Parish History

Parish History

Evidence suggests that there has been human settlement at Little Thetofrd since the Neolithic age. An unusually dense of late Neolithic (3000 – 2201BC) remains were found in Cawdles Fen in 1996.

A more substantial Bronze Age settlement is known to have existed: the remains of what is believed to have been a causeway, were discovered in 1934.  In the form of wooden piles unearthed by a farmer between Little Thetford and nearby Barway.  

There is written evidence that Ely Abbey inherited the Little Thetford lands – from the 12th Century chronicle, Liber Eliensis. The will of Ælfwaru (d. 1007), an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman, granted estates in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk to the Abbey, which included “… that land at Thetford and fisheries around those marshes”.

In November 1883, the Isle of Ely attempted to apply for an act of Parliament  to enclose the lands of Little Thetford (An Enclosure Act is a parliamentary authority to fence-off common land, thus making that land private property, while awarding commoners land in compensation. Inclosure is the name given to the parliamentary statute thus created) The villagers protested. About half the total area of Little Thetford was eventually enclosed in 1844, seven years after that of Stretham.

In 1929, Stretham and Little Thetford together, were one of the twelve parishes of the South Witchford Hundred, with a total area of 58 square miles (150 km2).

The civil parish today is in the ward of Stretham, which comprises three civil parishes, Stretham, Little Thetford, and Wilburton, each of which has an elected council.

Little Thetford is also an ecclesiastical parish, although the church no longer has the same administrative responsibilities as it had until the early 19th century. A civil parish need not cover the same area as an ecclesiastical parish, but in the case of Little Thetford, they do.

For a full history of the village, see our extensive Wikipedia page .

Residents and local historians have created a wealth of articles on our village history;

The Peoples Ford, By Mike Petty.
The history and tradition of Little Thetford. Including photos of buildings and newspaper clippings from the 18th Century onwards.

The Lost Public Houses of Little Thetford, By Judy Young.
Like most English villages, Little Thetford had a number of different public houses. This articles looks at the history.

Railways of Little Thetford in the 19th Century, By John Drewry.
The railway changed the face of Little Thetford in the 19th Century. This article explains, including plenty of photos.

Church Leaders Little Thetford and Stretham since 1222, By Alan Hall.
Church of England history since 1222. Baptist Church leadership since 1839.

Looking Back: Little Thetford, By Mike Petty.
Mike looks back at previous articles from the Cambridge Evening News relating to Little Thetford.

The Round House past and present.
The history of the village’s Round House from the late 15th century until the present day.

The Little Thetford Electoral Register 1949-53.
Mr John Kisby did the Register Preparation for the years 1949-53 and he retained copies of them. See who lived in your house then!

Flooding in Little Thetford: 1947.
John Kisby’s vivid account of the flooding in Little Thetford: 1947

John Sole – 1741-1802.
John Sole was a british botanist, born in Little Thetford.

The catch-water drain.
The Little Thetford catch-water drain was constructed in 1838.

First World War

The Great War, By Bob Young.
Including details of the village’s war dead, injuries, prisoners, and awards. Also, the complete list of who took part.

Second World War

The Second World War, By Bob Young.
Details of the village’s participation.

Luftwaffe attack.
Luftwaffe attack in Little Thetford – Jan 1941

Lord Haw Haw Calling.
The story of Lord Haw Haw

Jack Haynes – War Stories.
War stories of Jack Haynes by his oldest son Fredrick

War Story of William Dickenson.
The war story of Corporal William Dickenson of the 4th Battalion.