St. Neots in 1838
St. Neots is in Toseland hundred, on the right or east bank of the Ouse, just out of the line of the great north road through Baldock, 56 miles from Hickss Hall, London. The parish has an area of 4,750 acres, and had in 1831 a population of 2,617, about one-sixth agricultural. This place appears to have been anciently called Ainulphsbury, or Enolfesbury. A Benedictine monastery was early established here, to which the remains, or part of the remains, of Neot, a Saxon saint, were transferred from Neotstock in Cornwall, but afterwards removed to Croyland. From this Neot is derived the present name of the town. The monastery, after undergoing various changes, was finally suppressed at the dissolution, when its yearly revenues were £256, 1 shilling and 3 pence gross, or £240, 11 shillings and 4 pence clear. The town consists of a large market-place and several streets of respectable appearance, but from the low site on which it is built it is liable to be overflowed. The church is a remarkably fine edifice in the perpendicular style. Its plan is perfectly regular; it consists of a nave, aisles and chancel, with a tower at the west end 150 feet high, of fine proportions and good composition. The church has a fine wood roof and there is some ancient screenwork. There is a very large paper-mill at St. Neots worked by patent machinery. There is a bridge of five arches, one large and four small, over the Ouse, and there are six arches to the approaches across the low grounds on the banks, which are liable to be flooded. There are three dissenting places of worship. The market is on Thursday ; there are three yearly fairs, beside a statute fair for hiring servants. The living is a vicarage of the yearly value of £163, with a glebe-house, in the gift of the lord chancellor. There were in 1833 in the parish nine day-schools with 270 children, and four Sunday-schools with 515 children.