A History of the Parish and the Parish Church,






This History and Guide Book is not the result of the labours of one single person. The compiler has found his work comparatively light because of the diligent care and work of those connected with Impington Church in past years, and through the ready help and co-operation of those to whom he has applied for assistance in the present.

We owe to the Rev. Dennis Hall, Vicar of Impington (1882-1916), the transcript of all our old registers and the rediscovery and preservation of an interesting three-volume edition of Fox’s Acts and Monuments. It is, however, to Mr. W. F. Robinson that we owe the deepest debt of gratitude. Without his devoted work over the past many years in collecting, from every source, items of historical interest relating to Impington, without his zealous guardianship of parish documents, this compilation would have been the work of years instead of months.

The excellent photographs, both new and copied from old originals, are the work of Dr. Stanley Unwin Muncey. We are fortunate in having in our parish a first-class photographer.

Acknowledgement is also gratefully made for the help given by Mr. P. G. Bales, County Archivist, Dr. G. H. S. Bushnell of the Department of Archaeology and Ethnology at Cambridge, Mr. E. A. B. Barnard, Keeper of the Bishop’s Muniments, Rev. Canon F. J. Bywaters, and Christ’s College, Cambridge, for permission to consult documents in their possession, and many other kind friends.

A publication of this kind means expense and we are most grateful to those who have advertised in this booklet: Messrs. W. J. Unwin, Messrs. F. L. Unwin, W. Eaden Lilley & Co., Pye Ltd., Cambridge, Millers & Sons, and to Messrs. Chivers & Sons for their great help.

1951 sees the Jubilee of our Parish Magazine and the completion of nearly one thousand years of known parish history. It is a privilege to be the recorder of this history and I hope that this booklet will be found worthy of the past and an inspiration for the present and future.

Impington Vicarage, 1951. Editor.


To Thee give I thanks Thou Lord of all living
For all good hap in this life here.
Sore need I now, O Maker mild,
That Thou shouldst grant my spirit grace,
That my soul to Thee may depart in peace.

A History of the Parish and the Parish Church


The earliest known part to be inhabited of what is now the parish of Impington is in the extreme south near the junction of Cambridge Road with Arbury Road. Here, there are still identifiable remains of a large ancient encampment. It was long thought to be of Roman origin but, though indications of Roman occupation were present, later archaeologists incline to the idea that it was a British work of fortification taken over by the Romans during their occupation of Britain. The Mereway in Impington has frequently been referred to as an old Roman road. If this identification is correct it would be one more indication of Roman interest in this part of the country bordering on the fenlands. It was, however, several centuries later that the district received the name which was to develop into the present name of the parish – Impington.

The name of the parish has varied considerably during the centuries. It has been said that the name originated from a Saxon tribe, the Empings, which settled in the district about the sixth century, and that Impington means the town of the Empings. The original name is perfectly preserved in Empingham, a village in Rutlandshire. The development of the name to its present form can be seen from its appearance at various dates: 1066, EPINTONE; 1082, EMPINTON; 1199, YMPITON; 120l, IMPINTON; 1269, HINPINTON; 1272, IMPYNTON. The spelling varied between these forms until it finally settled down into the form we know.

Impington has never been a very populous place, but the population figures show that it was by no means unimportant in early days. The Black Death, which wiped out so many villages during the fourteenth century, halved the population of the village and it did not recover until well on in the seventeenth century. The migration of population from the country to the town in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries also had an adverse effect upon the population. These were the population figures derived from various sources – Domesday Book, 1085 – 143; 1327 – 192; 1377 (following the Black Death) – 76; 1563 – 70; 1664 – 195; Census of 1801 – 92; Census of 1871 – 387; Census of 1931 – 1,071. The present population in 1951 may well be double this.

Almost the earliest mention we have of the parish by its name is in the year 991. Duke Brithnoth, a large landowner in the country, was killed at the Battle of Maldon, in Essex, in that year. On his way to the battle against the invading Danes, he was entertained by the Abbot of Ely, and he requited his hospitality by bestowing upon him a number of manors in the country – amongst these was the manor of Impington.

At the time of the Norman Conquest and the Domesday Book, 1085, Impington belonged to the Church at Ely, but about that time Picot, the Norman sheriff of Cambridge, became the largest landowner in the district, it is said, by robbing the monks of Ely. It would appear, however, that Picot had to disgorge some of his ill-gotten gains from the reference in the following legal document.

“1082. Writ of William I to Archbishop Lanfranc and Geoffrey bishop of Coutanes to cause the abbot of Ely to be reseised of 3 hides (of land) in Empinton held by Picot the sheriff.”

The Domesday Book vouches for the fact that Impington Manor does belong and always has belonged to the Church at Ely.

The Domesday Book records the following relating to Impington.

Land of the Abbot of Ely.

MANERIUM. Epintone pro vj hidis et dimidia se defendit. Terra est vj carrucis. In dominio iij hidae et dimidia, et ibi est dimidia carruca, et j carruca et dimidia potest fieri. Ibi j villanus et vij bordarii cum ij carrucis et ij possunt fieri. Ibi vij cotarii et j servus. Pratum ij carrucis. Valet et valuit xl solidos: Tempore Regis Edwardi, viij libras. Hoc manerium iacet et iacuit semper in dominio ecclesiae de Ely.

MANOR. Epintone (Impington) answers for six hides and a half. There is land to six ploughs. Three hides and a half are in the demesne, and there is half a plough there, and one plough and a half may be made. There is one villane and seven borders with two ploughs, and two may be made. There are seven cottagers, and one bondman; meadow for two ploughs. It is and was worth forty shillings; in the time of King Edward eight pounds. This manor lies, and always laid, in the demesne of the Church of Ely.

Land of Picot, sheriff of Cambridge.

In Epintone tenet Walterus de Picot iij hides et dimidiam. Terra est iij carrucis et ibi sunt, cum iiij bordariis et iiij cotariis. Pratum j carrucae. Inter totum valet lx solidos; quando recepit, l solidos; Tempore Regis Edwardi, iiij libras. Hanc terram tenuerunt iij sochemanni abbatis de Ely. Horum ij habuerunt j hidam et j virgatam; vendere potuerunt, sed soca abbati remansit. Tercius vero ij hides et j virgatam habuit, sed vendere non potuit.

Walter holds of Picot three hides and a half in Epintone (Impington). There is land to three ploughs, and they are there with four borders and four cottagers; meadow for one plough. In the whole it is worth sixty shillings; when received, fifty shillings; in the time of King Edward, four pounds. Three sokemen held this land of the Abbot of Ely. Two of these had one virgate and a half; they might sell it, but the soke remained to the Abbot. But the third had two hides and one virgate; but he could not sell it


1 hide = 4 virgates = 120 acres.
A “plough” = a plough team of eight oxen.
Area of Impington – 10 hides.

By the end of the twelfth century the manor had come into the possession of the great de Insula or de Lisle family (a wall tomb with a large recumbent effigy, said to be a de Lisle, can be seen in the chancel of Rampton Church). They did not retain for long the possession of the manor, for in 1269, Simon de Insula sold Impington to pay off a debt which he owed to the Jews. After passing through the hands of the Chauvent and Colville families, the manor came into the possession of the Burgoynes in 1428. In 1300, a market at Impington on Thursdays, and a fair for eight days to begin on the Saturday in Easter week, were granted to Peter de Chauvent by Edward I. There may be some connection between this and the visit of that King to Impington two years earlier, as recorded later in these notes. When John Burgoyne (whose memorial brass is in the Church) died in 1505, he left his land in Impington to his daughters. The land appears to have been divided into two parts and sold by them or their heirs. At any rate, Christ’s College had, by 1568, purchased the Manor of Burgoyne, and by 1579, John Pepys, a member of an ancient yeoman family of Cottenham, was in possession of the other part, called Ferme-part, and had commenced the building of Impington Hall. The Pepys family remained there until the beginning of the nineteenth century. lmpington Hall was not completed at the time of the death of John Pepys, but he left instructions with his executors concerning the exact way in which the work was to be completed.

The Manor of Burgoyne continued in the possession of Christ’s College. The Manor Court Rolls from the twenty-third year of Queen Elizabeth are still in the Muniment room of the College. One of these rolls, dated 1597, containing two conveyances of land, describes the Court proceedings in the presence of Dr. Lewyn and a jury of local inhabitants. Dr. Lewyn was Master of Christ’s College at that time and it is possible that the present name of Doctor’s Close in the village recalls the title of this Lord of the Manor. There is another Court roll preserved in Cambridge University Library which contains this preamble. “The Manor of Burgoines in Impington in the County of Cambridge. The General Court Baron and Customary Court of the Rt. Revd. Father in God, John, Lord Bishop of Bristol, Master or Keeper of Christ’s College in the University of Cambridge and the Fellows and Scholars of the same College, Lords of the said Manor holden at the Manor House in and for the said Manor on Monday the sixth day of December in the Fifth year of the Reign of King George the Fourth and in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty four etc.” Christ’s College disposed of their land in the parish at the beginning of the present century.

As has been stated the other half of the Burgoyne estate, called Ferme-part, was now owned by the Pepys family. Whether this part also constituted a manor cannot be definitely decided on present evidence, though there is the possibility that it did. The manuscript of the Rev. William Cole, Rector of Milton, and a celebrated antiquarian of the eighteenth century, quotes authority for the fact that there were two manors in Impington, one called Champnett’s Manor and the other Colvyle’s or Burgoyne’s Manor. Cole gives this description of Champnett’s Manor: “. . . acres of land and meadows and payeth the said Simon (de Insula yearly 22d. and he hath one garden containing 3 acres with the whole court and he hath one Mill valued 20s. etc.” Cole also quotes: “By the general Inquisition of Edward II, the Bishop of Ely and this John de Chavelot or Champnet were found Lords of the village.” Lyson, in his work Magna Britannia, speaks of “the manors of Burgoyne’s and Ferme-part.” That was in 1808. Undoubtedly two manors did exist. Burgoyne’s certainly passed to Christ’s College, and Impington Hall estate, originally Ferme-part, may be the successor of the Champnett’s manor.

Apart from the manorial history, little is known of the affairs of Impington parish during this period, and there is little to be learnt about the church. There is a list of Vicars dating from 1247. The living could not, even in those days, be termed a wealthy one. Of Robert Say, who was Chaplain for only one year (1392 – 93), it is recorded that he resigned because of the poverty of the living. The value of the benefice in 1291 was £21 6s. 8d.; in 1334 it was £3 10s. 0d. and in 1538 it was £8 7s. 0d.

We learn that during this period Impington had a royal visit. Edward I visited Impington on Monday, 5th May, 1298. The reason of the visit is, however, unfortunately not stated.

Impington Church. Before Restoration, circa 1870.

Impington Hall, 1950.

It was the usual practice in the Middle Ages for anyone who committed a crime to escape arrest by seeking sanctuary in a church. If they promised to give up everything they possessed and to leave the country immediately, they were allowed to go free. We have a record of this custom in our neighbourhood. “Histon 1299. Roger le Gray of Histon broke into the house of Henry Cloche in Impington and fled immediately to Histon Church and abjured. No chattels as he was a stranger.” To abjure meant that he consented to leave the country, but the authorities did not gain anything by the confiscation of his belongings as he had no “chattels.”

In a document relating to monies raised from the Cambridgeshire villages in 1316 for the Scottish War, we can read of Impington’s share in this assessment. “Inquisition taken at Cambridge August 9th 1316 before Adam de Lymbergh on Thursday the morrow of St Andrew the Apostle in the 2nd year of Edward II. Item – that from the village of Impeton was levied 34 shillings which was paid to collectors for wages and expenses, and in the purchase of one aketon 6s. one bacinet* 17d. one sword with knife 2s. one denyses 6d. which are in the hands of Robert le Marsh and Thomas Cassander, constables.”

� Aketon – a wool-padded garment covering from neck to knees. It was worn underneath the armour.
* Bacinet – a basin-shaped head-covering of metal with a movable covering for the face.
� Denyses – a weapon of some sort usually costing 6d.

Some further extracts from ancient documents of this period may be of interest.

IMPINGTON. “There was a gild here and in 1571 eight acres of land called the Townland in the tenure of Robert Raye were sold to Hill and James. The Gild Hall was sold to other men.” And in 1569, “17 acres of land in the same place also in the tenure of Robert Raye, given by Mr. Munnsey for an obit in Impington Church were sold to James and Grey.” The gilds were of two kinds. One was a gild of craftsmen and the other was a social gild, with much the same purpose as a modern Friendly Society.

Both had a strong religious basis. The gild at Impington, which was dedicated to the Resurrection, was most probably of the social kind. An obit was land given to the Church to provide for a tiny lamp to be kept continually burning in the church and for prayer to be offered for special purposes.

In 1599, in the parish church of Great St. Mary, Cambridge, the following inhabitants of Impington were brought before the court. (1) “Thomas Borne for non-cohabitation with his wife.” (2) “Thomas Peapes and his wife for not receiving the Communion at Easter last.”

A piece of building actually took place at this time to which we can give a precise date, and that is the churchyard wall. Still visible in the brickwork of the wall are some letters and numbers. Through decay and repair they are now difficult to decipher, but the inscription originally ran:

1613 T.H. C.D. C.W.

The Rev. Dennis Hall, in 1900, through research in the Bishop’s Muniments room at Ely, discovered on some small strips of parchment details relating to the annual returns of the Vicar and Churchwardens. In that year, 1613, Thomas Hodilow and Charles Duckett were churchwardens. Thus the wall records the fact that it was built while these men, whose initials are upon it, held that office.

And lastly, on 9th June, 1632, we have this burial notice: “John ffenne the famous clarke of Impington for his unparallede antiquity.”

The representative, at the time of the Commonwealth (1649 – 59), of the Pepys family at Impington was Talbot Pepys. He was uncle of Samuel Pepys, the diarist. He was Recorder of Cambridge from 1624, and Member of Parliament for Cambridge in 1625. Though the Vicar of the parish was not ejected during this time, he seems to have lost the right of keeping the parish registers. This became a civil function, as can be seen in the paragraph dealing with our parish registers. Talbot Pepys appointed a registrar in 1653, but personally signed the marriage certificates of that time. Amongst these entries there are not only the marriages of Impington residents, but also of those belonging to the surrounding district. In 1657, a couple from Willingham were married, and a couple from Cottenham. Also in that year there is recorded in the Impington register the marriage of a man from Horningsea and a woman from Fenditton. During six years Talbot Pepys authorised forty-five of these civil weddings. He steered his way carefully during the Civil War and Protectorate and was still Recorder of Cambridge at the Restoration in 1660, when he resigned in favour of his son. He died, aged 84, in 1665.

From 1660 to the Present Day.

In 1660 came the end of the Protectorate of Cromwell and the restoration of King Charles II. This event did not mean so much to the incumbent of Impington, Thomas Wyborow, as it did to many other incumbents throughout England who, at the beginning of the Cromwell regime, had been dispossessed of their livings. Thomas Wyborow was one of those who held his living before, during and after the Protectorate. He died in 1669, and was buried in the chancel where a slab describes his life and ministry.

Thomas Wiborow Vir Pius et Doctus huius Ecclesiae Vicarius et Privatae Scholae Moderator. Postquam per multos Annos utramque spartam Egregie adornasset tandem diuturnis confectus curis et laboribus mortemque anhelans, Jesu Amori suo animam Huic Sacrario ossa pientissime commendavit.

Anno Dñi 1669 Sept 7°
Aets 62.

“Thomas Wiborow a pious and learned man, Vicar of this church and master of a private school, after he had for many years adorned each post with great distinction, at last exhausted by his prolonged anxieties and labours and eagerly desiring death commended his soul to his beloved Jesus, and his bones to this sanctuary with the greatest devotion.”

In 1666, while he was still Vicar, the churchwardens sent this reply in answer to questions put in the Bishop’s Visitation of that year. It gives us a picture of our church at that period: “We have a parish church and chancel standing and in use. We have a bible of the largest volume, a book of Common Prayer, a book of Homilies. . . . We have a font of stone fastened in the usual place, whole and clean, a decent communion table and a carpet of silk, a fair linen cloth laid at the administering of the sacrament, the table ordinarily standeth, the end thereof being placed North and South at the east end of the chancel. We have not any steps to it or rails about it. We have one convenient seat, in which both divine service is read and sermon preached, which was seen and approved by the Chancellor last summer. We have a decent cushion, a large surplice and a hood and have had them about 5 or 6 years. We have a flagon of pewter and a communion cup and cover of silver and other ornaments necessary for divine service. We have a poor man’s box and a chest for the keeping of the books, communion vessels, etc., and they are kept in the chancel. We have a register book of parchment and a paper book for strange preachers. We have neither vestry nor vicarage house nor almshouses. There are no arms for soldiers in the church nor are plays feasts leets or musters in the churchyard. Men and women do not sit promiscuously together in church, there are no seats at the east end of the chancel, there are no galleries, no tombs no dusty garlens in the church, no gravestones in the churchyard. There are inscriptions in brass upon some gravestones defaced before our time. Our minister is Mr. Thomas Wibrowe, he is an M.A. of Cambridge and liveth here although he hath no house to dwell in belonging to his vicarage nor any ground on which to erect a house. He is a licensed preacher constant in preaching in priest’s gown, surplice and hood. He hath no other benefice. He doth preach to the people their obedience to the King. He hath abrenunciated the Scottish Covenant, as by law required, though he never took the same covenant. Sacrament four times a year. Some (who can conveniently place themselves) do receive the Sacrament in the chancel, the rest do receive in their seats, all receive reverently and kneeling.

Impington Church, Interior – looking East.
Before Restoration, circa 1870.

Impington Church, Interior – looking West.
Before Restoration, circa 1870.

The tithes are valued at £15 – £16 lately augmented by the impropriators, the Dean and Chapter, by £36. Holy days have been warned by our minister and the perambulations observed though not every year. We have a private school taught by our minister in his house, who is licensed (as we have heard) by the late Lord’s Grace of Canterbury who bringeth his scholars to be catechised in the church at least once in the week. We have no physician or surgeon. We have no superstitious ringing of bells and the clerk doth toll the passing bell and there is commonly a knell presently after the departure.”

Mention of Impington at this period occurs in the diary of Samuel Pepys. He mentions in it that he visited his uncle, Talbot Pepys, at Impington, on several occasions. Under the date, 15th July, 1661, he writes: “Rode to Impington where I found my old Uncle sitting all alone, like a man out of the world, he can hardly see, but in all else he do pretty livily.” On another occasion, 4th August, 1661, he writes: “Lord’s Day. Got up and by and by walked into the orchard with my cousin Roger and there plucked some fruit – To church and had a good plain sermon and my Uncle Talbot went with us and at our coming in, the country people all rose with much reverence, and when the parson begins he begins ‘Right Worshipful and dearly beloved etc.’ to us.” Though the Pepys family continued to reside at Impington Hall until the beginning of the nineteenth century, no tangible trace of them remains in the church or churchyard, apart from the numerous entries in the parish registers of members of their family.

In 1666, we hear that the Plague, which had had such devastating effects in so many parts of England in the previous year, may have visited Impington. The following entries appear in the registers during that year. “The daughter of John Heward buried September 26th. John Heward died Sept. 30th of the Plague it was feared and he was buried on the moore on the same day by the hands of his wife and a maid servant.” “Mary Heward daughter of the saide John Heward dyed (of the plague as was supposed) one Tuesdaye night October the ninth and was buried also in the moore on Oct. 10th by the maide servant.” “Mary Everett the daughter of Christopher Everet dyed (of ye Plague as was supposed) on the 30th October and was buried the same daye by the hands of hir Grandmother and hir Mother in the feild nigh unto hir Grandfather’s house.”

At the beginning of the eighteenth century we have two small items of interest in connection with the church. The first is an entry in the parish register: “These are to give notice to home it may consearne that John, a stranger reported to be a Scotchman was buried in this Parish August 10th 1711.” Obviously a Scot, even though deceased, was of such rarity in this part of the world that his presence had to be particularly reported. In the year 1715-16, Impington had to share its Vicar. In that year, John Cory, B.D., Rector of Landbeach, became also Vicar of Impington, and held the living until his death in 1727. His eldest son, John, was Vicar of Waterbeach, and succeeded his father as Vicar of Impington, retaining it until 1746.

The manuscript of Rev. William Cole, now in the British Museum, gives us a picture of the church and parish towards the close of this century.

“Going into the church on Friday October 15th 1779, on an airing, being a most heavenly day Mr. Master who has hired the Great Tithes of the Dean and Chapter of Ely, was adding a little wainscote on each side of the wall as far as the altar rails extending on both sides, and had a pediment which he took from over a chimney piece in an house at Cambridge which he hired this year of Emmanuel College and behind it towards Barnwell, with a design to place it above the wainscote over the altar and probably may paint the whole: he was removing also 2 old gravestones in the chancel, or one of them, to be at the head of the other: which I take to be very wrong and injurious.”

“Mr. Pepys was buried last year in a vault under his pew on which occasion Mrs. Pepys has made an entire new pew of handsome deal wainscote not yet painted. Mr. Pepys, a brute of a man, left this life at Bath in a manner not expected from him: for he left his wife a most amiable woman, a Spelman of Norfolk, all his estate here and in Norfolk at Diss forever. She well deserved it.

I took the opportunity of a fine morning from Milton and though not above 2 miles yet in winter the roads are impracticable.” Describing the church on another visit, he writes: “Against the north wall is an Achievement with these Arms,” and then follows a description of the Arms of Pepys and Turner. He also records that in the south window in modern glass-painting are the Arms of the Pepys family. It is unfortunate that both of these have completely disappeared. At that time there was a wooden chancel screen, but in 1844 it is stated that the rood screen was cut up early in the nineteenth century. The work was described as being of good character. It is possible that some of this woodwork is now incorporated in the windows in the porch. In 1773, as in many churches, there were boards above the chancel arch containing the King’s Arms and the ten commandments.

Cole also describes Impington Hall as it appeared at this time. “The House pleased me much and is the best of the sort I ever saw. A noble Hall with 2 Corinthian Pillars on one side of it is in the centre: on one side a common dining parlour & Kitchen and on the other an elegant Dining Room and Drawing Room and by the Hall a most beautiful Salon and Staircase with an open space to the top of the House with a gallery to which all the bedchambers have entrance the whole elegantly fitted up and furnished: overloaded with carving and stucco and rather heavy.”

At the close of the eighteenth century an incident occurred in the parish which was to achieve more than local fame – the adventure of Elizabeth Woodcock in the snow in the year 1799.

Mrs. Elizabeth Woodcock, of Impington, attended Cambridge Market on Saturday, 2nd February, and having disposed of her eggs and butter she started to return home. Her last stopping place was the “Three Tuns” at the top of Castle Hill. Heavy falls of snow had already occurred when she left there on her horse, having replenished her flask and herself with brandy. When about halfway home, she was thrown or fell from her horse and was unable to remount. Numbed with the cold and much shaken she took shelter under a hawthorn hedge. The snow drifted over her until she was completely covered. Early next morning she heard the ringing of a church bell for morning service. She heard voices of passers-by in the distance, but was unable to attract attention. On the Monday she found an aperture in the snow above her and made a flag of her red handkerchief which she tied on a stick. This flag eventually led to her discovery, but another week was to elapse before it was noticed. On the following Sunday, the Parish Clerk of Impington, William Munsey, while out walking, saw the flag, discovered Mrs. Woodcock, procured help and rescued her. She had been eight days buried under the snow in this fashion, but seems to have been conscious most of the time, as she heard the church bells on two successive Sundays and a church clock striking the hours.

She did not long survive her adventure. She was taken ill and lingered between life and death for many weeks, dying on 24th July, 1799, five months and two weeks after her rescue, at the age of 43. The burial notice in the register is very full and worth quoting.

“On the eleventh Day of July 1799 died Elizabeth Woodcock wife of Daniel Woodcock aged 43 years of a lingering Disease in consequence of a confinement under the snow of nearly eight days and nights, that is to say from Saturday the second till Sunday ye tenth day of February 1799. For further particulars see Thomas Verney Oke’s Pamphlet.

John Holme of St. Peter’s College, Curate
Thomas Branch Parish Clarke.”

Dame Elizabeth Woodcock (see notes).

Below this entry there is added in another hand.

“She was in a state of intoxication when she was lost. N.B. her death was accelerated (to say the least) by spirituous liquors afterwards taken – procured by the donations of numerous visitors.”

Numerous engravings of Elizabeth Woodcock were published at the time, and one of them is shown here. The house in which she lived still exists, opposite the Baptist Church. A memorial was placed at the scene of the incident, but has since been moved to the edge of the field bordering the Histon – Cambridge railway line.

In 1805, Mrs. Anne Pepys (mentioned earlier in connection with the Cole MSS.) died, and Impington Hall passed to a junior branch of the family, the Pine-Coffins, of Devon. In the Charity Coal Book of the parish it is stated that in 1829 the Rev. C. Pine-Coffin, of Eastwood House, Barnstaple, was life-time owner of Impington Hall. In 1806 the land in Impington was enclosed. One portion of 46 acres on the Cambridge Road was awarded to the Rev. William Pearce. Several years later he decided to sell this land and it was bought by Thomas Cawcutt of Boxworth. The name of the purchaser will identify the land to the inhabitants of Impington as the Cawcutts farm area now belonging to Messrs. Chivers & Sons. The new owners of Impington Hall, in 1805, were not to enter into possession of it undisputed. A man by the name of Panton claimed, in 1807, that he was Lord of the Manor of Impington, but as he made similar claims in connection with several other manors in the county, the claim does not seem to have been a serious one or unduly disturbing to the owners. By 1872, Impington Hall was in the possession of Charles Bamford, Esq., for on the 16th November of that year he offered it for sale, giving as his reason that he was leaving the country. The catalogue of the sale is a magnificent publication, containing an engraving of the Hall from the terrace as it was at that time. The Hall then came into the possession of Mr. Caldwell. At the beginning of the century the owner was Mr. W. A. Macfarlane-Grieve, and later, Mr. Morey-Weale. In 1926 it became the property of Messrs. Chivers & Sons, and is now uninhabited.

The Church about 1877 – 78.

About that time an extract was printed from the Presentment made by the churchwardens of the parish of Impington at the Visitation of the Lord Bishop of Ely in the year 1869, showing the state of the church at that time.

“Is your church and the tower or spire, and the furniture, in good repair in all its parts, viz. covering walls, windows, doors, floors, seats, desks, pulpit and font? Is it kept free from dust, filth and everything noisesome and unseemly ? No. The church is in very bad repair both inside and out. The roofs are leaky, the floor is uneven, the nave is blocked up with high pews, birds have ready access to the interior of the church, which causes it to be in a very filthy condition, and totally unfit for the reception of worshippers.”

“Is the chancel . . . and who is bound to repair the same ? -The chancel is in very bad repair in all its parts, the floor has sunk down in many places and the seats and woodwork generally are decayed. The Dean and Chapter of Ely are bound to repair the chancel, but its present state is good evidence that nothing has been done for many years.”

“Is the communion table and its covering and the flagon chalice, patine, linen cloth and other furniture in good order ? Is proper bread and wine provided for the communion ?-The communion table is rotten and decayed, its covering is mouldy, moth-eaten and defaced by the excrements of birds which are seldom cleared away. Proper bread and wine are provided by the churchwardens.” ‘`Are the Bible, Common Prayer Books, surplice, furniture of the desk and pulpit, the bells . . . parish chest and all other goods belonging to the church in good order ? Have you a table of the degrees within which marriage is prohibited set up in the church ? -The Bible is torn, dogs-eared and defaced, the Book of Common Prayer belonging to the desk has become worn out and useless, and its place is now supplied by one from the free seats which is not in a satisfactory condition. The surplice is usually very dirty as it is only washed once a year. There are three bells but only two are ever used and the woodwork etc. supporting them is in bad repair. There is no table of degrees of marriage.”

This terrible state of affairs did not last for long. Within the next few years great changes were to take place in the church. In 1878 the Rev. Charles Crosse became Vicar, and the work of the complete restoration of the church, within and without, and of all its furnishings, was begun. A glance at the photographs of the church before and after restoration will give a better idea of the tremendous improvement effected than any description in words. All the old box pews were swept away. The ugly heating stove in the centre of the nave disappeared. The floor was renewed and the chancel and sanctuary were raised and tiled. New pews and pulpit were installed. Much work was also done on the outside of the church and tower. The improvement in the old timbered porch on the south side is very noticeable in the photographs. Since that day improvements have continued to be made in the church and its furniture. The church was lit by gas for the first time in 1926. The bells were rehung on a new frame in the same year, and the new organ, built by Millers of Cambridge, was dedicated in 1934. Many private gifts have ensured that the present church is now adequately furnished in a seemly fashion. The neglect and decay, which the churchwardens of 1869 brought to the notice of the Bishop, is now a thing of the past. The churchwardens of to-day could reply that our church is in good condition, adequately furnished in all respects and that various schemes are even now in hand for its further beautification.

In the year of the church restoration, 1879, we can get a glimpse of living conditions from items mentioned in the churchwardens’ account book (which runs from 1843-84). On 25th October, 1879, this entry appears: “Cleaning Church 1 woman 4½ days – 4/6.” A shilling a day! But on the other hand, the rent of one of the cottages which belonged to the Church was £2 a year, and one could buy two large doormats for 5s. 6d.

From 1882 until 1916 the Rev. Dennis Hall was Vicar, an incumbency of 34 years. When he resigned, Impington was temporarily united with Histon, but again began its separate history in 1921, when Rev. H. G. Hooton became Vicar. Until this time Impington still retained some of its Glebe land, amounting to over 60 acres in the parish. 157 acres had been previously sold in 1890 on condition that the purchasers should pay in perpetuity £36 towards the Vicars’ stipend. In 1918 the remainder of the glebe was sold and the money invested for the benefice income. An interesting comparison of money values appears in the records of this sale. In 1946, when the present vicarage site was purchased, comprising less than one-quarter of an acre, the price paid was £380. For the same sum, in 1918, a purchaser secured over 6 acres: about twenty-four times the amount of land for the same price. On St. Andrew’s Day, 1937, the first recorded sum of money was collected towards the New Vicarage Fund. Throughout the war years the Fund steadily grew until a site was purchased in 1946. Building operations commenced in 1948, and in August, 1949, for the first time on record, a Vicar of Impington was living in a vicarage in the parish. By the valiant efforts of the parishioners, and the generosity of the Church Commissioners and the Diocese of Ely, the whole cost of about £3,000 has been met, apart from a sum of about £200 (December, 1950). F. L. Unwin Ltd., of Histon, were the builders, and the architect was Mr. H. C. Hughes, of Cambridge.

During all these years Impington has continued to develop and increase. The population figures, given previously, bear witness to this growth. It is no longer a small sleepy village, but a busy industrious place with several factories and works to give employment to its inhabitants. It still, however, retains much of its rural charm and character, and the greater part of its acreage is still given up to farming, agriculture and orchards. Impington has nearly a thousand years of recorded history, from the time when the Prior and Convent of Ely took their first interest in its spiritual well-being in A.D. 991 until the present year A.D.

Part of Impington Old Village, 1950.

1951. Throughout those years a sacred place has remained in the centre of our parish, where the faithful have come to worship God. Whatever changes there may have been, and there have been many, that sacred place has stood there to remind the people of Impington of all that is best and finest in life. To-day, the bells of the church ring out as they have done through the centuries, reminding us that there is after all only the one worthwhile motive in life, which should penetrate every part of our being and every aspect of living, inspiring every thought and action – the worship and praise of Almighty God.

Dedication of the Church


The usual dedication is to St. Andrew, Apostle and Martyr. Only in one solitary instance is there the suggestion that there might be another dedication-to St. Etheldreda. Cole, in his MSS., comments: “Question if the Church of Impington is not rather dedicated to St. Audrey or Etheldreda than to St. Andrew,” and then quotes a document in Latin which contains the words “Ecclesia S. Etheldredae de Impeton.”


Vicars of Impington

  • 1247 William is Vicar of Impington.
  • 1316 Warin dies.
  • 1316 Nicholas de Walsham
  • 1349 John Grym, of Trumpington, Priest
  • 1351 John Walkelyn, Priest.
  • 1355 John Noble, of Walton, Chaplain.
  • 1363 John de Schelford.
  • 1363 John Attechirche.
  • 1392-3 Robert Say, of Ely, Chaplain.
  • 1397 Rd. Fowler.
  • 1397 John Crowle.
  • 1399 Rd. Attehall.
  • 1412 David Jonisson.
  • 1412 Robert Davey.
  • 1447-8 Rd. Connote.
  • 1464 Will Nathan, Chaplain.
  • 1503 Name blank.
  • 1513 James Hutton.
  • 1515 Will Nele or Neel resigns.
  • 1543 Thos. Fayrehare is Vicar.
  • 1547 Adam Rycardson seems to be Vicar.
  • 1561 John Lakyn is Vicar.
  • 1562 William Chapman, Cleric, B.A.
  • 1573 Robert Andrews, Cleric, M.A.
  • 1577 Robert Brumsted.
  • 1588 John Blythe, M.A.
  • 1617 Rd. Blake.
  • 1625 Robert Shilborne is Vicar.
  • 1631 Rd. Smallwood is Vicar.
  • 1639 Thos. Wyborow, M.A.
  • 1669 Robt. Goodrick, M.A.
  • 1671 Will Sampson, M.A.
  • 1672 Richard Neech, M.A.
  • 1677 Anthony Spinedge.
  • 1679 John Love.
  • 1680 David Lloyd.
  • 1686 Francis Browne, B.A.
  • 1696 Charles Lambe.
  • 1703 Henry Lambe.
  • 1716 John Cory, S.T.B.
  • 1727 John Cory, M.A., on death of patris sui.
  • 1746 Robert Hankison, M.A.
  • 1750 Dearing Jones, M.A.
  • 1756 Will Norris, M.A.
  • 1774 Edward Wilson, M.A.
  • 1784 Samuel Hawson, M.A.
  • 1792 John Ferraby, B.A.
  • 1810 Will Wade, B.D.
  • 1823 Lawrence Palk Barker.
  • 1825 Rd. Duffield.
  • 1832 Edward Bushby, B.D.
  • 1878 Charles Henry Crosse, M.A.
  • 1882 Dennis Hall, M.A.
  • 1917 William C. Cooke, also Vicar of Histon.
  • 1921 Henry G. Hooton, M.A.
  • 1932 Lewis Walker, M.A.
  • 1937 Percival Frederick Kingaby.
  • 1946 John Cook, M.A., B.D.


The Church of Impington

The Patronage of Impington.

Earl Brithnoth granted Impington to the Prior and Convent of Ely in A.D. 991. Between 1045-55 it is recorded that Edward the Confessor confirmed this gift. When Ely became a diocese in 1107, Hervey was appointed the first Bishop. He drew up a charter which, while retaining the major part of the income of the monastery of Ely to himself, gave to the monastery certain estates from which they could derive income. One of these was Impington, which thus remained with the monastery. The purpose of the appropriation of Impington to the monastery was, according to Eustachius, Bishop of Ely, 1198-1215, for the transcribing of books for their library at Ely. This was confirmed in the following century by Pope Gregory IX – that the Prior and Convent of Ely should have the “Ecclesiam de Impetune.” The monastery had the care of the spiritual needs of the parish and did this by appointing some priest to be in charge, called, in the list of Vicars on several occasions, “Chaplain.”

In 1538, during the period of the Reformation, Henry VIII decided that the larger monasteries in the land were to be dissolved. The monastery at Ely was more fortunate than others. It was reconstituted as a cathedral church with a dean and chapter. Their property also must have been safeguarded, because Impington at least remained in the hands of the Dean and Chapter, who now became patrons of the living. In 1543 they probably made their first appointment. Thomas Fayrehare became Vicar in that year. The title “Vicar” was once more revived after a period of exactly 300 years.

The patronage remained in the hands of the Dean and Chapter until 1870, when by an Order in Council it was given by them to the owner of Impington Hall in exchange for the living of Pirton in Hertfordshire. By 1916 the patronage had passed to the Archdeacon of Ely, in whose gift it now is.

The Church.

The church has a chancel, nave, a fourteenth-century Perpendicular tower and a half-timbered south porch. The chancel archway is fourteenth-century and was widened and made higher in 1879. The walls of the chancel contain an interesting feature described thus by Cole: “the two outside walls of the Chancel are made up of two arches with a small sort of Pilaster in the middle of each of them.” The east window is Perpendicular and the two windows on the south side are Decorated style. There was formerly a roodscreen which was reached by a staircase which still exists on the south side of the nave. There was a quatrefoil light on the staircase, but it is now blocked.

The nave is Perpendicular, the roof being supported by heavy old oak tie-beams. Traces of painted decorations can still be seen on them. The niche, at the side of the window nearest the pulpit, is canopied and contains some beautiful work. It is fifteenth century. There was formerly a Jacobean pulpit in the church, but this was removed at the restoration.

The south porch, which is half-timbered, was completed much later than the other portions of the church. It is fifteenth-century work with hanging tracery and side-screens, and portions of the woodwork have roses carved on them. The porch was much restored in 1879. West of the porch there are the remains of an early window, possibly thirteenth-century, and reused when the nave was built. At the restoration the builder was ordered to restore this window, but the work was never done. At the same time, the north doorway was walled up. Another omission on the part of the builder in the work of restoration was in connection with the vestry. His instructions were: “The walls of Vestry and Organ chamber to be constructed of brickwork faced externally with rubble masonry to match old work.” These instructions were only carried out as far as the east wall and window of the vestry were concerned. The other walls are plain brick, and spoil the whole appearance of the north aspect of the church.

Most of the carved work is modern, but a few old pew-ends remain on the seats at the back of the church. There are built into the south chancel wall three stones with Norman zig-zag mouldings, a small Norman cushion capital with a head attached, and a thirteenth-century capital, all that now remains of the Norman edifice which previously occupied the site. In the same wall are two sundial marks, one of them upside down.


There are two of these, but by far the most outstanding is the St. Christopher on the north wall. It is a fine representation belonging to the fifteenth century. It is contained within a pleasing scroll border. As usual, the Saint is wading towards the east. He bears the Holy Child on his left shoulder and carries a large staff in his right hand. The Child holds an orb with cross and pennon in his left hand, while the right is raised in blessing. Round the Saint’s feet fishes are depicted and to the right is the hermit standing in front of his chapel, which is surmounted by a timber bell-cote. The ground of the picture is green with foliage pattern. The painting is one of the most notable examples of the subject in the Eastern Counties and is unusually complete. Cole does not mention this painting, but Paley, in his Ecclesiologist Guide, 1844, says: “Some highly interesting fresco paintings, one of a gigantic S. Christopher, have recently been laid bare.”

On the east wall of the chancel to the south of the window is an interesting and unusual painting. In the centre is a canopied niche with queer background, but no traces of a figure. On either side are small figures, a bearded man, probably an apostle, on the south, and a crowned female figure on the north, while above are two demi-angels holding shields, that on the north with the arms of Ely, the other defaced. The canopy is surmounted by large crochetted pinnacles and above there is a tapestry design.

The Burgoyne Brass.

On the floor under the tower there is a very fine brass of the time of Henry VII. This brass is beautifully engraved with the effigies of John Burgoyne, his wife and children. Seven sons are under him and two daughters under his wife. The male figure has a tabard over his armour, on which the arms of the Burgoynes are placed. The lady has a pedimental head-dress and a heraldic mantle. According to H. W. Macklin, The Brasses of England, the fact that the husband’s arms are omitted and those of the lady only appear on her mantle, is a sign of a late brass. In addition to the border inscription, there are evangelistic symbols at the corners. In the British Museum there is a large volume containing full-size rubbings of sixteenth-century brasses. The Burgoyne brass is contained amongst them. There is much more detail than is now visible. The tabard of the male figure is coloured red. The detail of one of the shields, now practically unrecognisable, in the corner of the slab is produced in great detail. The shield has also a red background. There are three birds in line along the top. The lower section is divided in three parts, each part containing a leopard. Cole describes the other shields.

The brass was formerly placed in the aisle near to the chancel step. It was moved to its present position in 1879The inscription round the border runs: Hic jacent Johannes Burgoyn Armiger et | Mgareta Uxor ejus qui quidem Johannes obiit | decio vi Die Mens: Octobr Aº Dñi Millimo | quingentesimo quinto: et predicta Margareta o- | biit Die Mens Anno domini Millmo quingentesimo … quorum…. “Here lie John Burgoyn, Esquire, and Margareta his wife, which same John died the sixteenth day of the month of October, 1505, and the aforesaid Margareta died on — day of month, 15–, of whom . . .” (the rest of the border inscription is missing). Palmer records that according to her Will, she died in June, 1528.

The Church Plate.

The chalice and paten are interesting because they bear witness to the link between the church and the Pepys family. Both are in silver and inscribed: “Impington Town in Cambridgeshire. 1713,” and bear the Pepys arms joined

Rubbing of the Burgoyne Brass.

with that of the Turner family. There is another paten with the date 1823, also in silver, and a modern silver flagon dated 1918.

The Bells.

The tower contains three bells. The treble was probably made in 1604 and bears a shield similar to those found on bells in many parts of Kent and Sussex. It has an inscription: “Sancte Petre ora pro nobis.” The second bell bears on the shoulder the Apocalyptic emblems of the Evangelists in the following order: The Bull of St. Luke, The Angel of St. Matthew, The Eagle of St. John and The Lion of St. Mark. The conception of these mythical figures is very grand and the execution admirable. It is inscribed: “Sancta Katerina ora pro nobis.” The tenor, bearing the words “R.G. made me 1652” (R.G. was Robert Gurney), became cracked and was recast when the bells were renovated and rehung in 1925.

The Registers.

Our parish is fortunate in its possession of a continuous set of registers from 1562. The first six are written.

No. 1 is a thin parchment book which covers a period from 1562 to 1695, with the exception of the entries which appear in register No. 3. (This contains the records of the Commonwealth period, 1653-62. The original register was discarded in favour of a civil record, but was restored to use later.) The title of this first register is: “The register book of the parish of Impington wherein are set down the names of all that have been baptised maried and buried from the fifthe yeare of the reign of our gracious Queene Elizabeth which was in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred sixtie and two.” It would appear that, under the laws of the realm for several years during which this register was in use, sheep’s wool had to be used for burial purposes as the following entry shows: “James Logsdon lately died was buried on the 22nd of September and the said Everett and Isabell Joilks made a oath the 28th instant before Roger Pepys Esq. one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the County that the said James Logsdon was not buried but in sheeps wooll only according to the Act etc.” This law appears to have remained in force for a number of years. The last affidavit is quoted with the final entry in this register, 1692. The purpose of the Act was probably to encourage the sheep farming industry in England.

No. 2 is a small original paper register dated 1557-98, and contains entries of Baptism, Marriages and Burials which are also included in register No. 1. It is entitled: “Mariages, Buriells & Christenings in the tyme of me Robart Brumsted Vicar of Impington as ffollowethe.” The entries are in Latin.

No. 3, a parchment book, containing a civil register for the years of the Commonwealth, 1653-62. On the first page appears the title: “The Register Booke for Births, Marriages and Deathes Anno Dom 1653 November. Henrie Hodilow being chosen the parish Register for the Towne of Impington by the parishioners, here is approved of by and sworne for the due execution of his office this ffifth of December 1653 before me-Talbot Pepys.” Marriages at this period were performed by the local magistrate, as the following entry, typical of all the others, shows. “William Hovell of Stretham and Faith Annis of Landbeach Widow weare after proofe upon oath of ye parties before me and after they had joined hands and plainie and distinctly pronounced the words in the act of parliament of the 24th of August last declared to be from henceforth husband and wife. By me Talbot Pepys 27 December 1653.”

No. 4 is a parchment book and is a continuation of register No. 1. It covers the years 1695-1743. On the inside of the cover it states: “A Register book for the Parish of Impington to begin at Christmas in the year of our Lord 1695.”

No. 5 is a continuation of register No. 4, for the years 1745-84, but only one marriage is entered in this register. A separate register for marriages was begun in 1754.

No. 6 contains records of Baptisms and Burials only for the years 1784-1812, and is a continuation of register No. 5. Inside the cover it states: “Impington near Cambridge 1784 Edward Wilson M.A. Fellow of Christ College Vicar. J. Maule Curate 12 July 1784 quitted the 25th December 1798.” After the last entry there are these words: “Hence pass to printed forms according to Act of Parliament.”

To a former Vicar, Rev. Dennis Hall, the church is indebted for a careful transcript of the written registers, in four volumes. These were presented to the church in 1935 by the President of Queens’ College. They were found when a house was being demolished to make way for the new buildings of Queens’ College.

Fox’s Acts and Monuments.

In the church chest there is a three-volume folio edition of this work, printed in London, 1641. In an inventory of 1911 the Rev. Dennis Hall gives the following account of these volumes.

“Originally these volumes were chained to a block in the Chancel. In course of time they became detached from their moorings. A former Sexton named Muncey took possession of them and carried them to his house where they became terribly mutilated. The present Vicar made enquiry about these books which were spoken of by those who remembered them as Fox’s Book of Martyrs. The above is the proper title of them. The Vicar traced them to a granary on a neighbouring farm where they had been deposited for several years. It need hardly be said that they were in a most filthy condition by the accumulation of dust and cobwebs. The Vicar carefully cleaned and collated them inserting blank leaves where pages were missing. By the help of Mr. Caldwell who was the then owner of Impington Hall, the volumes were rebound, using all the brass ornamentation that remained of the original binding-one chain only remains and it is a beautiful specimen of medieval iron work.”


Burgoine’s and Pepys Charity. – According to the Printed Parliamentary Report of the Former Commissioners for Inquiry concerning Charities dated 1837, it is recorded that in a Parliamentary Return dated 1786, Richard Pepys, the period of whose death was unknown, gave £100, then in the hands of Mrs. Pepys and producing £5 per annum for the purchase of coal, and that according to Parliamentary Returns of 1786, John Burgoine, the period of whose death was unknown, gave £75, in the hands of Mrs. Pepys, but that the purpose of the gift was not mentioned. In 1837 the income of the combined Charity was expended in coals retailed at reduced prices to the poor. This Charity is still administered, and the Trustees are: The Vicar of Impington and two representatives appointed by Impington Parish Council.

War Memorial.

In 1920 a mural tablet was placed on the North wall of the Church, in the recess where the old North doorway was blocked up at the restoration in 1879, containing the names of the men of Impington who gave their lives in the first World War, 1914-18. A framed parchment now stands on the shelf below this tablet with the names of those who gave their lives in the War of 1939-45.

The Mysterious Gravestone


Facing this page is a photograph of an old engraving of a headstone of a grave. The inscription reads:

A. T. H. TH. ISST.
T. I. A. N. E

Underneath the engraving are the following words:

Published according to Act of Parliament 1756.


To the Penetrating Genius’s of Oxford, Cambridge, Eaton, Westminster and the learned Society of Antiquarians.

This Curious Inscription is humbly Dedicated.

Printed for J. Bowles at No. 43 in Cornhill and Carrington Bowles No. 69 in St. Paul Churchyard London.

The inscription on the stone, without having regard to the stops, capital letters or division of the words, easily reads as follows:

“Beneath this stone reposeth Claud, Coster, Tripe-seller of Impington as doth his consort Jane.”

No one of this name was ever buried in Impington churchyard. While the possibility remains that the stone may have been in another churchyard (it says only that “Claud” came from Impington, not that he was buried there), it is much more likely that the inscription is a pure invention. That is the opinion of William Cole. He regards it as a malicious invention and condemns it in no measured terms, as this extract from his manuscript shows, when he is commenting on the inscription. “The above counterfeit Roman inscription has been thought so witty in Ridicule of Antiquarianism that it has been again retailed in that sink of slander and secret lying history . . . for 1769.” One is reminded of a similar incident in the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, where Mr. Pickwick finds a stone also with a puzzling inscription, which turns out, according to his enemie and detractors, simply to read, “Bill Stumps his mark.”


The Mysterious Gravestone.




As already recorded, the Rev. Thomas Wyborow had a private school in the parish in 1664, but there is no other mention of any educational efforts until 1846. In that year a site for a school was sold by the Rev. C. Pine-Coffin. The school was built opposite the church. The building still remains though it is now a private dwelling-house. The purpose of the school is set forth in the title-deed. It was to be “used as and for a school for the education of poor persons in the Parish of Impington and as a residence for the Schoolmaster and Schoolmistress and for no other purpose, which school shall always be in union with and conducted upon the principles and in furtherance of the ends and designs of the Incorporated National Society for promoting the education of the Poor in the principles of the Established Church.” The school remained here until 1880, when the building was purchased by Mr. Caldwell, of Impington Hall. The money was used to purchase land in Broad Close, now School Lane, and a new school was erected there. In 1882 the school premises were leased to the Local School Board and later to the Education Authority. When Impington Village College was opened in part of what were formerly the grounds of Impington Hall, in 1939, the school premises in School Lane were no longer required by the Education Authority. But the building was not long out of use for educational purposes, for in 1943 a Nursery School was opened and is still functioning there.

The Infants and Juniors now receive their education at the Histon Junior School and the Seniors at the Village College, which draws its pupils also from a number of surrounding villages. The Village College also contains an Adult wing and caters for Further Education.

Church Lands.

This used to consist of two small cottages, the rent of which was paid into church funds. In 1917 these cottages were sold and the money invested. The interest from the investment provides an income for the Church Repairs Fund.

Impington Church, Interior, 1950.

Looking East


Impington Church, Interior, 1950.
Looking West.


References and Bibliography


For the student and those who would care to make a more detailed study of the history of the parish and the church of Impington, the following references will be found useful. The sources referred to were used in the compilation of these notes.


  • British Museum.-(1) The Cole Manuscript (Additional MSS. 5805, 5821, 5837, 5846, 5849). (2) Knights’ Monumental Brasses, 1500-96. (3) References also in 6747-8.
  • Cambridge University Library, Anderson Room.-Documents 44, 580, 705, 1382, 1605, 6380.
  • Muniment Room of the Bishop of Ely.-There are several documents here relating to Impington and some have been printed in Ely Episcopal Records, 1891.
  • Muniment Room of Christ’s College, Cambridge.-Court Rolls from 1581, leases and other documents relating to the Manor of Burgoyne’s.
  • Muniment Room of the Shire Hall, Cambridge.-There are 13 documents here mostly leases of land in Impington. There is a Court Roll of 1597 and the Inclosure Award and Map, 1806.
  • The Ely Diocesan Office.-Deeds of Impington National School.
  • The Parish Church.-Registers and documents.


Published Works.

  • Cambridge Antiquarian Society Publications, including The Church Bells of Cambridgeshire, J. J. Raven, 1881; Place-names of Cambridgeshire, Rev. W. Skeat, 1901, The Vetus Liber Archidiaconi Eliensis and other volumes in this series.
  • Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Archaeological Society Publications.-Vols. 1, 2, 5 and 6.
  • Chappell, E.-Eight Generations of the Pepys Family, 1500 1800. Conybeare, E.-History of Cambridgeshire, etc.
  • Cox, J. C.-English Church Furniture.
  • Evelyn-White, C. H.-Churches of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely; Domesday Book, Cambridgeshire.
  • Farrar, W.-Feudal Cambridgeshire.
  • Gough. -Itinerary of Edward I.
  • Hughes, T. McKenny. -Report on Arbury Camp.
  • Lysons, D. and S.-Magna Britannia, Vol. II, Part I.
  • Macklin, H. W.-The Brasses of England.
  • Paley, F. A.-Ecclesiologists’ Guide, 1844.
  • Palmer, W. M. [Edit.].-Monumental Inscriptions and Coats of Arms from Cambridgeshire.
  • Palmer and Saunders.-Documents relating to the Cambridgeshire Villages, Cambridge University Press.
  • Pepys, Samuel.-Diary.
  • Report on the Charities of Cambridgeshire, 1839.
  • Victoria County History-Cambridgeshire, 2 vols.


St. Andrew


Sundays. Holy Communion, 8 a.m. every Sunday and 12 noon 2nd and 4th Sunday.
Mattins, 11 a.m.
Evensong, 6.30 p.m.
Sunday School: Parish Room, 10.15 a.m.; Church, 2.30 p.m.
Weekdays. Holy Communion every Wednesday, 10 a.m. (except when there is a Saint’s Day in the week).
Saints’ Days and Holy Day Holy Communion, 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Vicar: Rev. John Cook, M.A., B.D., Impington Vicarage, Tel. Histon 405.
Churchwardens: Mr. C. Littlewood, 11, Impington Lane, Histon.
Mr. R. Osborne, 40, Shirley Road, Histon.
Hon. Treasurer: Mr. W. F. Robinson, Truro House, Cambridge Road, Impington.
Hon. Secretary: Dr. J. Dean, Orchard House, Cottenham Road, Histon.

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Other Places of Worship in the Vicinity (contributed).


St. Andrew with St. Etheldreda

Formerly there were two parish churches, but the Church of St. Etheldreda was pulled down by the lord of the Manor about 1600. In 1874 many fragments of this church were purchased and used in the restoration of the chancel of St. Andrew’s. The main building is thirteenth-century, though stones from an earlier Norman building (about A.D. 1100) can be seen built into the walls.

The worship to-day is purely of an evangelical nature. Prominence is given to the preaching of the soul-saving gospel of our Lord Jesus. In addition to Morning and Evening Prayer and Holy Communion on Sundays, there are informal devotional meetings in the week.

The present Vicar is the Rev. P. R. Knight, the churchwardens, Messrs. C. Lawson and G. W. Hodge, and the clerk and sexton, Mr. H. Muncey.


Sunday Worship: 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m.
Sunday School: 10.15 a.m. and 2.15 p.m.

On 26th May, 1858, a little group of people formerly connected with the Wesleyan Methodist Church met and resolved to form themselves into a Baptist Church and build a chapel. They met for five months in the club-room of the “Rose and Crown,” and the Rev. Jacob Wisby conducted the Sunday Services. On 14th September, 1858, the chapel on the Green was formally opened for Public Worship. The Church consisted of nineteen members, who elected three deacons, Messrs. Stephen Chivers, James Burkett and Wm. Chapman. A visit during this time of Rev. C. H. Spurgeon gave a great impetus to the work. The coming of the Rev. Robert Smith as Minister in 1895 was associated with a long period of advance.

The present chapel was opened on Easter Monday, 1900, and enlarged eight years later. The School Buildings were opened in 1902.

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The first Wesleyan Church in the village, now part of the Co-operative Society Stores, was erected in 1822, comparatively few years after John Wesley’s death. and was the mother church of the Connection in Cambridgeshire. The

present premises, officially known as Matthews’ Memorial Church, were built in the High Street in 1896.

The Society, as a Methodist body is called, is part of the Cottenham Methodist Circuit, and is under the supervision of the Circuit Minister (in 1951, Reverend J. Courtnay-Jacobs) assisted by Local Preachers, Society Stewards, etc. The Church and School rooms were enlarged in 1928, and a modern two manual organ was installed in 1938. The word “Wesleyan” was dropped from the title at the Methodist Union in 1932.

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The Salvation Army commenced its work in Histon in 1892 and is at present under the command of Captain O. Bedson and Lieutenant H. Harris. In addition to the Gospel Meetings held each Sunday, a musical programme is given every Saturday night, and open-air meetings are a feature and enjoyed by many people in the villages. The Band and Songster Brigade are conducted by Bandmaster K. Carmichael, and render invaluable service to the Corps. Other local officers include: Corps Sergeant Major, V. Willson; Treasurer, J. Milne; Secretary, R. Foster; Recruiting Sergeant, M. Nimmo. Young People’s Sergeant Major, Mrs. Welch, supervises the work amongst the children, assisted by Singing Company Leader, E. Dant; Sunbeam Leader, M. Nimmo; Young People’s Legion Secretary, Mrs. Trundley; and Treasurer, L. Smith. The Salvation Army is seeking to lead men and women to God, waging a war with sin and evil in an endeavour to establish “Peace on earth and Goodwill to men” through Jesus Christ the only Saviour.


The original:
Printed in Great Britain at the Works of


This reproduction (in paper/electronic form) produced by Denis W Payne and Alan Cornell, Impington, Cambridge 1998

This electronic form produced by Denis W Payne, Impington, Cambridge 2000

6 thoughts on “A History of the Parish and the Parish Church,

  1. In your piece on the Histon Baptist Church above you say that “the Rev Joseph Wisby” conducted services. From research I believe this to be an error; it should be Jacob WISBEY – my great great grandfather.

      • I think not! The following is taken from that website:


        Sunday Worship: 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. Sunday School: 10.15 a.m. and 2.15 p.m.

        On 26th May, 1858, a little group of people formerly connected with the Wesleyan Methodist Church met and resolved to form themselves into a Baptist Church and build a chapel. They met for five months in the club-room of the “Rose and Crown,” and the Rev. Joseph Wisby conducted the Sunday Services. On 14th September, 1858, the chapel on the Green was formally opened for Public Worship. The Church consisted of nineteen members, who elected three deacons, Messrs. Stephen Chivers, James Burkett and Wm. Chapman. A visit during this time of Rev. C. H. Spurgeon gave a great impetus to the work. The coming of the Rev. Robert Smith as Minister in 1895 was associated with a long period of advance.

        And it should be Rev. *Jacob* Wisby.

        Graham Webster

  2. Who was the gentleman who cycled into Cambridge every weekend with a trailer of mice & cats, dressed in red to collect money for charity. This must have been 20 – 30 years ago. He was dressed in read a bit like a beefeater uniform & used to be in Lion Yard in Cambridge. He was quite a celebrity. I fear he has long since opassed but I was telling people at work about him & was trying to find an article on the internet. I wonder if you can help me?
    Kind regards
    Madeline Key

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