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The Abington Village Sign

The Abingtons Data

History of the Abingtons

Prehistory:

A pleiosaur bone was found on Ley Rectory Farm, Little Abington

A lacked neolithic flint axe found in the vicinity

A number of round barrows from the Bronze Age.

No clear evidence of settlement in the iron Age.

Roman:

Roman artefacts found near ‘Sunken Church Field’.

Possible Roman burial ground near a tumulus in Little Abington

Anglo-Saxon:

Brent Ditch south-west of Great Abington is one of five defensive dykes. the Brent Ditch runs for 1.5 miles from upland spar in Abington park to a springhead in Pampisford.

Domesday Book shows a prosperous agricultural community in the vicinity circa 1087.

(From Museum of Cambridge Exhibition Notes)

…………..

Camp Ball: (see E Porter, Cambridgeshire Customs and Folklore, p.230)

In Abington the name “Camping Close” recalls the contests of Camp Ball or Camping, a form of football, which used to be held there. Here is a description of the game as given by Major More in 1823:

“Goals were pitched 150 to 200 yards apart, formed of the thrown-off clothes of the competitors. each party has two goals, 10 to 15 yards apart. The parties, 10 to 15 a side, stand in a line facing their own goals and each other, at 10 yards distance … an indifferent spectator throws up the ball – the size of a cricket ball – midway between the confronted players, whose object is to seize and convey it between their own goals. At times a large football was used, and the game was then called “kicking camp”, and if played with shoes on was termed “savage camp.”

It is probable that Cambridgeshire Camping Matches were inter-village contests.”

……………

Rent Day Customs: (see E Porter, Cambridgeshire Customs and Folklore, p.358)

Until the last century many landowners gave a dinner to their tenants on the annual Rent Day. In Little Abington, for example, rents were paid on September 25th at the Lodge up to 1pm. At six pm the RENT SUPPER was held in the Three Tuns. Each man received a briar pipe, two ounces of tobacco; his wife was given half a crown. After dinner there was singing until after midnight and the festivities always ended with the serving of rum punch.

…………..

Source: VCH p.12

1831:

44 families depended on farming

7 on crafts and trades

1871:

14 servants at Hall/Lodge

1873: 250 out of 300 Great Abington people were of labouring class

1877: 213 Little Abington people were of labouring class

1900: most trades disappeared.

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