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A short history of Elton

Early times

C1st Roman pottery etc. Found in Berryleas Field on Nassington Road

C 2nd Continual settlement from this date. The manorial settlement was at Netherend in Berrystead field adjoining the mill. Evidence found during flood alleviation work.

C11th Saxon crosses are in the church yard.

1035 King Canute visited the area on royal progress, The King Stayed at next village of Nassington but his retinue encamped at Elton.

The village was owned by a Dane who, in wining and dining the Kings escort, became drunk and offered the village for “50 marks of gold before daybreak”. Aethelric, the Bishop of Dorchester travelling with the king, amassed the money overnight from other friends in the retinue and next morning acquired the village. He granted the village to the Abbot of Ramsey Abbey, 20 miles away. From this date the village was known as Aethelington

1066 to 1800

1085 Elton is mentioned in the doomsday book as Adelington

1279 Earliest surviving records, they continue from this date.

1303 Ramsey Abbey were receiving rent moneys, from at least this date, from the Sapcote Family who lived at the Hall in Overend.

1400s Current Elton hall built by Sapcote Family, there have been later additions.

1462 Church largely rebuilt, list of Rectors of the parish of All Saints from this date of the two combined manors in one Parish. – see link to All Saints Website

1595 The Sapcotes were still in the village, presumably having acquired the Manor outright at the dissolution of the monasteries some 50 years earlier. Village referred to as Aillington

1602 Village referred to as Ailton. The Proby family were tenants, but on the demise of the Sapcote family purchased Elton Hall. – see link to Elton Hall Website

1663 Reverend Cooper founded the Almshouses known as Cooper’s hospital which still provide accommodation for the elderly, now rebuilt as modern bungalows.

1712 Money gifted by Jane Proby to fund the Workhouse.

1727 Boys’ school built in school lane

1789 Proby family created the Earls of Carysfort.

Population of village 650

1800 to the present day

1844 Work started on the railway. The first trains from Elton station started in 1846 with the time to Peterborough being 23 minutes. A wooden bridge was erected across the river

1850’s James Hayes Patented various milling and harvesting machines and exhibited at Crystal Palace and Royal Agricultural show. He was one of the new Methodists in the village. Girls school started in village in what had previously been the workhouse. To replace earlier girls school run by miss jelly of jellys yard.- now the post office

1864 Current Methodist Chapel erected to replace an earlier building which had occupied an adjacent site for 50 years.

1871 Population of village reached a peak of 950. Henry Royce from Alwalton refused work at Hayes works as not being strong enough.

1875 The stone bridge was built over the River Nene

1876 New School built for boys and girls. First headmaster was Brawn

1881 Population had dropped to 800. Heighton took over the Vinco cycle works which employed over 30 men at one time, gradually the bicycle works became the motor garage.

1909 The last Earl (5th) died. The estate then passed through marriage to a Douglas Hamilton who had assumed the name and arms of Proby by Royal Licence in 1904.

1913 Public baths opened in the village, -closed in 1920

1930’s Village population less than 550. Reading room extended to become the village hall

2008 Population 730

Ownership of Elton

Only three owners in 1000 years have given Elton one of the best sets of estate records of any village in Europe.

1035-1303 Ramsey Abbey

1300- 1600 Sapcote family

1600- Proby Family

Books about the village

Books written on the village include

Rev RF Whistler A history of Elton, 1892

F and C Giles Life in a medieval village, 1989

Alan G Clark Elton A history of its lost and Ancient Buildings, 1992

Alan G Clark A village on the Nene, 2007

Buried in these books are numerous gems about the village including bestiality with a sheep in Elton park (he was caught “red-handed” and deported) the freemasons lodge at one of the village Pubs, Coco the clown at the annual fair, and a successful village petition to the courts over unfair taxes levied by the lords of the manor.

Many of the names around the village reflect its history; Faber Lane, Brawn Way, Vinco Terrace and most recently Carysfort Close.