St Ives is a small English market town situated on the River Great Ouse, that is approximately 5 miles east of Huntingdon and 12 miles north-west of the city of Cambridge. Today, St Ives has a population estimated to be over 16,000.
Here are 5 Facts you didn’t know about St. Ives!
The settlement of Slepe, meaning ‘muddy’
St Ives’ inhabitants dates back to the Stone Age where the first Anglo-Saxon settlers arrived between the 5th and 6th century. The settlement was originally called Slepe which translates to muddy!
Slepe was later known as St Ives after the discovery of a body buried in 1001 or 1002 of Saint Ivo, a Persian bishop.
St Ivo’s priory
The discovery of the supposed body of St Ivo led to St Ivo’s priory being built on the site of where the body was found. The priory attracted many pilgrims to the area, leading to the development of its first bridge and several other buildings.
Remains from the past
Being 26-foot above sea level, fossils of sea urchins and corals have been found in St Ives dating back over 160 million years. Additionally, fossils of elephants and hippopotamuses have also been found!
A hub for trade and navigation
Thanks to its location on the River Great Ouse, during the 17th and 18th centuries St Ives was a waterway for barges bringing goods and livestock. For example, coal arrived from the ports of Kings Lynn. St Ives has been formerly described as a ‘great centre of river traffic’ by a local historian Herbert Norris in 1888.
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