Church of St Pandionia and St John the Baptist, Eltisley
|OS grid reference|
|• London||50 miles|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||ST NEOTS|
|Ambulance||East of England|
Eltisley is a village and civil parish in South Cambridgeshire, England, on the A428 road about 5.5 miles (9 km) east of St Neots and about 11 miles (18 km) west of the city of Cambridge. The population in 2001 was 421 people, falling slightly to 401 at the 2011 Census.
"In Longstow Hundred. The Canons of Bayeux hold 3 hides in Eltisley. Land for 9 ploughs. In lordship 1½ hides; 3 ploughs there; 6 villagers with 10 smallholders have 6 ploughs. 5 cottagers; 6 slaves. Meadow for 3 ploughs; woodland, 20 pigs. The total value is and always was £13. Earl Algar held this manor"..
Eltisley has a large village green, which is at the junction of two ancient roads running from Cambridge to St Neots and from St Ives to Potton. The church, dedicated to St Pandionia and St John the Baptist, stands immediately west of the green and several buildings from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries stand along its edge, suggesting that the green has been at the centre of the village for a long time. In 1868 it was earmarked for parishioners' recreation and exercise, and cricket is played there in summer. Eltisley Cricket Club was established in 1854 and a thatched pavilion stands on the village green. In 1967 an episode of the ITV television series The Prisoner filmed location scenes featuring a cricket match, for the episode The Girl who was Death, on this green.
Until 1868, when it was turned into allotments, another green was sited to the east. It appears that there have been at least two centres to the village since medieval times, and in 1456, villagers were distinguished as living in either 'le Estende' or 'le Upende';
The parish's population doubled between 1801 and 1871, possibly because of its good road links. In addition to the St Neots–Cambridge and St Ives–Potton roads, the lane towards Caxton may also have been important (judging from its impact on that end of the village, which is known locally as Caxton End). After 1871 the population began to decline, and by 1961 only 253 people lived in Eltisley parish.
During World War II, several babies were born in Mill House on The Green in Eltisley, the local nurse–midwife, Mrs Nell Rose (1905-1990), having taken in pregnant mothers for their confinements. In 2000, the Eltisley Historical Society published The Eltisley Millennium Book, which records the history of the village and the village as it was in the year 2000.
Eltisley has a Parish Council. The parish is represented on the South Cambridgeshire District Council by two councillors for the Papworth Everard ward and on Cambridgeshire County Council by one councillor for the Papworth electoral division. It is in the parliamentary constituency of South Cambridgeshire, represented at the House of Commons by Anthony Browne.
Eltisley village is on the western edge of the parish, south of the A428 road 'Cambridge Road' west of its junction with the A1198. The county town of Cambridge is 11 miles (18 km) to the east and the nearest town, St Neots, is 5.5 miles (9 km) west. London is 50 miles (80 km) south. Croxton is the next village west and Cambourne lies to the east. Papworth Everard is to the north along the B1040 and Waresley to the south.
The parish is largely flat and ranges from 47 to 65 metres above sea level. The soil is a heavy clay on gault which, coupled with the terrain, made drainage difficult. Eastern Brook flows towards Caxton and is a tributary of the Bourn Brook. Eltisley Wood had reached its modern state by the early 19th century; a small wood at Papley Grove, in the north of the parish, is presumably what is left of the woodland that belonged to the prioress of Hinchingbrooke.
At the time of the 2001 census, 421 people were resident in Eltisley parish. All were white; 75.7% described themselves as Christian, 0.7% followed another religion and 23.6% were not religious or did not state a religion.
By around 1230, Eltisley parish church was dedicated to St Pandionia (or Pandwyna), who was said to have been a nun in the parish in the 10th century. Robert Palmer, vicar in 1575, destroyed a well in the churchyard where St Pandionia's body was meant to have been buried originally (in 1576 he was accused of taking church paving for his own use, permitting the vicarage to be used as an ale-house and playing cards when he should have been in church). Her body was said to have been reburied in the church in 1344 and the dedication to St John the Baptist was added later.
The oldest part of the current building, the aisled nave, dates from around 1200. The tower and spire were probably built around the 15th century. Robert Palmer may have defaced some monumental effigies during his incumbency and in 1644, William Dowsing destroyed a St Christopher. A strong gust of wind blew out the north window of the chapel in the 17th century and the whole north-west corner was rebuilt in the early 17th century. In 1878, £1,000 was spent on restoring the whole church. It is a Grade II* listed building.
In 1835 a Wesleyan Methodist chapel was constructed; in 1851 the congregation numbered 120 and 45 children came to Sunday school. In 1901 it could hold 140 people but was sold in 1964. A Primitive Methodist chapel was built near the green in 1846 and was still in use in 1968. In 1897, the vicar estimated that 40 out of 90 households in the parish were dissenters.
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
- 'Parishes: Eltisley', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 5 (1973), pp. 46–59. Date accessed: 9 August 2008.
- Cambridgeshire History: Eltisley
- Eltisley Cricket Club
- 'Gravestones in Eltisley Church': Eltisley History Society
- Henman, Tom (21 August 2021). "Eltisley's 'unusual' two greens mark key part of village's history". The Hunts Post. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
- Local Heritage Initiative: Eltisley Archived 21 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- 6villages.co.uk: Eltisley Archived 9 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- South Cambridgeshire District Council: Electoral wards Archived 24 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Office of Public Sector Information: The South Cambridgeshire (Electoral Changes) Order 2008
- UK Parliament: Find your MP
- Ordnance Survey: Getamap
- Cambridgeshire County Council: Parish Census 2001 profile Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Roll of Honour: Eltisley
- Images of England: Telephone Kiosk
- Images of England: Village pump
- Images of England: Milestone
- Images of England: Church of St John the Baptist and St Pandionia
Media related to Eltisley at Wikimedia Commons