Kingston Parish Council
A Brief History of Kingston Village
The parish of Kingston covers 1907 acres and is bordered by Bourn Brook to the north, Armshold Lane to the east, Porter's Way to the west, and the Mare Way to the south. Mare Way is a prehistoric ridgeway, one of the oldest identified tracks in Cambridgeshire.
There are three moated sites in the parish: Moat House Farm, probably the site of the manor of Kingston St George; a small moat in Eversden wood in the southern part of the parish; and Kingston Wood Farm, probably once the manor of William the Conqueror's sheriff Picot.
In 1269 Baldwin St George of Kingston St George manor owned a deer park in Kingston. William Mortimer of Kingston Wood manor is recorded in 1279 as having a windmill.
Carousing in Kingston
In 1593 Margaret Baker was presented for 'suffering divers persons to tipple, swill, drink, and keep evil rule in their house at time of divine service to the offence of honest parishioners'
Religious non-conformity was strong in South Cambridgeshire in the 17th century, and particularly so in Kingston. Bishop Compton's Census of 1676 recorded 11 dissenters and 84 conformists.
Plough in Church
The visitation sent by the Bishop of Ely in 1578 to check on the state of religious observance in the area, demanded the removal of the town plough from the Church where it was being stored, presumably for general village use.
It was estimated in 1793 that there were 160 inhabitants in the village - and 450 sheep! In 1831, 65 of the 74 families in the village were engaged in farming. The 1891 census recorded 278 people living in the village. It also listed two pubs: the Rose and Crown and the Chequers; a British School; a blacksmith's shop and a Congregational chapel.
The Muffin Man
In the early 20th century the Muffin Man visited regularly: he walked around the village with a tray on his head covered with a green cloth, ringing a bell, selling muffins and crumpets.
Electricity and mains water was not available in the village until after the Second World War. Previously villagers had to rely on the town well or farm pumps for their water.
In about 1920 a flare dropped from a low-flying aircraft set fire to the thatched roof of a bungalow on Claypit Hill. The pilot realised and wrote a note which he attached to a heavy object and dropped in a nearby farmyard to raise the alarm. Some household goods and furniture were salvaged, but the house was unfortunately burnt down.
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