Place:Godmanchester, Huntingdonshire, England

Watchers
NameGodmanchester
Alt namesGodmundcestresource: Domesday Book (1985) p 141
TypeTown, Borough (municipal)
Coordinates52.317°N 0.183°W
Located inHuntingdonshire, England     ( - 1961)
See alsoHuntingdon and Godmanchester, Huntingdon, Englandboroughs were merged 1961-1965
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Godmanchester is a small town and civil parish within the Huntingdonshire district of Cambridgeshire, in England. It lies on the south bank of the River Great Ouse, south of the larger town of Huntingdon, and on the A14 road.

The town was on the site of the Roman town of Durovigutum. It was first chartered by King John in 1212, though it had been a market town and royal manor for some years. There is archaeological evidence of Celtic and earlier habitation prior to the establishment of a key Roman town and a Mansio (inn), so the area has probably been continuously occupied for more than 2000 years. The settlement was at a crossroads of Roman roads, with Ermine Street, the Via Devana (from Cambridge, between Colchester and Chester) and a military road from Sandy, Bedfordshire, all passing through. The Roman settlement was sacked by Anglo-Saxons in the third century. In contrast to Huntingdon, there have been vast amounts of archaeological finds in the centre of Godmanchester, which has two conservation areas with a large number of timber-framed Tudor houses, the largest being Tudor Farm, dating from 1600 and restored in 1995.

The mansio is mentioned in Godmanchester's name, which comes from Anglo-Saxon Godmundceaster, meaning a "town or Roman buildings associated with a man called Godmund". The location is likely to have been originally settled due to the gravel beds providing a ford across the River Great Ouse. In 2003 it had a population of about 5500 in 3500 homes, with the largest increase in population occurring between 1981 and 1991 (81%) with more modest growth since.

There are several bridges across the Great Ouse to Huntingdon, but until 1975 Old Bridge, Huntingdon, a medieval bridge, was the only one. It is now used only for light traffic, and a parallel footbridge has been built for pedestrians. Construction of the A14 bypass means that heavy traffic now flows over a modern bridge.

Between Godmanchester, Huntingdon and Brampton lies England's largest meadow, Portholme, which remains an important flood plain but which has served as an equestrian racecourse and centre for early aviation.

About a mile south of the town centre, on the A1198 road at is the headquarters of the Wood Green Animal Shelters - a charity dedicated to re-homing unwanted pets.

Original historical documents relating to Godmanchester, including the original church parish registers, local government records, maps, photographs and the surviving borough charters, are held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies at the County Record Office Huntingdon.

In October 2003 BBC1's Songs Of Praise was hosted by the parish church of St Mary the Virgin and featured the new hymn tune Godmanchester written by the vicar, Peter Moger.

Research Tips

  • Original historical documents relating to Huntingdonshire are held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies at the County Record Office in Huntingdon.
  • A History of the County of Huntingdon in 3 volumes from British History Online (Victoria County Histories), published 1911. This is by far the most complete history of the parishes of the county to be found online. The chapters are ordered by the divisions of the county called hundreds, but each chapter is linked to the volume's content page.
  • GENUKI has a page on Huntingdonshire and pages for each of the ecclesiastical parishes in the county. These give references to other organizations who hold genealogical information for the local area.
  • The FamilyTree Wiki has a series of pages similar to those provided by GENUKI which may have been prepared at a later date.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time, section "Units and Statistics" leads to analyses of population and organization of the county from about 1800 through 1974. There are pages available for all civil parishes, municipal boroughs and other administrative divisions.
  • Map of Huntingdonshire divisions in 1888 produced by UK Ordnance Survey and provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time
  • Map of Huntingdonshire divisions in 1944 produced by UK Ordnance Survey and provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Godmanchester. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.