Cottages in Molesworth
Molesworth is a village in Huntingdonshire, found about 10 miles west of Huntingdon. The village has been designated a conservation area by Huntingdon District Council largely due to its typically rural English character that includes several listed buildings.
St Peter's Church stands on the west of the village and consists of a chancel, nave and tower. The chancel was built around 1275 but the presence of several 12th century stones suggests that an earlier stone church may have existed on the site.
In 1646, during the European Witch-hunt, two people from Molesworth, John Winnick and Ellen Shepheard (along with others from the nearby village of Catworth) were examined as witches. Little else of historic note seems to have happened in the village until the coming of the Air Force.
The protected nature of the village environment has not however prevented a planned wind farm to cover the fields around the village.
The village gives its name to RAF Molesworth, a Royal Air Force base with a history dating back to 1917.
It was from Molesworth on 4 July 1942 that the first USAAF Eighth Air Force mission was flown over Nazi-occupied territory. The airfield remains a base for thwe United States Air Force, although it no longer has an active runway. It is the home to the Joint Analysis Centre, the intelligence fusion centre supporting the United States European Command and NATO.
From 1981, during the Cold War, RAF Molesworth was supplied with ground-launched cruise missiles and became the subject of anti-nuclear protests; a large protest camp was set up around the base. The protests became heated and dangerous: on 6 February 1985, 1,500 police and soldiers were deployed to the site to secure the seven mile base perimeter for the MOD; the single largest mobilisation of police and troops since the war. The camp was evicted after a few years though the last presence of protesters only evaporated in about 1990.
- Stop Molesworth Windfarm group
- Works by Matthew Hopkins at Project Gutenberg
- The Discovery of Witches at Project Gutenberg