The History of Hail Weston in Cambridgeshire

Historical notes about the town of Hail Weston in Cambridgehsire.

The Parish of Hail Weston

The parish of Hail Weston contains 1,583 acres. The subsoil is Oxford Clay. About two-thirds of the land is arable and the remainder grass, with about 53 acres of woodland. The river Kym, anciently known as the Hail or Hayle, from which the parish derives its name, forms the northern and eastern boundary of the parish. There was an ancient bridge over the river, which is mentioned in 1377. It was standing in 1798, when it was built of stone with four arches, but the parapet was ruinous. The present bridge is modern. There are two springs, which were reputed to have medicinal qualities, but perhaps derive more fame from the poem by Michael Drayton, entitled the 'Holy Wells of Hailweston.' The springs were used for medicinal purposes in the 16th and 17th centuries, but later fell into disuse. In 1844 they were sold and are now used by the Hail Weston Springs Co., aerated water manufacturers.

The village lies on the north side of the road from St. Neots to Kimbolton. The church is at the south-east end of the village, which contains several half-timber houses and cottages of the 17th century. The nearest railway station is at St. Neots, three miles away, on the London and North Eastern Railway.

A few Neolithic implements have been found, but greater importance is attached to a bronze statuette of the Romano-British period which was found a few years before 1824.

The parish has always been closely connected with that of Southoe, and though the civil parishes are now separated, ecclesiastically they are still united. The population in 1921 was 265.

Victoria County History - Huntingdonshire Printed 1932