Historical Timeline


The last millennium

986 The settlement of Slepe is left to Ramsey Abbey by the Mannesonne family
1086 Slepe is recorded in the Domesday Book. There are about 60 households and it is valued at 16.
1110 King Henry I grants Ramsey Abbey a charter allowing an annual fair to be held at St Ives. The fair is to start on the Wednesday after Easter and lasts for a week. For the next 400 years the fairs were held being officially abandoned in 1511. They put St Ives on the map and were considered one of the premiere fairs held in England each year.
1426 It is thought that the new stone bridge across the river Great Ouse was completed in this year. It replaced the old wooden bridge which dated from approximately 1100.
1544 Henry VIII gives the Priory buildings to one of his courtiers Thomas Audley
1631 Oliver Cromwell moves to St Ives and farms there for 5 years.
1645 King Charles leads the cavalry down the Great North Road occupying Huntingdon and Godmanchester. Parliament ordered all bridges across the river Great Ouse, including the one at St Ives to be broken.
1774 John Wesley visits St Ives and reports that he preached to a very well-dressed and yet well-behaved congregation.
1801 The first census records the population of St Ives as 2099, living in 478 houses.
1847 St Ives railway station and the lines to Cambridge and Huntingdon are opened.
1864 The Free Church is built on the Market Hill.
1874 The town achieves the status of a Borough
1901 The Cromwell statue is unveiled on the Market Hill.
1902 The Roman Catholic church at Cambridge is dismantled and re-erected in Needingworth road St Ives.
1912 There are severe floods with the water level rising to levels never recorded before.
1931 Herbert Norris bequeths his collections to St Ives together with the money to build the Norris Museum, which is now the home of many historical records of St Ives.
1947 Once again there were severe floods with the water rising even above the levels of the 1912 floods.
1951 The census records the population as 3078.
1954 The St Ivo school is opened.
1970 The railway line to Cambridge is closed. The line to Huntingdon had been closed eleven years earlier in 1959.
1980 The St Ives bypass is opened taking through traffic away from the town centre and relieving the strain on the old bridge.
1996 Heavy rain in December brought about flooding of the Ouse flood plains. This was immediately followed by a protracted cold spell in late December through early January 1997 which caused the flooded river plains to freeze solid. Once again the traditional outdoor Fen speed skating championships were held on Bury Fen near Bluntisham, just a few miles East of St Ives.
1998 In April severe flooding occurred once again. Water levels rose above the 1912 levels, but did not quite reach the 1947 record.
Copyright 2003 David Bartlett