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Fenstanton High Street - geograph.org.uk - 639733.jpg
Fenstanton High Street
Fenstanton is located in Cambridgeshire
 Fenstanton shown within Cambridgeshire
Population 2,868 [1]
OS grid reference TL318686
District Huntingdonshire
Shire county Cambridgeshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district PE28
Dialling code 01480
EU Parliament East of England
Website http://www.fenstanton-village.co.uk/
List of places

Coordinates: 52°18′N 0°04′W / 52.3°N 0.07°W / 52.3; -0.07

Fenstanton is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England.[2] Fenstanton is approximately 2 miles (3 km) south of St Ives. Fenstanton is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of England. Fenstanton lies on the south side of the River Ouse.

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.[3] The name "Fenstanton" means "fenland stone enclosure".[4]


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.[5]

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.[5]


As a civil parish, Fenstanton 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 parish council consists of twelve councillors and there is a parish clerk.[6]

Fenstanton 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, Fenstanton became a part of the county of Cambridgeshire. Fenstanton is a district ward of Huntingdonshire District Council[7] and is represented on the district council by one councillor.[8] For Cambridgeshire County Council Fenstanton is part of the electoral division of The Hemingfords and Fen Stanton [7] and is represented on the county council by one councillor.[9]

At Westminster, Fenstanton is in the parliamentary constituency of Huntingdon,[7] and 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. For the European Parliament Fenstanton is in the East of England (European Parliament constituency).

Culture and community[edit]

The village supports four public houses: The Crown and Pipes, the George and King William IV. The Tudor, a former pub, is now a Thai take-away. In 1851 there were eight recorded pubs: The Bell, the Crown, the George, the King William IV, the Rose & Crown, the Royal Oak, the White Horse and the Woolpack.

Also the Blue Cow & the Chequers[5]

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.

Notable people[edit]

The village is the ancestral home of John Howland, one of the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

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.

Religious sites[edit]

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.[3]

The village also has both a Baptist and a United Reformed Church.


  1. ^ 2001 census
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 153 Bedford & Huntingdon (St Neots & Biggleswade) (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2013. ISBN 9780319231722. 
  3. ^ a b William Page, Granville Proby, S. Inskip Ladds (1932). A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 2. Victoria County History. 
  4. ^ Walter Skeat (1901). The Placenames of Cambridgeshire. 
  5. ^ a b c "Fenstanton - a brief history". 
  6. ^ "Fenstanton Parish Council: Councillors". www.fenstanton-village.co.uk. Fenstanton Parish Council. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c "Ordnance Survey Election Maps". www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Huntingdonshire District Council: Councillors". www.huntsdc.gov.uk. Huntingdonshire District Council. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "Cambridgeshire County Council: Councillors" (pdf). www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Dady, Jack. (2000) Beyond Yesterday: A History of Fenstanton. Huntingdon: Archived Books. See village website

External links[edit]