Shingay is a village in southern Cambridgeshire, close to the village of Wendy, with which since 1957 it has shared a civil parish ('Shingay cum Wendy'). Shingay is around 5 miles northwest of Royston.
The village's name is from the Old English Sceninga ieg, which means "Scene's people's island".
The parish of Shingay covers an area of 768 acres; its northern border with Croydon follows the River Cam (or Rhee), and its eastern border with Wendy is marked by the North Ditch. Its southern border with Abington Pigotts also largely follows drainage channels, and its western border with Steeple Morden follows field boundaries marked by Shingay Gate Farm. The parish was largely wooded until the mid-19th century, but little woodland now remains.
The mediæval parish was dominated by the preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers which was situated on the south bank of the river and owned all the land in the parish between the early 12th century and 1540. When the order was suppressed in 1540 it held land in 42 parishes in Cambridgeshire as well as five other counties. Its proximity to the Old North Road resulted in its hosting royalty at various points.
It is believed that the mediæval village lay just to the east of the preceptory on the road towards Wendy. The village was depopulated in the 15th century. Population increased to a peak of 142 in 1851 but had dropped to 38 by the time it was merged with Wendy.
The former parish church was dedicated to St Mary and possibly built at the same time as the preceptory. The mediæval church was demolished in the late 17th century and in 1697 a new chapel, consisting of just a single room of two bays and west bell turret, was built by the Earl of Orford who had just obtained the manor. The chapel fell into disuse in the 18th century and the final trace of the building was removed by 1836.
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- 'Parishes: Shingay', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 8 (1982), pp. 124-127