Great Gidding shown within Cambridgeshire
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Great Gidding is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England. Great Gidding lies approximately 10 miles (16 km) north-west of Huntingdon. Great Gidding is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of England. The village has a Church of England primary school, playing field, corner shop, village hall and several local businesses. There is one public house in the village, The Fox and Hounds. Surrounding towns and cities are Huntingdon, Oundle and Peterborough. It is a small village in the East of England, very rural and close to the A1 road.
In 1870 Great Gidding was described as
- GIDDING (Great), a parish in the district of Oundle and county of Huntingdon; on Alconbury brook, adjacent to Northamptonshire, 6 miles SW by S of Stilton, and 6½ SW of Holme r. station. Post town, Hamerton, under St.
It had a population of 363 according to the 2011 census.
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.
Great Gidding was listed in the Domesday Book in the Hundred of Leightonstone in Huntingdonshire; the name of the settlement was written as Geddinge, Gedelinge and Redinges in the Domesday Book. In 1086 there were three manors at Great Gidding; the annual rent paid to the lords of the manors in 1066 had been £17.5 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 were 40.5 households at Great Gidding. 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 Great Gidding in 1086 is that it was within the range of 141 and 202 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 were 28 ploughlands at Great Gidding in 1086. In addition to the arable land, there was 108 acres (44 hectares) of meadows at Great Gidding.
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 manors at Great Gidding the total tax assessed was 10.5 geld.
In 1086 there was no church at Great Gidding.
Great Gidding 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 six councillors. Council meetings are normally held on the third Tuesday of the month at the village hall.
Great Gidding 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, Great Gidding 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. Great Gidding is a part of the district ward of Sawtry and is represented on the district council by two councillors. District councillors serve for four-year terms following elections to Huntingdonshire District Council.
For Great Gidding 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. Great Gidding is part of the electoral division of Sawtry and Ellington and is represented on the county council by one councillor.
At Westminster Great Gidding 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. Great Gidding 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 Great Gidding is part of the East of England constituency which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
The village is near the Alconbury brook, which has a course of about 13 miles, rising near Lullington and joining the Ouse at Huntingdon. "The normal level of the Alconbury Brook at Hamerton in average weather conditions is between 1.05m and 1.87m."
In the period 1801 to 1901 the population of Great Gidding was recorded every ten years by the UK census. During this time the population was in the range of 337 (the lowest was in 1901) and 563 (the highest was in 1851).
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 2,330 acres (943 hectares) and so the population density for Great Gidding in 2011 was 92.8 persons per square mile (35.8 per square kilometre).
In 1881, most workers were male and working in agriculture in comparison with the majority of women working in unknown category.
In the 2011 census, 195 people were employed: 38 worked in associate professional and technical occupations; 35 were managers, directors and senior officials; 34 were professionals; 23 were in the administrative sector; 10 were in elementary positions; six were in sales.
Through comparing census data of both 2001 and 2011 we can see that in 2011 there were fewer young people but more old people. This is seen as in 2011 there were 101 people over 60 while 2001 had 73. In 2001 117 people were 29 and below while 2011 had only 106 people. Therefore, the mean age is different because in 2011 its 42.7 while 2001 was 37.57 This also gives further evidence to the current ageing population of the country
Marital and civil partnership status
In 2001 the large majority 173 out of 277 people were married, remarried or technically still married. 53 were widowed or divorced and 51 are single (never married). In 2011 however there was the added option of same-sex civil partnerships. Of this 4 out of the 304 people were in a same-sex civil partnership and 56.9% were married and 7 technically married. 24.7% were single (never married) while 45 people where divorced or widowed respectively.
In 2001, the village was 73% Christian and 11.6% no religion, with five people who identified as Hindu. In 2011, the village was 63% Christian and 21.5% no religion, with five Hindus, five Jews, four Muslims, and two Buddhists.
Culture and community
The only school in Great Gidding is St Michael School. It has a "holistic approach" to educating children ". The school is next to the church and was founded in 1845 by the Church of England but there is evidence of a school since 1750. In the past the role of headmaster went through families; for example, both Benjamin Horsford and his son Cornelius were headmasters from 1754. In 1944 the local education authority took over control but the school still has very strong links with the church for events such as Harvest and Easter.
Public transport to Great Gidding is infrequent and inconvenient with only one bus a week to Oundle and Huntingdon and one a month to Peterborough. In fact 67.6% of residents do not use the public buses due them being infrequent and at inconvenient times. The main road is the B660.
The main church is called St. Michael. It has been recorded in historical reports since the 13th century, although it is not mentioned in the Domesday Book. The current vicar is Mary Jepp. After being in poor condition it was restored in 1870,and again in 1925. There are five bells at St Michael and many stained-glass windows as well as weathered gargoyles. It also contains a war memorial in the form of a stone plaque for the fallen, listing 36 names for World War I and 37 for World War II.
The crash of 1944
On June the 10th 1944, the US 8th Air Force was sent in a Flying Fortress called Bam Bam from RAF Molesworth to Nantes to shut down the German airfield there. Bam Bam had already done 42 missions and the crew reported strong smell of fuel inside however they were told to continue in air they reported to control that the smell was getting constantly worse and wanted to return. Soon after, it exploded 1/4 of a mile SW of Great Gidding. Six out of the ten aircrew died and four survived. Due to the controversy that the crew raised concerns but were ordered to fly, this was kept a secret for 70 years until 2014
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Media related to Great Gidding at Wikimedia Commons