St Andrew's Church, Alwalton
|Alwalton shown within Cambridgeshire|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Alwalton is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England. Alwalton lies approximately 5 miles (8 km) west of Peterborough. Alwalton is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of England. The village lies north west of Yaxley, overlooking the southern bank of the River Nene and close to the line of Ermine Street or the A1 road.
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.
Alwalton was listed in the Domesday Book in the Hundred of Normancross in Huntingdonshire; the name of the settlement was written as Alwoltune in the Domesday Book. In 1086 there was just one manor at Alwalton; the annual rent paid to the lord of the manor in 1066 had been £7 and the rent was the same in 1086.
The Domesday Book does not explicitly detail the population of a place but it records that there was 20 households at Alwalton. There is no consensus about the average size of a household at that time; estimates range from 3.5 to 5.0 people per household. Using these figures then an estimate of the population of Alwalton in 1086 is that it was within the range of 70 and 100 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 nine ploughlands at Alwalton in 1086.
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 Alwalton the total tax assessed was five geld.
In 1086 there was no church at Alwalton.
As a civil parish, Alwalton has a parish council. The parish council is elected by the residents of the parish who have registered on the electoral roll; the parish council is the lowest tier of government in England. A parish council is responsible for providing and maintaining a variety of local services including allotments and a cemetery; grass cutting and tree planting within public open spaces such as a village green or playing fields. The parish council reviews all planning applications that might affect the parish and makes recommendations to Huntingdonshire District Council, which is the local 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. The Alwalton parish council consists of five members and normally meets on the third Thursday of every month in the village hall.
Alwalton 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, Alwalton 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. Huntingdonshire District Council collects the council tax, and provides services such as building regulations, local planning, environmental health, leisure and tourism. Alwalton is part of the district ward of Elton and Folksworth and is represented on the district council by one councillor. District councillors serve for four-year terms following elections to Huntingdonshire District Council.
For Alwalton, 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. Cambridgeshire County Council consists of 69 councillors representing 60 electoral divisions. Alwalton is a part of the electoral division of Norman Cross and is represented on the county council by two councillors.County councillors serve for four-year terms following elections to Cambridgeshire County Council.
At Westminster, Alwalton is in the parliamentary constituency of North West Cambridgeshire, and elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. Alwalton is represented in the House of Commons by Shailesh Vara (Conservative). Shailesh Vara has represented the constituency since 2005. The previous member of parliament was Brian Mawhinney (Conservative) who represented the constituency between 1997 and 2005. For the European Parliament Alwalton is part of the East of England constituency which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
In the period 1801 to 1901 the population of Alwalton was recorded every ten years by the UK census. During this time the population was in the range of 216 (the lowest in 1811) and 342 (the highest in 1861).
From 1901, a census was taken every ten years with the exception of 1941 (due to the Second World War).
All population census figures from report Historic Census figures Cambridgeshire to 2011 by Cambridgeshire Insight.
In 2011, the parish covered an area of 175 acres (71 hectares) and so the population density for Alwalton in 2011 was 1159.3 persons per square mile (446.5 per square kilometre).
Alwalton is a conservation area with a number of listed buildings, the most important of which are the Norman Church of St Andrew's and the Elizabethan Manor House. Alwalton Hall was built for the 4th Earl Fitzwilliam.
The East of England Showground lies to the south of the village. The 240-acre (0.97 km2) site is used for shows and commercial exhibitions. Until 2012 it was the home each June for the East of England Show.
Sir Henry Royce (27 March 1863 to 22 April 1933), the co founder of Rolls-Royce, was born in the village and his ashes were buried in St Andrew's Church where a plaque has been placed on the wall as well on a spot on the floor, beneath which his ashes were buried in an urn. His remains were originally buried in 1933 beneath a statue of him at the Rolls-Royce works in Derby but in 1937 his urn was removed and brought to Alwalton.
Frank Perkins, founder of Perkins Engines Company Ltd, was also born in Alwalton and buried at St Andrew's Church Alwalton.
From 1927–37 the Rev Frank Buttle was rector of Chesterton with Haddon and Alwalton.
- Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 142 Peterborough (Market Deeping & Chatteris) (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2012. ISBN 9780319229248.
- 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.
- Dr Ann Williams, Professor G.H. Martin, eds. (1992). Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin Books. p. 1305. ISBN 0-141-00523-8.
- Professor J.J.N. Palmer, University of Hull. "Open Domesday: Place – Alwalton". www.opendomesday.org. Anna Powell-Smith. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
- Goose, Nigel; Hinde, Andrew. "Estimating Local Population Sizes" (PDF). Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "Alwalton Parish Council". Alwalton Parish Council. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
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- "Huntingdonshire District Council". www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk. Huntingdonshire District Council. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
- "Ordnance Survey Election Maps". www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Huntingdonshire District Council: Councillors". www.huntsdc.gov.uk. Huntingdonshire District Council. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Cambridgeshire County Council". www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
- "Cambridgeshire County Council: Councillors". www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
- "Cambridgeshire County Council: Councillors" (pdf). www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Historic Census figures Cambridgeshire to 2011" (xlsx – download). www.cambridgeshireinsight.org.uk. Cambridgeshire Insight. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Alwalton". British Listed Buildings.
- "East of England Show ends after 200 years" BBC News 24 May 2013