Welcome to Sawtry
Saltrede (11th century); Saltreia (12th century); Sautre (13th
century) and Sawtry (16th century to modern times).
The High Street in Sawtry, Huntingdonshire.
Sawtry was given by Canute to Turkill the Dane, and on his being
exiled, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, the King gave the
estate to Earl Waltheof. Here, about the year 1146, Waltheof’s
grandson, Simon de St Liz founded an Abbey of Cistercian Monks,
which flourished until the dissolution, and the site of which is
still pointed out, although not a vestige of the buildings remains.
The demesne lands of Sawtry Abbey were, until recent years (early
1900’s), extra parochial and known as Sawtry Judith, widow of Earl
Waltheof. Of Sawtry Abbey, founded in 1147, only excavated
foundations now remain together with traces of the fishponds and the
sites of the quays where the building stone was unloaded. The whole
area is enclosed by dykes which were to protect it from the flood
water of the Fens. The 17th century Manor Farm, the moated Grange
Farm, and Abbey Farm which incorporates some of the monastic
stonework, are all of interest.
In addition to this abbey property there were two other manors, the
one belonging to Ramsey Abbey, and held under them by the family of
Le Moygne until the middle of the 15th century, and then by the
Clarivaux family. This property afterwards belonged to the Dukes of
Devonshire and now to Lord Chesham, who also owns Sawtry Judith.
The other manor had been given by one Tosti to Ramsey Abbey, but
Eustace the Sheriff seized it, and it was held under him by Walter
de Beaumes, whose family retained it for some 300 years, when it
passed by heir-ship to the family of Louth, from whom, again by
heir-ship, it passed to Cornwallis. Later on it belonged to the
families of Cotton, Annesley, Newton, and now (1910) to John Moyer
Heathcote, of Conington Castle.
For many centuries there were two parish churches at Sawtry; All
Saints and St Andrew, in addition to the abbey. They were both
pulled down in 1880, and a new church, designed by Bloomfield, was
built on the site of the old All Saints Church. Some portions of the
old churches are preserved in the new building; a two arched with
column, a small two-light window, and a very fine brass of a knight
and his lady (Sir William Le Moygne and Maria, his wife), 1404. The
churchyard of St Andrew, on the east of the Old North Road, may
still be seen (1910). The three former Anglican parishes of All
Saints, St. Andrew and Sawtry Judith, were combined in 1934. William
Sawtry, a priest here, was burned in chains at Smithfield in 1401,
being the first Christian martyr in England after the Norman
Sawtry today is an extensive parish with a large village centre
close to the Great North Road overlooking the Fens. It still
contains some 17th century cottages and the Old Chequers Inn. Near
the church is a moated site. Monks Wood, in the south of the parish,
was acquired by the Nature Conservancy in 1953. This 375 acre mixed
woodland, mainly natural regeneration, is notable for its rare plants
and insects. The black hairstreak butterfly was first found here.
Sawtry is one of the parishes of the District of
Huntingdonshire, whose administrative centre is
Huntingdon, the other principle towns being
home of the Chapel on the Bridge,
the largest town in the County of Cambridgeshire, the Roman town of
site of the former Abbey.
The box below displays a random selection from the great deals, special
offers and/or SALE items that are available from the
site members but you may follow this link to view all the
current what's HOT in the district.