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Witcham is located in Cambridgeshire
Location within Cambridgeshire
Population429 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceTL463800
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townELY
Postcode districtCB6
Dialling code01353
List of places
52°23′56″N 0°09′00″E / 52.399°N 0.150°E / 52.399; 0.150Coordinates: 52°23′56″N 0°09′00″E / 52.399°N 0.150°E / 52.399; 0.150

Witcham is a small village near Ely in Cambridgeshire, England.

The village is surrounded by fenland farms and has a village hall and a 13th-century church dedicated to St Martin. It has a pub called the White Horse, which was the winner of the Ely and District CAMRA Rural Pub of the Year Award 2006, 2010, 2011 and Overall Pub of the Year Award 2011. It also has a fine village green.

The village hosts the World Pea Shooting Championships on the second Saturday in July every year and has staged the competition annually since 1971.

Witcham is built around a cross-roads in the centre of the village with each of the four roads having housing on each side for 50-200m. The north-bound street is called "Martins Lane", the east-bound street is "High Street", south-bound is "The Slade", and west-bound is "Silver Street", which leads to the more recent housing developments of "Westway Place" and "The Orchards".

The Witcham Gravel helmet in the British Museum

The name of the village derives from "Wycham", meaning "place of the wych elms", after the trees that used to grow there in significant numbers. A Roman cavalry helmet dating from the first century AD, known as the Witcham Gravel helmet, was found in the village gravel pit, and now resides in the British Museum.[2]

Commemoration Plate for the closure of Witcham School

The village school was sited on the South side of High Street, opposite and a little East of St.Martin's church, and was open as an infants and junior school from 1873 until 1982. When the school closed the pupils instead went to Mepal or Sutton. A local archive has further images of the school.[3]

Witcham Gravel[edit]

Historically, Witcham Parish had several detached portions in the outlying Fens. By 1896, boundary changes had reduced these detached portions to one, separated from the main by a small parish called Witcham Gravel. Witcham Gravel was placed in Ely Urban District, whereas the two parts of Witcham proper were included in Ely Rural District. This situation persisted until 1933, when Witcham Gravel parish was merged into Witcham.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ "Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics. Area: Witcham (Parish)". ONS. 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  2. ^ British Museum Collection
  3. ^ "Witcham in the Cambridge Community Archive Network".
  4. ^ "South Witchford Hundred: Witcham". Victoria County History. British History Online. 2002. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Witcham CP/AP through time: Census tables with data for the Parish-level Unit, A Vision of Britain through Time". GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - Witcham". Cambridgeshire History. 1929. Retrieved 15 June 2017.

External links[edit]