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Soham

This article is about the town in England. For other uses, see Soham (disambiguation).

Soham ( ) is a town and civil parish in east Cambridgeshire, England, just off the A142 between Ely and Newmarket. Its population was 10,860 at the 2011 census.

St Andrew's Church, Soham

Contents

Archaeology

The region between Devil's Dyke and the line between Littleport and Shippea Hill shows a remarkable amount of archaeological findings of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. A couple of hoards of bronze objects are found in the area of Soham, including one with swords and spearheads of the later Bronze Age as well as a gold torc, retrieved in 1938. An extensive ditch system, not visible on aerial photographs, has been identified, as well as a wooden trackway 800 m (870 yd) in length between Fordey Farm (Barway) and Little Thetford, with associated shards of later Bronze Age pottery (1935).

Felix of Burgundy 'Apostle of the East Angles'

St Felix of Burgundy founded Soham Abbey in Soham around 630 AD but it was destroyed by the Danes in 870 AD. Luttingus, an Anglo-Saxon nobleman, built a cathedral and palace at Soham around 900 AD, on the site of the present-day Church of St Andrew's and adjacent land.

St Andrew's Church dates from the 12th century. Traces of the Saxon cathedral are said to still exist within the church. In 1102 Hubert de Burgh, Chief Justice of England, granted 'Ranulph' certain lands in trust for the Church of St Andrew's. Ranulph is recorded as the first Vicar of Soham and had a hand in designing the 'new' Norman church. The current church is mainly later, the tower being the latest addition in the 15th century. This tower was built to replace a fallen crossing tower and now contains ten bells. The back six were cast in 1788, with two new trebles and two bells being recast in 1808. There are some pictures and a description of the church at the Cambridgeshire Churches website.

Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa 'The African'

Village sign in Soham, showing the Soham rail disaster between the church and a windmill.
Main article: Olaudah Equiano

The first black British author and anti-slave activist, Olaudah Equiano, also known as Gustavus Vassa, married a local girl, Susannah Cullen, at St Andrew's Church, on 7 April 1792 and the couple lived in the town for several years.

They had two daughters. Anna Maria was born on 16 October 1793 and baptised in St Andrew's on 30 January 1794. Their second child, Joanna Vassa, was born on 11 April 1795 and was baptised in the parish church on 29 April 1795.

William Case Morris

William C. Morris

William Case Morris (1864 – 1932) was born in Soham on 16 February 1864. He and his father left the town in search of a new life in 1872 after the death of his mother in 1868, finally settling in Argentina in 1874. Morris was horrified by the poverty of the street children, which led him to found several children's homes in Buenos Aires. They are credited[by whom?] with saving thousands of youngsters from abject poverty and a life on the streets. Morris returned to Soham shortly before his death on 15 September 1932, and was buried in the Fordham Road cemetery. He is commemorated with a statue in Palermo, Buenos Aires as well as railway stations, football stadia and a town, William C. Morris, Buenos Aires, named after him. His legacy lives on with the Biblioteca Popular William C. Morris and 'Hogar el Alba' children's homes located in Buenos Aires which help impoverished children.

Soham rail disaster

Main article: Soham rail disaster
Memorial to the victims of the 1944 rail disaster

The town narrowly escaped destruction on 2 June 1944, during the Second World War, when a fire developed on the leading wagon of a heavy ammunition train travelling slowly through the town. The town was saved by the bravery of four railway staff, Benjamin Gimbert GC (driver), James Nightall GC (fireman), Frank Bridges (signalman) and Herbert Clarke (guard), who uncoupled the rest of the train and drove the engine and lead wagon clear of the town, where it exploded, killing Jim Nightall and Frank Bridges but causing no further deaths. Ben Gimbert survived and spent seven weeks in hospital. Although small in comparison to what would have happened if the entire train had blown up, the explosion caused substantial property damage. Gimbert and Nightall were both awarded the George Cross (Nightall posthumously). A permanent memorial was unveiled on 2 June 2007 by Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester followed by a service in St Andrew's Church. The memorial is constructed of Portland stone with a bronze inlay depicting interpretive artwork of the damaged train and text detailing the incident.

Soham murders

Main article: Soham murders

In August 2002, Soham became the centre of national media attention following the disappearance and murder of two 10-year-old girls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, who both lived in Soham. They disappeared from the family home of Holly Wells in Redhouse Gardens on the evening of 4 August. Both were found dead some 10 miles away, near RAF Lakenheath, on 17 August.

In December 2003, Ian Huntley, who had been employed as the caretaker at the local secondary school, Soham Village College, was convicted of their murders and sentenced to life in prison. He had given a number of police and television interviews while the girls were missing, claiming to have seen them on the evening of their disappearance, and was finally arrested several hours before their bodies were found, following the recovery of clothing belonging to the girls on the school site.

The caretaker's house in College Close where Huntley lived, and as admitted at his trial where the girls died, was demolished in 2004.

  • Soham Village College
  • St Andrew's Primary School
  • The Weatheralls Primary School
  • The Shade Primary School, opened summer term 2014.

The A142 road from Ely to Newmarket runs past Soham, and formerly ran through the town. Soham is served by an hourly bus service Monday to Friday (on a route linking Cambridge, Newmarket and Ely) and a reduced service on Saturday. Soham railway station was closed to passengers in 1965, although the line remains open for goods and diversions. After local campaigns for its reopening, it was announced in June 2020 that a new station would be built on old site. Initial works are on the station are due to start in autumn 2020, followed by main construction in 2021 with completion due in spring 2022.

Soham has a non-league football club, Soham Town Rangers F.C., who play at Julius Martin Lane. Soham is home to the rink hockey team, Soham RHC.

There are currently five public houses: The Carpenters Arms, Cherry Tree, The Ship, Red Lion, The Fountain Inn. In addition, there is a local brewery.[citation needed]

  1. Research Group (2010). "Historic Census Population Figures". Cambridgeshire County Council. Archived from the original(XLS) on 9 June 2011. Retrieved4 June 2010.
  2. "Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics. Area: Soham (Parish)". ONS. 2013. Retrieved2 February 2013.
  3. Hall, David (1994). Fenland survey : an essay in landscape and persistence / David Hall and John Coles. London; English Heritage. ISBN 1-85074-477-7., p. 81-88
  4. Lethbridge, T.C. (1934). "Investigations of the Ancient Causeway in the Fen between Fordy and Little Thetford". Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society. XXXV: 86–89.
  5. "Our History". www.standrews-soham.org.uk. Retrieved14 January 2019.
  6. This church's page at the Cambridgeshire Churches website
  7. Hogarelalba.com.ar[permanent dead link], accessed 18 September 2009
  8. "Judge Gives Huntley Forty Years - And Little Hope". The Daily Telegraph. 30 September 2005. Retrieved7 November 2019.
  9. "Police Reveal Horrors of Bodies in Ditch". The Scotsman. Retrieved7 November 2019.
  10. "Soham Murder House is Demolished". BBC News. Retrieved28 April 2017.
  11. Weatheralls.cambs.sch.uk
  12. see old map
  13. Village history Archived 11 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Soham Museum
  14. "Green light for Soham station". Network Rail Media Centre. Retrieved2 July 2020.

Soham
Soham Language Watch Edit This article is about the town in England For other uses see Soham disambiguation Soham ˈ s oʊ e m SOH em is a town and civil parish in east Cambridgeshire England just off the A142 between Ely and Newmarket Its population was 10 860 at the 2011 census 2 SohamEast Fen Common SohamSohamLocation within CambridgeshireArea8 2 sq mi 21 km2 1 Population10 860 2 Density1 324 sq mi 511 km2 OS grid referenceTL591732Civil parishSohamDistrictEast CambridgeshireShire countyCambridgeshireRegionEastCountryEnglandSovereign stateUnited KingdomPost townELYPostcode districtCB7Dialling code01353PoliceCambridgeshireFireCambridgeshireAmbulanceEast of EnglandUK ParliamentSouth East CambridgeshireList of places UK England Cambridgeshire52 20 02 N 0 20 10 E 52 333831 N 0 336063 E 52 333831 0 336063 Coordinates 52 20 02 N 0 20 10 E 52 333831 N 0 336063 E 52 333831 0 336063St Andrew s Church Soham Contents 1 History 1 1 Archaeology 1 2 Felix of Burgundy Apostle of the East Angles 1 3 Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa The African 1 4 William Case Morris 1 5 Soham rail disaster 1 6 Soham murders 2 Schools in Soham 3 Transport 4 Sport and leisure 5 See also 6 References 7 External linksHistory EditArchaeology Edit The region between Devil s Dyke and the line between Littleport and Shippea Hill shows a remarkable amount of archaeological findings of the Stone Age the Bronze Age and the Iron Age A couple of hoards of bronze objects are found in the area of Soham including one with swords and spearheads of the later Bronze Age as well as a gold torc retrieved in 1938 3 An extensive ditch system not visible on aerial photographs has been identified as well as a wooden trackway 800 m 870 yd in length between Fordey Farm Barway and Little Thetford with associated shards of later Bronze Age pottery 1935 4 Felix of Burgundy Apostle of the East Angles Edit St Felix of Burgundy founded Soham Abbey in Soham around 630 AD but it was destroyed by the Danes in 870 AD Luttingus an Anglo Saxon nobleman built a cathedral and palace at Soham around 900 AD 5 on the site of the present day Church of St Andrew s and adjacent land St Andrew s Church dates from the 12th century Traces of the Saxon cathedral are said to still exist within the church In 1102 Hubert de Burgh Chief Justice of England granted Ranulph certain lands in trust for the Church of St Andrew s Ranulph is recorded as the first Vicar of Soham and had a hand in designing the new Norman church The current church is mainly later the tower being the latest addition in the 15th century This tower was built to replace a fallen crossing tower and now contains ten bells The back six were cast in 1788 with two new trebles and two bells being recast in 1808 There are some pictures and a description of the church at the Cambridgeshire Churches website 6 Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa The African Edit Village sign in Soham showing the Soham rail disaster between the church and a windmill Main article Olaudah Equiano The first black British author and anti slave activist Olaudah Equiano also known as Gustavus Vassa married a local girl Susannah Cullen at St Andrew s Church on 7 April 1792 and the couple lived in the town for several years They had two daughters Anna Maria was born on 16 October 1793 and baptised in St Andrew s on 30 January 1794 Their second child Joanna Vassa was born on 11 April 1795 and was baptised in the parish church on 29 April 1795 William Case Morris Edit William C Morris William Case Morris 1864 1932 was born in Soham on 16 February 1864 He and his father left the town in search of a new life in 1872 after the death of his mother in 1868 finally settling in Argentina in 1874 Morris was horrified by the poverty of the street children which led him to found several children s homes in Buenos Aires They are credited by whom with saving thousands of youngsters from abject poverty and a life on the streets Morris returned to Soham shortly before his death on 15 September 1932 and was buried in the Fordham Road cemetery He is commemorated with a statue in Palermo Buenos Aires as well as railway stations football stadia and a town William C Morris Buenos Aires named after him His legacy lives on with the Biblioteca Popular William C Morris and Hogar el Alba children s homes located in Buenos Aires which help impoverished children 7 Soham rail disaster Edit Main article Soham rail disaster Memorial to the victims of the 1944 rail disaster The town narrowly escaped destruction on 2 June 1944 during the Second World War when a fire developed on the leading wagon of a heavy ammunition train travelling slowly through the town The town was saved by the bravery of four railway staff Benjamin Gimbert GC driver James Nightall GC fireman Frank Bridges signalman and Herbert Clarke guard who uncoupled the rest of the train and drove the engine and lead wagon clear of the town where it exploded killing Jim Nightall and Frank Bridges but causing no further deaths Ben Gimbert survived and spent seven weeks in hospital Although small in comparison to what would have happened if the entire train had blown up the explosion caused substantial property damage Gimbert and Nightall were both awarded the George Cross Nightall posthumously A permanent memorial was unveiled on 2 June 2007 by Prince Richard Duke of Gloucester followed by a service in St Andrew s Church The memorial is constructed of Portland stone with a bronze inlay depicting interpretive artwork of the damaged train and text detailing the incident Soham murders Edit Main article Soham murders In August 2002 Soham became the centre of national media attention following the disappearance and murder of two 10 year old girls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman who both lived in Soham They disappeared from the family home of Holly Wells in Redhouse Gardens on the evening of 4 August Both were found dead some 10 miles away near RAF Lakenheath on 17 August 8 In December 2003 Ian Huntley who had been employed as the caretaker at the local secondary school Soham Village College was convicted of their murders and sentenced to life in prison He had given a number of police and television interviews while the girls were missing claiming to have seen them on the evening of their disappearance and was finally arrested several hours before their bodies were found following the recovery of clothing belonging to the girls on the school site 9 The caretaker s house in College Close where Huntley lived and as admitted at his trial where the girls died was demolished in 2004 10 Schools in Soham EditSoham Village College St Andrew s Primary School The Weatheralls Primary School 11 The Shade Primary School opened summer term 2014 Transport EditThe A142 road from Ely to Newmarket runs past Soham and formerly ran through the town 12 Soham is served by an hourly bus service Monday to Friday on a route linking Cambridge Newmarket and Ely and a reduced service on Saturday Soham railway station was closed to passengers in 1965 13 although the line remains open for goods and diversions After local campaigns for its reopening it was announced in June 2020 that a new station would be built on old site 14 Initial works are on the station are due to start in autumn 2020 followed by main construction in 2021 with completion due in spring 2022 Sport and leisure EditSoham has a non league football club Soham Town Rangers F C who play at Julius Martin Lane Soham is home to the rink hockey team Soham RHC There are currently five public houses The Carpenters Arms Cherry Tree The Ship Red Lion The Fountain Inn In addition there is a local brewery citation needed See also EditList of places in CambridgeshireReferences Edit Research Group 2010 Historic Census Population Figures Cambridgeshire County Council Archived from the original XLS on 9 June 2011 Retrieved 4 June 2010 a b Key Figures for 2011 Census Key Statistics Area Soham Parish ONS 2013 Retrieved 2 February 2013 Hall David 1994 Fenland survey an essay in landscape and persistence David Hall and John Coles London English Heritage ISBN 1 85074 477 7 p 81 88 Lethbridge T C 1934 Investigations of the Ancient Causeway in the Fen between Fordy and Little Thetford Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society XXXV 86 89 Our History www standrews soham org uk Retrieved 14 January 2019 This church s page at the Cambridgeshire Churches website Hogarelalba com ar permanent dead link accessed 18 September 2009 Judge Gives Huntley Forty Years And Little Hope The Daily Telegraph 30 September 2005 Retrieved 7 November 2019 Police Reveal Horrors of Bodies in Ditch The Scotsman Retrieved 7 November 2019 Soham Murder House is Demolished BBC News Retrieved 28 April 2017 Weatheralls cambs sch uk see old map Village history Archived 11 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Soham Museum Green light for Soham station Network Rail Media Centre Retrieved 2 July 2020 External links EditSoham co uk Soham Heritage and Tourism 2001 Census Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Soham amp oldid 1051274378, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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