Holywell and Needingworth are situated in the Ouse valley 2 miles west of St Ives, in the former county of Huntingdon shire, now part of Cambridgeshire. Cambridge is 18 miles away, Ely 11. The two villages, lying a mile apart, form one civil and ecclesiastical parish and one village community. Holywell is the smaller settlement, located at the side of the River Ouse. An ancient Anglo-Saxon ring village of about 80 houses, it is a conservation area. Needingworth is the larger part of the parish, with over 900 households; the historic centre of the village grew up along the former St Ives–Ely road, now the High Street, which was bypassed in the 1990s, and Church Street, leading to Holywell. The centre is surrounded by more modern developments dating from the 1950s to the 1990s.
There are a few small businesses and a small amount of farming but no significant industry in the parish itself except for two small industrial estates near St Ives that fall within the parish boundaries; most working-age inhabitants commute to Cambridge, St Ives or further afield. The population is made up of an average mix of families and retired people. A large wetlands nature reserve is being developed on the edge of Needingworth.
The parish has a flourishing community life with a large number of social and youth organisations and an active parish council, the first in Cambridgeshire to achieve accreditation as a Quality Parish Council. These factors contributed to its winning the East of England Village of the Year award in 2001. A Good Neighbours Group, founded in 2006, has already become a significant benefit to older and housebound people in the parish and has recently won an award from Cambridgeshire ACRE for its work. Chatters, a Community Café, began in March 2009 and is open every Thursday at Needingworth Village Hall.
14 High Street
Tel: 01480 466073
Email: herald.editor@virgin .net
Our magazine accepts advertising, contact us for details
For Genealogical Enquiries the local Diocesan Record Office is:
Churches in our Parish