Westley Waterless

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Westley Waterless
The TARDIS-like Church at Westley Waterless - geograph.org.uk - 10164.jpg
St Mary, Westley Waterless
Grid reference: TL620562
Location: 52°10’51"N, 0°22’7"E
Population: 155  (2001)
Post town: Newmarket
Postcode: CB8
Dialling code: 01638
Local Government
Council: East Cambridgeshire

Westley Waterless is a small village in south-eastern Cambridgeshire, five miles south-west of Newmarket.

The village no longer contains a pub. The one former pub was the Trace-horse, which opened in the early 20th century, and was renamed the White Horse by 1937, but had closed by 1976.[1]

Westley Bottom

Westley Bottom is a hamlet of the parish, at the botton of the hill, close to Six Mile Bottom and where the Cambridge – Newmarket railway line runs. Westley Botton consists of just a farmstead (Westley Lodge Farm) and cottages.


The parish church is St Mary's. A church was recorded in the village in the 12th century, but the oldest part of the present flint building is from the 13th century. The chancel arch and three-bay nave date from the 14th century. The church formerly had a round west tower, the oldest part of the church until it fell in 1855.[1]

The church contains a notable early brass dating from 1324 commemorating Sir John de Creke and his first wife Alyne Clopton.[2]


Listed as Westle in around 1045, Weslai in the Domesday Book and Westle Waterles in 1285, the name "Westley" means "westerly meadow (or clearing)", and the "waterless" is said to be not from its being dry but from "water leas", or watermeadows.[3]

The parish of Westley Waterless is long and thin covering 1,150 acres between the ancient Icknield Way at its northwest end (now the A1304), to the village of Burrough Green at the southeast. It is wedged between the parishes of Burrough Green to the north and east, and Brinkley to the south. It has a short border with Bottisham parish at its northwest tip.[1]

The site of the present village seems to have been occupied since the 10th century. A leaden vessel filled with tools dating from before the Norman Conquest has been found. Thirteen inhabitants were recorded at the time of the Domesday Book. The population reached its peak of 214 in 1851.[1]

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