Glatton Village

Glatton (pop.approx 200) can be found by following the B660 from Holme, along Holme Lane over the flyover crossing the now A1M, formerly Ermine Street or the Great North Road. The village sign depicts St Nicholas church and a Timber framed house.

Immediately on the right hand side is the now St Georges Nursing Home. This was once the site of a farm house, evidence of which can still be seen in the Nursing Home. At the time of the Conquest it was held by a Saxon called Ulf, since then it has been owned by several illustrious people, including Lord Sherard and his family of which his son married Catharine Castle who came from a notorious family. Also Eustace, Count of Boulogne, as a reward for his services in the Norman Conquest. In 1239 it reverted back to the English Crown.  In 1611 the Manor of Glatton ceased to be a Royal Manor when James 1st granted it to Sir Robert Cotton of Conington, later passed to William Wells in 1752 (Holmewood Hall, Holme) who became Lord of the Manor. The house became the home of a Mr James Storey, a farmer, the lands around the Manor were rich in agriculture, Manor Farm still exists today.

William Wells was a Shipbuilder at Chatham, and it is interesting to learn that there was a H.M.S Glatton served alongside Lord Nelson in the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801.

In 1918 the Glatton Hall Estate was Auctioned off in Lots, this included 12 High Class Farms, 35 Cottages, the Addison Arms Inn, the Rectory House and 10 acres and Glatton Hall, described as a ‘delightful family Residence  with 180 acres of splendid grassland, adequate farm buildings forming a Gentleman’s Farm’.

It was bought by the Peterborough Co Operative Society, but it is not clear for what purpose, it became a nursing home in 2000 and became Glatton Hall Residential Home, acquired by St Georges Nursing home in 2009, which is as we know it today.

Moving further along Glatton Way, on the left is a very old thatched cottage, call Allways. Believed to be the oldest Cottage in the village. This was once 3 cottages, occupied by fishermen who fished in the Whittlesey Mere which was on the edge of Glatton, another important occupant was the local lamplighter. Between 1928 and 1937 it was home to the author Beverley Nichols, who had several famous visitors, who left their mark by signing a particular wall inside the cottage. The cottage is timber framed and made of Wattle and Daub more locally known as Mud and Stud, which was made up of Straw stubble, Mud and Horse Hair covered with Whitewash. The present occupants stating that it is cool in summer and warm in winter.

When reaching the crossroads turn to the right along High Haden Road, on the left stands St Nicholas church.

 A church stood on this site which was mentioned in the Doomsday Survey of 1086, this church no longer exists but Saxon relics have been unearthed in recent years. Since the 13th Century rebuilding started on the existing church until it was reopened in 1869, remains of the Saxon church can be seen incorporated in the present building. The Tower houses 4 bells, (which are chimed every Sunday) and is late 15th or early 16th Century.  Walking along the Nave, you cannot help to notice the flood of natural light, this is a result of the absence of stained glass windows. Legend has it that they were removed to protect them from Cromwell’s Roundheads, unfortunately all the troops loyal to King Charles 1st were killed and the whereabouts of the windows was lost. Only one stained glass window is in the church which is a memorial to the Sherard family and accompanied by two plaques, one brass and the other copper.

 When reaching the Chancel, enter a door on the north wall, switching on the lights you go into a small chapel. This was once believed to be a Monks Cell, but has since been converted, in 2006, to The Cavell Chapel, it was dedicated as such on the 18th February 2007, in memory of Nurse Edith Cavell who served as a nurse in Belgium in the First World War, was arrested and shot for helping allied Soldiers escape to freedom. Alexander Cavell, an uncle of Edith, was a priest at the church from 1931-1936 and is buried in the graveyard, as are many members of the family.

Opposite the church is the small village hall, the centre of many local activities, from Coffee mornings to Christmas fayres. Moving further along the road, on the right is a small road called Mill Hill, at the top of this road there used to be a Post Mill, this is the earliest type of European Windmill, the whole body of the Mill that houses the machinery is mounted on a single vertical post. Among the very pretty houses and cottages along High Haden Road is a house called Poet Rowes House. This building once stood in Little Barford, Bedfordshire and was the birthplace of Nicholas Rowe, Poet Laureate born on 30th June 1674. It was dismantled, timber by timber, and reconstructed in Glatton. Also along this road is the bungalow once the property of a local pensioner who in May 1991 was planting onions in his garden when he heard a whining noise and something landed by his side. At first he thought it was local youngsters playing a prank but on closer inspection he found a black rock in the ground. Experts confirmed that it was a  Meteorite, of which the main part is in the Natural History Museum in London.

Returning back along High Haden Road, turn right before the church into Church Road, on the right stands a lovely cottage called Church Cottage which stands next to Manor Farm, opposite these two properties is The Green, this was common land and was where the village children played up the 1930’s It also had a pond where cattle and sheep would drink. This land is now in the hands of the Parish Council. Standing behind the church is Glatton House, this was one of the two former Rectories. At the bottom of Church Road on the left stands the old School, although now a residential property, lots of the School features remain. A piece of land opposite the School was called Widows land where the village Widows could grow their own vegetables. Turn right into Infield Road, along which stands The Grange which was the second former Rectory.

Back along Infield Road, opposite the entrance to Church Road was a house called Monkey Puzzle house, this was the original Shop and Post Office. Here the road splits into two, bearing off to the right is the old original road, which was by-passed to make the road safer, avoiding a very sharp bend. Turn right into Sawtry Road to come across The Addison Arms, a public house named by the first landlord, Peter Addison, from the 18th century after a relative Joseph Addison, a well known playwright of the time. A public house called the Crown and Woolpack used to stand opposite the Addison Arms, but no longer exists. Number 10 Sawtry Road was where the Post Office and Shop moved to, but sadly this has closed also.

Two charities were set up and are still in existence today. Mr Henson, a local Wheelwright, set up a charity from the rent of lands he owned in Holme, this was for to be used by girls in Glatton and Holme to pay for their schooling and for a red flannel Petticoat to keep them warm in winter. There is also a charity for Widows of Glatton and is distributed at the discretion of the Rector.

 Don’t just drive thru on the way to ‘somewhere’ take time to explore Glatton, the cottages and houses are in every nook and cranny.