St Neots has been, since 1974, a town and civil parish in the Huntingdonshire District of the non-metropolitan county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies on the River Great Ouse west of Cambridge and north of central London.
Prior to 1965 St Neots was to be found in the county of Huntingdonshire, next to the Bedfordshire county border. There were two mergers of counties in 1965 and 1974 which brought it into Cambridgeshire. St Neots was an urban district from 1894 to 1974 and, during most of the 19th century, a Registration District and Poor Law Union.
Although Roman and even pre-Roman finds have been made in and around St Neots, there was no significant settlement until Saxon times. Early developments were in Eynesbury (now close to the centre of St Neots), Eaton Socon and Eaton Ford (the latter two originally in Bedfordshire), which still exist as part of the town today; and Maltman's Green and Crosshall Ford which are no longer recognised.
The town is named after the Cornish monk Saint Neot whose bones were stolen from the village of St Neot on Bodmin Moor and concealed in the nearby priory of the same name. Pilgrimage to St Neots brought prosperity for the town, and it was granted a market charter in 1130. The Normans rebuilt the Priory near the river and the town of St Neots grew up against its southern wall.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the town enjoyed further prosperity through corn milling, brewing, stagecoach traffic and railways. After the Second World War, the town and its industry grew rapidly as London councils paid for new housing to be built in the town to rehouse families from London. The first London overspill housing was completed in the early 1960s. Up until 1974 St Neots was part of Huntingdonshire. Today, St Neots is a thriving commuter town.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article History of St Neots.