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Stetchworth, St Peter - - 2981.jpg
St Peter, Stetchworth
Grid reference: TL639585
Location: 52°12’0"N, 0°24’0"E
Population: 704  (2011)
Post town: Newmarket
Postcode: CB8
Dialling code: 01638
Local Government
Council: East Cambridgeshire

Stetchworth is a small village in Cambridgeshire, at the edge of the Gogmagog Hills in the southeast of the shire, 3 miles south of the horse-racing centre of Newmarket, and around 12 miles east of Cambridge. The village of Dullingham stands just to the west.

The parish of Stetchworth is long and thin in shape as are many in the hills of this part of the county, and encompasses Stetchworth itself and the tiny hamlet of Stetchworth Ley uphill to the southeast, with surrounding farms. The parish is around six miles long and one mile wide and covering an area of 2,891 acres. It stretches southeast from Newmarket Heath to the border with Suffolk. Its relatively straight northeast border with the Cambridgeshire parishes of Burwell and Woodditton follows the Devil's Dyke to its southern end just west of Ditton Green, from where the border follows field boundaries. Its long western border with Dullingham also follows field boundaries, most of which also follow the course of the Stour Valley Path, a long-distance footpath. It also has a short border with Kirtling at the south-eastern end and another with Swaffham Prior at its northwest edge, though the villages of Burwell and Swaffham Prior are several miles from Stechworth itself.[1]


Stetchworth referred to as Steuicheswrþe around 1050 and the manor of Stetchworth is listed in the Domesday Book as Stiuicesuuorde (1086). The name "Stetchworth" is thought to mean either "enclosure amongst the tree-stumps" or "Styfices enclosure".[2]


The Devil's Dyke (or Devil's Ditch) is a long, straight Anglo-Saxon earthwork built between the Cambridgeshire villages of Reach and Wood Ditton. It runs through Stetchworth and its south-eastern end its beside the village. The dyke consists of a ditch and a mound of earth which continues for over seven miles, and is a popular place for local walks. The Devils Dyke Morris Men dance along its length to end up at the 800 year old Reach Fair on May Day. The relatively rare pasque flower grows along the dyke in the chalky soil.

The village had 25 inhabitants at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 when the parish was owned by Hardwin of Scales, the Abbot of Ely, and Count Alan. The Domesday Book also mentions that Stetchworth was "once a town".[3]

The railway reached the parish when the Cambridge to Newmarket line was opened in 1848, though there is no station in Stetchworth, though Dullingham railway station is just over a mile to the west of the village.

The National Stud partially falls within the parish boundaries, and the July Racecourse at Newmarket Racecourse finishes in the parish, running parallel to the Devil's Dyke.


The parish church has been dedicated to St Peter since at least the 13th century, and is the oldest building in the village. There are records of a church in the village in the 12th century, but the earliest part of the present building is the chancel which dates from the 13th century. The nave dates from the 14th century and the west tower was extensively rebuilt in the 15th century.[1]

There are bells in the tower dating from 1450 onwards, but they have not been used in recent years. The church boasts examples of early English graffiti (apparently carved into a pillar during a visit to Stetchworth by Queen Philippa) depicting a woman in an elaborate head-dress, and several animals.

The village also has a United Reformed Church that opened in 1963 on the site of the former Congregationalist Church.[4]

Village life

Stetchworth has one public house, The Marquis of Granby, which opened in 1937. Former pubs include The White Horse which opened opposite Church Lane in the first half of the 19th century, and rebuilt for the Earl of Ellesmere in 1905. It closed in the 1930s. The Live and Let Live opened opposite the school in 1890, but closed at some point between 1961 and 1973.[1]

A school was opened in the village in the 1860s and attendance grew to a peak of 168 in 1905-6, falling to 33 by 1938. Older children were transferred to Bottisham Village College in 1947, and the primary school closed in 1990.[1][5] Primary age pupils from Stetchworth now typically attend Kettlefields School which is just in Dullingham although it is closer to the centre of Stetchworth.

The Ellesmere Centre, on the Southern edge of the village, is a community centre, including a Post Office, and community store. It has a good range of sports facilities and a playground available.

The Ley Road Recreation Ground is a Queen Elizabeth II Field.

Stetchworth House and Stetchworth Park Stud

Stetchworth House was built by Richard Eaton in 1786, replacing the original Stetchworth manor house; it is Grade II listed. Stetchworth Park has its own private entrance to St Peter's Church.

In 1883, the estate passed to Francis Egerton, 3rd Earl of Ellesmere, who founded Stetchworth Park Stud. The stud was later run by Lt. Col. Douglas Gray, former Director of the National Stud in Newmarket. The "Team GB" Showjumping Team trained at Stetchworth Park before the London 2012 Olympics. In 2012, the estate was put up for sale, valued at over £11 million. [6]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Stetchworth)