History and Heritage
Just 30 minutes from Cambridge on the Guided Bus is the beautiful town of St Ives. Accessible by car off the A14, 11 miles from the M11 or A1 and nestling on the Great Ouse River, St Ives is an ideal centre from which to visit the enchanting Ouse Valley, The Ouse Washes and Cambridge.
Enjoy the heritage and hospitality
The streets, alleyways and independent shops lead visitors down to The Quay and historic Bridge in the heart of The Old Riverport. The views across the river includes the Old Mill and Hemingford Meadow.
St Ives holds a market on Mondays, Fridays and the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month are several important buildings worth a visit.
The Free Church, built in the 1860s, houses a shop, café and meeting rooms on the ground floor. Outside is Cromwell’s Statue unveiled in 1901, the only one built from public subscriptions. It should have been in Huntingdon, Cromwell’s birthplace, but they failed to raise the money, so the people of St Ives stepped in.
The Corn Exchange, on the other side of Cromwell, was opened in 1864. A recent campaign by residents saved it as a community centre and the restored building was formally re-opened in 2010. It is open most days and hosts a café, craft markets, Screen St Ives Cinema and a variety of community and private events.
History and Nature
A visit to St Ives is not complete without seeing some of the historic sites and buildings.
Make your way to the Broadway via Merryland or Crown Street and here you will find a wide street lined with Georgian buildings. Here is The Victoria Memorial which is not quite what it seems - read the nearby information board to find out the full story.
At the end of the Broadway is The Norris Museum, the Museum of Huntingdonshire, due to re-open in summer 2017 after extensive redevelopment work.
Beyond the museum lies The Waits, once an important mooring for barges and the area where John Wesley probably preached when he visited St Ives in 1774. The Methodist Church still stands opposite and on Sunday afternoons in July and August free music concerts are held here.
From The Waits one can see the spire of All Saints’ Church in its lovely riverside churchyard, the site of the village of Slepe, from which the town of St Ives grew. Behind the church is a white bridge that leads to Holt Island, an award winning nature reserve. A remnant of the once worked osier beds, it is a great place to relax or to photograph the wildlife.
To help you locate these and other sites pick up a town leaflet and map from St Ives Town Hall or St Ives Corn Exchange or download it from www.theoldriverportstives.co.uk