945, and then from 1953 to 1995.

Government[edit]

As a civil parish, Alconbury has its own elected parish council that is responsible for providing and maintaining a variety of local services including the allotments, street lighting, play areas, grass cutting and tree planting. It helps to maintain and extend the paths in the built area and the countryside, provides the bus shelter, litter, dog-waste and salt bins.[6] A committee of the parish council reviews all planning applications and makes recommendations to Huntingdonshire District Council, which is the planning authority for the parish. The parish council also represents the views of the parish on issues such as local transport, policing and the environment. The parish council raises its own tax to pay for these services, known as the parish precept, which is collected as part of the Council Tax. In 2015, Alconbury parish council had 10 members; meetings were held on the last Tuesday of every month in the Memorial Hall in Alconbury.[6]

Alconbury was in the historic and administrative county of Huntingdonshire until 1965. From 1965, the village was part of the new administrative county of Huntingdon and Peterborough. Then in 1974, following the Local Government Act 1972, Alconbury became a part of the county of Cambridgeshire.

The second tier of local government is Huntingdonshire District Council which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire and has its headquarters in Huntingdon. Huntingdonshire District Council has 52 councillors representing 29 district wards.[7] Huntingdonshire District Council collects the council tax, and provides services such as building regulations, local planning, environmental health, leisure and tourism.[8] Alconbury is a part of the district ward of Alconbury and The Stukeleys and is represented on the district council by one councillor. The district ward consists of the civil parishes of Alconbury, Alconbury Weston and the civil parish of Great Stukeley and Little Stukeley.[9][10] District councillors serve for four year terms following elections to Huntingdonshire District Council.

For Alconbury the highest tier of local government is Cambridgeshire County Council which has administration buildings in Cambridge. The county council provides county-wide services such as major road infrastructure, fire and rescue, education, social services, libraries and heritage services.[11] Cambridgeshire County Council consists of 69 councillors representing 60 electoral divisions.[12] Alconbury is a part of the electoral division of Huntingdon and is represented on the county council by two councillors.[9][13] County councillors serve for four year terms following elections to Cambridgeshire County Council.

At Westminster, Alconbury is in the parliamentary constituency of Huntingdon,[9] and elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. Alconbury is represented in the House of Commons by Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative). Jonathan Djanogly has represented the constituency since 2001. The previous member of parliament was John Major (Conservative) who represented the constituency between 1983 and 2001. Alconbury is part of the East of England constituency which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.

Geography[edit]

Alconbury is in the district of Huntingdonshire and gives its name to RAF Alconbury. The village is near to the point where a major north/south road, the A1, crosses the only major east/west road: the A14. As of 2005 there are proposals to convert the airfield (now redundant) into a freight-only commercial airport to benefit from these surface links. Nearby to the east along the A14 are The Stukeleys: Great Stukeley and Little Stukeley. Little Stukeley is nearer to the former airfield than Alconbury. Just north of the A1/A14 junction is Alconbury Hill. The Alconbury Weald development is taking place near to Alconbury village.

The research laboratory, Huntingdon Life Sciences, is just south of the village.

Location[edit]

Demography[edit]

Population[edit]

In the period 1801 to 1901 the population of Alconbury was recorded every ten years by the UK census. During this time the population was in the range of 483 (the lowest in 1801) and 967 (the highest in 1851).[14]

From 1901, a census was taken every ten years with the exception of 1941 (due to the Second World War).

Parish
1911
1921
1931
1951
1961
1971
1981
1991
2001
2011
Alconbury 518 523 492 733 629 748 1131 2440 1670 1569

All population census figures from report Historic Census figures Cambridgeshire to 2011 by Cambridgeshire Insight.[14]

In 2011, the parish covered an area of 3,067 acres (1,241 hectares)[14] and so the population density for Alconbury in 2011 was 327.4 persons per square mile (126.4 per square kilometre).

Climate[edit]

The climate in the United Kingdom is defined as a temperate oceanic climate, or Cfb on the Köppen climate classification system, a classification it shares with most of northwest Europe.[15] Eastern areas of the United Kingdom, such as East Anglia, are drier, cooler, less windy and also experience the greatest daily and seasonal temperature variations. Protected from the cool onshore coastal breezes further to the east of the region, Cambridgeshire is warm in summer, and cold and frosty in winter.

The nearest Met Office climate station is at Monks Wood, which is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the north-east of Alconbury. The average annual rainfall for the United Kingdom between 1981 and 2010 was 1,154 millimetres (45.4 in) but Cambridgeshire is one of the driest counties with around half of the national level. Regional weather forecasting and historical summaries are available from the UK Met Office.[16][17] Additional local weather stations report periodic figures to the internet via web sites such as Weather Underground.[18]

Climate data for Monks Wood, elevation 41m, (1981–2010 averages)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.2
(45)
7.7
(45.9)
10.7
(51.3)
13.5
(56.3)
16.8
(62.2)
19.7
(67.5)
22.4
(72.3)
22.3
(72.1)
19.2
(66.6)
15.0
(59)
10.3
(50.5)
7.4
(45.3)
14.4
(57.9)
Average low °C (°F) 1.1
(34)
0.8
(33.4)
2.6
(36.7)
3.8
(38.8)
6.6
(43.9)
9.7
(49.5)
11.8
(53.2)
11.7
(53.1)
9.9
(49.8)
7.0
(44.6)
3.9
(39)
1.9
(35.4)
5.9
(42.6)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 47.0
(1.85)
35.0
(1.378)
40.1
(1.579)
47.0
(1.85)
47.9
(1.886)
54.1
(2.13)
48.3
(1.902)
51.7
(2.035)
53.3
(2.098)
60.2
(2.37)
54.2
(2.134)
47.1
(1.854)
585.8
(23.063)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 58.0 77.4 109.9 152.3 186.2 180.6 193.3 188.1 142.5 114.6 67.0 52.4 1,522.2
Source: Met Office Monks Wood, Cambridgeshire

Amenities[edit]

The village has a Neighbourhood Watch group, cricket club, football teams, several public houses, a doctor's surgery, post office and houses the local MP. There is a Church of England primary school,[19] A service station on the B1043/A14 junction closed in August 2007 and re-opened in 2012 under new owners.

There are several annual events held in the village including The Midsummer Fun Fair, The Neighbourhood Watch Summer Fête and The Dame Norma Major charity cricket match.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 142 Peterborough (Market Deeping & Chatteris) (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2012. ISBN 9780319229248. 
  2. ^ Dr Ann Williams, Professor G.H. Martin, eds. (1992). Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin Books. pp. 551–561. ISBN 0-141-00523-8. 
  3. ^ Dr Ann Williams, Professor G.H. Martin, eds. (1992). Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin Books. p. 1304. ISBN 0-141-00523-8. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Professor J.J.N. Palmer. "Open Domesday: Place - Alconbury". www.opendomesday.org. Anna Powell-Smith. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Goose, Nigel; Hinde, Andrew. "Estimating Local Population Sizes" (PDF). Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Alconbury Parish Council". alconburyparishcouncil.gov.uk. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "Huntingdonshire District Council: Councillors". www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk. Huntingdonshire District Council. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Huntingdonshire District Council". www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk. Huntingdonshire District Council. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c "Ordnance Survey Election Maps". www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Huntingdonshire District Council: Councillors". www.huntsdc.gov.uk. Huntingdonshire District Council. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "Cambridgeshire County Council". www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  12. ^ "Cambridgeshire County Council: Councillors". www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  13. ^ "Cambridgeshire County Council: Councillors" (pdf). www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c "Historic Census figures Cambridgeshire to 2011" (xlsx - download). www.cambridgeshireinsight.org.uk. Cambridgeshire Insight. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  15. ^ Peel, M. C.; Finlayson, B. L.; McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world map of the Köppen–Geiger climate classification". Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 11: 1633–1644. doi:10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007. ISSN 1027-5606.  (direct: Final Revised Paper)
  16. ^ "Forecast:East of England". UK Weather Forecasts. UK Met Office. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Monks Wood Climate: Averages Table". UK Climate Summaries. UK Met Office. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  18. ^ "Alconbury, United Kingdom". Weather Underground, Inc. 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  19. ^ Alconbury C of E Primary School. Retrieved 23 February 2009

External links[edit]