Infobox UK place
country = England
population = 15,581 (2001 Census)
region= East of England
postcode_district = PE7
Whittlesey (historically known as Whittlesea - the name of the railway station is still spelt this way - or Witesie) is an ancient
Fenland market townaround six miles (10 km) east of Peterboroughin the county of Cambridgeshirein England. It has a population of around 15,000 (including the neighbouring parishes of Coates, Eastrea and Pondersbridge).
Whittlesey is located between the city of Peterborough, 6 miles (10 km) to the west and the town of March, 11 miles (18 km) to the east, and is bordered to the north by the
River Neneand to the south by Whittlesey Dyke. Historically it was connected to Peterborough and March by the Roman road Fen Causewayconstructed in the first century AD, a route approximately followed by the modern A605. The rail station is on the line between Peterboroughand Ely(historically the Great Eastern Line), with direct trains to Cambridge, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leicester, Stansted Airportand others.
History and architecture
Whittlesey appears in the
Domesday Bookas Witesie, but it is probable that the name derives from Whittle's Ea, where Ea is a Saxon term for an island. Indeed the land was once owned and presided over by a man named 'Whittle', so the name literally translates as 'Whittle's Island'.
Before the draining of the fens, Whittlesey was an island of dry ground surrounded by the marshy fens. Excavations of nearby
Flag Fenindicate thriving local settlements as far back as 1000 BC. In more recent times Whittlesey was linked to Peterboroughin the west and March in the east by the Roman Fen Causeway, probably built in the 1st century AD, and Roman artifacts have been recovered at nearby Eldernell.
At one time Whittlesey is thought to have had its own abbey, but subsequently the town's two parishes of St Mary's and St Andrew's were controlled by the abbeys in Thorney and Ely respectively until the
Dissolution of the Monasteries(c.1540). St Mary's church dates back to the fifteenth century, but the majority of the building is later, and the church now boasts one of the largest buttressed spires in Cambridgeshire. St Andrew's is a mixture of perpendicular and decorated styles and has records back to 1635. The parishes were combined for administrative purposes by the Whittlesey Improvement Act of 1849. Despite the proximity of Peterborough, Whittlesey is in the Diocese of Ely.
Until its draining in 1851, nearby
Whittlesey Merewas the largest lake in southern England, and the town is still accessible by water, connected to the river Nene by King's Dyke which forms part of the Nene Ouse Navigation link. Moorings can be found At Staffords Lock alongside the Manor Leisure Centre' Cricket and Football pitches.
Other notables include the market cross, known as the buttercross, dating back to 1680, the old town hall (once also serving as the fire station, and now the town museum) of 1857 and a number of thatched mud walls.
Whittlesey is twinned with Stadt
The festival of the straw bear is an ancient custom in many English towns, but in Whittlesey is still celebrated today. Starting on
Plough Monday(the first Monday after twelfth night) one of the locals was outfitted head to foot in straw and danced from house to house in exchange for gifts of money, food or more importantly beer. The festival was of a stature that farmers would often reserve their best straw for the making of the bear.
The custom died out at the beginning of the 20th century, but was resurrected by the Whittlesea Society in 1980.
ir Harry Smith
Whittlesey's most famous son is undoubtedly Sir Harry George Waklyn Smith (1788-1860), hero of the
Battle of Aliwal(India), whose life has been the subject of several books. His illustrious military career saw him rise from a cavalryman in the Whittlesea troop up to the rank of Major General, and Baronet of Aliwal. He was governor of the Cape of Good Hopefrom 1847-1852 during a period of intense unrest, and whilst he eventually lost the faith of his superiors, he was welcomed back to England a hero.
Recently he has been featured in Rifles by Mark Urban, about the 95th Rifles Napoleonic campaigns through Spain to Waterloo during which time he was a junior officer and served with his two brothers.
Sir Harry is commemorated throughout the Whittlesey area, giving his name to a local school and community centre, among others, and with statues in the centre of town and St Mary's church and a pub named "The Hero of Aliwal" in his honour.
L. P. Hartey
Another famous son of Whittlesey is the renowned author
L. P. Hartley.
Brian J. Ford
A distinguished resident of
Eastrea, a hamlet to the east of Whittlesey, is the scientist and author Brian J. Ford. He is well known for BBC programmes and his many books. Ford is chairman of the Bulls and Herds Grass, a local grant-giving charity also known as the Storers.
List of places in Cambridgeshire
* [http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/ECC1B526-52DA-4EE9-8A32-BA86BA1E950E/0/Whittlesey.pdf 2001 Census]
* [http://www.strawbear.org.uk Straw bear festival]
* [http://www.eastrea.net Site on the hamlet of Eastrea]
* [http://www.real-whittlesey.com Whittlesey's local football team]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Whittlesey — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Charles Whittlesey (1808–1886), US amerikanischer Geologe Elisha Whittlesey (1783–1863), US amerikanischer Politiker Faith Whittlesey (* 1939), US amerikanische Diplomatin und Politikerin Frederick… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Whittlesey — (Whittlesea, spr. ŭittl ßi), Stadt in der engl. Grafschaft Isle of Ely, auf einer Anhöhe in den Fens (s. d.), 10 km südlich von Peterborough, mit 2 alten Kirchen (darunter die Marienkirche, 1862 von Scott restauriert), starkem Obstbau und (1901)… … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Whittlesey — Recorded as Whittlesea, Whittlesee, Whittlesey and possibly others, this is an English locational surname. It hails from the villages of Whittlesey and Whittlesey Mere some five miles from the town of Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. The villages… … Surnames reference
Whittlesey — Original name in latin Whittlesey Name in other language Whittlesea, Whittlesey State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 52.55804 latitude 0.13016 altitude 8 Population 12719 Date 2011 01 16 … Cities with a population over 1000 database
Whittlesey (Wisconsin) — Whittlesey Lugar designado por el censo de los Estados Unidos … Wikipedia Español
Whittlesey Rural District — Whittlesey was a rural district in the Isle of Ely from 1894 to 1926. It was created by the Local Government Act 1894 based on the Whittlesey rural sanitary district, and consisted of one civil parish Whittlesey Rural.The parish and district… … Wikipedia
Whittlesey Mere — was an area of open water in the Fenland area of the county of Cambridgeshire (formerly Huntingdonshire), England. It occupied the land south east of Yaxley Fen, south of Farcet Fen and north of Holme Fen. The town of Whittlesey lay to the north… … Wikipedia
Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge — Sp Vitlesio Ùpės nacionãlinis gamtõs rezervãtas Ap Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge L JAV (Viskonsinas) … Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė
Charles White Whittlesey — for others with the same name, see Charles Whittlesey Charles White Whittlesey Charles White Whittlesey Nickname … Wikipedia
Thomas T. Whittlesey — Thomas Tucker Whittlesey (* 8. Dezember 1798 in Danbury, Connecticut; † 20. August 1868 in Pheasant Branch, Wisconsin) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker. Zwischen 1836 und 1839 vertrat er den dritten Wahlbezirk des Bundesstaates… … Deutsch Wikipedia