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Alconbury facts for kids

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Weeping willow in alconbury.jpg
A Weeping Willow in Alconbury, taken from across Alconbury Brook
Alconbury is located in Cambridgeshire
Population 1,569 (2011)
OS grid reference TL1875
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district PE28
Dialling code 01480
Police Cambridgeshire
Fire Cambridgeshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
  • Huntingdon
List of places
52°22′N 0°16′W / 52.36°N 00.26°W / 52.36; -00.26

Alconbury is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England. Alconbury is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being an historic county of England. Alconbury lies approximately 5 miles (8 km) north-west of Huntingdon.


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.

Alconbury was listed in the Domesday Book in the Hundred of Leightonstone in Huntingdonshire; the name of the settlement was written as Acumesberie and Almundeburie in the Domesday Book. In 1086 there was just one manor at Alconbury; the annual rent paid to the lord of the manor in 1066 had been £12 and the rent was the same in 1086.

The Domesday Book does not explicitly detail the population of a place but it records that there was 17.5 households at Alconbury. There is no consensus about the average size of a household at that time; estimates range from 3.5 to 5 people per household. Using these figures then an estimate of the population of Alconbury in 1086 is that it was within the range of 61 and 87 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 was 18 ploughlands at Alconbury in 1086 and that there was the capacity for a further 2 ploughlands. In addition to the arable land, there was 80 acres (32 hectares) of meadows at Alconbury.

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 manor at Alconbury the total tax assessed was 5 geld.

In 1086 there was no church at Alconbury. The church is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul. The Great North Road passed through the village and Alconbury Weston to the north-west. The A1 was dualled from Water Newton to Alconbury Hill in three stages in 1958. The £1.25m two mile A1 bypass opened in December 1964, joining the road at the point where it now meets the A14 (former A604) at the junction at the top of a hill. It followed part of the former A604. In November 1998, the bypass was converted into the A1(M) which terminates next of the village. The former road is partly the B1043 which is also part of the former A14 and the rest of the former A1 to Peterborough. Units of the US Air Force were based at Alconbury from 1942-1945, and then from 1953 to 1995.


Alconbury is in the district of Huntingdonshire and gives its name to RAF Alconbury. The village is near to the point where a major north/south road, the A1, crosses the only major east/west road: the A14. As of 2005 there are proposals to convert the airfield (now redundant) into a freight-only commercial airport to benefit from these surface links. Nearby to the east along the A14 are The Stukeleys: Great Stukeley and Little Stukeley. Little Stukeley is nearer to the former airfield than Alconbury. Just north of the A1/A14 junction is Alconbury Hill. The Alconbury Weald development is taking place near to Alconbury village.

The research laboratory, Huntingdon Life Sciences, is just south of the village.




In the period 1801 to 1901 the population of Alconbury was recorded every ten years by the UK census. During this time the population was in the range of 483 (the lowest in 1801) and 967 (the highest in 1851).

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

Alconbury 518 523 492 733 629 748 1131 2440 1670 1569

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

In 2011, the parish covered an area of 3,067 acres (1,241 hectares) and so the population density for Alconbury in 2011 was 327.4 persons per square mile (126.4 per square kilometre).


The village has a Neighbourhood Watch group, cricket club, football teams, several public houses, a doctor's surgery, post office and houses the local MP. There is a Church of England primary school, A service station on the B1043/A14 junction closed in August 2007 and re-opened in 2012 under new owners.

There are several annual events held in the village including The Midsummer Fun Fair, The Neighbourhood Watch Summer Fête and The Dame Norma Major charity cricket match.

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