Castle Camps

Descriptions of the village and parish

Arthur Mee's Cambridgeshire

Castle Camps. In this pointed corner of the county, surrounded on three sides by Essex, Aubrey de Vere, first Earl of Oxford, built his castle as a defence against all comers. It was held by the de Veres for nearly 400 years after their fighting ancestor died in 1194, and its last remnants fell in the 18th century. Now only the great moat with overhanging trees is left as a reminder of its story, with a farmhouse on the site. The church stands by the moat in glorious isolation, in a lovely bower of trees which crown the hilltop. The best thing about it is the picture it makes as we approach. What it has of old work is chiefly 16th century, with a tower rebuilt after falling last century, and many modern windows. Only the base of the old oak chancel screen is there. The baluster altar rails are 17th century, and there are arms among fragments of old glass.

Kellys Directory 1892

Castle Camps is a large and straggling parish 5 miles south-east from Linton, and 3 south-east from Bartlow station on the Great Eastern railway (Cambridge and Melford branch), the Eastern division of the county, hundred of Chilford, union and petty sessional division of Linton, county court district of Haverhill, rural deanery of Camps second division and archdeaconry and diocese of Ely. The church of All Saints is an edifice of flint and rubble, with stone dressings, in the Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel, nave, south porch and an embattled western tower containing a very fine peal of 5 bells: in the church is a marble monument to Sir James Reynolds kt. appointed a Baron of the Exchequer in 1740 and knighted 23 May, 1745; he died 20 May, 1747: the old tower fell down in 1850 and was rebuilt in 1851 in the Decorated style: the porch was rebuilt in 1855 and the chancel and nave restored in 1883: there are 246 sittings, two thirds being free. The register dates from the year 1565. The living is a rectory: average tithe rent-charge £490, net yearly value, £437, with 71 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Governors of Charterhouse. London, and held since 1879 by the Rev. Edward Lynch Pearson M.A. of St. John’s College, Cambridge. Here is a Congregational chapel, with sittings for 350 persons. The charities amount to £13 yearly, principally for fuel. This and the neighbouring parish of Shudy Camps are said to have derived their names from ancient encampments in these parishes. Here was once a castle of the De Veres, Earls of Oxford; on the sire which adjoins the church there is now a farmhouse; surrounded by a deep moat. The Governors of the Charterhouse, London are lords of the manor and principal landowners. The soil is clay; subsoil, chalk and clay. The chief crops are wheat, oats and barley. The area is 2,703 acres; rateable value, £2,847; the population in 1891 was 859. By a provisional order which came into operation March 25th, 1885, all that portion of Helions Bumpstead (Essex) parish in Cambridgeshire was amalgamated with this parish.

Half a mile west of the church is CAMPS END, a hamlet of this parish.

Parish Clerk, Henry Wallis.

Post Office – William Carlton, receiver. Letters arrive from Cambridge, via Linton, at 9:15a.m.; dispatched at 4.45 p.m. The nearest money order office is at Ashdon & telegraph office at Linton.

National School, built in 1865, enlarged in 1876 & again in 1886, & will hold 160 children; average attendance, 140; Miss Selina Taylor, mistress.

CARRIER TO CAMBRIDGE – Benjamin Barrett, sat.

Haigh Rev. George Congregational Pearson Rev Edward Lynch M.A. Rectory
Barker Charles Boot & shoe maker Kitteridge Herny bricklayer
Barrett Benjamin carrier Leonard Herbert farmer & maltster
Barrett Mark John blacksmith Marsh William farmer
Barrett Rachel (Mrs) beer retailer Masters Waters farmer
Carlton William tailor, Post office Tillbrook Edward farmer
Chapman James farmer Ruse George farmer, Greenhouse farm
Clayden Henry George farmer Tillbrook Wm beer retailer & farmer
Dew James farmer Tyrell William beer retailer
Duchesne John farmer Wallis Henry grocer & baker
Edwards James farmer, grocer & draper Wallis William beer retailer
Free Walter beer retailer Wells John Redgrave Cock P.H.brewer, carpernter & undertaker
Harris Mark New inn, clothing manufacturer & agent for W & A Gilbey, wine & spirit merchants Wenham George beer retailer
Jeffery Arthur wheelwright and blacksmith Wright Walter, George P.H. & carpenter