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Cambridgeshire - Over

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OVER is a large parish near the navigable Ouse, and 1 mile north-by-east from Swavesey station on the St. Ives and Cambridge section of the London and North Eastern railway, 5 east from St. Ives and 9 north-west from Cambridge in the hundred of Papworth, union of St Ives, Cambridge petty sessional division, county court district of Huntingdon, North Stowe rural deanery and archdeaconry and diocese of Ely.

The church of St Mary the Virgin is an edifice of stone, principally in the Decorated Style, and consists of chancel clerestoried nave of six bays, aisles, a fine south porch and a western tower with lofty octagonal spire, rising to a height of 156 feet and containing a clock with chimes and 6 bells, and over the chancel is a sanctus bell of the 14th century : the chancel is Perpendicular, but retains an Early English piscina and chancel arch, the columns of the latter having been cut away in order to insert the rood screen, a good piece of the 14th century work of seven divisions, with groined loft above: both nave and chancel have Perpendicular roofs, and the nave and aisles are embattled: a chantry was founded in the south aisle in 1391, in memory of Robert Muskham (a former rector), but its endowments have been alienated since the reign of Edward VI. : the south aisle still retains a piscina, and exhibits on the exterior some exceedingly fine and bold gargoyles: the south porch is a very beautiful and highly enriched composition of the Decorated period, and the tower is Early in this style: over the west doorway is a weather worn carving of the Virgin Mary in Glory; on the left side are the arms of Ramsey Abbey, which formerly held the patronage of this living from 1004 A.D. : on the south side of the chancel are six stalls of the 13th century, brought here at the dissolution of the abbey, and one of these bears the arms of the abbey: the pulpit of carved oak, with a fine canopy, is Jacobean: the whole of the north aisle has been rebuilt and the church reseated; the tower and spire were repaired in 1864, at a cost of £600, defrayed by the churchwardens out of the thirds received by them from the Over Town Lands charity; the chancel has also been restored: in 1882 a clock and chimes war placed in the tower: the organ was also repaired a cost of £105, the spire restored at a cost of £220 and lamps placed in the church at a cost of £69: there are 325 sittings. The register dates from the year 1577. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £344, with 25 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of Trinity College, Cambridge, and held since 1923 by the Rev. Frederick George Weston M.A. of that college. The list of rectors and vicars dates from 1309. There is a Baptist chapel, founded in 1757, with sittings for 350 persons, and a Primitive Methodist chapel.

In the centre of the village is a stone cross, erected in 1920 as a memorial to the men of this parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18.

The manor was given to the abbot and convent of Ramsey, by Ednothus, Bishop of Dorchester (1034-50), and in the year 1619 James I. granted it to George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham; in 1676 it was alienated to Sackville Wade esq. and since then it has passed through the families of Kirby, Phillips, Edwards and Taylor to the present owner, Guy W. Stanley esq. who is lord of the manor.

The soil is strong clay; subsoil, gravel and clay. The chief crops are wheat, oats, beans and garden produce. The area is 3,717 acres of land and 20 of water; the population in 1921 was 196.

[These are extracts from Kelly's Directory 1929]

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