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This extract is from "Samuel Lewis Topographical Gazeetter - 1831"

YAXLEY, a parish (formerly a market town) in the hundred of NORMAN-CROSS, county of HUNTINGDON, 14 miles (N.N.W.) from Huntingdon, and 73 (N. by W.) from London, containing 1070 inhabitants. The village is irregularly, but neatly, built, extending for a considerable distance alone the high road from Stilton to Farcet, and is amply supplied with water. At a short distance to the east is Whittlesea mere, one of the most extensive sheets of water in the kingdom; it is six miles in length, and three miles broad, and abounds with fish. The barracks at Norman Cross, in this parish, were used, during the late war, as a place of confinement for French prisoners, but are now partly dismantled. The neighbourhood is extremely productive of sedges and reeds, the preparation of which affords employment to a considerable portion of the inhabitants : a fair is held annually on Holy Thursday, for cattle. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Huntingdon, and diocese of Lincoln, rated in the king's books at 11, and in the patronage of the Crown. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, and situated on an eminence at the western extremity of the town, is a handsome structure, principally in the later style of English architecture, with some portions of earlier date; the tower is surmounted by a finely proportioned crocketed spire, supported by flying buttresses. There is a place of worship for Independents. Mrs. Jane Proby, in 1712, bequeathed 600 for building a school-room, and for paying a master to instruct twenty boys of the parish; and, in 1711, Mr. Francis Proby bequeathed 200 towards building a workhouse, and for teaching poor girls to work. There are also some other charitable bequests for distribution among the poor..

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