Cambridgeshire: Ely – Oliver Cromwell’s House.

The man that ruled the country but was never crowned.

Oliver Cromwell was born in 1599 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. After his marriage in London in 1620, he and his family moved to St. Ives in Cambridgeshire where he leased a farm. In 1636 he inherited a large estate when his uncle died, he was Sir Thomas Steward who farmed at Stuntney near Ely, Cambridgeshire. Also, Oliver inherited the job of “Farmer of the Tithes” for the two parishes of Holy Trinity and St. Mary of Ely. It was Oliver’s responsibility to see that the rent was collected and to pay a fixed amount of money to the Dean and Chapter, he was also required to pay the Chaplins of St. Mary and of the Holy Trinity, monies that would help to maintain St.Mary’s church and the Rectory. Any money left over was his fee.

In 1640 Cromwell was elected Member of Parliament for Cambridge and became involved in national affairs. While he lived in Ely, two of his daughters were born and christened in Ely, he had nine children in total. Elizabeth, which was Cromwell’s favourite daughter was married in Ely in 1646. A year later in 1647, the family moved to London. A few years later King Charles 1st was executed in 1649 for treason and Cromwell become Lord protector in 1651 and ruled England for five years until his death in 1658.

The house became an Inn “The Cromwell Arms” in 1843 till 1969 and it was put up for sale. From 1915 several Reverands to St. Mary’s lived in the house right up until 1988. It was then purchased by East Cambridgeshire District Council, restoration and conversation were set in and finally opened as Ely’s Tourist Information and Heritage Centre in 1989.

The house that Oliver Cromwell once lived in is a beautiful timber-framed building holding so much history. The kitchen table laden with food that he would have eaten. The large fireplace where once his wife would have cooked the family meals. The rooms which would have been bedrooms for his children and a study for his money dealings. His bedroom is said to be haunted, you will have to visit for yourself to see if you feel cold when entering the room….

A place in Ely, Cambridgeshire I would recommend in visiting. At the time of my visit in August 2020 the entry price was just less than £5. Not a bad price to be able to walk the same floorboards of a man that ruled England but was never crowned King.

About Netty 36 Articles
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