About the villages of Houghton and Wyton
Where are we? We are in the modern English county of Cambridgeshire about sixteen miles North-West of the city of Cambridge and between the towns of St Ives and Huntingdon.
We are unusual in having the two names Houghton and Wyton. There are two villages but they have always been so close together that it is impossible for a stranger to say where one ends and the other begins. There were two churches until 1974 when Wyton church was closed but nearly always one rector served both. There is one parish council for both villages. The postal addresses are different, you put Houghton or Wyton as your address not Houghton and Wyton. House agents say that property in one village or the other. Residents are conscious of living in one village or the other. But there is only one village centre and that is, just, in Houghton. So you can see that this is a confusing situation, for some things the villages are separate and for some things they are together and this seems to have been the situation for centuries past.
But for our History Society we are all one! Houghton and Wyton together!
How are the village names pronounced? Firstly, Houghton. This is not Horton, not Hooton nor Howton but Hohton (rhyme it with Santa’s Ho! Ho!). Secondly, Wyton is pronounced Witton and not Whyton.
We are very special, not only are we two villages in one but we do not pronounce our village names as you might expert. Get this right and you might be thought to be a long-time resident!
About the Houghton & Wyton History Society
In June 1997 a villager arranged an exhibition of items from Huntingdon Record Office. During the exhibition another villager suggested that there ought to be a village history society. It was not until the following January that a call went out for anyone interested in forming a society to come to a meeting but thereafter matters moved forward at a decent pace, for a village, and in September that year the first Annual General Meeting was held and the Society became official.
The formal aims of the Society are to promote, stimulate and foster an interest in and to encourage the collecting of history relating to Houghton & Wyton and the surrounding area. To realise these aims the Society has six lectures a year on subjects connected with the history of the village and local area, occasional visits to places of historical interest, social events and exhibitions about the history of the village. All events are open to non-members as well as members.
In addition we carry out research into the history of the village by making tape recordings of villagers memories, collecting information, documents, photographs and postcards.
An article written from our research is on the ‘A piece of village history’ page.
We are always interested in receiving new information about the village. At the moment, we would like to get:
- Wyton Tuberculosis Sanatorium
- The Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force Stations at Wyton
- village properties
- village inhabitants
- Houghton Mill when it was a Youth Hostel (1934-1983) (including photographs)
If you can help us we shall be very grateful. Please contact Gerry Feakes at firstname.lastname@example.org