Kimbolton

Street Map

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Kimbolton is a large village in Cambridgeshire, England. It is approximately 7 miles (11 km) east of Higham Ferrers, 7 miles (11 km) west of St Neots and 24 miles (39 km) west of Cambridge, 14 miles (23 km) north of Bedford and 31 miles (50 km) south of Peterborough.

The centrepiece of the village is Kimbolton Castle which forms the main building of Kimbolton School (now an independent day and boarding school), but its predecessor on the same site was once home and prison to Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII. Katherine died at Kimbolton Castle in 1536 and was transported from there to Peterborough Cathedral to be buried.

Kimbolton, and the lands of its soke, comprised the only estate of King Harold in Huntingdonshire. It is believed that Harold had a hunting lodge nearby. Kimbolton and its church, St Andrew’s, appear in the Domesday book, compiled in 1086.

The main road through Kimbolton (once part of the main A45 trunk road from Birmingham to Felixstowe but, after the opening of the A14, redesignated as the B645) bends through four tight right angles in quick succession. Originally, the road travelled directly through the outskirts of the village, nearer to the River Kym to the north.

In 1200, a prominent local landowner, Geoffrey Fitz Peter, Earl of Essex and Chief Justice to King John, who constructed the first castle on the present site, received a Royal charter to hold a market and fair in Kimbolton. There is still a fair every September, known as the “Statute Fair” – referred to affectionately by locals as the “Statty”. Continuation of this fair (despite the chaos which formerly ensued when this meant partial closure of a trunk road) and a plaque marking the site of the market cross are claimed by some as evidence that Kimbolton is a town and still has a right to hold a weekly market. The main road was diverted to its present course to take it through the market place and increase toll revenue. 800 years later, as a result of numerous vehicles striking walls and houses near the sharp bends, car transporters are not allowed in the village.

Kimbolton is known locally for its facilities, including High Street shopping, three public houses, a garage, fire station and the Mandeville Hall.

In World War II, the U.S.A.F. 379th Bombardment Group was stationed at the nearby Kimbolton Airfield from May 1943 to June 1945.

Kimbolton Fireworks, a well-known manufacturer of fireworks and organiser of public fireworks displays, is based in Kimbolton. It grew from the extracurricular activities of a Kimbolton school chaplain and chemistry master, Rev Ron Lancaster, sometimes dubbed the “master blaster pastor.”

Note: this page is partly based on a Wikipedia page. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Where possible, text is being updated to original, fully referenced research. ‘Our photos’ means we took the photographs. The Street View and street map visuals are courtesy of Google.

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