Notes on the history of Little Thetford

Compiled by Pat and Mike Petty : February 1981, revised May 2009


Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: Early settlement and Place names
Page 3: Buildings and infrastructure
Page 4: Newspaper clippings: 1778 – 1799
Page 5: Newspaper clippings: 1801 -1899
Page 6: Newspaper clippings: 1900 -1940
Page 7: Ely Deanery Magazine Extracts: 1895 -1896
Page 8: Village people: 19th & early 20th century


Little Thetford is a little village, and there is little written about it – indeed many writers only mention it in passing as a diversion on the road between Stretham and Ely.

People have however lived in and around Little Thetford for many hundreds of years: it was known to Bronze Age Man, it had a chapel in the 1300’s, people were prepared to fight to save their lands in the early 1830’s, railway speculators built lines around it – the happenings are numerous.

This booklet recounts a very few of these activities, some of the stories about some of the building and their occupants.

It is a compilation of information written by others, by professional historians and archaeologists, by village farmers and newspaper correspondents, all of which has come to be lodged in the ‘Cambridgeshire Collection’ at the County Library in Lion Yard, Cambridge. Although written by others much of it has not been available for over 100 years, indeed the extracts from the ‘Cambridge Chronicle’ have probably not been read since they were published in 1778 and 1899.

This is intended as a starting point for others, for village folk, to develop, expand, correct. To encourage an interest in a settlement which maybe Little in name and size, but truly Great in interest.

Pat and Mike Petty, February, 1981.


These notes were compiled 28 years ago and since then much more information has become accessible. None of this has been included in this reissue of the original pamphlet.

See my website for advice and guidance

Mike Petty, June 2009.