Visit St Ives and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
St Ives, Cambridgeshire. The town, which is a borough, presumably because of its important cattle market, traces its origin back to a village called Slepe, which was on the north bank of the River Ouse and meant slippery landing place. It was a manor of Ramsey Abbey in 969 and eventually became a priory of the abbey, dedicated to St Ivo, a Persian bishop, and has been called St Ives ever since.
Henry I granted it the rights of an annual fair in 1110 and the town grew up around the fairground, to which people came from all over the country and abroad. The Black Death of 1349 caused its temporary closure and the town declined in importance.
St Ives is picturesque, with delightful riverside views. It has a narrow six-arched bridge built about 1415 with a bridge chapel, one of only three of its kind in England. There is single-line traffic across the bridge, controlled by traffic lights. On the tar side is Bridge House, of the 18th century, with a round arched window overlooking the river. Oliver Cromwell had a farm here and his statue stands in the Market Place.
Only a ruined wall remains of the priory, by the side of the modern council offices. There are many Georgian and Victorian houses in the Broadway, where a monument commemorates Queen Victoria's Jubilee, and in Bridge Street, including the manor house dated about 1600 with three gables on the river side and four on the street and ornamental bargeboards.
The Corn Exchange and the Post Office are both Victorian and the Cattle Market was opened in 1886. The Free Church in Market Hill is dated 1642 and has a steeple 156 ft tall, in the twisting roads are many brick and timber houses.
All Saints Church, reached by a footpath through the Waits, overlooks the River Ouse. Built about 1450 it is large with an exceptionally fine steeple. The west door is ornate, with two niches, and in the south aisle is a double piscina which is early 13th-century. The octagonal font is Norman and the pulpit, with elongated blank arches, is Elizabethan. The richly painted roodscreen, which fills the chancel arch, is modern, as is the loft and organ-case. Both are by Comper.
Nearby cities: Cambridge, Peterborough
Nearby towns: Chatteris, Ely, Huntingdon, Papworth Everard, Ramsey
Nearby villages: Brampton, Earith, Fenstanton, Needingworth, Old Hurst, Over, Somersham, Willingham
Have you decided to visit St Ives or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a St Ives bed and breakfast (a St Ives B&B or St Ives b and b)
- a St Ives guesthouse
- a St Ives hotel (or motel)
- a St Ives self-catering establishment, or
- other St Ives accommodation