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Huntingdon

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Huntingdon is a market town in Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. The town was chartered by King John
John of England
John , also known as John Lackland , was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death...

 in 1205. It is the traditional county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 of Huntingdonshire
Huntingdonshire
Huntingdonshire is a local government district of Cambridgeshire, covering the area around Huntingdon. Traditionally it is a county in its own right...

, and is currently the seat of the Huntingdonshire
Huntingdonshire
Huntingdonshire is a local government district of Cambridgeshire, covering the area around Huntingdon. Traditionally it is a county in its own right...

 district council
Non-metropolitan district
Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially shire districts, are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties in a so-called "two-tier" arrangement...

. It is known as the birthplace in 1599 of Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

.

History


Huntingdon was founded by the Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 and Danes. Mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, it seems that it was a staging post for Danish raids outside of east Anglia until 917, when the Danes relocated to Tempsford, before being crushed by Edward the Elder. It prospered successively as a bridging point of the River Great Ouse
River Great Ouse
The Great Ouse is a river in the east of England. At long, it is the fourth-longest river in the United Kingdom. The river has been important for navigation, and for draining the low-lying region through which it flows. Its course has been modified several times, with the first recorded being in...

, as a market town, and in the 18th and 19th centuries as a coaching
Stagecoach
A stagecoach is a type of covered wagon for passengers and goods, strongly sprung and drawn by four horses, usually four-in-hand. Widely used before the introduction of railway transport, it made regular trips between stages or stations, which were places of rest provided for stagecoach travelers...

 centre, most notably The George Hotel. The town has a well-preserved medieval bridge
Old Bridge, Huntingdon
The old bridge in Huntingdon is a well-preserved medieval stone bridge over the River Great Ouse, connecting Huntingdon to Godmanchester.-History:...

 that used to serve as the main route of Ermine Street
Ermine Street
Ermine Street is the name of a major Roman road in England that ran from London to Lincoln and York . The Old English name was 'Earninga Straete' , named after a tribe called the Earningas, who inhabited a district later known as Armingford Hundred, around Arrington, Cambridgeshire and Royston,...

 over the river. The bridge only ceased to be the sole crossing point to Godmanchester
Godmanchester
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....

 in 1975, with the advent of what is now the A14 bypass.

Its valuable trading position was secured by the now vanished Huntingdon Castle
Huntingdon Castle
Huntingdon Castle was situated in the town of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire .The site was originally occupied by the Saxons. In 1068 a Norman motte and bailey castle was built for William the Conqueror. During the Anarchy the castle was held by David, King of Scotland through his marriage to...

. The site is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument
Scheduled Ancient Monument
In the United Kingdom, a scheduled monument is a 'nationally important' archaeological site or historic building, given protection against unauthorized change. The various pieces of legislation used for legally protecting heritage assets from damage and destruction are grouped under the term...

, and is home to a beacon
Beacon
A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location.Beacons can also be combined with semaphoric or other indicators to provide important information, such as the status of an airport, by the colour and rotational pattern of its airport beacon, or of...

 used to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

.

The town has been represented in parliament by two prominent MPs: Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 in the 17th century, and former Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Prime Minister John Major
John Major
Sir John Major, is a British Conservative politician, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990–1997...

 from 1979 to 2001. It is currently represented by Conservative MP Jonathan Djanogly
Jonathan Djanogly
Jonathan Simon Djanogly is a British politician, former practicing solicitor and Conservative Member of Parliament for Huntingdon...

.

Original historical documents relating to Huntingdon, including the original borough charter
Charter
A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified...

 of 1205, are held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies
Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies
Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies Service is a UK local government institution which collects and preserves archives, other historical documents and printed material relating to the modern county of Cambridgeshire, which includes the former counties of Huntingdonshire and the Isle of Ely...

 at the County Record Office Huntingdon.

Between the railway station and the old hospital building stands a cannon. In the 1990s this replica cannon was installed to replace an original Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 one that stood until the Second World War, when it was scrapped for the war effort. When it was installed again in the 1990s it faced the opposite direction from the original.

Area


The town lies on the north bank of the River Great Ouse
River Great Ouse
The Great Ouse is a river in the east of England. At long, it is the fourth-longest river in the United Kingdom. The river has been important for navigation, and for draining the low-lying region through which it flows. Its course has been modified several times, with the first recorded being in...

, opposite Godmanchester
Godmanchester
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....

 and close to the market town of St Ives
St Ives, Cambridgeshire
St Ives is a market town in Cambridgeshire, England, around north-west of the city of Cambridge and north of London. It lies within the historic county boundaries of Huntingdonshire.-History:...

 in the east and the village of Brampton
Brampton, Cambridgeshire
Brampton – in Huntingdonshire , England – is a village near Godmanchester south west of Huntingdon. It has a population over 5000...

 in the west. Huntingdon now incorporates the village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

 of Hartford
Hartford, Cambridgeshire
Hartford in Huntingdonshire , England, is a village near the town of Huntingdon, and not far west of Wyton. It lies on the A141 road and on the north bank of the River Great Ouse, upon which it has a significant marina...

 to the east, and the developing areas of Oxmoor, Stukeley Meadows and Hinchingbrooke to the north and west.

Between Godmanchester, Huntingdon and Brampton
Brampton, Cambridgeshire
Brampton – in Huntingdonshire , England – is a village near Godmanchester south west of Huntingdon. It has a population over 5000...

 lies England's largest meadow
Meadow
A meadow is a field vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants . The term is from Old English mædwe. In agriculture a meadow is grassland which is not grazed by domestic livestock but rather allowed to grow unchecked in order to make hay...

, Portholme Meadow. Around 257 acres (1 km²) in size and containing many rare species of grass, flowers and dragonfly
Dragonfly
A dragonfly is a winged insect belonging to the order Odonata, the suborder Epiprocta or, in the strict sense, the infraorder Anisoptera . It is characterized by large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, and an elongated body...

, it is the only known habitat of the Marsh Dandelion in Britain. It also acts as a huge natural reservoir for holding excess water in times of flood enabling the river to be run off more slowly, thereby helping to prevent flooding of nearby towns. It has also served as a horse race course and centre for early aviation.

There is a local Horseracing Course, Huntingdon Racecourse
Huntingdon Racecourse
Huntingdon Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue located in The Stukeleys near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England.It is also the venue for the annual Mascot Grand National, a race between the mascots of various football and other sports teams....

.

There are 3 RAF
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 stations within 4 miles of the town: RAF Brampton
RAF Brampton
RAF Brampton is a Royal Air Force station near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. Formerly the home of RAF Support Command, it now houses several elements of Defence Equipment & Support , which itself was a result of a merger between the Defence Logistics Organisation and the Defence Procurement Agency...

, once home to Headquarters RAF Support Command
RAF Support Command
-History:It was formed on 31 August 1973 by the renaming of Maintenance Command, with No. 90 Group being added to it. Its responsibilities included all logistical and maintenance support requirements of the RAF...

 and now part of the Defence Logistics Organisation
Defence Logistics Organisation
The Defence Logistics Organisation was a key element of the UK Ministry of Defence, responsible for supporting the armed forces throughout the various stages of an operation or exercise; from training, deployment, in-theatre training and conduct of operations, through to recovery and recuperation...

 (DLO); RAF Wyton
RAF Wyton
RAF Wyton is a Royal Air Force station near St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, England.In terms of organisation RAF Wyton is now part of the combined station RAF Brampton Wyton Henlow, a merger of Wyton with two previously separate bases, RAF Brampton and RAF Henlow. Wyton is the largest of the three. It...

, once a major flying station but now also part of the DLO; and RAF Alconbury
RAF Alconbury
RAF Alconbury is an active Royal Air Force station in Cambridgeshire, England. The airfield is adjacent to the Stukeleys [Great and Little] and located about northwest of Huntingdon; about north of London....

 currently occupied by the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

.

Once renowned for many more churches within the town, there are now four Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 churches in Huntingdon, which together with the churches in the adjacent villages Great and Little Stukeley are members of the Huntingdon Team Ministry in the Diocese of Ely
Diocese of Ely
The Diocese of Ely is a Church of England diocese in the Province of Canterbury. It is headed by the Bishop of Ely, who sits at Ely Cathedral in Ely. There is one suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Huntingdon. The diocese now covers Cambridgeshire and western Norfolk...

. The four churches are All Saints' (next to the Market Square), St Marys (opposite Pathfinder House), St Barnabas (on the Oxmoor estate) and All Saints', Hartford
Hartford, Cambridgeshire
Hartford in Huntingdonshire , England, is a village near the town of Huntingdon, and not far west of Wyton. It lies on the A141 road and on the north bank of the River Great Ouse, upon which it has a significant marina...

.

Local Primary schools include Hartford Junior School, Thongsley Fields Primary School, St John's Primary School, Stukeley Meadows Primary School and Hartford Junior School. Special needs schools include Spring Common School. Secondary schools include St Peters
St. Peter's Secondary School, Huntingdon
St Peter's is a secondary school in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. It was founded in 1870, and in 2005 was granted specialist status for Mathematics and Computing....

 and Hinchingbrooke School
Hinchingbrooke School
Hinchingbrooke School is a large school situated on the outskirts of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. Originally all of the surrounding land—including what is now Huntingdon Town—comprised the grounds of Hinchingbrooke House. In fact, the Town was given the name "Huntingdon" as the owners of the house...

. Further Education colleges include Huntingdonshire Regional College
Huntingdonshire Regional College
Huntingdonshire Regional College is a further education college located in the Huntingdonshire district of Cambridgeshire, England. The college is based in the towns of Huntingdon and St Neots....

http://www.huntingdon.ac.uk/, Hinchingbrooke school sixth form college and St Peter's Sixth Form.

Climate


The nearest weather station for which long term weather data is available is RAF Wyton, 3 miles north east of the town centre, although more recently Monks Wood, 5 miles to the north west, also provides data.

As with the rest of the British Isles, Huntingdon experiences a strongly temperate maritime based climate, free from temperature extremes, with rainfall fairly evenly spread throughout the year.

The absolute maximum recorded at Wyton was 35.4 °C (95.7 °F) during August 1990, although the temperature at Monks Wood rose to 35.1 °C (95.2 °F) during July 2006. Typically the warmest day will average 29.7 °C (85.5 °F), and 16.0 days a year will rise to 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or above.

Typically 43.2 nights of the year will report an air frost. The absolute minimum at Wyton (from 1960) was -16.1 C recorded during January 1982. On average, the coldest night of the year will fall to -7.7 C

With rainfall at under 550 mm per year, the Huntingdon area is amongst the driest in the UK — 103.4 days on average will record at least 1 mm of rain. All averages mentioned refer to the period 1971–2000.

Notoriety

  • Regular animal rights
    Animal rights
    Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

     protests take place outside the local Huntingdon Life Sciences
    Huntingdon Life Sciences
    Huntingdon Life Sciences is a contract animal-testing company founded in 1952 in England, with facilities in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire; Eye, Suffolk; New Jersey in the U.S., and Japan...

     laboratory. Huntingdon Life Sciences is one of the world's largest Contract Research Organisations. Founded in 1952 in the UK, the company is now an international business with resources on three continents. Originally the company concentrated upon nutrition, veterinary and biochemical research.

  • A photograph of the old Cash Converters
    Cash Converters
    Cash Converters International Limited is a worldwide pawnbroking franchise company. They also offer small financial loans to people. -Australia:Cash Converters International is a franchised retail network listed on the ASX and London Stock Exchange....

     store (the one-time Post Office in Chequer's Court) in Huntingdon features on the front cover of the book Crap Towns II, despite the fact that the town does not feature in the book.



Rail


Huntingdon
Huntingdon railway station
Huntingdon Railway Station serves the town of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. The station is on the East Coast Main Line and has three platforms; one bay and two through platforms...

 and St Neots stations are connected with London Kings Cross station by a frequent service operated by First Capital Connect
First Capital Connect
First Capital Connect is a passenger train operating company in England that began operations on the National Rail network on 1 April 2006...

.

Huntingdon is connected to Peterborough station
Peterborough railway station
Peterborough railway station serves the city of Peterborough, England. It is located approximately north of London Kings Cross on the East Coast Main Line...

 by First Capital Connect, and then on to the North and Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 by East Coast
East Coast (train operating company)
East Coast is a British train operating company running high-speed passenger services on the East Coast Main Line between London, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland...

.

Bus


There are regular buses to Peterborough, St Neots, Ramsey, St Ives and Cambridge all direct from Huntingdon, as well as within the town and to Hinchingbrooke Hospital
Hinchingbrooke Hospital
Hinchingbrooke Hospital is an NHS hospital in Hinchingbrooke near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Opened in 1983, it is a main hospital for the Huntingdonshire area, and has a range of specialities as well as an Accident and Emergency. It has 266 beds, including 24 specifically for day cases...

. Most buses are provided by Stagecoach in Huntingdonshire or Go Whippet.

More info see: List of bus routes in Huntingdon, St Ives and St Neots

Air


Luton
London Luton Airport
London Luton Airport is an international airport located east of the town centre in the Borough of Luton in Bedfordshire, England and is north of Central London. The airport is from Junction 10a of the M1 motorway...

 and Stansted
London Stansted Airport
-Cargo:-Statistics:-Infrastructure:-Terminal and satellite buildings:Stansted is the newest passenger airport of all the main London airports. The terminal is an oblong glass building, and is separated in to three areas: Check-in concourse, arrivals and departures...

 airports are both within an hour's drive.


Legends


Once a convent, Hinchingbrooke House
Hinchingbrooke House
Hinchingbrooke House in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, was built around an 11th century nunnery. After the Reformation it passed into the hands of the Cromwell family, and subsequently, became the home of the Earls of Sandwich, including John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, reputedly the "inventor" of...

 is said to be haunted. The bridge over the Alconbury Brook named Nun's bridge is said to be also haunted by one of the nuns who once lived at the old convent that is now Hinchingbrooke House. It's said she is often accompanied by another ghost which resembles the appearance of a nurse. The myth goes that the nun had a lover, a monk who caused them to be murdered. In 1965 a married couple reported seeing the ghosts on the bridge, and again when they returned home the same night.

Sports


The town's highest ranked football club, Huntingdon Town
Huntingdon Town F.C.
Huntingdon Town F.C. is an English football club based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. The club are currently members of Division One of the United Counties League and play at Jubilee Park.-History:...

, play in the United Counties League
United Counties Football League
The United Counties Football League is an English football league covering Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire, as well as parts of Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk. It has a total of four divisions, two for first teams and two for reserve teams...

, whilst Huntingdon United RGE play in the Cambridgeshire League.

External links