Littleport, Cambridgeshire facts for kids
St George's Church
|Littleport shown within Cambridgeshire|
|Area||28.46 sq mi (73.7 km2)|
|• Density||307/sq mi (119/km2)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||67.4 mi (108.5 km) S|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Littleport is the largest village by area in East Cambridgeshire, England. It lies about 6 miles (10 km) north of Ely and 6 miles (10 km) south-east of Welney, on the Bedford Level South section of the River Great Ouse, close to Burnt Fen and Mare Fen. There are two primary schools: Millfield Primary and Littleport Community School. The Littleport riots of 1816 were a factor in Parliament passing the Vagrancy Act of 1824.
The legendary founder of Littleport was King Canute. A fisherman gave the king shelter one night, after drunken monks had denied him hospitality. After punishing the monks, the king made his host the mayor of a newly founded village.
Littleport was the site of the Littleport Riots of 1816, after war-weary veterans from the Battle of Waterloo had returned home, only to find that they could get no work and the grain prices had gone up. They took to the streets and smashed shops and other buildings until troops were brought in. St George's church registers were destroyed during the riots. The remaining registers start from 1754 (marriages), 1756 (burials), and 1783 (baptisms). Some original documents relating to the riots are held in Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies at the County Record Office, Cambridge.
In 2003, a Harley-Davidson statue was unveiled in Littleport to commemorate the centenary of the motorcycle company. William Harley, father of the company's co-founder William Sylvester Harley, had been born in Victoria Street, Littleport, in 1835 and emigrated to the United States in 1859.
Littleport covers the hamlet of Little Ouse which comes under the Littleport East ward. Little Ouse is now entirely residential: the former pub, the Waterman's Arms and church of St John the Evangelist have been converted into private dwellings.
The lowest trig point in Britain is near Little Ouse; it sits at 3 ft (1m) below sea level.
With an average annual rainfall of 24 inches (600 mm), Cambridgeshire is one of the driest counties in the British Isles. Protected from the cool onshore coastal breezes east of the region, Cambridgeshire is warm in summer and cold and frosty in winter.
The nearest Met Office weather station is Cambridge NIAB.
There are many additional local weather stations reporting periodic figures to the internet. For example, via Weather Underground, Inc.
|Climate data for Cambridge (1971-2000 averages)|
|Average high °F (°C)||44.6
|Average low °F (°C)||34.3
|Rainfall inches (mm)||1.772
|Source: Met Office|
Littleport is 28.46 square miles (73.7 km2) in size making it the largest village in East Cambridgeshire by area. The city of Ely itself has the highest East Cambridgeshire population with Soham second and Littleport third.
|Historical population of Littleport|
Census: 1801–2001 2011
Local folklore and legends
Black dog hauntings
Littleport is home to two different legends of spectral black dogs, which have been linked to the Black Shuck folklore of the East of England but differ in significant aspects.
Local folklorist W.H. Barrett relates the story set before the English Reformation of a local girl gathering wild mint from a nearby mere who was rescued from a lustful friar by a huge black dog, both of which were killed in the struggle. The local men threw into the mere the body of the friar but buried with honour the dog, which was said to haunt the area after that.
Cambridgeshire folklorist Enid Porter relates stories dating from the 19th century of a black dog haunting the A10 road between Littleport and the neighbouring hamlet of Brandon Creek, according to which local residents would be kept awake on dark nights by the sounds of howling and travellers would hear trotting feet behind them and feel hot breath on the back of their legs. Local legend says that the dog was awaiting the return of its owner, who had drowned in the nearby River Great Ouse in the early 1800s. This haunting reportedly came to an end in 1906, when a local resident drove his car into something solid, which was never found, next to the spot where the dog's owner supposedly drowned.
Littleport provided the inspiration for Great Deeping, the imaginary location of the Paradise Barn children's novels by Victor Watson, set in the Second World War.
Littleport, Cambridgeshire Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.