A Timeline of Soham History


The Bronze Age

Soham Mere, a large inland sea, was naturally created at the end of the Bronze Age, although a sacred pool of more ancient origin probably predated this vast expanse of water.
Soham had been settled for approx. 2,000 years and had become a centre of Pagan pilgrimage.

1 AD - The Roman Invasion

The Romans had already added to the population c.43BC and had introduced drainage technology into the area, built canals, proper roads, and established early trading centres.


410 AD - Roman Withdrawal

The Roman occupation ended suddenly. They withdrew from the area leaving behind them many high status buildings, their roads and ditches, and the basis of a civilised society.

411 AD - The Anglo Saxons

The Anglo Saxons settled the area slowly, probably using Roman villas for their own habitation.

630 AD - St. Felix 'Apostle of the East Angles'

Sigebert, Saxon King of the East Angles brought Bishop Felix of Burgundy to Britain to convert his people to Christianity. St Felix established a monastery at Soham and succeeded the Pagan religious site with the first known centre of Latin Christianity in Cambridgeshire.

870 AD - Viking Raids

The Vikings made a destructive progress across East Anglia. They destroyed Soham Abbey, stealing its treasures and killing the monks. The Abbey, unlike its later counterpart at Ely, was never rebuilt.

C.900 AD - The Cathedral of Luttingus

A Saxon nobleman called Luttingus built a Cathedral and Palace at Soham. These were situated on the site of the present day Church of St Andrew, and adjacent land. Traces of the Saxon Cathedral still exist within the fabric of St Andrews, but the separate round bell tower was pulled down when the late Norman tower was built. The Bishops Palace existed as a picturesque ruin until the mid 19th century.

1017 – 1035 AD - The Legend of King Canute

At sometime during the reign of King Canute, he was held up by freezing conditions at Soham on his way to Ely. A local man called Brithmer Budde volunteered to walk in front of the Kings sledge to allow his safe passage across the frozen mere. The King reached Ely safely, and Budde was rewarded with his freedom.

1086 AD - The Domesday Book

William the Conqueror the self proclaimed Norman King, having defeated the Saxon King Harold commissioned this survey of his new lands. Soham was described in Domesday Book as 'Land of the King', and was amongst his most important holdings in Cambridgeshire.

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