Hemingford Abbots © Travel About Britain
Hemingford Abbots is a pleasant place with lovely thatched cottages huddled around a fine stone spired church. The settlement has a long history and it is mentioned in the Domesday Record. The lands were once the property of Ramsey Abbey.
16th Century Cottage at Hemingford Abbots © Travel About Britain
St Margaret's Church © TAB
St Margaret's Church dates back to the 1300s, dedicated to Saint Margaret of Antioch. A Roman coffin can be seen in the churchyard, indicating a much older connection to the past.
The village hosts an annual flower festival. There are opportunities for angling, rowing and boat hire on the river, as well as walks, golfing and a recreational centre within a few miles.
Just to the north of the village, at Houghton on the Ouse, is a restored 17th century watermill. Managed by the National Trust, the working mill is open to the public in the summer season. Parking can be found by the river, where there are excellent riverside walks and a picnic area. The nearby village has a good pub, convenience store and a tea room.
Hemingford Grey to the west is picturesquely sited in a bend of the Ouse. At the waters edge is one of the biggest plane trees in England, planted in 1702. Although surrounded by new housing estates, the core of the village still holds much of its original old-world charm.
The River Ouse at Hemingford Grey © Travel About Britain
The 12th century Church of St James has an oddly truncated spire, the top of which was lost in a hurricane in 1741 and is now at the bottom of the river.
Hemingford Grey Church © TAB
A mix of grade listed timber, thatch and brick dwellings line the High Street. Those of interest include River House, a late 15th-c yellow brick construction and Glebe Cottage (circa 1583), one of the oldest timber and thatched cottages. Broom Lodge, on Braggs Lane, is an attractive five-bay property with fine end-gables.Two historic properties of note include a 12th-century moated Manor House by the river, said to be the longest-inhabited home in the country, and the 300-year-old Hemingford Grey House (north of the church), built of red brick with a hipped roof.
Hemingford Grey Manor House © TAB
The 12th century Manor House is built around a main hall with a vast Norman chimneypiece, which has two columns with scalloped capitals. Much of the original structure remains intact, despite its many updates over the years. The house is set in elegant gardens and a moat surrounds the house on the three sides.
The manor is said to be one of the oldest inhabited houses in England. It was once the home of two pretty sisters. One married the Earl of Coventry in 1752 and the other married the Duke of Hamilton.
Open to the public: daily from 11am to 5pm.
Address: Norman Ct, Hemingford Grey, Huntingdon PE28 9BN.
Phone: 01480 463134