St. Ives (Cambridgeshire)
The town, on the attractive River Great Ouse, was named St. Ives after some bones were found in the Middle Ages, and it was assumed that they belonged to a little known 6th century Persian Bishop named St. Ivo. The previous name of the town was Slepe.
There is a mediaeval chapel on the bridge, one of only three remining in England, and dating from 1426. The bridge itself is of a similar date.
Oliver Cromwell lived for five years in St. Ives, and there is a statue of him on Market Hill.
The Perpendicular All Saints Church has a modern spire, built after an aercraft crashed into the old one.
St. Ives Fair dates from 1116. It was held on the feast day of St. Etheldreda, the founder of what is now Ely Cathedral, and known as St. Audrey's Fair, after the Anglicised version of her name.
Goods sold at the fair became more and more shoddy, and came to be described as "St. Audrey", and eventually "tawdry".
The nursery rhyme "As I was going to St. Ives", refers to this town.
A devastating fire in 1680 destroyed 122 houses.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around St. Ives (Cambridgeshire) for groups.