The History of Holme in Cambridgeshire

Historical notes about the town of Holme in Cambridgehsire.

The Parish of Holme

Holme, until the early 19th century, was a hamlet or chapelry of Glatton. It was then made a parish, with an area of about 4,435 acres—more than twice that of Glatton. It includes the greater part of what was formerly Whittlesea Mere, which occupies the northern end of the parish.

Engine House

Drainage Engine and Pump House for Whittlesea Mere

Drainage Engine and Pump House for Whittlesea Mere

 

Holme is about a mile east of the Ermine Street, or Great North Road, and is separated from Ramsey, on the east and south-east, by the Nene (old course) and Burbeach stream; and from Conington, on the south, by the Holme Brook; drains and dykes intersect the parish from south-west to north-east. 'A place by the stream at Holme for washing herrings' is mentioned in 1300. Holme Fen (parts of which are still unreclaimed) lies south of Whittlesea Mere, and the whole parish is so low-lying that little of the land is more than 10 ft. above Ordnance datum. The soil is chiefly fen, peat and clay, producing potatoes, wheat, oats and mustard.

Duck Decoy

A Duck Decoy on Holme Fen (circa 1911)

A Duck Decoy on Holme Fen (circa 1911)

 

The small village is situated about half a mile from the western boundary of the parish, with the church in the north-west corner, and the school and vicarage to the east of it. A 17th-century cottage finished with Dutch gables is close by. There is a station on the main line of the London and North Eastern Railway with a branch line to Ramsey.

Holme Wood House, built in Holme Park by William Wells about 1874, replaced an earlier house known as Holme House, occupied by Captain William Wells, R.N. (d. 1826). It followed the descent of the manor of Glatton with Holme, until 1918, and is still the residence of Mr. John Ashton Fielden. Holme was not included in the sale of Glatton in 1918.

Victoria County History - Huntingdonshire Printed 1932