In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Whittlesey like this:
WHITTLESEY, a town, two parishes, and a district, in Cambridge. The town stands on the Old Nen river, adjacent to the Peterborough, March, and Ely railway, 5½ miles E by S of Peterborough; was known, at Domesday, as Witesie; underwent much recent improvement; is a seat of petty-sessions, and a polling place; and has a post-office‡ under Peterborough, a r. station with telegraph, two banking offices, a hotel and several inns, a town hall, reading and newsrooms, a fine ancient church of different dates restored in 1862, another ancient church chiefly decorated English, five dissenting chapels, two endowed schools with £16 and £20 a year, a workhouse, town lands £309, general charities £169, a weekly market on Friday, and fairs on 25 January, 13 June, and 26 Oct. ...
Pop. in 1861, 4,496. Houses, 1,087.-The parishes are St. Mary and St. Andrew; they have long lost their mutual boundaries, so as to be now intermixed; and they include the hamlet and chapelry of Coates, and the hamlet of Eastrea. Acres, 25,131. Real property, £57,136. Pop. in 1851, 7,687; in 1861, 6,966. Houses, 1,592. The manor belongs to J. W. Childers, Esq. Traces of a Roman road are at Eldernell; and several antiquities, including a massive gold ring, have been found there. The livings of St. Mary and St. Andrew are vicarages in the diocese of Ely. Value of St. M., £222; of St. A., £490. Patron of St. M., J. W. Childers, Esq.; of St. A., the Lord Chancellor. The living of Coates was formerly a p. curacy, but is now a rectory; and it has been separately noticed. A small new church is at Ponders-Bridge; and Wesleyan chapels are at Coates and Eastrea.The district is conterminate with the two parishes. Poor rates in 1863, £5,606. Marriages in 1863, 56; births, 257,-of which 24 were illegitimate; deaths, 134,-of which 50 were at ages under 5 years, and 5 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 518; births, 2,768: deaths, 1,653. The places of worship, in 1851, were 4 of the Church of England, with 2,625 sittings; 1 of Independents, with 300 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 640 s.; 3 of Wesleyans, with 498 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 70 s.; and 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 150 s. The schools were 3 public day-schools, with 467 scholars; 29 private day-schools, with 594 s.; and 10 Sunday schools, with 680 s.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Whittlesey has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Fenland. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Whittlesey and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Whittlesey, in Fenland and Cambridgeshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th September 2014
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