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Market town
Cmglee Huntingdon town hall war memorial.jpg
Huntingdon Town Hall and The Thinking Soldier War Memorial
Cambridgeshire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Cambridgeshire
Population25,428 (2021 Census) [1]
OS grid reference TL245725
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district PE26, PE28, PE29
Dialling code 01480
Police Cambridgeshire
Fire Cambridgeshire
Ambulance East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°20′11″N0°10′18″W / 52.3364°N 0.1717°W / 52.3364; -0.1717 Coordinates: 52°20′11″N0°10′18″W / 52.3364°N 0.1717°W / 52.3364; -0.1717

Huntingdon is a market town in the Huntingdonshire district in Cambridgeshire, England. The town was given its town charter by King John in 1205. It was the county town of the historic county of Huntingdonshire. Oliver Cromwell was born there in 1599 [2] and became one of its Members of Parliament (MP) in 1628. The former Conservative Prime Minister (1990–1997) John Major served as its MP from 1979 until his retirement in 2001.



Huntingdon was founded by the Anglo-Saxons and Danes. It is first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 921, where it appears as Huntandun. It appears as Huntedun in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name means "The huntsman's hill" or possibly "Hunta's hill". [3]

Huntingdon seems to have been a staging post for Danish raids outside East Anglia until 917, when the Danes moved to Tempsford, now in Bedfordshire, before they were crushed by Edward the Elder. It prospered successively as a bridging point of the River Great Ouse, a market town, and in the 18th and 19th centuries a coaching centre, notably at the George Hotel. The town has a well-preserved medieval bridge that used to serve as the main route of Ermine Street over the river. The bridge only ceased to be the sole crossing point to Godmanchester in 1975, with the building of what is now the A1307 (formerly A14) bypass.

Sebastopol cannon Sebastopol cannon Huntingdon uk.jpg
Sebastopol cannon

The town's valuable trading position was secured by Huntingdon Castle, of which only the earthworks of the motte survive. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and home to a beacon used to mark the 400th anniversary of the Spanish Armada.

In 1746, the nurserymen Wood and Ingram of nearby Brampton developed an elm-tree cultivar, Ulmus × hollandica 'Vegeta' , which they named the Huntingdon Elm after the town. [4]

Original documents on Huntingdon's history, including the borough charter of 1205, are held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies at the County Record Office, Huntingdon. [5]

Parts of Huntingdon, including the centre, were struck by an F1/T3 tornado on 23 November 1981, during a record-breaking nationwide tornado outbreak on that day. [6] The centre suffered moderate damage.

Huntingdon welcome sign UK Huntingdon.jpg
Huntingdon welcome sign

Between the railway station and the old hospital building, stands a replica cannon installed in the 1990s to replace one from the Crimean War, scrapped for the war effort in the Second World War. However, it faces in the opposite direction from the original. St Mary's Street drill hall was built in the late 19th century. [7]

George Hotel

The George Hotel on the corner of High Street and George Street was once a posting house. It was named after Saint George of England in 1574 and bought some 25 years later by Henry Cromwell, grandfather of Oliver Cromwell. [2] Charles I made the George his headquarters in 1645. Later the highwayman Dick Turpin is said to have been a customer when it was a coaching inn on the Great North Road. A theatre was built to the rear of the George in about 1799. The Lincoln company of actors managed by Thomas Shaftoe Robertson and later Fanny Robertson performed here in race weeks. [8] Two wings of the inn burnt down in the mid-19th century, but two were saved, including one with a balcony overlooking the yard. Since 1959, the courtyard and balcony have been used for Shakespeare performances by a company run by the Shakespeare at the George Trust. [9]


Huntingdon has a town council with 19 councillors elected every four years. [10] Two of them serve also as mayor and deputy mayor. [11] Meetings are normally held once a month at Huntingdon Town Hall. [12]

Huntingdonshire District Council has three wards: Huntingdon North, Huntingdon East and Huntingdon West. [13] The Huntingdon East ward has two councillors and the other wards also have two each. [14] The main offices of Huntingdonshire District Council are in Huntingdon itself.

The third tier of local-government is Cambridgeshire County Council providing county-wide services such as roads, education, social services, libraries and heritage protection. [15] Huntingdon is one of 60 electoral divisions, [13] represented by two county councillors. [16]

The fourth tier of local government is Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, which is headed by a mayor. The Authority's website states that "the Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough is Dr Nik Johnson. [17]

Huntingdon lies in the parliamentary constituency of Huntingdon.


The town lies on the north bank of the River Great Ouse opposite Godmanchester and close to the market town of St Ives to the east and the village of Brampton to the west. Huntingdon incorporates the village of Hartford to the east and the developing areas of Oxmoor, Stukeley Meadows and Hinchingbrooke to the north and west.

Between Godmanchester, Huntingdon and Brampton lies Portholme Meadow, England's largest. [18] Its 257 acres (104 hectares) contain many rare species of grass, flowers and dragonfly. It is the only known British habitat of the marsh dandelion. It acts as a natural reservoir for water in times of flood, enabling the river to run off slowly, so helping to preclude flooding in nearby towns. It has also served as a horse racecourse and once was a centre for aviation.


Huntingdon is home to many local businesses, including Huntingdon Racecourse. Hinchingbrooke Business Park also contains offices and warehouses.


The nearest weather station for long-term data is at RAF Wyton, 3 mi (5 km) north-east of the town centre. More recently Monks Wood, 5 mi (8 km) to the north-west, has also provided data.

Like most of Britain, Huntingdon has a temperate, maritime climate free of temperature extremes, with rainfall spread fairly evenly over the year. The absolute maximum recorded at Wyton was 35.4 °C (95.7 °F) [19] in August 1990; the temperature at Monks Wood rose in July 2006 to 35.1 °C (95.2 °F). [20] The mean annual warmest day is 29.7 °C (85.5 °F), [21] and on 16 days a year will rise to 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or above. [22]

Typically 43.2 nights of the year report an air frost. [23] The absolute minimum at Wyton was −16.1 °C (3.0 °F) [24] in January 1982. The mean for the annual coldest night of the year is −7.7 °C (18.1 °F). [25]

With annual rainfall at under 550 millimetres (21+12 inches) a year, [26] the Huntingdon area is among the driest in the UK – 103.4 days on average record at least 1 mm of rain. [27] All averages mentioned refer to the period 1971–2000.



Between 1801 and 1901, the current area of Huntingdon consisted of four parishes: Huntingdon All Saints, Huntingdon St Benedict, Huntingdon St John and Huntingdon St Mary. The populations of these were counted in the ten-year UK census and ranged in the period between 2,368 in 1801 and 4,735 in 1891. [28] (The census was omitted in 1941.)


All population census figures are taken from the report Historic Census figures Cambridgeshire to 2011 by Cambridgeshire Insight. [28] For the censuses of 1961 and 1971, Huntingdon was combined with Godmanchester.

In 2011, the parish covered an area of 2,765 acres (1,119 hectares). [28] The population density in that year was 5,493.1 inhabitants per square mile (2,120.9 inhabitants per square kilometre).

Culture and community

The former Literary and Scientific Institute is now Commemoration Hall.

The Old Bridge across the Great Ouse, to Godmanchester. Huntingdon Old Bridge.jpg
The Old Bridge across the Great Ouse, to Godmanchester.

There are two RAF stations within 4 mi (6 km) of the town: RAF Brampton, once home to Headquarters RAF Support Command closed in 2013; RAF Wyton, once a major flying station but now also part of the DLO; and RAF Alconbury currently occupied by the United States Air Force.

Part of the medieval infirmary hall of St Johns in the market place became Huntingdon Grammar School. It was attended by Cromwell and by the diarist Samuel Pepys. The building is now the Cromwell Museum, run by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Interior of the Cromwell Museum Cmglee Huntingdon Cromwell Museum.jpg
Interior of the Cromwell Museum


Hinchingbrooke House, once a convent, is said to be haunted. The bridge over the Alconbury Brook named Nun's Bridge is said also to be haunted, by one of the nuns who once lived at the convent. [29] She is said often to be accompanied by another ghost that resembles a nurse. The myth goes that the nun had a monk-lover who caused them to be murdered.


The local primary schools are Hartford Junior School, Huntingdon Primary School, Thongsley Fields Primary School, St John's Primary School, Stukeley Meadows Primary School and Cromwell Academy Primary School. Spring Common School is a special-needs school. Secondary schools include St Peter's School and Hinchingbrooke School. Further education colleges include Huntingdonshire Regional College, Hinchingbrooke School sixth-form college and St Peter's sixth form.



Huntingdon railway station has direct services to London Kings Cross station, trains take just over an hour on modern trains. It is served by Great Northern. Thameslink services between Horsham in West Sussex and Peterborough via Blackfriars and St Pancras in London run every half hour.


There are direct bus services to Peterborough, St Neots, Ramsey, St Ives and Cambridge, and within the town and to Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Most buses are provided by Stagecoach East and Whippet.


Luton and Stansted airports are within 40 miles (64 km).

Huntingdon town centre, looking North along the High Street towards All Saints' Church. Huntingdon town centre.JPG
Huntingdon town centre, looking North along the High Street towards All Saints' Church.

Religious sites

There are four Church of England churches in Huntingdon, once there were more, which together with those in the adjacent villages Great and Little Stukeley are members of the Huntingdon Team Ministry [30] in the Diocese of Ely. The four are All Saints' (next to the Market Square), St Mary's (opposite Pathfinder House), St Barnabas (on the Oxmoor estate) and All Saints', Hartford.

Huntingdon Methodist Church is in the High Street. [31] Medway Christian Fellowship is based on Medway Road. [32]


The highest-ranking football club, Huntingdon Town, plays in the United Counties League. Huntingdon United RGE plays in the Cambridgeshire League.

Notable residents

Names are in birth order. Data are from the subject's Wikipedia article except where referenced.

Arts and entertainment




Oliver Cromwell, 1646 Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper.jpg
Oliver Cromwell, 1646

Science and engineering


International relations

Twin towns

Source: [42]

Freedom of the Town

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Town of Huntingdon.


Military Units

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cambridgeshire</span> County of England

Cambridgeshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East of England government statistical region, and popularly known as one of the three counties of East Anglia. The largest city is Peterborough, followed by the county town of Cambridge. In 1974, modern Cambridgeshire was created through the amalgamation of Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely with Huntingdon and Peterborough, which including the historic counties of Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough. A majority of the county is locally governed by Cambridgeshire County Council in combination with the lower tier non-metropolitan district councils of Cambridge, East Cambridgeshire, Fenland, Huntingdonshire, and South Cambridgeshire. Peterborough however is governed as a unitary authority with one council, Peterborough City Council. It is bordered by Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the north-east, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Huntingdonshire</span> Historic county and now a district of Cambridgeshire, England

Huntingdonshire is a local government district of Cambridgeshire and a historic county of England. The district council is based in Huntingdon. Other towns include Godmanchester, Ramsey, St Ives and St Neots. The population was 180,800 at the 2021 Census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ramsey Abbey</span> English Benedictine abbey, now ruins

Ramsey Abbey was a Benedictine abbey in Ramsey, Huntingdonshire, England. It was founded about AD 969 and dissolved in 1539.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Perry, Cambridgeshire</span> Human settlement in England

Perry is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England, approximately 6 miles (10 km) south-west of Huntingdon. Perry is in Huntingdonshire, a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire and historic county of England. Perry is on the shore of a reservoir, Grafham Water, a few miles from the market town of St Neots.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Godmanchester</span> Human settlement in England

Godmanchester is a town and civil parish in the Huntingdonshire district of Cambridgeshire, England. It is separated from Huntingdon, 1.2 miles (1.9 km) to the north, by the valley of the River Great Ouse. Being on the Roman road network, the town has a long history. It has a waterside location, surrounded by open countryside of high value for its biodiversity but it remains highly accessible, with a railway line to London, the A1 road and M11/A14 which run nearby.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ramsey, Cambridgeshire</span> Human settlement in England

Ramsey is a market town and civil parish in the Huntingdonshire district of Cambridgeshire, England. The town is about 9 miles (14 km) north of Huntingdon. Ramsey parish includes the settlements of Ramsey Forty Foot, Ramsey Heights, Ramsey Mereside, Ramsey Hollow and Ramsey St Mary's.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Huntingdon (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1983 onwards

Huntingdon is a constituency west of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire and including its namesake town of Huntingdon. It has been represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2001 by Jonathan Djanogly of the Conservative Party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Houghton, Cambridgeshire</span> Human settlement in England

Houghton is a village and former civil parish, now in the parish of Houghton and Wyton, in Cambridgeshire, England, approximately 3 miles (5 km) east of Huntingdon on the A1123 road, and south of RAF Wyton. It lies on the north bank of the River Great Ouse, by Houghton Mill.

Brampton is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England, about 2 miles (3 km) south-west of Huntingdon. It lies within Huntingdonshire, a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire and a historic county of England. According to the 2011 UK census Brampton had a population of 4,862 A 2019 estimate puts it at 5,462. Brampton is considered a suburb of neighbouring Huntingdon by some, due to its close proximity to the town.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tetworth</span> Human settlement in England

Tetworth is a village and former civil parish, now in the parish of Waresley-cum-Tetworth, in Cambridgeshire, England. Tetworth lies approximately 12 miles (19 km)south of Huntingdon, near Waresley south of St Neots. Tetworth is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of United Kingdom. In 2001 the parish had a population of 45.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Farcet</span> Human settlement in England

Farcet is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England. Farcet lies approximately 2 miles (3 km) south of Peterborough city centre, between Yaxley and the Peterborough suburb of Old Fletton. Farcet is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of England.

Great Staughton is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England. Great Staughton lies approximately 8 miles (13 km) south-west of Huntingdon. Great Staughton is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of England.

Hinchingbrooke School is a large secondary school situated on the outskirts of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, historically in Huntingdonshire. Originally all of the surrounding land—including what is now Huntingdon Town—comprised the grounds of Hinchingbrooke House. There is still an avenue of trees leading from the start of Hinchingbrooke House towards the town, which was the old entranceway through the grounds. It is now an academy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wyton, Cambridgeshire</span> Human settlement in England

Wyton is a village and former civil parish, now in the parish of Houghton and Wyton, in Cambridgeshire, England. It lies approximately 2 miles (3 km) east of Huntingdon. Wyton is connected to the village of Houghton, so much so that the two settlements are rarely regarded as separate. Wyton is situated within Huntingdonshire, a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of England. In 1931 the parish had a population of 445.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wyton on the Hill</span> Human settlement in England

Wyton on the Hill is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England. Wyton on the Hill lies approximately 3 miles (5 km) north-east of Huntingdon and 1 mile (2 km) north of Houghton. Wyton on the Hill is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of England. The parish centres on RAF Wyton and the majority of its residents are servicemen and their families.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cromwell Museum</span> Museum in Huntingdon, England

The Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon, England, is a museum containing collections exploring the life of Oliver Cromwell and to a lesser extent his son Richard Cromwell. Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon in 1599 and lived there for more than half his life. The museum is located in the former grammar school building in which Cromwell received his early education. Founded in 1962, the museum contains significant artefacts, paintings and printed material relating to The Protectorate. The museum is currently run as part of a trust dedicated to Oliver Cromwell's legacy and previously by the Cambridgeshire Libraries, Archives and Information Service, part of Cambridgeshire County Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sir Oliver Cromwell</span>

Sir Oliver Cromwell was an English landowner, lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1589 and 1625. He was the uncle of Oliver Cromwell, the Member of Parliament, general, and Lord Protector of England.


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