St Margaret of Antioch,
Welcome to Abbotsley Church!
St Margaret's, our parish church, serves the vibrant village of Abbotsley, home to 740 people. We have several Sunday services each month and Morning Prayer every Friday. Please see our services page for our full service schedule, or take a look at the church page on our village website.
The village hall near the church is a wonderful asset and is home to many clubs and events.
The church stands proud at the top of the hill – yes, a hill in Cambridgeshire! – and is dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch. There has been a church on the site since 1183, and the current building dates back to the 13th century. In 1978 the Churches Conservation Trust took over the nave and tower after an extensive restoration, recognising its architectural merit, and the full church is still used for weddings, funerals and services with large congregations. The chancel is used for regular Sunday services. Of particular note are the figures on the tower of the Kings Harold, Macbeth, Malcolm and William the Conqueror, explained by records of kings of Scotland being Earls of Huntingdon. To the south of the church is a superb table-top tomb – 'Haylock’s Tomb' – commemorating a 16th century benefactor.
Abbotsley benefice was merged with Waresley in 1956, and in turn merged with Great Gransden and Little Gransden in 1999.
List of Vicars of Abbotsley.
Abbotsley is the closest village to St Neots, a blended mix of timber framed, thatched cottages, a number of substantial farmhouses, once accommodating farming families and their employees, old houses and new properties.
Community life centres around the village hall, the pub, the church and the playing field. There are beautiful views from the village green of the surrounding countryside and several circular walks from the village around the area.
At one time, there were three pubs in the village but now we have one cosy pub, The Eight Bells, which dates back to the 18th century. Other interesting historical features scattered around the village are worth noting are the entry to the blacksmith’s forge, the disused Methodist chapel in a garden in High Street, the many ponds and drainage moats, and a relic of WW2, an unlikely survivor – an Anderson Bomb shelter. The War Memorial names the fallen of both wars and they were also recognised, in 2018, on a plaque on the village green, close to the chestnut trees that were planted in 1918.
Several groups and sports societies meet at the village hall and social events are organised there throughout the year – from ‘Murder Mystery’ evenings to quizzes and Skittles. The highlight of the year is ‘Feast Week’, coinciding with the feast day of St Margaret, in July. A series of events take place throughout the week, from dances to quizzes and a fête on the playing field. Residents of the village decorate their houses with scarecrows, bunting and, more recently, ‘Plant Your Pants’.