Category Archives: Features
St Felix and his Soham Abbey?

St. Felix

St Felix – an extract from the 1884 Soham Parochial Magazine

St. Felix

St. Felix

There is only a vague and uncertain indication of the existence of Offa, or Uffa, called the first king of East Angles. By one account, there was one Uffa who landed in 526, another who founded the kingdom in 571. We learn from Bede that from Uffa of 571, The East Anglian kings were called Uffingas, that is, sons of Uffa; but their annals have been almost wholly lost.

Read More

Dissimilar Chapels

Soham’s Cemetery Chapels

Soham Cemetary

One of the last outbreaks of cholera in the country took place on Soham’s East and Qua Fen Commons. This led to demands for better drainage throughout the parish and all the cemeteries were full, so it was decided to create a new cemetery for the parish. On April 14th 1855, agreement was reached to purchase three acres of high, dry gravel ground on the road from Soham to Fordham. Tenders were sent out to construct and design the new cemetery, a custodians house and a pair of dissimilar chapels. Several designs were put forward but the designs by Mr Wheeler of Greys Inn Terrace, London were eventually accepted.

Read More

The de Burgh Brothers

The de Burgh Brothers


Hubert de Burgh

Hubert and Geoffrey in detail

Hubert De Burgh entered the service of Prince John by 1198, and from then until 1202 rose in importance in John’s administration. He served successively as count of Mortain, chamberlain of John’s household, an ambassador to Portugal, sheriff first of Dorset and Somerset and then of Berkshire and Cornwall, custodian of the castles of  Dover and Windsor, and then custodian of the Welsh Marches . For these services, he was granted a series of manors, baronies, and other castles, and became a powerful figure in John’s administration.

Read More

Beaker People

The Beaker Period

While the Neolithic cultures were flourishing, fresh bands of continental immigrants entered Britain. These were the Beaker people, so named from their distinctive pottery. They evidently landed at various times and places on the south and east coasts, whence they spread over most of the country, penetrating, and probably dominating, the Neolithic societies. Beaker people ranged extraordinarily widely over the Continent, but those who reached Britain seem to have come mainly from northwest Europe. .

Read More

The Most Haunted House in Soham…

Most Haunted? 

Originally built in 1510, this property was converted from a barn into a house around 1560. The original family house once stood on the land where Netherhall Manor now stands, in nearby Tanners Lane. In fact, the chimneys on his house are reputedly the only surviving pieces from the original medieval manor which once graced this site. To date we do not know why they moved to the barn, or when and why the manor was demolished. Further research would be of great value.

Read More

Medieval Rebels
Geoffrey De Man

Geoffrey De Mandville’s tomb effigy

Geoffrey de Mandeville – Bandit of the Fens

Geoffrey, was remarkable for his prudence, inflexible spirit in adversity, and military skill. His wealth and his honours raised him above all the nobles of the realm. This lead to jealously, particularly amongst those who were connected with the king of the time – Stephen (B: 1092 or 1096, Reign: 22 December 1135 – 25 October 1154)

Read More

Samuel Smiles – Reformer



Education in Wicken at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century was remarkable for its success. It produced a wide range of nationally successful professional men and one woman. Sir James Pope the engineer, Wally Redit the boxer, Johnny Bullman the cyclist, Anthony Day the painter, Frank  Barber the goat  judge. Reginald [Wick} Alsop the banker, and most recently Ruby Barton as a self-taught educationalist.

Read More

Sir Henry Barton

Sir Henry Barton
• Yeoman of the King’s chamber by 13 July 1400.
• Purveyor of furs and pelts and skinner for the King’s household 5 Jan. 1405-22 May 1433.
• Sheriff, London and Mdx. Mich. 1405-6.
• Alderman of Farringdon Ward Without by 14 Apr. 1406-aft. 21 Feb. 1412,
• Cornhill Ward 12 Mar. 1412- d; mayor, London 13 Oct. 1416-17, 1428-9.
• Tax collector, London Dec. 1407.
• Collector of tunnage and poundage, London 12 June 1408-24. Jan. 1410, of the wool custom 26 July 1410-28 Feb. 1416.
If, as seems likely, it was Henry Barton, the distinguished London alderman, who obtained custody of the manor of Barton (now Barton Hartshorn), Buckinghamshire, in April 1421, then his ancestry can be traced back to the 12th century. Land elsewhere in the area had passed into the hands of his nephew and heir, Thomas Barton, by 1437, so there is a strong possibility that he came from a local family which had lived in Barton for over 200 years.

Read More

Andrew Fuller – Baptist

Andrew Fuller (1754-1815):
A Brief Overview of His Life & Legacy

Founding father of the English Baptist Missionary Society; an advocate of evangelistic Calvinism

Andrew Fuller was born on February 5, 1754 in Wicken, Cambridgeshire, England. He was the son of poor Baptist farmers. Because Fuller ministered during the same era as George Whitefield and the Wesley brothers it would be easy for his name to get lost in their giant shadows. He pastored two congregations during his life at Soham (1775-1782) and at Kettering (1782-1806). Christianity in England was in a generally depressed condition at the time to which Fuller was born. Particular Baptists had fallen into a hyper-Calvinism that denied the need to evangelize the lost or even to offer salvation to anyone.

Read More

Benjamin Laney – Bishop and Academic

Laney memorial in Ely cathedral - Taken by E L JohnstonA short and informative insight into a man who left a legacy, that continues to this day, for the benefit of the people of Soham.

Benjamin Laney was born in Ipswich in 1591.

He was a student at Christ’s College, Cambridge and became a Fellow of Pembroke Hall in 1616, becoming Master from 1630.

Read More

Next Page