Village History

There have been settlements in Hemingford Abbots from earliest times, archaeological finds of flints and stone tools indicate stone-age peoples, and a Roman sarcophagus was uncovered close to the A1307 – today’s road follows the route of a Roman military road.

The name ‘Hemingford’ dates from the 8th century; it means ‘the ford of Hema’s people’ and describes a settlement around a river crossing. ‘Abbots’ refers to Ramsey Abbey’s ownership of the manor from 974 A.D until 1539.

By 1250 the village had 96 holdings but numbers declined a century later when the village suffered the ravages of the Black Death.

After Ramsey Abbey was dissolved in 1539 the land belonged to various national figures. A number of properties or barns dating back to the 16th and 17th century have survived including the only remaining pub in the village, The Axe and Compass.

Some Parish Records survive from 1693 but the outstanding relics of the 18th century are five of the fine bells which were cast and hung in 1754.

Hemingford Abbots grew from 306 in 1801 to 564 in 1841. It then declined and did not reach its present size again for over a century. The main growth in the village was through the 1950’s with 348 in 1951 and 628 in 1961.

In 1978 it was decided, due to low pupil numbers, to close the small primary school in Hemingford Abbots and 20 pupils at that time joined Hemingford Grey School from Hemingford Abbots.