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Holy Cross church, Yelling, Cambs.jpg
Holy Cross Church, Yelling
Yelling is located in Cambridgeshire
 Yelling shown within Cambridgeshire
OS grid reference TL260625
District Huntingdonshire
Shire county Cambridgeshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
EU Parliament East of England
List of places

Coordinates: 52°15′N 0°10′W / 52.25°N 0.16°W / 52.25; -0.16

Yelling is a linear village and civil parish located around 6 miles (10 km) east of the town of St Neots and 10 miles (16 km) south of Huntingdon. The village was formerly part of the historic county of Huntingdonshire and now lies within the Huntingdonshire administrative district of Cambridgeshire.[1]


In 1085 William the Conqueror ordered that a survey should be carried out across his kingdom to discover who owned which parts and what it was worth. The survey took place in 1086 and the results were recorded in what, since the 12th century, has become known as the Domesday Book. Starting with the king himself, for each landholder within a county there is a list of their estates or manors; and, for each manor, there is a summary of the resources of the manor, the amount of annual rent that was collected by the lord of the manor both in 1066 and in 1086, together with the taxable value. [2]

Yelling was listed in the Domesday Book in the Hundred of Toseland in Huntingdonshire; the name of the settlement was written as Gelinge, Gellinge and Ghellinge in the Domesday Book.[3] In 1086 there were two manors at Yelling; the annual rent paid to the lords of the manors in 1066 had been £8 and the rent was the same in 1086.[4]

The Domesday Book does not explicitly detail the population of a place but it records that there were 25 households at Yelling.[4] There is no consensus about the average size of a household at that time; estimates range from 3.5 to 5.0 people per household.[5] Using these figures then an estimate of the population of Yelling in 1086 is that it was within the range of 87 and 125 people.

The Domesday Book uses a number of units of measure for areas of land that are now unfamiliar terms, such as hides and ploughlands. In different parts of the country, these were terms for the area of land that a team of eight oxen could plough in a single season and are equivalent to 120 acres (49 hectares); this was the amount of land that was considered to be sufficient to support a single family. By 1086, the hide had become a unit of tax assessment rather than an actual land area; a hide was the amount of land that could be assessed as £1 for tax purposes. The survey records that there were ten ploughlands at Yelling in 1086 and that there was the capacity for a further five ploughlands.[4] In addition to the arable land, there was 45 acres (18 hectares) of meadows and 5 acres (2 hectares) of woodland at Yelling.[4]

The tax assessment in the Domesday Book was known as geld or danegeld and was a type of land-tax based on the hide or ploughland. It was originally a way of collecting a tribute to pay off the Danes when they attacked England, and was only levied when necessary. Following the Norman Conquest, the geld was used to raise money for the King and to pay for continental wars; by 1130, the geld was being collected annually. Having determined the value of a manor's land and other assets, a tax of so many shillings and pence per pound of value would be levied on the land holder. While this was typically two shillings in the pound the amount did vary; for example, in 1084 it was as high as six shillings in the pound. For the manors at Yelling the total tax assessed was ten geld.[4]

By 1086 there was already a church and a priest at Yelling.

Yelling has had a variety of spellings recorded through its history, including Gellinge (11th century), Gylling (12th-15th century) and Illyng (16th century). The name is thought to be derived from the manorial family Gill or Gell.[6]

In A History of the County of Huntingdon: Vol 2, published in 1932, the village is noted for its 17th-century houses and cottages. Many of these are found on the High Street and include The Old Forge and the double-pile plan Church Farmhouse, built of local red brick.[6][7]


As a civil parish, Yelling has a parish council. The parish council is elected by the residents of the parish who have registered on the electoral roll; the parish council is the lowest tier of government in England. A parish council is responsible for providing and maintaining a variety of local services including allotments and a cemetery; grass cutting and tree planting within public open spaces such as a village green or playing fields. The parish council reviews all planning applications that might affect the parish and makes recommendations to Huntingdonshire District Council, which is the local planning authority for the parish. The parish council also represents the views of the parish on issues such as local transport, policing and the environment. The parish council raises its own tax to pay for these services, known as the parish precept, which is collected as part of the Council Tax.

Yelling was in the historic and administrative county of Huntingdonshire until 1965. From 1965, the village was part of the new administrative county of Huntingdon and Peterborough. Then in 1974, following the Local Government Act 1972, Yelling became a part of the county of Cambridgeshire.

The second tier of local government is Huntingdonshire District Council which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire and has its headquarters in Huntingdon. Huntingdonshire District Council has 52 councillors representing 29 district wards.[8] Huntingdonshire District Council collects the council tax, and provides services such as building regulations, local planning, environmental health, leisure and tourism.[9] Yelling is a part of the district ward of Gransden and The Offords and is represented on the district council by two councillors.[10][8] District councillors serve for four year terms following elections to Huntingdonshire District Council.

For Yelling the highest tier of local government is Cambridgeshire County Council which has administration buildings in Cambridge. The county council provides county-wide services such as major road infrastructure, fire and rescue, education, social services, libraries and heritage services.[11] Cambridgeshire County Council consists of 69 councillors representing 60 electoral divisions.[12] Yelling is part of the electoral division of Buckden, Gransden and The Offords [10] and is represented on the county council by one councillor.[12]

At Westminster Yelling is in the parliamentary constituency of Huntingdon,[10] and elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. Yelling is represented in the House of Commons by Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative). Jonathan Djanogly has represented the constituency since 2001. The previous member of parliament was John Major (Conservative) who represented the constituency between 1983 and 2001. For the European Parliament Yelling is part of the East of England constituency which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.

High Street Yelling



In the period 1801 to 1901 the population of Yelling was recorded every ten years by the UK census. During this time the population was in the range of 242 (the lowest was in 1901) and 414 (the highest was in 1861).[13]

From 1901, a census was taken every ten years with the exception of 1941 (due to the Second World War).

Yelling 246 225 193 220 231 249 269 259 299 300

All population census figures from report Historic Census figures Cambridgeshire to 2011 by Cambridgeshire Insight.[13]

In 2011, the parish covered an area of 1,846 acres (747 hectares)[13] and the population density of Yelling in 2011 was 104 persons per square mile (40. 2 per square kilometre).

Religious sites

Although a church in Yelling is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, the oldest part of the Grade II* listed Parish Church of the Holy Cross dates back to around 1190.[14] It includes two original 13th-century windows in the south aisle wall and south doorway.[15] There is a canonical sundial on the south wall. The noted evangelist Henry Venn was Yelling's vicar from 1771 until his death in 1797, and there is a plaque in his memory over the pulpit.[16]

The village also has a Baptist chapel, established in 1850 and still in use today for services and community events.[17]


  1. ^ "Cambridgeshire maps". Retrieved 2013-02-23. 
  2. ^ Dr Ann Williams, Professor G.H. Martin, eds. (1992). Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin Books. pp. 551–561. ISBN 0-141-00523-8. 
  3. ^ Dr Ann Williams, Professor G.H. Martin, eds. (1992). Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin Books. p. 1430. ISBN 0-141-00523-8. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Professor J.J.N. Palmer, University of Hull. "Open Domesday: Place - Yelling". www. Anna Powell-Smith. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Goose, Nigel; Hinde, Andrew. "Estimating Local Population Sizes" (PDF). Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 2: Yelling". 1918-07-30. Retrieved 2013-02-23. 
  7. ^ "Listed Buildings in Yelling". www. Retrieved 2013-02-23. 
  8. ^ a b "Huntingdonshire District Council: Councillors". www. Huntingdonshire District Council. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "Huntingdonshire District Council". www. Huntingdonshire District Council. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c "Ordnance Survey Election Maps". www. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "Cambridgeshire County Council". www. Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "Cambridgeshire County Council: Councillors". www. Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c "Historic Census figures Cambridgeshire to 2011" (xlsx - download). www. Cambridgeshire Insight. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  14. ^ Retrieved 2013-02-23
  15. ^ "Parish Church of the Holy Cross at Yelling". www. Retrieved 2013-02-23. 
  16. ^ "Henry Venn". Retrieved 2013-02-23. 
  17. ^ "Yelling Baptist Chapel". Retrieved 9 February 2016. 

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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