The History of Upwood and the Raveleys in Cambridgeshire

Historical notes about the town of Upwood and the Raveleys in Cambridgehsire.

UPWOOD

Upehude (xi cent.), Upwude (xiii cent.), Upwode (xiv–xvii cent.).

The parish of Upwood comprises 2,141 acres of clay land which falls from the south towards the Fens on the north-west. Rather more than half this area is arable, growing corn and potatoes, but where the parish touches the Fens there is a fair amount of pasture. Although there is now only some 12 acres of woodland at Lady's Wood towards Wood Walton parish on the west, and Cockcrafts on the east side of the parish, there was at one time considerably more. In 1086 there was woodland for pannage 1.5 leagues in length and a league in breadth and in the next century there were three woods belonging to the demesne of the manor, namely, Bottenhale, Uppenhale and Raveley Wood. All the free and villein tenants in Upwood and Raveley had common in Raveley Wood because the greater part was outside the banlieu. William le Moyne and his tenants only had common in Raveley Wood.

The village lies along the High Street which runs parallel to the main road from Great Raveley to Ramsey about 300 yards to the west. The church stands about the middle of the village and there are several 17th-century cottages to the north and south of it. Carlton House, a little to the south-west of the church, is a 17th-century house. In the pediment over the door are the initials and date M / RE 1677. The Manor House stands to the west of the High Street in extensive grounds including the Warren. The present house has remains of the 15th century. It was partly rebuilt by Henry Cromwell on whom it was settled in 1578. It was built by Stephen Pheasant, who bought the manor from the Cromwells in 1649 and died and was buried at Upwood in 1657. It is of two stories with attics and consists of a main block with wings on either side. Some of the outbuildings belong to the earlier house.

The parish was inclosed in 1847 and the tithes have been commuted.

GREAT RAVELEY

Rorflea, Roflea, Raflea, Reflea (x cent.); Rauesle, Ravele Major (xiii cent.); Magna Rauele, Great Ravele, Raffleya (xiv cent.).

The parish of Great Raveley covers 1,781 acres of mostly clay land, rising from Great Raveley Fen in the north, where the height above ordnance datum is only 3 ft. 6 in., to 129 ft. at Top Road in the southwest corner of the parish. The greater part of the parish is high land where wheat and beans are grown; the pasture land covers less than a third of the area. There are some 32 acres of woodland. The village, in which there is no church, is built along a branch road to Wood Walton. At the south-east end on the top of the hill is the Manor House, a 17thcentury building now much modernised. Near here, facing the Huntingdon Road, is the pound. Lower down are the Methodist Chapel and the school. There are some 17th-century half-timbered cottages and the Three Horseshoes public house, which has a good chimney stack. At White House Farm, at the west end of the village, is an ancient barn. A short distance north-west of this farm is a square homestead moat within which stood the ancient manor house of Moyne's Manor (q.v.).

LITTLE RAVELEY

Rorflea, Raeflea, Rafflea, Raffley (x cent.); Parva Ravele, Ravele Minor (xiii cent.).

The parish of Little Raveley has an area of 751 acres of clay land, most of which is agricultural. The land is fairly level, being for the greater part a little more than 100 ft. above ordnance datum. Raveley Wood, within the parish, and Wennington Wood, just outside in Abbots Ripton parish, form a considerable stretch of woodland along the southwest border. The village lies on the winding road from Broughton to Great Raveley at a point where a branch road goes westward to Wennington and Abbots Ripton. It consists only of the church, which is in the north-west angle formed by these roads, and some four farm houses, four cottages and four county council houses, the population in 1921 being only 45 persons.

Victoria County History of Huntingdonshire - Printed 1932