Early History of Ramsey

Early History of Ramsey in Huntingdonshire, UK


Ramsey before 1100AD

Once an island covered with woods that included alders, large quantities of elm, also green sedges and bulrushes. It was settled on and given to an order of monks to build on. So Ramsey Abbey was built, just a small wooden structure to begin with using timber from the island, at this time it was only accessible by boat across The Mere and then up stream. A causeway was built using wood, sand and stone to join it to firm ground to enable carts to be used to get to the settlement.

This area of Huntingdonshire was restless for many years after the Romans left with successive Kings and leaders, invasions not only by British tribes but from abroad as well including the Danes. Peace reigned for nearly 100 years under Saxon Kings during that time the great Abbey of Ramsey was founded in 969.

The Danes again invaded in 1010 fighting their way up the River Ouse burning the country as they went this was during the reign of Ethelred the Unready. Eventually Canute became King of all England.

He had a hunting-box at Bodney, close to Ramsey, and gave his name to a ‘dike’ (road with a ditch on one side) running from Ramsey towards Peterborough. It was after a near fatal accident when trying to travel by boat across The Mere that he ordered the dike to be built.

A Monk

A monk gathering herbs

A monk gathering herbs


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