The History of Old Hurst in Cambridgeshire

Historical notes about the town of Old Hurst in Cambridgehsire.

The Parish of Old Hurst

The parochial chapelry of Old Hurst or Oldhurst lies in the centre of the hundred of Hurstingstone. The land rises to 130 ft. above ordnance datum on its western boundary from which it slopes down to the low-lying ground about Somersham to the east. Old Hurst and Woodhurst no doubt from their names formed at one time a wooded district, but there is very little woodland now in either of them. They are both chapelries in the parish of Slepe or St. Ives and were in existence as such in the 12th century, parochial rights being obtained shortly before the middle of the 13th century. The chapel of Old Hurst has now been united to Woodhurst and the curate lives at the latter place.

The stone known as the Abbot's Chair is on the boundary between Old Hurst and Woodhurst on the St. Ives road. Here the hundred courts were held. The stone is now located in the garden at the Norris Museum in St Ives.

The parish comprises 1,077 acres, most of which are arable, producing wheat, barley and oats. The soil is a heavy clay.

The village of Oldhurst

The village stands on high ground at the west side of the parish on the road from Huntingdon to Ramsey, about 5.5 miles from Ramsey and 3.5 from St. Ives. From the village two branch roads connect the road from Huntingdon with that from St. Ives to Chatteris, and it is round the ring formed by these roads that the village is built.

The village is composed of the parochial chapel lying on the north side of the more northern of the two branch roads and some four farmhouses with their cottages and a public house. Of the four farms, namely, the Manor Farm, the College Farm, Porch House Farm and Marsh's Farm, the buildings of the Manor Farm are of most interest. The house was probably built by George or Nicholas Gascoigne about 1600, possibly to supersede the monastic manor house within the moated site a little to the north-east. The Manor Farm is a brick house covered with slates, which has been much altered from time to time, the north-east wing being the oldest part. There is a fine original staircase, and a barn forming one of the out-buildings is a good specimen of 17th century timber-frame work with brick-nogging.

Victoria County History of Huntingdonshire - Printed 1932