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Keyston (Hunts) St John the Baptist's Church - - 68972.jpg
St John the Baptist's Church
Grid reference: TL043754
Location: 52°21’0"N, 0°28’12"W
Postcode: PE28
Dialling code: 01832
Local Government
Council: Huntingdonshire

Keyston is a village in Huntingdonshire, near Molesworth in the west of the county. It shares a parish with its neighbour, Bythorn; the two villages are separated by fields and the A14. Keyston is built around the brook that runs through its centre.

The parish boundary runs up to the border with Northamptonshire. Many footpaths and bridalways lead out from the village, some heading for the bridge over the road to Bythorn, some to the farms and some westwards into Northamptonshire.

Keyston was recorded as Chetelestan in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name means "Ketil's Stone" (referring to a boundary stone).[1] By the 13th century the village was known as Keston, and Keyston from the 16th century.[2]

Parish church

The village church of St John the Baptist dates from the 13th century, with the present nave and aisles having been built in around 1250. The chancel followed in around 1280 and the tower in around 1300.[3]

The church has one of the finest church spires in this area. (This is a contrast to neighbouring Bythorn, whose church tower lies now spireless.)

The church is renowned for its oaken cadaver, a memorial consisting of a wooden skeleton, taken from a fifteenth-century tomb.

Village life

The village is also home to The Pheasant pub, known for its cuisine.[4] Keyston also has a small airfield.


The poet John Donne was granted the living to the Rectory in 1616.[5]


  1. A. D. Mills (2003). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. 
  2. "'Parishes: Keyston', A History of the County of Huntingdon". 1936. pp. 69–75. 
  3. GENUKI - Huntingdonshire
  4. "The Pheasant". 
  5. Encyclopædia Britannica - John Donne. 1911