Rediscovering the Enchantment of England’s Forgotten Shire: Huntingdonshire.

Unveiling the Spirit of a Lost County That Lives on Through Its Heritage

August 17, 2023 – England’s rich tapestry of history and culture is woven with the threads of its various shires, each contributing a unique facet to the nation’s identity. Amidst this mosaic lies a hidden gem – a shire that may have vanished from the maps, but continues to thrive in spirit and legacy. This is the captivating story of Huntingdonshire, a picturesque region nestled in the heart of eastern England, along the banks of the River Ouse and the Fenlands.

St Ives, a charming old town made up of narrow winding streets lined with Georgian and Victorian architecture

A Glimpse into the Past

Huntingdonshire, tracing its roots back to the Anglo-Saxon era, was one of England’s ancient counties. It bore witness to the footsteps of historical luminaries such as Oliver Cromwell, Samuel Pepys, and John Major. With its distinct coat of arms, time-honored motto, and cherished traditions, including the annual St Ives fair and the Huntingdonshire flag, the shire exuded character and charisma.

The land’s allure extended to its natural beauty – rolling landscapes, quaint hamlets, and venerable architectural treasures that adorned the countryside.

Discover waterfront pubs and historic mills along the banks of the Great Ouse 

A Vanishing Act and a Resilient Legacy

In the year 1974, the echoes of history took a turn as Huntingdonshire was dissolved as a county, amalgamated with segments of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to establish a new administrative district. Officially, the name Huntingdonshire retreated into the shadows, retained only for ceremonial purposes. An air of loss enveloped the region as its identity seemed overshadowed by its more expansive neighbors.

Yet, Huntingdonshire’s heart refused to fade. It persisted, etching its presence in the spirits of its inhabitants who proudly called themselves Huntingdonians. The old county name found sanctuary in their addresses, a silent testament to a cherished past. Organizations like the Huntingdonshire Society and the Huntingdonshire Local History Society embarked on a mission to safeguard and uphold the shire’s enduring heritage.

The high street of Huntingdon is lined with handsome Georgian shop fronts 

A Hidden Treasure Beckons

Huntingdonshire remains an uncharted jewel beckoning explorers seeking a slice of lesser-known England. A trove of experiences awaits – from the quaint market towns of St Ives and St Neots to the serene nature sanctuaries of Paxton Pits and Grafham Water. The historic gems of Ramsey Abbey and Kimbolton Castle whisper tales of yore. Riverside pubs and eateries lining the River Ouse invite moments of leisure and reflection.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *