Soham in 1836
Soham is in the hundred of Staploe, 5 miles from Ely on the road from that city to Bury St. Edmunds. It is a large, irregular place, with a spacious cross church, having a tower at the west end. St. Felix, the first bishop of the East Angles, is said to have founded a monastery here, and to have placed here (about A.D. 630) the episcopal see, afterwards removed to Dunwich. The monks of this convent were massacred by the Danes in 870, and the bishops house and the church burnt. Before the draining of the fens, there was a large mere at Soham.
A good deal of cheese is made about Soham similar to the Stilton cheese. The population, in 1831, was 3,667, chiefly agricultural. There is a navigable cut from the river Ouse to Soham. The living is a vicarage (with the curacy of Barway attached), in the archdeaconry of Sudbury and diocese of Norwich. The annual value is £1,642 ; it is in the gift of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. There is a large charity-school and several almshouses, with very small endowments. Although, on the authority of Messrs. Lysons, we have stated that the market is discontinued, some authorities speak of a market now held weekly on Saturday. There is an annual fair.