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  • Writer's pictureGavin Human

Fenstanton

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

South of the River Great Ouse and just a couple of miles away from St Ives is the village of Fenstanton, presenting you with stunning local countryside and nature as well as excellent commuter options. (A map of the area and links to local amenities including schools and doctors/dentists can be found a the bottom of his page.)

So let's take a look at some of the history of the area and what else it has to offer.

If you've read my other blogs about different villages you may have noticed I am rather fond of a good sausage roll or scotch egg - and this might be one reason I'm keen on Fenstanton. The Family Butchers on High Street not only offers my favourite treats but is also well known for its locally made jams. You also have a convenience store and post office in the village.


The open countryside and nature are right on your doorstep and alongside numerous walks and trails you can also go just 3miles and explore Fen Drayton Lakes. The RSPB have transformed this former quarry over the last 15 years and the lakes and meadows are now are haven for wildlife. There is a free car park and toilets at the site so park up and see if you can spot any falcons or otters.

A distinctive landmark in Fenstanton is the Clock Tower. This Grade II listed building was once a prison a nd lock up and dates back to the 17th Century. A painting of it is held in a special collection at the Victoria and Albert museum.


We start our look at local history with a quick pint at The Duchess - which was previously known as Queen Elizabeth I after the monarch reportedly stayed there. Although refurbished a few years ago, it still retains the 300 year old burr elm bar and you definitely get a flavour of traditional "pub" with leather backed chairs and real ales. However, it is also bright and modern and has an excellent dedicated restaurant area.


Around the same time that the burr elm was being felled, history was being made on the other side of the Atlantic thanks to the travels of one of Fenstanton's sons. John Howland was one of three brothers who headed to America and he was on board the Mayflower with the crew that established the first permanent colony in New England in 1620. He and his wife Elizabeth Tilley have their own society and it tracks their descendants, which include actors such as Humphrey Bogart and Alec Baldwin, and Presidents George Bush and George W Bush.


As well as of a local setting off to establish a a place in history, in 1767 an already wealthy and famous person who was a notable figure in their field arrived to take up residence in Fenstanton. Lancelot 'Capability' Brown was a landscape architect who has been referred to as "England's Greatest Gardener." Although his somewhat formal (some might say formulaic) style wasn't to everyone's taste, Capability rose to prominence designing the gardens at Belvoir Castle, Blenheim Palace, and Warwick Castle; and was later appointed Master Gardener by King George III at Hampton Court Palace.


If you're looking for a new home to maybe try your own landscaping skills out, perhaps Fenstanton will be the ideal place for your aspirations. Luckily for you, I currently have two homes available in this lovely village. Check out the videos for Plum Tree House and Honey Hill and message me to book a viewing.












Distances are approximate from the centre of the village.


Transport

Huntingdon Rail Station 5.3 miles


Schools

There are three primary schools within 2 miles:


There are two secondary schools between 2.5 and 3.5 miles away.

St Ivo Academy 2.6 miles


Medical

The nearest Doctor's surgery is:


The nearest dental practice is:



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