Knapwell, All Saints
Knapwell shown within Cambridgeshire
|Population||110 (2001 estimate)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
The name Knapwell is of unclear origin though it seems clear that it is named after the chalybeate Red Well in the wood just to the east of the village. The well is probably ancient and was the only source of water to both the village and neighbouring Boxworth. Its waters were known for their medicinal properties.
The village's manor house was established in Norman times, and traces of a building and moat remain in the wood to the east of the church.
The village has had a church since at least 1180. The present church, dedicated to All Saints, was probably built in the early 14th century. The medieval church had a long, low chancel and a three-bay aisled nave all under a single roof, and a west tower. In 1864 the medieval church was demolished, except for the tower, and rebuilt in a plain Gothic style. The original 14th century tower is built of field stones dressed with limestone and is unbuttressed.
The Knapwell elm trees
Knapwell was once celebrated for its many ancient pollarded Field Elms, which marked the old boundaries, closes and lanes of the larger medieval village and which were locally called "the Dodds". The trees grew both in the fields immediately bordering the main street and amongst the houses of the modern village. The name may have derived from "dodderel", a dialect word for a pollard. The trees succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease in the 1980s.
The village has no shops or pubs, though was home to the Three Horseshoes pub until its closure in 1880.
It is adjacent to the wood known as Overhall Grove (not to be confused with Knapwell Wood), which has a notably large number of surviving elm trees.
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