History of the Village

Marholm village lies approximately four miles West of Peterborough and one mile from the seat of the Fitzwilliam family at Milton Hall. The parish covers some fourteen hundred acres, with the village positioned roughly in the centre. Today it remains a peaceful, largely agricultural community of some two hundred people. Although during the past fifty years the domination of agriculture has diminished, the village retains a rural feel, and in many ways is unchanged from its earlier history, despite the modern development, and proximity to a burgeoning city. To a large extent, this tranquility has been preserved by the protection derived from Milton Estate, which has retained ownership of much of the property in the village. In addition, the Estate has curtailed further encroachment from the city beyond Mucklands Wood to the East, which delineates the border of Milton’s sales, in the 1960s, of land to the Peterborough Development Corporation for the expansion of the city.

The name of the village most probably derives from ‘mere’, meaning pool, and ‘ham’, or settlement, and may refer to the pools by the Manor House. During the Middle Ages, the name was alternatively Marham, Marreham, Marrenham, Mareham, Morham and Marhome. By the 18th century it was commonly referred to as Marham and later known by the present spelling, Marholm [1].

Early History

In the Saxon records of 664, the ‘vill’ of Marholm appears to have been confirmed to the Abbot of Peterborough by Wulfhere, although part of the land there was held before the Conquest by the Abbot of Ramsey. Marholm was famous for its quarries, reputedly supplying stone towards the building of Ramsey Abbey [2]. In about 1053, Ramsey exchanged with Peterborough his entitlement to ‘certain land in Marham ——- situated in the midst of beautiful woods’ for land in Loddington [3]. Curiously, the village is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, nor does there appear to be a satisfactory explanation for this omission. Perhaps at the time Marholm was simply part of Milton (which does appear) with Marholm Church as Chapel-of-ease to Castor. The village is mentioned in 1145, in a Papal Bull of Eugenius III listing the possessions of the abbey. [4]

The advowson has always belonged to the Lord of the Manor, and has consequently passed through the families of Waterville during the 12th and 13th centuries, and then Thorpe. In 1384, William of Thorpe acquired through tortuous descent the whole manor, and on his death in 1391, he left to his kinsman, John Wittlebury, the manors of Longthorp, Milton and Marholm, thus uniting Marholm with Milton. From this date the descent of the manor followed that of Milton in Castor, with ownership passed to the Fitzwilliam family through purchase from the Wittlebury family in 1502 [5], where it continues to this day. Although Milton is in the parish of Castor, the family has invariably worshipped at St. Mary the Virgin, Marholm, which accounts for the many beautiful monuments to the Fitzwilliams in the church. The last Earl Fitzwilliam, the tenth in line, died in September 1979. He is buried in the churchyard, as is his Countess, who died in 1995. The present representative of the family living at Milton Hall is Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland, Bt.

The early history of the village is obscure, with few known archaeological sites. Not surprisingly, however, in view of its proximity to the flourishing Roman settlement in Castor, there is some evidence of their presence in the area now embraced by Marholm. The Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (RCHM) survey of 1969 recorded enclosure and linear features South-east of Burmer Wood, notably a small sub-rectangular enclosure of two acres. No interior features are visible, but there is a gap entrance near the middle of the South-eastern side leading to a track-way some 28m wide, bounded by ditches. In 1958, during ploughing some 350m North-west of the Manor House, the whole area was found to be covered with pottery, mainly Nene Valley ware. There were also large blocks of stone, some dressed. Similarly, traces of a Roman settlement, with pottery and a pillar were revealed some 150m East of Marholm Farm. This pottery is now in Peterborough Museum.

Occupations and Growth of the Village

Since records began, the predominant occupation in Marholm has been farming, and this remains true today, albeit with a much smaller work force. Within the parish today are the ancient woodlands of Mucklands Wood, Pocock’s Wood

and Burmer Wood, largely semi-natural woodland dominated by ash and oak. In wetter areas, sedges, tall herbs and grasses abound. As the village developed the woodlands gave way to accommodate feudal farming. The soil is light and sandy, mixed with limestone, and suited to mixed farming. Very little evidence remains of feudal farming methods, and there appears to be no correlation with modern field systems as set out in a map of 1886 in Noel Darby’s possession. According to the RCHM study in 1969, nothing is known of the enclosure of the open fields of the parish, although extensive areas of ridge and furrow exist, as can be seen on aerial photographs around the village. These, quite unrelated to the existing fields, are arranged in end-on and interlocked furlongs, some with reversed-S curves, and have well-marked headlands up to 75cm high and some 14m wide [6].

The Farms at Marholm

Marholm Farmhouse

Fig 16a. Marholm Farm: date stone 1633. (Photo: T Blackmore)

Marholm and Manor Farms

The manor farm for the village is Marholm Farm - The Thatched House. The date 1633 is carved on a stone below the roof, but traces of the original building, particularly the deep recessed windows, suggest a much earlier origin. The farm has been occupied since 1912 by the Darby family, one of the oldest tenants on the Fitzwilliam estate, traceable on the Castor register for nearly 400 years. Thomas Rowe Darby, (1874- 1935) father of the present tenant Noel Darby, took on the tenancy from his father John Thomas in 1928, at a rent of one pound an acre! After his death the tenancy passed to his redoubtable wife Eleanor, who was Churchwarden for some fifty years, and died ten days after celebrating her centenary on Christmas Day 1995.

Manor Farm

Fig 16b. Manor Farm (Photo: A Bone)

Farming at Marholm and Manor Farms

During Eleanor’s tenancy she was helped by Noel and his wife Joan, who moved to Manor Farm in 1969 and ran both farms as one mixed farm. The Darbys used to have a dairy herd which they gave up in 1968 because the land at Bretton was taken for development. The pigs went in 1960, and the hens in 1970; the poultry was run by Betty Andrews, who came to Marholm as a young Land Army volunteer during the Second War and never left! The farm is now entirely arable and whereas in the 1940s three hundred acres employed six men and a student, today on seven hundred acres, Noel needs only two [7] .

Until 1950, most of the work was still done by horses, as tractors were not easy to acquire during the war. They bought a Ford tractor in 1942, after which horses were used only for harrowing, pulling carts, muck- carting and rolling. By the end of the war they had four to six horses. It was a hard life for both man and beast. A single furrow was nine inches wide and six deep. It took three horses to pull a two-furrow plough, and two for a single. At one stage they hired steam ploughs, towed by a wire rope, from contractors who lived in caravans during the work. The biggest problem was carting the water and coal to the steam ploughs. Men sometimes had to carry sacks weighing two hundredweight for storage or transfer. Noel’s father was six feet six inches tall and weighed eighteen stones, and would take part in a race from Castor to Marholm carrying a sack of barley, or in the tug-of-war.

Manor Farm Tudor

Fig 16c. Manor Farm: the brick built Tudor barn. (Photo: T Blackmore)

Most of the produce from the farms was despatched by rail. Wagons pulled by horses carted the stuff to Helpston Station to be loaded up into trucks that had been ordered by telephone the previous day, and returned with fertilizers and coal.

 Thomas DarbyEleanor Darby Noel Darby Joan Darby

Thomas Rowe Darby,  Eleanor Darby,  Noel Darby,  Joan Darby


Home Farm

Farming at Home Farm

Home Farm was most probably originally run to meet the domestic needs of Milton, rather than primarily for income. For many years now it has been run first as a mixed farm, including a dairy, by members of another Marholm dynasty, the Jarvis brothers, Toby, Stanley and Peter, and their wives, Mary, Fay and Vi [8]. As the brothers reached retirement during the 1990s, and with no family successors, dairy production finally ceased in 1998. This brought to a close a remarkable era that began just after the First World War, when the brothers’ grandfather, George Jarvis, took on the tenancy of the adjacent Belsize Farm, then later Home Farm and the Fruit Farm (now Milton woodyard). His son Arthur took over the tenancy of Home Farm in 1947 and farmed cereals, sugar beet, potatoes, sheep and chickens.

The wheat was harvested before it was ripe, bound and built into stooks, and left in the field for about a fortnight before threshing in the stackyard. After harvest, villagers like old Mrs. Sharpe would go gleaning, or chickens were put in the fields to pick up the last ears of corn. The final task in the year was the sugar beet, harvested from September until January. The work was physical, unrelenting and hard.

Home Farm

Fig 16h. Home Farm. (Photo: T Blackmore)

Home Farm Barn

Fig 16i. Home Farm Barn: Stan Jarvis in the yard. (Photo: T Blackmore)

Arthur also had a milk round in Peterborough, which was only mechanized in the 1940s. Iris Newton’s father, Philip Winterton, rose at four in the morning to deliver the milk from large churns, in the pre- war days before bottling. He would also collect the newspapers and parcels for the villagers. He had Saturday and Sunday afternoons off, but his daughter never remembers him having a holiday.

Philip Winterton

Fig 16k. Philip Winterton with the Jarvis milk cart at Home Farm.

Although Belsize is in both ecclesiastical and civil terms within the parish of Castor, it is considered locally to be part of Marholm. Belseys or Bellasis Grange is situated near Belsize Wood, immediately West of Milton, and between Castor and Marholm. The Grange was originally founded by Abbot Robert of Lindsey in 1214, in order to provide for the enlargement of an existing monastery farm there. By the 15th century, it consisted of some one hundred tenants, and was run at a profit by the Cellerar of the monastery. For practical purposes Belsize was a separate manor, but without a Manor House. After the Dissolution, Belsize went to the Dean and Chapter, was then stolen from the Church by Grandad George Jarvis would go off to market every week in a pony and trap: fortunately the pony knew its way home as they all went off to the pub after market! By the late 1950s the horses had all gone, even Turpin, the big Suffolk Punch. Unbelievably, however, the cattle were still walked to their summer grazing at Whittlesey Wash through Peterborough, along the Lincoln Road!

Belsize Farm

Although Belsize is in both ecclesiastical and civil terms within the parish of Castor, it is considered locally to be part of Marholm. Belseys or Bellasis Grange is situated near Belsize Wood, immediately West of Milton, and between Castor and Marholm. The Grange was originally founded by Abbot Robert of Lindsey in 1214, in order to provide for the enlargement of an existing monastery farm there. By the 15th century, it consisted of some one hundred tenants, and was run at a profit by the Cellerar of the monastery. For practical purposes Belsize was a separate manor, but without a Manor House. After the Dissolution, Belsize went to the Dean and Chapter, was then stolen from the Church by Cromwell in 1650, then back to the Dean and Chapter at the Restoration, and thereafter to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1836, who rented it to the Fitzwilliam family. No doubt this pattern was repeated in many parishes throughout the land during that time.

Belsize Farm

Fig 16l. Belsize Farm: a medieval grange farm in origin. (Photo: T Blackmore)

The attractive Medieval buildings at Belsize testify to its long history, which also includes the remains of carp ponds, old cobbling under the turf, and a bank known as Roman Bank suggesting even earlier settlement.

Farming at Belsize Farm

When George Jarvis came to Belsize after the Great War, he took on 230 acres, rent-free for the first two years. Times were very hard during the post-war agricultural Depression, and when in due course he was unable to make it pay, Lord Fitzwilliam simply told him to work the land until it did. He had beef cattle and a dairy, and ten working horses. In 1947, George retired, and his son Jack took on the tenancy, phasing out the horses in 1961. His son Dick followed him in 1962, when the dairy herd was sold, and the workforce reduced from seven men to four. He retired in 1996, and his son Trevor now runs an arable farm with his wife Jane, but with no additional help [9].

Life in the Village

Against this slow-moving and ordered backdrop, however, there were echoes of the outside world, and more turbulent times. Sir John Wittlebury, Lord of the Manor under Henry IV, was a personal servant to Henry V at the battle of Agincourt. His effigy, encased in his battle armour, lies above his tomb in Marholm church. The Muster Rolls for the Nassaburgh Hundred of 1536 [10] indicate how Henry VIII began to organize his army; residents were assessed to provide arms according to their wealth, and general musters were held at intervals, and as such were the forerunners of the later Militia Lists. The quota for Marholm was for four ‘bilmen,’ Thomas Idell, John Gyles, Nicholas Wylkynson and John Slater, ‘and the residue of the towne to finde horse and harness for a man’. Sir William Fitzwilliam, grandson of the first to hold the Manor, was Viceroy of Ireland for Elizabeth I, and saved her army there from annihilation. He was later Governor of Fotheringhay Castle and thus warden there during the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots until her execution in1584 [11].

The Civil War did not leave Marholm unscathed. Perhaps strangely, considering that Cromwell was from East Anglia, and his widow is buried in nearby Northborough, some three miles North of Marholm, the area remained strongly Royalist. The Reverend Michael Hudson, rector of Uffington as well as Chaplain to Charles I, met a particularly gruesome end as the War drew to a close. In 1648, a troop of Cromwellian horses passed through Marholm on their way to nearby Woodcroft Castle, where the Chaplain had taken refuge. Michael Hudson and his companions fought bravely from the ground floor to the roof, only at last to be overpowered. The survivors, including Hudson, were hurled from the battlements, but he managed to cling to a parapet as he fell. An Ironside sword at once severed his wrists, and he plunged into the moat, finally to be dispatched by a musket butt to the head [12].

After the Restoration in 1660, life seems to have settled back much as before the Civil War. In 1676 the Compton Census recorded sixty one Conformists and only two Nonconformists in the village [13]. But the development of the national infrastructure of a modern state swept relentlessly on - the old musters had been streamlined into Militia Lists, and in 1762 Marholm’s constable, Benj Bull, recorded fourteen eligible males, including the village publican, Robert Collinge, despite having ‘remarkable crooked legs’. An analysis of the lists shows that most of the men, however, were employed within the agricultural community [14].

Belsize Barn

Fig 16m. Belsize Barn: this is the magnificent medieval grange barn adapted for more recent use. (Photo: T Blackmore)

The rhythm of life over the centuries in
 Marholm must closely have followed the
 pattern of many similar farming communities
throughout England, governed by the ebb and
flow of the seasons, and the demands of a
major Estate. Until the last two centuries, when Peterborough began to develop as an engineering centre, the land was the sole employer, and this continued to be reflected in the daily life of Marholm until remarkably recently, when farming was revolutionized by mechanization and employment levels plummeted. John Hill lives in the house in the village where he took his bride Gina in 1960. The Estate had built two new houses on the site of the thatched cottages where John was born, alongside the Stamford Road. John’s father Tom was the Horseman at Manor Farm.


Like many small parishes, the local dignitaries founded charities for the poor, largely organised through the church. In 1533, Sir William Fitzwilliam left a bequest to the Merchant Taylors Company, of which he was a member, for payments for the upkeep of four almshouses, for the benefit of one priest and four poor men. The income for 1549 amounted to £17 18s 4d with the priest, Adam Potts, receiving seven pounds, and the balance divided four ways. The almshouses were rebuilt by a later Fitzwilliam, and five pounds deducted by him as rent for the buildings. In 1638 William Budd bequeathed ten pounds for the poor, with the interest of 5s 8p spent on coal at Christmas.

The Reverend Christopher Hodgson’s charity, founded in 1849, consisting of £54 12s 6d in Consolidated stock, left funds for the upkeep of a tombstone with the balance to the poor. However, it was held to be illegal to set aside funds for the tombstone, and the entire amount went to the poor at Christmas. Lady Dorothy Fitzwilliam in 1878 established a trust of £300 in Canada bonds and £59 12s 6d Consols, for educational purposes in Marholm.

In 2003 it was decided by the Parish Council to wind up these charities, which had been ravaged by inflation, and were no longer appropriate, and the resulting sum of £2730 was divided three ways amongst Marholm Church, the Village Hall and the Parish Council.

Recent Times

The population of the village was recorded in 1801 at 109, and by the 1901 census, stood at 146. The developments of the 19th century reflected some of the social changes in the country. The village school was founded and financed by the Fitzwilliam family in 1864. After 1870, control of the school came under the Local School Board, and in 1903 passed to the Local Education Authority. It was a handsome building, consisting of one large room heated in winter by a huge stove in the middle [15].

In the 1920s, the villagers recall that the younger children were separated from the older by a curtain that was pulled across when the daily hymn singing had ended. Two ‘formidable’ ladies taught them reading, writing and arithmetic.

Enid Johnson’s family came to live in the village in 1956, when her parents took on the village shop, and Enid joined the school. She describes how in the 1950s the children were still ‘banked up’ by age, with the little ones at the front, and there was only one teacher. Enid has stayed in the village with her family, and works tirelessly for the Church, where she is Churchwarden.

When it came to picking the late potatoes at the end of September after Harvest, the children would have a further fortnight off, even as late as the 1950s, to help out. The children were paid, and Arthur Jarvis at Home Farm always gave them a cup of hot cocoa made with milk in a big churn. They would have grown six or seven acres of potatoes in the Dryside Field, just opposite the cattle grid entrance to the church field.

Marholm School

Fig 16n. Marholm School: now converted into a private house.

Marholm School Pupils

Fig 16o. Marholm School: the Class of 1928. Teachers:
Mrs Oldfield and Miss B Saunders.
Children: back (l-r) Doris Jinks, Rene Crumpler, Rene Phillips, Edna Wagstaff, Elsie Jinks, Violet Stapleton, Vera Wagstaff, Marjorie Sharpe, Edna Johnson, Elsie Johnson, Daisy Law, Phyliss Clipston; middle: Ray Neal, Eric Torbell, Ken Handland, Jack Law, Eddie Law, Jack Phillips, Bill Stapleton, Grenville Sutton, Jack Winterton, Alec Clipston, Ernie Rollinson; front: Bob Law, Ted Crumpler, Roy Darby, Peter Johnson, Mary Stapleton, Elsie Wagstaff, Isla Sutton, Edith Blythe, Ivy Phillips, Nadine Johnson, Betty Darby, Dorothy Stapleton, Ernie Law, Ronnie Clipston, Herbie Rollinson.

The school closed in 1959. Almost a century after it opened, the building was bought by a doctor, John Murphy, who with his wife Audrey remodelled it into a comfortable home to bring up their three sons. John now lies in the churchyard, and Audrey still lives in the family home.

Apart from the dreadful toll of young life recorded on the War Memorial, the First World War left the village relatively undisturbed, but in the Second War the Royal Corps of Signals set up Headquarters in the village and life was transformed. Noel Darby recalls the hustle and bustle of those times, and the aftermath. The population swelled by some forty or fifty persons, and an anti-aircraft gun appeared in the Woodcroft Road.

The Rectory, empty since 1935, was occupied by the army and modified to accommodate many people, with multi-use baths and toilets! The entire six acres of land was covered in Nissen and army huts. George Read, whose father bought the rectory from the Church Commissioners in 1951, remembers that many of the huts were still occupied after the war ended, and turned into poultry and pig sheds as they became vacant. Roy and Di Armitage moved into the village in 1969.They have devoted much of their time and energy to the Church, Roy as Churchwarden in the 1990’s. Beneath their smooth lawns is a concrete base, all that remains of an army hut.

Gradually most of the land around the Old Rectory was sold off for building, and bungalows appeared alongside the Stamford Road. Jim Baldwin spearheaded this development with his home by the stream that runs through the village. He was for many years the mainstay of the Church, as Churchwarden with Mrs. Darby.

Inevitably, life in the village changed considerably after such exposure, reflecting the social developments in the wider world. The idyllic, introspective rural pace described with great nostalgia between the Wars, centred closely around the farms, gave way to more frenetic times. Mains water arrived in 1926, and electricity just before the Second War. But roads were still rough, with granite chippings, and no kerb stones. Transport was by cycle, or a lift hitched on a milk float to Walton to take the train or tram into town. Entertainment centred around the church, or on the bowling green behind the almshouses, or in the local hostelry, The Fitzwilliam Arms, known far and wide as the ‘Green Man’ because of the topiary figure welcoming all-comers with outstretched arms.

Marholm Home Guard

Fig 16p. Marholm Home Guard.
Top Line l/r: F Wilson, N Darby, W Lambert, S Neal, J Waterworth, Sidney Glover, G Neal, C Bailey, unknown Borrom Line l/r: R Stapleton, P Hill, T Oldfield, P Powdrell, Mr Squires, S Glover, W Stapleton, J Coles

The car in the 1920s was a curious rarity exciting the village children, such as the times when Mrs Adams’ nephew drew up in his three-wheeled Morgan. Mrs Adams lived in one of the almshouses originally founded by the Fitzwilliam family for retired estate workers. She was an old lady who still wore black down to her ankles. Now the four cottages have been converted into two, on leases from the Estate. In one lives Freda Shimmin, whose family has a long taproot in Peterborough. She moved into the village in 1967, when she was a maternity nurse, and has always been active in church affairs. In the other, live Margaret and Al Gdaniec. Al fought alongside the British in the Second War and did not return to his native Poland. He worked in Peterborough, and is active in Parish affairs. He organised the Royal Jubilee celebrations, and the oak planted to commemorate the Millennium. Marholm is part of the Green Wheel Millennium Project, a network of safe cycleways, footpaths and bridleways around Peterborough.

The impact of the car has probably changed rural life in Marholm, and elsewhere, almost more than any other modern development, breaking up communities and greatly speeding up the pace of life. This has combined with the explosive growth of Greater Peterborough, now on the very doorstep of the village through the new township at nearby Bretton, virtually to demolish in one generation a way of life that had existed for hundreds of years. The beautiful Millennium sign on the green, designed for the village by Betty Andrews, the Land Girl who stayed on, commemorates the historic role of the village, with the Fitzwilliam crest over the church, the war memorial on the green, the fabled Green Man, and a tractor. Marholm in the early days of the 21st century remains a peaceful retreat, but the old farming families are making way for a different way of life. Hawkins the Clockmaker in Noel Darby’s old barn is one way forward, but incomers tend to be employed in the new industries outside the village boundaries, often in the Capital, and the march of history suggests a very different future for this lovely oasis.

Marholm Lodges

Fig 16q. Marholm Lodges. (Photo: A Bone)

The Buildings of Marholm

The following buildings are those listed by Peterborough City Council Environmental Services as being of special Architectural or Historic interest.

Marholm Old Rectory

Fig 16r. The Old Rectory: built by the Revd Christopher Hodgson to replace the Old Parsonage, Marholm and the original rectory at Castor (in which he lived as Castor’s curate). (Photo: A Bone)

The village is approached from Milton Hall along the Castor Road. The first buildings encountered, on the right, are a pair of 19th century semi-detached cottages, known as Marholm Lodges.

On entering the village you will then find, on the left hand side, the splendid Old Rectory. This was built in 1846, and a wing added in the 1860’s. A little further on the right is the Village Hall, recently rebuilt by public subscription to replace the old hall that was out of date and inadequate for modern needs. The wall shielding it from the road was a gift from the Earl and Countess Fitzwilliam to commemorate the Silver Jubilee in 1977 of HM Queen Elizabeth 11.

At the junction of Castor road and Stamford Road is the War Memorial. This stone cross was erected in 1920 to commemorate the villagers who fell in World War I. It stands on a modern stepped base which itself supports an octagonal stone base which is all that remains of the original medieval cross. Since then the name of the sole victim of World War II has been added. In the 1960’s the Memorial was moved from the junction of Woodcroft Road and Stamford Road to the present site. In 2000, Betty Andrews’ sign to celebrate the Millennium was placed next to the War Memorial.

Opposite the memorial is the early 19th century Blacksmith’s Cottage, recently renovated by Milton into a retirement cottage for the Estate, and next to this are the old 18th century Almshouses which have now been converted into two cottages.

After joining the Stamford Road the old Blacksmith’s Workshop is the on the left. This was built probably in the early 19th century and has now been converted into a very picturesque cottage.

Still on the right hand side you will then find Manor Farmhouse, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, and the home of Noel and Joan Darby.

In front of the Manor House is an unmade road leading down to the 17th and 18th centuries Poplar Farmhouse.

On the opposite side of the road is Church Walk, where there are several houses of interest.
On the right is The Old Parsonage, a 17th century building that predates the Old Rectory. The date of 1626 is shown on some reused stone on the South side.

At the end of the Walk there is a road which leads to two semi-detached 19th century cottages known as Foresters Lodge and Sawmill Cottage.

Following this road to its end you arrive at Home Farm, where Stan and Fay Jarvis live. The building originates from the 16th and 17th centuries. The two barns and stables forming the courtyard date from the 18th century.

Returning to the main part of the village, after passing the Blacksmith’s cottage on the left you come to Woodcroft Road. On the right you soon come to Marholm Farmhouse, dated 1633, and where Eleanor Darby lived. Attached to the farmhouse is Hurn House which is of mid 19th century construction. Before Noel and Joan Darby moved in after their marriage in 1947, the house consisted of a dairy downstairs and a single room upstairs, where originally an informal school was held before the Estate built Marholm Schoolhouse.

War Memorial

Fig 16s. The War Memorial and Village Sign. (Photo: T Blackmore)

On the opposite side of the road are Water End CottagesShortly afterwards is the only pub in the village, The Fitzwilliam Arms, but more commonly known as ‘The Green Man’ due to the topiary
box tree figure in the front. This originates from 17th and
18th centuries, but the building has recently undergone extensive alterations resulting in the premises becoming rather more of a restaurant than a village pub.

Alms Houses

Fig 16t. The Almshouses. (Photo: A Bone)

The Fitzwilliam Arms

Fig 16u. The Fitzwilliam Arms: note the ‘Green Man’ topiary. (Photo: A Bone)

Poplar Farmhouse

Fig 16v. Poplar Farmhouse. (Photo: A Bone)

The Old Parsonage

Fig 16w. The Old Parsonage. (Photo: T Blackmore)

Sawmill Cottage

Fig 16x. Sawmill Cottage and Foresters Lodge. (Photo: A Bone)

Water End Cottages

Fig 16y. Water End Cottages. (Photo: A Bone)

They originally consisted of four dwellings from the 17th century, with 19th century additions. In 1945 the cottages were partially destroyed by fire, and rebuilt as two.

Between the Wars, the council built homes along the Walton Road, many of which have been bought by the tenants. After the Second War, the village expanded with bungalows along the Woodcroft Road and Stamford Road, and fine semi-detached homes for the Estate employees, now lived in by Bob Law and Don Hill.

Towards the end of the 20th century, the development was more in sympathy with the history of the village, with restoration of some of the older properties carried out by the Fitzwilliam family. Outbuildings on Manor Farm were transformed into retirement cottages for the Estate workers. The blacksmith’s cottage and workshop were imaginatively renovated, and Poplar Farm was restored for the assistant Agent, William Craven and his family. The Fitzwilliam Arms yielded some of its identity as a village pub in favour of modernisation, and a private estate of four large stone-built family properties arose at the outer reaches of the village, towards Stamford. The village was declared a conservation area in 1990; nevertheless, all those who live here await with trepidation the early 21st century threats of compulsory purchase from Whitehall with the relentless expansion of village ‘envelopes’.

Memorial before moved

Fig 16z. War Memorial before it was moved from the Woodcroft Road junction to its present location. The man first left is Ron Hudson, sixth from the left is Percy Smith, priest Rev Tom Adler. The photo must be pre-1957, as Percy Smith died that year.

Revd Adler

Fig 16aa. Post-retirement visit by Revd Tom Adler for a Lunch Party at Manor Farmhouse with some ladies he married: (l-r) Joan Darby, Rene Foster, Gladys Chilvers, unknown, Tom Adler, Mary Jarvis, Elsie Sismey, Joan Marriott, Monica Swain, Ruth Longfoot.

Hazel Yates and Andrea Bone

Hazel Yates came to Marholm with her husband Rodney and son Ben in 1987, and they live at the Old Rectory. Rodney was Churchwarden from 1990 to 2000.

Andrea Bone moved to the village in 1984 and lives at Sawmill Cottage with her husband Peter and daughter Alice. Peter is a Forester at Milton, and in 2003 received a medal for twenty five years’ service to the Estate.

We should like to thank everyone in the village for their help in contributing to this chapter.


1. Place names of Northamptonshire.
2. Rev. K Gibson Antonine Itinerary, 1769, p203.
3. Chronicle of Ramsey (Rolls Ser.) p169.
4. Rev WD Sweeting Parish Churches in and around Peterborough 1868, p1.
5. The Victorian County History of Northampton, Vol 2, 1906, p500.
6. Royal Air Force Vertical Air Photographs, F22/58 RAF/5164.
7. Notes on Noel & Joan Darby by the Rev. William Burke, Rector of Marholm 2002. 8. Notes on Stanley & Fay Jarvis by the Rev. William Burke, Rector of Marholm 2002. 9. Notes on Trevor & Jane Jarvis by the Rev. William Burke, Rector of Marholm 2002. 10. See Appendix Eight.
11. John W Richards Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon & Peteborough Life, February, 1970. 12. ibid.
13. See Appendix Seven.
14. See Appendix Eleven.
15. Victorian County History of Northampton, Vol 2, 1906, p502.