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[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013

"SHINGAY, a parish in the hundred of Armingford, county Cambridge, 7 miles north-west of Royston, and 6 north of Ashwell railway station. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the river Cam, and is wholly agricultural. Here was formerly a preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, founded by Roger de Montgomery's daughter Sybilla in 1140. Its revenue at the suppression was valued at £175. The soil is rich and loamy, with a subsoil of clay. The living is a curacy annexed to the vicarage of Wendy, in the diocese of Ely. The church is dedicated to St. Mary (later known as All Saints). The Earl of Hardwick is lord of the manor and sole landowner.

See Wendy cum Shingay for more information

[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]



Church History

  • "This was formerly a place of importance, having been the seat of a preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, founded in 1140 by Sybilla de Reynes. At the Dissolution its revenues were estimated at £176 4s. 6d. No traces of the building now remain, nor anything to testify to its former existence, except the dry moat which surrounds the site, a space of about 200 yards square, and the inequalities of the ground and the avenue of trees which mark the former approaches to it. Amongst the preceptors of this house may be mentioned Sir Thomas Dockwra, grand prior of the order 1504, and Sir Thomas Sheffield, grand seneschal of Rhodes 1518. Admiral Edward Russell, Earl of Orford and Baron Russell of Shingay, after the removal of the preceptory buildings in 1697, erected here a small chapel, on a site close to that of the preceptory and still called Chapel yard, and dedicated it to St. Mary; this chapel continued to be used until the beginning of the 18th century, and, as appears from the register of Wendy, marriages were solemnized here up to 1716; eventually it was disused and it became ruinous, and about 1820 the materials were appropriated for secular purposes. An iron Mission church was erected here in 1902." [Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]

Church Records



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  • "After the Dissolution in 1538 the lands of the preceptory were granted by Henry VIII. to Sir Richard Longe, master of the king's hawks, whose granddaughter Elizabeth, marrying Sir William Russell, 1st Baron Russell of Thornhaugh, carried the estate into that family. It next belonged to the family of Sandys, Barons Sandys of Ombersley, and eventually by purchase became the property of the Earl of Hardwicke, and later of Viscount Clifden; it is tithe free and is now vested in Messrs. William Bath and John May Coleman, who, with the Cambridgeshire County Council, are the sole landowners." [Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]


  • Land Tax: records were compiled afresh each year and contain the names of owners and occupiers in each parish, but usually there is no address or place name. These records reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives for the years 1798 (on microfilm), 1812-1948.