Entries by Liz Davies

The Archaeology of Love’s Farm, St Neots

The Love’s Farm project represents a detailed archaeological examination of the later Prehistoric and Roman agricultural landscape on a previously unprecedented scale within the region. The site, located on heavy clay soils and adjacent to St Neots in Cambridgeshire, covered 60ha over half of which was stripped during the course of the excavations. Following several […]

James Toller, the Eynesbury Giant

James Toller was born in Eynesbury, St Neots in 1798. His parents, who were both of average height and lived in a small cottage near the old Rectory. By the age of ten James was already five feet or 153cm tall, and by the time he was eighteen years old he was said to be […]

Paine’s Brewery and the history of brewing in St Neots

The first large-scale brewery in St Neots is thought to have been established by Samuel Emery. He purchased The Bull Inn on the Market Square and the public house next door and combined their two brew-houses to brew in larger quantities. A well sunk into the gravel terrace provided ‘clean’ water. Having a wharf on Hen Brook allowed the import of barley […]

History of the paper mill, Little Paxton

Okestubbe Mill was a water-powered medieval corn-grinding mill by the Great Ouse in Little Paxton and was owned by the monks of St Neots priory. It was acquired in 1799 by Owsley Rowley, who rebuilt and let the mill to Mr Hobson of Eaton Socon. In 1804 it was leased to a firm of paper-makers, Henry and Sealy […]

Why are the Parliamentarians not wearing helmets?

A visitor recently asked the museum curator, Liz Davies about the image we are using to advertise our English Civil War Murder Mystery evening – why are the Parliamentarians not wearing roundhead helmets? We thought this was an interesting question and this was Liz’s thinking about it: This woodcut shows men who are not actually […]

The world’s oldest surviving quadruplets

In St Neots in Cambridgeshire in 1935 something rather unusual happened. In the upstairs bedroom of this council house four tiny babies were born. No quadruplets had ever lived for more than a few days before and the nation watched with baited breath as they battle to survive. Against all the odds, here we are […]

Kimbolton Coin Hoard – Treasure for the Gods exhibition

Our summer exhibition will showcase the Kimbolton Coin Hoard of Iron Age coins found at Kimbolton in 2010. Buried in the ground for 2,000 years our exhibition will uncover the story of their burial with information and hands-on activities for families and children. On display for the first time in St Neots will be items […]

Has a British Prime Minister ever been assassinated?

The answer is yes – but only once over two hundred years ago, on the 11 May 1812 by John Bellingham who shot dead the Rt. Hon. Spencer Perceval as he entered the House of Commons. John Bellingham’s early life is largely unknown, and most post-assassination biographies included speculation as fact. Recollections of family and […]

Walter Horsford and the case of the St Neots poisoning

In 1898 a 26-year-old farmer, Walter Horsford, stood trial at Huntingdon Assizes charged with the murder, by poisoning, of his cousin Annie Holmes. He pleaded not guilty. The prosecution, led by Mr. Rawlinson, Q.C., stated that Annie lived at Stoneleigh near Kimbolton in Huntingdonshire. She was a widow and had three children, the youngest still […]

The St Neots train derailment of 1895

The St Neots Derailment 1895 occurred near to St Neots railway station on 10 November 1895 when a Great Northern Railway Scottish express from Kings Cross encountered a broken rail. The train left Kings Cross on time at 23:30 on Saturday night and proceeded at normal speed, which would have been about 50 mph. It […]