Thorney, Cambridgeshire

Last updated

Old Post Office Thorney Cambs.JPG
Old Post Office Thorney
Cambridgeshire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Cambridgeshire
Population2,401 (2011) [1]
OS grid reference TF342039
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Peterborough
Postcode district PE6
Dialling code 01733
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°37′18″N0°06′21″W / 52.62179°N 0.10595°W / 52.62179; -0.10595 Coordinates: 52°37′18″N0°06′21″W / 52.62179°N 0.10595°W / 52.62179; -0.10595
Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin and St Botolph, Thorney Abbey Church of St. Mary the Virgin and St. Botolph Thorney Cambs.JPG
Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin and St Botolph, Thorney
Bedford Hall Bedford Hall - - 1323398.jpg
Bedford Hall
Signpost in Thorney UK Thorney (Cambridgeshire) (Sign1).jpg
Signpost in Thorney

Thorney is a village about 8 miles (13 km) east of Peterborough city centre, on the A47 in England.

Peterborough City and unitary authority in England

Peterborough is a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, England, with a population of 196,640 in 2015. Historically part of Northamptonshire, it is 76 miles (122 km) north of London, on the River Nene which flows into the North Sea 30 miles (48 km) to the north-east. The railway station is an important stop on the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh. The city is also 70 miles (110 km) east of Birmingham, 38 miles (61 km) east of Leicester, 81 miles (130 km) south of Kingston upon Hull and 65 miles (105 km) west of Norwich.

A47 road road in England linking Birmingham to Lowestoft, Suffolk

The A47 is a trunk road in England linking Birmingham to Lowestoft, Suffolk. Most of the section between Birmingham and Nuneaton is now classified as the B4114.


Historically in the Isle of Ely, and considered part of Cambridgeshire, Thorney was transferred to the short-lived county of Huntingdon and Peterborough in 1965 and became part of the Peterborough district in 1974, on the merger into Cambridgeshire; the city became a unitary authority area in 1998.

Isle of Ely former county in England

The Isle of Ely is an historic region around the city of Ely in Cambridgeshire, England. Between 1889 and 1965, it formed an administrative county.

Cambridgeshire County of England

Cambridgeshire is a county in the East of England, bordering 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. The city of Cambridge is the county town. Modern Cambridgeshire was formed in 1974 as an amalgamation of the counties of Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely and Huntingdon and Peterborough, the former covering the historic county of Cambridgeshire and the latter covering the historic county of Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough, historically part of Northamptonshire. It contains most of the region known as Silicon Fen.

Huntingdon and Peterborough

Huntingdon and Peterborough was a short-lived administrative and geographical county in East Anglia in the United Kingdom. It existed from 1965 to 1974, when it became part of Cambridgeshire.


Thorney began as a Saxon settlement in about 500 AD. The existence of Thorney Abbey made the settlement an important ecclesiastical centre, and until 2014 was the most northerly point of the Anglican Diocese of Ely.[ citation needed ] By 2007 the previous Thorney Abbey church, now the Church of St Mary and St Botolph, was part of the Deanery [2] and Diocese of Peterborough.

Thorney Abbey Grade I listed abbey in Thorney, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

Thorney Abbey, now the Church of St Mary and St Botolph, was a medieval monastic house established on the island of Thorney in The Fens of Cambridgeshire, England.

Diocese of Ely

The Diocese of Ely is a Church of England diocese in the Province of Canterbury. It is headed by the Bishop of Ely, who sits at Ely Cathedral in Ely. There is one suffragan (subordinate) bishop, the Bishop of Huntingdon. The diocese now covers the modern ceremonial county of Cambridgeshire and western Norfolk. The diocese was created in 1109 out of part of the Diocese of Lincoln.

Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries the estate became crown property and it was granted to John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford in 1550. At this time only a few hundred acres of the land was cultivatable. In the 1630s Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford spent a reputed £100,000 draining the fens, bringing almost all of the estate and parish of nearly 18,000 acres (7,284 ha) into agricultural use. A community of Walloon Protestant refugees, originally from areas of Flanders that are now northern France, was settled here in the 17th century with their own church and minister, employing the ruins of the abbey for services in their own language. [3] The Walloons had expertise in fenland drainage. The Russell family's rents from the Thorney estate increased from £300 in 1629 to £10,000 by the early 19th century. The family, whose main seat was at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, occasionally resided at the manor house in Thorney village, which was known as Abbey House. The estate was sold to the tenants in 1910.[ citation needed ]

Dissolution of the Monasteries legal event which disbanded religious residences in England, Wales and Ireland

The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland, appropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided for their former personnel and functions. Although the policy was originally envisaged as increasing the regular income of the Crown, much former monastic property was sold off to fund Henry's military campaigns in the 1540s. He was given the authority to do this in England and Wales by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus separating England from Papal authority, and by the First Suppression Act (1535) and the Second Suppression Act (1539).

John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford English royal minister in the Tudor era

John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford was an English royal minister in the Tudor era. He served variously as Lord High Admiral and Lord Privy Seal. Among the lands and property he was given by Henry VIII after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, were the Abbey and town of Tavistock, and the area that is now Covent Garden. Russell is the ancestor of all subsequent Earls and Dukes of Bedford and Earls Russell, including John Russell, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and philosopher Bertrand Russell.

Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford English politician

Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford PC was an English nobleman and politician. He built the square of Covent Garden, with the piazza and church of St. Paul's, employing Inigo Jones as his architect. He is also known for his pioneering project to drain The Fens of Cambridgeshire.

Much of the village was built at the command of the Dukes of Bedford, who wished to have a healthy place in which their estate workers could live. In the mid-19th century many buildings were added to the designs of the architect S.S. Teulon, himself a descendant of Huguenots.[ citation needed ]

Samuel Sanders Teulon was a 19th-century English Gothic Revival architect, noted for his use of polychrome brickwork, and the complex planning of his buildings.

The 7th Duke of Bedford's model agricultural village included a modern water supply and sewerage scheme. The neo-Jacobean Tankyard building, now known as Bedford Hall, included a 96 ft high water tower, erected in 1855, [4] that supplied fresh water to the village. The building houses Thorney Heritage Museum, part of the Greater Fens Museum Partnership.

Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford British peer

Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford, styled Marquess of Tavistock from 1802 to 1839, was a British peer and Whig politician.

The windmill on the outskirts dates from 1787 and contains six floors; it originally had six sails. During the war[ which? ] four German prisoners of war used it as a base during the day while working the land.[ citation needed ]

Thorney railway station was on the old Peterborough to Wisbech line, with an additional station in the parish at Wryde. The station and the line were closed in the early 1960s. Little evidence to suggest a rail link now remains, apart from level crossing gates at the side of Station Road; these gates are apparently not the original ones, the originals being much larger.[ according to whom? ]

The A47 bypass opened in Winter 2005.

Air accident

On 28 August 1976, a United States Air Force Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, 67-0006, on a flight from McGuire Air Force Base to RAF Mildenhall crashed near the village; the aircraft entered bad weather and the pilots lost control of the aircraft. The accident killed all 18 passengers and crew on board. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] A memorial is maintained on Thorney Dyke, for the lost aircrew.

Wind turbines

In 2010, planning permission was given for two wind turbines on land at French Farm, near French Drove [10] in Thorney parish. In 2011 REG WindPower announced plans [11] to install a further four wind turbines at the French Farm site.

As of 2013, other windfarms are proposed at Gores Farm, Willow Hall, Nuts Grove and Wryde Croft. [12]


The village's local school is the Duke of Bedford Primary School which is next to Wisbech Road. There is also a specialist school at Park House for children with special educational needs.

The village has a magazine called the Thorney Post, which is printed three times a year. The magazine has its own website. [13]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

Crowland town and civil parish in South Holland, Lincolnshire, UK

Crowland or Croyland is a small town in the South Holland district of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated between Peterborough and Spalding. Crowland contains two sites of historical interest, Crowland Abbey and Trinity Bridge

The Fens Natural region in United Kingdom

The Fens, also known as the Fenlands, are a coastal plain in eastern England. This natural marshy region supported a rich ecology and numerous species, as well as absorbing storms. Most of the fens were drained several centuries ago, resulting in a flat, dry, low-lying agricultural region supported by a system of drainage channels and man-made rivers and automated pumping stations. There have been unintended consequences to this reclamation, as the land level has continued to sink and the dykes must be built higher to protect it from flooding.

Ramsey, Cambridgeshire market town and parish in Huntingdonshire, England

Ramsey is a small market town and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England. The town is about 9 miles (14 km) north of Huntingdon in the non-metropolitan district and former county of Huntingdonshire, which since 1974 has been part of Cambridgeshire. Ramsey parish includes the settlements of Ramsey Forty Foot, Ramsey Heights, Ramsey Mereside, Ramsey Hollow and Ramsey St Mary's.

Whittlesey Fenland market town in Cambridgeshire in England

Whittlesey is an English town 6 miles (10 km) east of Peterborough in the Fenland district of Cambridgeshire. Its population of 16,058 at the 2011 Census includes the neighbouring villages of Coates, Eastrea, Pondersbridge and Turves.

History of Cambridgeshire

The English county of Cambridgeshire has a long history.

Stanground, Peterborough residential area of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

Stanground is a residential area in the city of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire in the United Kingdom. For electoral purposes it comprises Stanground South and Fletton & Stanground wards in North West Cambridgeshire constituency.

Parson Drove village in the United Kingdom

Parson Drove is a fen village in Cambridgeshire, England. A linear settlement, it is approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of Wisbech, the nearest town. The village is named after the central thoroughfare along which the village developed, a green drove, much wider than the current metalled road (B1166). The population at the 2001 Census was 1,030. The population is included in the civil parish of Wisbech St Mary.

Sword Dancer was an American Hall of Fame Champion Thoroughbred racehorse. He was the leading American colt of his generation and was voted United States Horse of the Year in 1959.

Wisbech St Mary village in the United Kingdom

Wisbech St Mary is a small village, 2 miles (3 km) west of the town of Wisbech the Fenland district of Cambridgeshire, England. and lies between two roads, the B1169 and the A47. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 Census was 3,556.

Newborough, Cambridgeshire village and a civil parish in the Peterborough district, Cambridgeshire, England

Newborough is a village and a civil parish in the Peterborough district, Cambridgeshire, England. Newborough is situated 7.62 km (4.74 mi) North of Peterborough. Newborough has a population of 1,670 according to the 2011 census

Herbert Hadley Burry was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who played four games in the National Hockey League. Born in Toronto, Ontario, he played for the original Ottawa Senators. He married Louise Mildred Taylor in 1927. After his retirement from hockey, Burry was an avid pilot and the owner of McMurray Air Service, with headquarters in Uranium City, Saskatchewan.

Mark-Ye-Well (1949–1970) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse.

Menow (1935–1964) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse. He won several important races in 1937, when he was voted American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse.

His Majesty was an American Thoroughbred racehorse and Champion sire.

Bardstown (1952–1972) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse.

Bruce Adolf H. Magnuson was a Canadian trade unionist and Communist leader.

Rose Woods

Rose Woods is a Gettysburg Battlefield forested area that is an American Civil War site of the battle's Hood's Assault, McLaws' Assault, and McCandless' Advance. "Scene of the first line of Union defenses" on the Battle of Gettysburg, Second Day; the 1st Texas Infantry and 3rd Arkansas Infantry Regiments attacked Ward's 2nd Brigade line in the woods. The last combat on the Battle of Gettysburg, Third Day, was "in the early evening. Colonel William McCandless's brigade of Pennsylvania Reserves advanced across the Wheatfield into Rose's Woods where they managed to inflict heavy losses on the 15th Georgia" which had failed to retreat to Warfield Ridge after Longstreet's Assault. Two days later Timothy H. O'Sullivan photographed corpses moved for burial to the edge of Rose Woods and which were subsequently reinterred in cemeteries.

Cool Cats Show was an Australian television series that aired live on Melbourne station HSV-7 from 1958 to 1960. When it debuted Australian series often aired on a single station, but this was becoming less common during the run of the series, as more shows began being shown in several cities as television spread across the country. The series is notable as an early example of an Australian television series aimed at teenagers. TV listings of the era described it as a "teenage studio dance" hosted by Don Bennetts with guest artists. The Ted Vining Trio is listed as appearing in several episodes.


  1. "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  2. Dashboard for the parish of Thorney Abbey: St Mary & St Botolph in the Deanery of PETERBOROUGH Diocese of Peterborough, 9 October 2017
  3. Cambridgeshire, EnglandGenWeb Project rootsweb
  4. "The Tankyard Buildings, Thorney" Fens Museum Partnership
  5. Aircraft accident Lockheed ASN
  6. "Spokane Daily Chronicle". Google. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  10. "French Drove".
  11. "French Farm Wind Farm".
  12. "Newborough Landscape Protection Group". Archived from the original on 30 June 2013.
  13. web site