GUILDEN MORDEN is a parish and village on the river Cam, near the borders of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, 4 miles north from Ashwell and Morden station on the Hitchin, Royston and Cambridge branch of the London and North Eastern railway, 6 north-west from Royston and about 15 south-west from Cambridge, in the hundred of Armingford, petty sessional division of Arrington and Melbourn, union and county court district of Royston, rural deanery of Shingay and archdeaconry and diocese of Ely.
The church of St. Mary is an embattled building of flint and stone in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave with clerestory, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower with four crocketed pinnacles and spire, containing a clock and 6 bells: the double 14th century screen, which separates the chancel from the nave, is almost unique in England: in 1856 the interior was thoroughly repaired: in the church are memorials to William Hay, 1620; Thomas Storey, 1670; Frances Storey, 1675 and to Gertrude Storey, 1723: the church affords 420 sittings. At the entrance to the churchyard is a Runic cross of Cornish granite, erected in 1920 in memory of the men of the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18. The register dates from the year 1653. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £325, including 160 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of Jesus College, Cambridge, and held since 1919 by the Rev. Llewellyn Griffith Scott Price M.A. of Trinity College, Dublin. The churchyard is now closed to interments, but an acre of ground was bought in 1897 for the purpose of a cemetery, and is under the control of the Parish Council. The Congregational chapel, built in 1841, has 500 sittings.
In the reign of Edward II. there were two principal manors in this parish, then belonging to the families of Kyriell and Avenell; one of these was given to the Priory of Barnwell, but after the Reformation it was consolidated with the manors of Bondesbury, Bancis, Foxley and Pychards as a single manor, and known as the manor of Guilden Morden.
Morden Hall, an ancient mansion containing an oratory or chapel and surrounded by a large moat, was formerly the seat of Thomas-de-Hayguilden, and in 1375 a licence was granted by Bishop Arundell for the celebrating of divine offices in the chapel of the mansion; it is new the residence of George Stevenson esq. The manor was purchased in 1806 by Philip, 3rd Earl of Hardwicke.
The soil is various; subsoil, clay and chalk. The crops are chiefly wheat, barley, oats and beans. The area is 2,599 acres; the population in 1921 was 580.
[Extracts from Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]
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