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Isleham Church - - 271173.jpg
St Andrew's Church
Isleham is located in Cambridgeshire
Location within Cambridgeshire
Population2,378 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceTL644738
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townELY
Postcode districtCB7
Dialling code01638
List of places
52°20′N 0°24′E / 52.33°N 0.4°E / 52.33; 0.4Coordinates: 52°20′N 0°24′E / 52.33°N 0.4°E / 52.33; 0.4
Isleham village sign

Isleham is a small village and civil parish in the English county of Cambridgeshire. It is part of the Fens. It has 3 pubs.


Isleham is located in the Fens of south-east Cambridgeshire. The western parish boundary is formed by the Crooked Ditch or Crooked Drain, the eastern boundary largely by the Lea Brook and the north by the River Lark. The village lies on the B1104 from Prickwillow to Chippenham. Isleham is twinned with Nesles in France and Magdala in Germany and recently with Maltov in Russia.


The village shops: a Co-op supermarket Post Office. There are also three public houses - The Griffin, The Merry Monk and the Rising Sun - and three churches - the High Street Church, plfc (Pound Lane Free Church) and St Andrew's Church of England parish church.


The region between Devil's Dyke and the line between Littleport and Shippea Hill shows a remarkable amount of archaeological findings of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age .[2] Findings in Isleham include the famous Isleham Hoard of more than 6500 pieces of bronze, both manufactured articles and fragments of sheet bronze, all dating from the late Bronze Age, and discovered by William 'Bill' Houghton and his brother, Arthur.[3]


Following a landscaping project, plfc (Pound Lane Free Church) have made listings and photographs of the graveyard headstones available via an on-line library.[4]


Its name seems to come from Anglo-Saxon Gísla hám = "the home of the hostages". It seems that in Anglo-Saxon societies the position of a hostage from one political group held by another political group, was sometimes more or less voluntary, and the meaning of the word could slip into "representative".

On 3 May 1850 preacher Charles Spurgeon was baptised in the river Lark. To this day, a stone marks the location.

The Priory of St Margaret of Antioch was founded in the village in 1090. It was always an alien priory run directly from France and, as such, was dissolved in 1414. It was later used as a barn and is now looked after by English Heritage.

St Andrew's parish church is the burial site for important ancestors of the Peyton family. Many visitors who have Peyton ancestors visit the church throughout the year, and obtain rubbings of the famous brasses decorating the Peyton monuments. The church continues to be restored with the help of donations from Peyton families in the UK and USA. Isleham Hall on West Street is a building associated with the Peyton family, and dating from the 16th century.[5]

In 2015, English rapper Dirty Dike released his fourth album[6] which included a track entitled 'Isleham Swamp'. Dirty Dike has referenced Cambridgeshire and the Fenland in several of his tracks.


  1. ^ "Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics. Area: Isleham (Parish)". ONS. 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  2. ^ Hall, David (1994). Fenland survey : an essay in landscape and persistence / David Hall and John Coles. London; English Heritage. ISBN 1-85074-477-7., p. 81-88
  3. ^ Where Troy Once Stood, I. Wilkens, 2005, p. 90
  4. ^ "Pound Lane Free Church, Isleham (plfc)".
  5. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1331733)". National Heritage List for England.
  6. ^ "Dirty Dike - Sucking On Prawns In The Moonlight". Discogs.

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