St Ives is a market town and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England. St Ives lies approximately 5 miles east of Huntingdon and 12 miles north-west of the city of Cambridge. It is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of England.
Previously called Slepe, its name was changed to St Ives after the body, claimed to be that of a Persian bishop, of Saint Ivo (not to be confused with Ivo of Kermartin), was found buried in the town in about 1001/2.
The town name is featured in the anonymous nursery rhyme/riddle "As I was going to St Ives". While sometimes claimed to be St Ives, Cornwall, the man with seven wives, each with seven sacks containing seven cats etc. may have been on his way to (or coming from) the Great Fair at St Ives.
The term tawdry is a St Ives derived word (vying with the rival Ely claim), basically meaning cloth that is cheap and cheerful, and was evolved directly from the St Audrey's Lane cloth market held during the medieval and later ages. Made from discarded inferior wool and/or other felt fibres, it was a popular source of 'cheap and cheerful' material bought by the locals, and those further afield, who flocked to the market in their droves to buy cheap supplies for their own domestic clothing. Although the St Audrey's market petered out during centuries past, the tradition of low priced cloth, albeit of better quality, is now carried on with the modern market holders at the St Ives town centre version, which is still a draw to dress and curtain makers. We are now left with the word tawdry to denote, essentially, the inferior garb worn by the poor.
There are ten places of worship, including the ancient parish church, not all of which have their own burial grounds.Many other Christian denominations are also represented, and the town also has a mosque and an Islamic Community Centre.
All Saints Church (Church of England) on Church Street has been in the town since AD 970 and is one of only two Grade I listed buildings in the town, the other being The Bridge. Originally the parish church of the settlement of Slepe, before St Ives came into existence, it now enjoys a tranquil location at the end of Church Street, situated to the west of the town centre. All Saints, as it stands today, dates largely from the re-building of the late 15th century. It was extensively re-ordered in the late 19th century.
The church which dominates the town's market place, is The Free Church (United Reformed Church). This was built in 1864, but was modernized in 1980, moving the worship area upstairs. The Church of the Sacred Heart (Roman Catholic) on Needingworth Road, was originally built by Augustus Pugin in Cambridge, but was dismantled in 1902 and transported by barge to St Ives. The hall at the back was added in about 2001. The current Methodist Church on The Waits opened in 1905. Crossways Church (Assembly of God) meet at Crossways Christian Centre on Ramsey Road. St Ives Christian Fellowship (Partnership) meet at Thorndown Junior School on Hill Rise. The Bridge Church (New Frontiers) meet at The Ivo, Secondary School. St Ives Evangelical Christian Church (Evangelical) meet at the Burleigh Hill Community Centre, off Constable Road.
GPS Coordinates: 52.32646, -0.07443
- Added: 5 Apr 2016
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2608892
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