(O.S. 6 ins. aTL 26 S.E., bTL 25 N.E.)
Eltisley occupies a complex of watersheds dividing
streams which flow S.E. to the Bourn Brook, W. to the
upper Ouse at St. Neots, and N. to the lower Ouse at
St. Ives. The land, which extends to 1970 acres, is
nowhere lower than 150 ft. and is entirely boulder clay.
Most of Eltisley's few houses are grouped around a
triangular green at the junction of the ridgeway, now
the high road from Cambridge to St. Neots, with a
N. to S. track from Biggleswade to St. Ives; in addition
a lane to Cambridge along the valley of the Bourn
Brook through Caxton leaves the green at its S. apex.
Occupation extends S. of the green along the Biggleswade road and along the Cambridge lane where there
was a second green at Caxton End; two of the five
moated sites in the parish, Monuments (19) and (24), lie
between them. A third moated site, Monument (22), is
in the N.W. of the parish.
Eltisley is said to have been the site of a Saxon
nunnery in which Pandionia, daughter of a Scottish
king, took refuge (Nicholas Roscarrock, c. 1549–1634,
'Lives of English Saints,' C.U.L. Add. MS. 3041,
f. 343–4). Her name is preserved in the dedication of
the church. The site of the nunnery, if it ever existed,
is unknown, but the community is believed to have
transferred to Hinchingbrooke after the Conquest
(R.C.H.M., Hunts., 152). Leland (De Scriptoribus, ed.
Hall(1709), 359) mentions a life of Pandionia by Richard,
parish priest of Eltisley, and also asserts (Itinerary, ed.
L. T. Smith, V (1910), 218) that this same Richard in
1344 translated her body into the church from the
vicinity of the well in the churchyard called after her.
The village seems to have been something of a centre
of religious reform and dissent. The Disbrowe family
were probably already settled here in the 16th century
(Mark Noble, Memoirs of the Protectoral House of Cromwell (1787), 274) and became lords of the manor and
patrons of the living. James Disbrowe, d. 1638, who
with his wife Elizabeth built Monument (2), was the
father of John who married Oliver Cromwell's sister
Jane, and of Samuel, Keeper of the Great Seal of
Scotland under the Commonwealth (see Elsworth,
Introduction and Monument (3)); James the younger
a third son, is said to have been a fanatical puritan.
During the 18th century the Leeds family of Croxton
extended their estate into Eltisley; the livings are now
occupied by one incumbent who lives on the boundary.
The parish was enclosed by act of 1864, with award in
1868; the population has declined during the last
hundred years and there has been little building activity.
b(1) Parish Church of St. Pandionia and St. John
Baptist stands at the W. corner of the village green
and consists of Chancel, Nave with Aisles and North
Chapel, and West Tower. The churchyard, extended in
recent years to the N. and E., was originally bounded at
least on those sides by a ditch still surviving as a depression. It was probably fed by St. Pandionia's Well,
described by Leland (Itinerary, ed. L. T. Smith, I (1907),
I) as being 'yn the South side of the Quire'. The well
mentioned by Leland is no doubt the same as that in the
churchyard, the stonework of which was demolished by
Robert Palmer, vicar, some time prior to his presentation
before the consistory court in 1576–'it was a well used
for superstitious purposes, therefore he brake it down'
(C.A.S. 8vo. Publs. LIII (1935), 84). The walls of the fabric
are of field stones with limestone and clunch dressings,
save for the chancel and part of the N. transept which
are of white brick; the roofs are covered with lead,
slates and asbestos sheeting.
The nave and aisles were built c. 1200. The N. chapel
was added and the chancel rebuilt or extended in the
13th century. The clearstorey was remodelled and the
tower added in the later middle ages. The chancel and
much of the N. chapel were rebuilt in white brick c.
1840, and there was a general restoration in 1875–9.
Architectural Description—The Chancel is of the mid 19th
century but incorporates a 13th-century S. doorway with plain
chamfered jambs, imposts and head. The 13th-century chancel
arch is of two chamfered orders and has moulded labels with
mask stops; its responds are stop-chamfered and have attached
half-round shafts with moulded caps and bases.
The Nave (39¾ ft. by 17¾ ft.) has similar but not completely
uniform N. and S. arcades, both more or less restored, and
each divided into three bays by circular piers with carved
capitals (Plate 12) and chamfered or moulded bases. The arches
are two-centred and of a single chamfered order with chamfered labels on both sides which have a linking horizontal
return above the piers; above this return on the S. side of the
first pier of the S. arcade and on both sides of the second pier
carved features resembling stops survive. The responds of the
S. arcade are half piers, but with plain caps; on the N. side
the later mediaeval part-octagonal E. respond supports and
largely obscures a deep moulded corbel from which the first
arch seems originally to have sprung, while the W. respond is
modern. The capitals are carved with 'stiff leaf' or 'water leaf':
on the N. side that of the first pier is modern and that of the
second has been mutilated and partially made good in plaster;
on the S. side both have been more or less re-tooled. The E.
responds of the nave are comparatively deep and have on their
nave sides rectangular projections rising to the level of the
caps which presumably represent the original chancel arch, adapted in the 13th century as the base of a pulpitum or screen. This
last was reached by a straight flight of steps commencing in
the N. aisle with a two-centred door at the foot and a trefoil-headed door at the head. The clearstorey is lit by modern
two-light windows of late mediaeval character, three to the
S. and two to the N., the first bay on that side being blind on
account of the abutting roof of the chapel.
The North Aisle (6½ ft. wide), of which the W. half only
survives, is of c. 1200 in origin. Its window is modern, but the
N. doorway with continuously chamfered jambs and head is
The South Aisle (5¾ ft. wide) is also of c. 1200 in origin but
has been rebuilt at various times and all its windows, which are
of late mediaeval character, are modern. The S. doorway is of
c. 1200; its head is of a single chamfered order carved with 'dog
tooth' supported by nook-shafts in the jambs with moulded
caps and bases; the E. cap is enriched with 'water leaf'. The S.
porch is modern.
The North Chapel (20½ ft. by 18 ft.), added in the 13th
century, incorporated the E. half of the aisle. Its W. wall,
which has been largely rebuilt, is carried over the aisle on a
round arch. The W. portion of the N. wall has also been rebuilt but E. of its modern window the splay and part of the
sill of an earlier window are visible. The E. wall is 13th-century
and has a restored original window of three lancets, with
individual external labels, grouped internally under a moulded
depressed rear arch which rises off shafted jambs and has a
moulded label; the arch and the caps of the jamb shafts are
enriched with 'nail-head'.
The late mediaeval West Tower (10¾ ft. square) is of three
architectural stages crowned by an octagonal stone spire. It has
diagonal buttresses to the W., a vice in the N.W. angle with
canted projection carried on a small arch, and an embattled
parapet. The windows are heavily restored or modern. The
tower arch, of two moulded orders on the E. and three chamfered orders, the outermost dying against the side walls, on the
W., has attached part-circular shafts to the responds with
moulded caps and bases. The spire has an upper single-light
and lower two-light window in each cardinal face beneath
cusped and crocketed gablets.
Eltisley, the Parish Church of St. Pandionia and St. John the Baptist
Eltisley, the Parish Church of St. Pandionia and St. John the Baptist
Fittings— Bells: four; 1st by Joseph Eayre of St. Neots, 1766;
2nd with incomplete alphabet in Lombardic capitals and a
founder's mark of a shield charged with three bells, attributed
to the Brasyer family, 16th-century; 3rd with initial cross,
black-letter inscription, 'Sit Nomen Domini Benedictum' and
a founder's mark of a shield with arms possibly of Kebyll,
late 15th-century; 4th with a rhyming inscription, by Newcombe of Leicester, 1608. Bracket: at E. end of S. aisle, moulded
shelf rising off lion-mask corbel, defaced, some traces of old
priming or colour; 14th- or 15th-century. Brass: in N. chapel,
of Matthew Marshall, 1640; inscription plate and shield of
arms. Clock: in tower, where it was placed in 1893; formerly
in the tower of the parish church of Chertsey, Surrey; perhaps
18th-century. Communion table: with turned legs and fluted
top rail; 17th-century. Font: plain octagonal bowl with
chamfered lower edge, 13th-century, on re-tooled clunch
stem; pyramidal cover of eight sides carved in low relief
with thistles and other conventional flowers and with moulded
base and finial, 17th-century. Monuments and Floor slabs.
Monuments: In N. chapel—in E. half of N. wall (1) tomb
recess, one of two described by Cole, under moulded depressed
arch, its moulded and crocketed label rising to a finial and
having a W. stop carved with a lion's head and a woman's
head. Above and E. of the arch are remains of an
outer frame, consisting of a rectangular panelled shaft with
embattled cap and a length of moulded and embattled cornice.
Beneath the arch on uniform tapered slabs with hollow-chamfered edges are the mutilated figures of a robed female
figure and of a knight in chain mail and surcoat with blank
shield on left arm and left hand on sword pommel. The effigies
appear to be mid 13th-century, while the recess is of the second
half of the 14th century; according to Layer (Palmer, Inscriptions and Arms from Cambs., 225) they were decapitated by
Robert Palmer, vicar in the reign of Elizabeth I. Some of the
loose fragments lying in the recess are from the knight's
effigy. On N. wall (2) of John Baron, 1827, wall monument by
Northern. In nave—on W. wall (3) of Mary Webb, 1831, wall
monument. In S. aisle—on S. wall (4) of Ann Baron, 1833,
wall monument by Sidney. S. of the church are a number of
18th-century headstones. Floor slabs: In N. chapel—(1) of
Joseph Barringer, 1755; (2) of Mary Barker, 1792; (3) of
Thomas Owens, 1829. Plate: includes a cup, London 1564.
b(2) House (Plate 77), an L-shaped framed building of
two storeys and attics with tiled roofs, comprises a N. and S.
range with a cross wing at the S. end projecting to the W.
and a staircase in the re-entrant. Attached to the S. end is an
outhouse used as a kitchen, formerly of a single storey open to
the roof; it is either original or an early addition. The lintel of a
blocked front door (Plate 37) in the W. face of the staircase is
carved with the initials and date 'ID 1612 ED': the house was
presumably built in that year for James Disbrowe and his wife
Elizabeth (Marshall); the Disbrowe family had already been
settled in Eltisley for two generations. Monument (17) below
may be the remains of a garden connected with this house.
Except for the outhouse, which is plastered, the framing is
mostly exposed externally; it consists of pronounced vertical
studwork with horizontals at the floor levels; braces are internal
(their position being traceable outside by the pegging) and the
only decorative relief is a small lozenge centrally placed in the
W. gable of the staircase projection. Most of the doors and
windows are modern but they are generally replacements of
original features. There are a number of modern repairs and
both chimneys have been at least partly reconstructed.
The N. end of the range has a projecting central oriel, completely restored, rising to the full height of the building. The E.
elevation comprises the long side of the main structure with
the jettied gable of the cross wing at its S. end rising off a
bressummer supported on three brackets; a window in the
gable retains an old iron casement. Above the modern front
door is an original window divided by a central stud and sub-divided into six lights by ovolo-moulded mullions. The W.
elevation has an external brick chimney at the N. end; S. of it
is the staircase projection and the gabled end of the cross wing.
Eltisley, Monument No. 2
There are two principal rooms on the ground floor; these
appear to have been separated by a narrow passage leading
from a lobby at the foot of the stair to the rear of the house.
This passage has been widened and the first four treads of the
stair rearranged as a straight flight leading out of it. There are
traces of an inner door between the lobby and the passage. The
N. room, being reduced in size, now has a ceiling divided into
four unequal bays by a primary ovolo-moulded axial beam,
stopped at its N. end, and secondary chamfered cross beams.
The S. room was originally entered at the W. end of its N. wall
from the passage by a door, now blocked, with chamfered
jambs and head. Its quadripartite ceiling has a primary axial
and secondary cross beams, all stop-chamfered save at the S.
end of the primary the butt of which is concealed in the later
chimney breast. In the W. wall of this room are two symmetrically placed doorways which gave access to a room, probably
a buttery, now divided by a modern partition under a stop-chamfered beam. The N. doorway is blocked; the S. doorway
is closed by a reused door, of two panels, reinforced with
nails and iron bands, said to have been brought from a manor
house at Little Gransden.
Upstairs the general arrangement of the rooms resembles
that on the ground floor save that the N. room, now sub-divided, is larger than the corresponding downstairs room by
the width of the passage. It has a quadripartite ceiling of
chamfered and stop-chamfered beams, the cross beam being
the primary. The S. room also has a quadripartite ceiling. The
primary, axial, beam has been re-tooled and may have been
moulded; the secondaries are plain. W. of the S. room is a
smaller one, at one time sub-divided, with a mutilated, perhaps
formerly moulded, axial ceiling beam. It was entered from the
S. room by a door, now blocked, above the more northerly
of the two doors in the corresponding wall below. The staircase, save for the small alteration already noted, is spiral around
an octagonal newel post and rises to the attics. Though partly
boarded these can hardly have been habitable. The roofs have
collars to main rafters and side purlins.
The outhouse, now floored, is divided into two bays by a
stop-chamfered tie beam with collar over; the tie beam had
braces, one of which survives, to its supporting uprights.
b(3) Green Farm, of two storeys, framed and plastered, with
tiled roofs, is of the mid 17th century. It approximates in
type to Class H but the smaller, W., cross wing, presumably
accommodating a kitchen, seems originally to have been
largely or entirely open to the roof. A number of alterations
were made in the 18th century and subsequently, including the
prolongation southward by one bay of the E. cross wing and
the insertion of a floor into the W. cross wing. The original
chimney at the junction of the main range and the W. cross
wing retains its triple diagonal shafted stack in red brick.
Eltisley, Monument No. 3
Inside, much of the structural timber is exposed including a
number of straight internal braces from the principal uprights
to their corresponding horizontal members. An original doorway, with shaped head, leading out of the kitchen immediately
N. of the chimney has been blocked to allow for an added
bread oven. Two original windows survive, also blocked, one
divided into three lights by diagonal mullions. Built into a
cupboard contrived out of the original kitchen fireplace is
an old iron pot-crane.
b(4) Barn, at West Farm, framed and boarded, divided into
three unaisled bays by tie beams with double braces to the
posts, suggesting a 16th-century origin. The roof above the
tie beams, covered with asbestos sheeting, and much of the
studwork are modern.
b(5) Manor Farm, on a moated site (Monument (19)), partly
of two storeys, partly of a single storey with attics, has its
frame cased in modern brick, and tiled roofs. It was built in
the late middle ages, apparently on a Class-D plan with a cross
wing at the W. end and two-bay hall forming part of a range
which extended further to the E. The house was remodelled in
the 17th century when the hall was floored and a brick chimney
and staircase intruded into its E. bay. Chimneys were also
added at both ends of the house. In addition to the casing of the
original fabric there are a number of modern additions, mostly
on the S. side.
No original work is to be seen from the outside. Inside, the
hall has a large stop-chamfered ceiling beam and stop-chamfered joists carrying the intruded floor. Above it is the
main tie beam with stout arch braces to the posts but the roof
is not visible. E. of the internal chimney is the 17th- or 18th-century staircase with turned balusters, moulded handrail and
square newels with shaped finials. The E. end of the house, now
comprising a single room on each floor, has a ground-floor
ceiling carried on a chamfered cross beam, the underside of
which is morticed for a studwork partition save at its S. end
where a break in the chamfer and the absence of mortices
indicate an original door. The W. cross wing originally had
a single room on each floor. The ground-floor ceiling is
carried on a roughly chamfered cross beam and some of the
joists are exposed. These and the beam are numbered in such a
way as to allow for a gap corresponding to two joists at the E.
end of the beam, perhaps for a stair. The N. ends of the N.
joists reflect the position of the original N. wall, since rebuilt
in the same vertical plane as the formerly jettied upper stage.
The upper room is divided but there are remains of a central
braced tie-beam truss. A second staircase in the cross wing, also
of the 17th or 18th century, has shaped balusters and newel
posts with finials.
b(6) Jesus College Farm, two-storeyed, framed and plastered, with gabled and hipped roofs covered with tiles and
pantiles, is of the early 17th century. It was built with a N.W.
and S.E. main range of two rooms on each floor either side of
an internal chimney and a cross wing at the N.W. end also of
two rooms on each floor. The N.W. side of the cross wing has
two added chimneys. The two rooms S.E. of the formerly
internal chimney have been lost in modern times. Inside, the
remaining ground-floor room of the main range has an ovolo-moulded beam stopped at the end opposite the chimney, and
chamfered joists. The ceiling beams of the ground-floor rooms
in the cross wing are ovolo-moulded and stopped. There are
also some structural timbers exposed upstairs.
b(7) Pond Farm, on a moated site (Monument (18)), of two
storeys, is an early Tudor L-shaped framed structure consisting
of a N. and S. range with a N. cross wing. The long W. side to
the green is continuously jettied. The low-pitched slated roofs,
some brick underbuilding on the ground floor, the external
chimneys and a lean-to in the angle are modern. Peculiarities of
planning and the size of the two principal ground-floor rooms
may imply a special-purpose building. Externally much of the
timber is exposed but to the W. the upper wall is clad in
asbestos sheeting. An unusual constructional feature is the use
of small horizontal distance pieces pegged between the studs,
some exposed, some buried in the plaster pan. Traces of a
number of original openings survive but existing doors and
windows are modern.
The ground floor of the cross wing was entirely occupied by
one large room, now sub-divided, with ceiling of four and two
half panels formed by two principal cross beams and axial
secondaries, all moulded, and with moulded wall plates. To
the S. in the range was a second room, also sub-divided, with a
similar but quadripartite ceiling, some of the plain joists being
exposed. Beyond it is a closet with plain ceiling beam and
exposed joists. Surviving timbers on the upper floor are
comparatively rough and poor; the wall-posts generally have
enlarged heads and mortices for braces to tie beams.
b(8) The Leeds Arms, public house, two-storeyed with
attics, of red brick with tiled roofs, was built towards the end
of the 18th century at the approach to the village from Cambridge. The plan is that of a Class-T house but included lean-to
semi-basements flanking a central stair turret on the N. back
side. These semi-basements, which were presumably the cellars,
have been heightened. The S. front is in three bays and two
heights with central front door of six panels and pedimented
hood carried on console brackets; the windows are hung-sash.
There is a first-floor platband and two symmetrically placed
set-back dormers. The end gables have parapets with plain
b(9) House (Class D; Plate 98), two-storeyed, framed and
plastered, with tiled roof, faces S. to the green and is of the
late 15th or early 16th century. The main range is in three bays,
the E. bay being originally a separate room, and, like the
adjacent two-bay hall, open to the roof. Alterations of the 17th
century include an extension to the N. end of the cross wing,
an annexe at the E. end and the insertion of floors and a
chimney into the main range. The S. front has been under-built
in brick, now rendered, except for the projecting upper storey
of the cross wing; and there is a modern lean-to along the N.
Much of the structural timber is exposed internally. The
roofs are based on tie beams, collars and side purlins; that of the
hall has long wind braces. In both the hall and the E. end room
are traces of smoke blackening. In the upper S. room of the
cross wing an original window (Plate 103), blocked, survives in
the W. wall, divided into three lights by diamond mullions;
over it is a groove cut in the top plate for a shutter or sash,
and studwork immediately to the S. of the window is charred,
apparently by rush lights or candles placed on the shutter
guide shelf. The positions of other original windows on the
ground floor at both ends of the cross wing can be inferred;
that at the N. end was of three lights, that at the S. end probably of four lights. Traces also remain of original windows in
the N. and S. walls of the hall; the S. window seems to have
extended from the modern ground-floor window-sill level to
the top plate, the intermediate plate forming a transom, with
the upper and lower lights each sub-divided by a mullion. These
four windows all had internal shutters or sashes; in the case of
the S. hall window the upper and lower lights were shuttered
b(10) Stonework, of the 16th to 18th centuries, built into,
placed against or lying around the 'Mill House', a small dwelling of the second half of the 19th century (not listed) some
100 yds. N.E. of the church. Included are six short rectangular
lengths carved with masks and fruit pendants, 16th-century;
also a figure of a woman in classical costume, about half-life
size and in bold relief, 16th- or 17th-century.
b(11–16) Houses, single-storeyed with attics and of internalchimney design, framed and for the most part still plastered
and thatched, are of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Eltisley, Monument No. 9
Earthworks and Fields, Eltisley
b(17) Moated site (Class B; N.G. TL 268596, part on
O.S.), around Monument (2) and to the S. of the church,
appears to be that of an elaborate water garden connected
and perhaps contemporary with the house. Much of the site
is disturbed and overgrown.
Eltisley, Monument 17
The principal feature is an irregular area immediately S.E.
of the churchyard enclosed by a ditch: the W. side is 185 ft.
long, including a 60–ft. continuation S. of its junction with the
S. side; the N.W. side curves along the churchyard fence for
200 ft.; the E. side is only 76 ft. long and its S. end runs into a
pond; the S. side is 160 ft. long with a short length projecting
N. for 40 ft. The ditch is from 24 ft. to 40 ft. wide and from
5 ft. to 7 ft. deep. Parallel to the W. ditch, and 42 ft. from its
W. edge is a bank 220 ft. long, 12 ft. wide and 2½ ft. high; at
points just inside it, 50 ft. from either end are oval mounds,
that to the N. being 8 ft. to 12 ft. across and 6 ins. high, that
to the S. 30 ft. to 44 ft. across and 5 ft. high; there are gaps
in the bank 7 ft. wide at two points near the S. end, and a
slight internal ditch 13 ft. wide and 6 ins. to 9 ins. deep.
E. and N.E. of Monument (2), at distances respectively of
50 ft. and 100 ft., are two rectangular E. to W. ponds, parallel
and each about 60 ft. by 18 ft. A third, similarly orientated,
pond lies immediately S.W. of the house, and is 90 ft. by 45 ft.
with a depth of 6 ft. at the E. end; 25 ft. to the S.E. of this last
is a N. and S. ditch 115 ft. long, 15 ft. wide and 2 ft. to 3 ft.
Eltisley, Monument 18
b(18) Moated site (Class A 1 (a); N.G. TL 273597), on the E.
side of the village green on boulder clay; Pond Farm (Monument (7)) and its garden occupy much of the flat interior. A
rectangular area about 145 ft. N. to S. by 110 ft. is enclosed
on three sides by a wet ditch 30 ft. to 40 ft. wide and 4½ ft.
deep, with a counter-scarp bank on the E., 40 ft. wide and 1½ ft.
to 2 ft. high. The W. side has been destroyed and there is
only a scarp 6 ft. to 7 ft. high falling from the interior to the
farmyard, where a wide hollow indicates the approximate line
of the ditch. Along the N. and E. sides is a ledge 8 ft. wide and
1½ ft. lower than the rest of the interior.
b(19) Moated site (Class A I (b); N.G. TL 273593), at Manor
Farm (Monument (5)), on flat boulder clay. The moat is an
irregular but roughly rectangular area, 230 ft. N. to S. by
180 ft. to 220 ft. surrounded by a wet ditch 30 ft. to 40 ft.
wide and 2 ft. to 5 ft. deep. The entrance, a causeway now
50 ft. wide, may be original; a second causeway, on the S.
side, 30 ft. wide, does not seem to be. The moat is fed by a
spring at the S.E. corner where there is a rectangular pond.
The farm house stands within the moat on a platform 40 ft.
wide, 2 ft. to 4 ft. above the general level and 60 ft. from the S.
ditch. The E. half of the interior is covered by 19th-century
buildings, but at the N.W. angle is a semi-circular platform
24 ft. across and 2 ft. high. There are indications in the present
garden that a cobbled yard lay to the N. of the house and a
wall along the W. edge of the moat.
b(20) Bank (N.G. TL 27405928–27615900, following hedgeline marked on O.S.), to the S.E. of the moated site (Monument (19)) at Manor Farm, in pasture. The bank, rounded,
10 ft. to 15 ft. wide, and 1½ ft. high, runs in a sweeping curve
E. and S. to the N.E. angle of Eltisley Wood; it has an outer
ditch 22 ft. wide and 1½ ft. deep and crosses N.E. to S.W.
ridge and furrow.
b(21) Moated site (Class A 2 (b); N.G. TL 277593, not on
O.S.), 90 yds. N.E. of Jesus College Farm (Monument (6)), in
pasture with bushes along the ditches. The moat is trapezoidal,
85 ft. N.E. by 135 ft. E. by 135 ft. S. by 170 ft. N.W., and is
surrounded by a ditch 25 ft. to 35 ft. wide, 4½ ft. to 5½ ft. deep,
and 12 ft. to 15 ft. wide at the bottom. A counter-scarp bank
20 ft. wide and 1½ ft. high runs along the N.E. side. A stream
enters the moat at the S.W. angle and flows along the W.
side. There is a possible entrance in the centre of the E. side
where cobbles can be seen in the E. scarp of the ditch. The
interior is disturbed. Pottery of the 11th to 12th century has
Eltisley, Monument 21
The moat lies in the S.W. corner of a rectangular area
measuring 480 ft. N. to S. by about 400 ft., bounded on the
W. by a stream, on the S. by a hedge, on the E. by a ditch 5 ft.
to 10 ft. wide and 1 ft. deep, and on the N. by a ditch 15 ft.
wide and 2 ft. deep.
a(22) Moated site (Class A 1 (a); N.G. TL 276614) on flat
boulder clay in the N. of the parish at Papley Grove, is no
doubt that of the house of the manor of Papley, mentioned as
early as 1279 (Rot. Hund. (1818) II, 507–9). The enclosed
island, which is flat and now occupied by an overgrown orchard, is 130 ft. N. by 110 ft. E. by 115 ft. S. by 110 ft. W.
The surrounding wet ditch is generally 15 ft. to 20 ft. wide
and 2 ft. deep to the level of the water, of which there is
2 ft. to 3 ft.; on the S. the ditch has however been widened to
the S. to form a pond, in all 50 ft. to 70 ft. across.
Eltisley, Monument 22
a(23) Windmill site (N.G. TL 278604, not on O.S.), on level
ground 100 ft. S. of the Cambridge road. Only a patch of flint
and pebbles is to be seen but the O.S. 1 in. map of 1836 and
the tithe map of 1841 show a circular wet moat 140 ft. in
diameter with an island in the centre endorsed 'Mill Hill';
this ditch is visible as a soil mark on a vertical air photograph
b(24) Moated site (Class A 2 (b); N.G. TL 274589, moat
and parts of the enclosure on O.S.), at the N. edge of Eltisley
Wood, comprises a moat and an outer enclosure. 13th-century pottery has been found on the surface inside the
The island enclosed by the moat is rectangular, 180 ft. N.
to S. by 130 ft., with a wet ditch 30 ft. to 35 ft. wide, 4 ft.
to 5½ft. deep, and 15 ft. wide at the water level; on the E.
and S. sides is an outer bank 25 ft. wide and 1½ ft. high. The
interior, flat and raised 2 ft. above the surrounding area, is
entered by a causeway on the W. side, 15 ft. wide but
apparently not original. It is flanked on the inside by long
narrow hollows, perhaps former ponds. A projection from
the N. ditch seems to be modern.
Eltisley, Monument 24
The outer enclosure, under pasture, lies to the N. and N.E.
A stream flowing through the N. side of the moat continues
to the E. and W. as the boundary of the wood. From this
stream, at a point 60 ft. W. of the N.W. corner of the moat, a
ditch branches N.N.E., running for 250 ft. before turning E.,
parallel to the stream. This N. side is broken 200 ft. from its
W. end by a causeway 24 ft. wide, and again, 84 ft. further E.,
by a relatively modern cut; beyond this point it continues as a
slight ditch for 105 ft. and then turns S. for 165 ft. to meet the
stream bounding the wood. The W. side of this outer enclosure is 17 ft. wide and 1 ft. deep, with a disturbed inner bank
15 ft. wide and 9 ins. high; the adjoining length to the N. is
26 ft. wide and 2½ ft. deep and has no inner bank; the E. side
is accompanied by an external bank 10 ft. wide and 9 ins.
(25) Cultivation remains (not on O.S.). Ridge and furrow,
formerly all in old enclosures, remains over a considerable area
S. of the village and to the N. and E. of Papley Grove. The
remains are 70 yds. to 260 yds. long with ridges 6 yds. to 12
yds. wide and 9 ins. to 1 ft. high; the headlands are 8 yds. to
10 yds. wide. Much of these remains appear, from their
reversed-S curved form, e.g. at N.G. TL 279594 and 275590, to
have been enclosed from the open fields. It is just possible that
the large area of old enclosure S. of the village may be connected with the fact that Henry de Nuthale had a deer park in
the parish in 1241 (Close Rolls, Henry III, IV (1911), 264).
Traces of ridge and furrow of the former open fields can
be seen on air photographs covering much of the parish. These
traces correspond exactly with the open field lay-out, planned
on the tithe map of 1841 (which shows individual furlong
names), and not enclosed until 1864. There were three open
fields: 'Easton', 'Middle' and 'Papley' Fields.
(Ref: Close Rolls 1241; tithe map 1841 (T.R.C.); enclosure
map 1865 (C.R.O.); air photographs: 106G/UK/1490/3230–32.)