The History of Buckden in Cambridgeshire

Historical notes about the town of Buckden in Cambridgehsire.

The Parish of Buckden

Buckden lies on the road from Huntingdon (4 m. north-east) to St. Neots (south-east), i.e., the London or Great North Road, which for some distance forms its northern boundary, and from which a road branches here to Peterborough. It is bounded on the east by the Ouse, a bridge over which connects it with Offord Cluny, where there is a station on the London and North Eastern Railway. The Kettering to Cambridge branch of the London Midland and Scottish Railway cuts through the north of the parish, and had a station at Buckden, about a mile north of the village. A little south-east of the station is Vicarage Farm.

The parish lies somewhat low, the ground near the Ouse being liable to floods, and the higher ground in the west reaching a level of not more than 150 ft. It has an area of 3,096 acres of land, 18 of water. The land is arable, the soil clay and gravel, and the subsoil Oxford clay.

Buckden High Street

Looking south down the High Street, the Great North Road, in Buckden in 1911

Looking south down the High Street, the Great North Road, in Buckden in 1911

 

The village lies in the middle of the parish on the Huntingdon Road, here called the High Street. The main part of the village, however, stands along Church Street and its continuation, Mill Street, which lead eastward to the River Ouse and Offord Cluny. Branching from Church Street is Silver Street, going north to Hardwick and Hunts End, and Luck's Lane, going south to Stirtloe House and Park, the residence of Mr. Linton, both lanes probably taking their names from former landowners.

Some other interesting old buildings remain still, though with alterations and additions in successive centuries, to give Buckden something of an old-world character. Opposite the church, and on the south side of Church Street, is the Manor House, its main cross wing of late 16th-century date, its north wall, fronting the street, probably medieval. It has 17th- and 18th-century and modern additions, and a fine 17th century barn. To the west of it, and east of Luck's Lane, which here runs south out of Church Street, is the vicarage house. A little to the west, at the corner of Church Street and High Street, stands the Lion Hotel, dating from c. 1500. This, though externally much altered, retains in its original state a 15th- or 16th-century hall, long used as a kitchen but now as a lounge. Its rafters are concentrated in a boss in the middle of the ceiling, and on the boss in relief is a rose, with the Agnus Dei in the middle. Across the High Street, at the opposite corner, is the George Hotel, a fine old posting house of the 17th or 18th century, with handsome staircases and some early 17th-century panelling. The Spread Eagle Inn, on the west side of High Street, was built early in the 18th century, and has in the vicinity cottages of the same date. At the end of Mill Street are two 17th-century timber-framed and plaster houses, one on each side of the road.

There is a moat at Buckden Wood, which lies to the south of Top Farm. A windmill stood near the Huntingdon Road. Diddington Brook divides the parish from Diddington on the south.

Victoria County History - Huntingdonshire Printed 1932