The History of Hemingford Grey in Cambridgeshire

Historical notes about the town of Hemingford Grey in Cambridgehsire.

The Village of Hemingford Grey

Once belonging to the Grey family, where Hemingford Abbots belonged to the Abbot of Ramsey. Although Ramsey Abbey did own this site as well in 1041, eventually this settlement passed to Reginald de Grey and from the 14th Century on was referred to as Hemingford Grey.

The arms, or rather Armorial Bearings, on the right are those of the Baron's Grey de Ruthyn, who were also Earls of Kent at the time they were Lords of the Manor of Hemingford Grey.

Grey Arms

The Armorial Bearings of the Grey family former Lords of the Manor

The Armorial Bearings of the Grey family former Lords of the Manor


The church of this riverside village is well known in the area as it has only the stump of its spire remaining. The top of the spire blew down in the terrible hurricane of 1741, some say the remains are still lying at the bottom of the river where they fell. This could be true, as the stone was not used to rebuild it, although the claims to hear the bells ringing in the water during storms are probably not accurate.

Payn de Hemingford first built St James’s Church probably about the same time as he built the manor house during the 12th Century he died in 1166. It was rebuilt during the 13th to 14th Centuries, with the west tower being added in the 14th Century. It was sometimes referred to as Huntingdon Priory to distinguish it from Hemingford Abbots, which belonged to Ramsey Abbey.