Answers to Quiz in Summer Almanack Supplement

Here are the answers to the Quiz ‘Who Might Use These’ that were in the Summer Almanack Supplement.
CONFECTIONER’S HAMMER for breaking up toffee brittle. 
HATTER’S MEASURE for determining the size of a gentleman’s hat.
STAIRS CARPET FIXING – In Victorian time the carpet covering stairs was held in place by brass rods, each rod was secured to the stair with a pair of these eyes. 
Look out for our next quiz in the new edition of the Almanack Supplement 

Farewell to our President Dr Simon Thurley

On the evening of 19 September 2019, over 30 members and friends joined our Chairman, Dr Philip Saunders, at Island Hall Godmanchester to bid a fond farewell and heartfelt thank you to our retiring President Dr Simon Thurley. 

Dr Thurley, who became our President in 2003, is a local Godmanchester boy who has had a successful career as an Academic and Architectural Historian. Former Director of the Museum of London and Chief Executive of English Heritage and an accomplished author of a number of books on English Palaces and the buildings of England. 

Throughout his tenure as President of the Society, Dr Thurley, gave over 18 addresses and talks on such subjects as ‘The Englishness of England’s Heritage’, ‘Hampton Court, a Secret History’, ‘The English Royal Court during the Civil Wars’, ‘The Invention of Heritage: How the Government fabricated our History 1930-1950’, and more recently ‘The King, the Actress and the Cardinal: the birth of London’s West End’, and ‘Heritage and Housing’ (the changing face of housing development)



Cromwell Lecture Series 2019

Tickets are available via the Museum’s website:, Eventbrite: or in person from the Cromwell Museum.

Wednesday 6th November at 7.30pm, ‘The Leveller Revolution’: A talk by writer and journalist John Rees

The Levellers were a 17th century radical movement that emerged from the tumult of the Civil Wars advocating ideas that would be central to the development of democracy. this talk will examine their development, key characters such as John Lilburne and Thomas Rainsborough and their role in creating a political revolution which still has a legacy in the struggle for freedom and democracy across the world. (Book signing after talk)


Wednesday 13th November at 7.30pm, ‘Cromwell and Ireland’: A talk by historian Professor John Morrill

Cromwell’s reputation is considered by many to have been blackened as a consequence of his nine month campaign in Ireland from August 1649 to May 1650. The sieges of Drogheda and Wexford have become bywords for brutality for many people, and Cromwell’s name is widely reviled in Ireland even today. Historians have differed on this subject; this talk will look at these different opinions and try to reveal what really happened on this campaign.


Wednesday 20th November at 7.30pm, ‘Wounded, Widows & Orphans: Civil War Petitions’: A talk by historian Dr Ismini Pells

The English Civil Wars were a time of terrible conflict, with a greater proportion of the population killed than in the First World War. For those who survived, thousands suffered from terrible injuries whilst wives, children and other family members faced daily struggles as a result of bereavement. During and after the Civil Wars, wounded soldiers, war widows and other family members submitted petitions to the state for financial relief. The Civil War Petitions Project has compiled online over 4,000 petitions revealing the human stories of maimed soldiers and war widows; this talk will examine some of those stories and what they reveal about this tumultuous period.


Wednesday 27th November at 7.30pm, ‘Churchill and Cromwell’: A talk by archivist Allen Packwood

Churchill wrote about Cromwell; he named military operations and even a tank after him. There two men served as soldiers, politicians and courted controversy. This talk will look at the parallels between them and examine what the Prime Minister thought about the Lord Protector. (Book signing after talk)


The talks all take place at Huntingdon Town Hall, with the ticket price including refreshments. Tickets cost £10 per talk (£8 for students), with a combined ticket for all four talks at £30 (£25 students). There are discounts for members of the Friends of the Cromwell Museum.

Tickets are available via the Museum’s website:, Eventbrite: or in person from the Cromwell Museum.

Pathfinder Museum visit CANCELLED


It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that the planned visit to the RAF Wyton Pathfinders Museum which was to be held on the afternoon of Tuesday 9th July has been cancelled. 

The Museum is putting on a small display of some of their artefacts on Saturday 13 July in All Saints Church Huntingdon. Whilst this is not a full display of all the Museum’s artefacts, they will be showing a number of the instruments and equipment from some of the Pathfinder aircraft that operated from RAF Wyton and other pathfinder bases in this region.

Answers to Quiz in January 2019 Almanack

Here are the answers to the quiz, ‘How Well Do You Know Huntingdonshire’ that was in the January 2019 Almanack:

Where might you find these? What are they?

Picture 1: You can find this in Ramsey Abbey, its a ceiling boss that is on the floor in the Gate House.


Picture 2: A Station of the Cross in the grounds of LIttle Gidding Church


Picture 3: Milepost at Green End, Great Stukeley




John Ferrar of LIttle Gidding by D. R. Ransome

John Ferrar of LIttle Gidding (by D. R. Ransome)

John Ferrar of Little Gidding

In 2000 Records of Huntingdonshire (Vol.3, No.8, 2000), the Journal of the Huntingdonshire Local History Society, included an article about John Ferrar of Little Gidding by D. R. Ransome.  The article has been updated, notes by the author and also supplementary notes were added to this digital copy. The Society is pleased to be able to republish this article with the kind permission of the author D. R. Ransome.

‘For a century and a quarter Little Gidding was the home of the Ferrar’s. When they came there in 1625 the family consisted of the old Mrs Ferrar, her married daughter Susanna and her family, and two of Mrs Ferrar’s sons. The younger was Nicholas, who is famous, but the elder, John, is undeservedly less well known. This article is an attempt to redress the balance and tell something of John’s life.

His parents were a formidable pair. His father was born in 1544 or 1545 at Hertford, the son of a draper who died when Nicholas was 12 or 13. ………….’

To read the article click on the picture above.