Owners and their changes
Benedictine nuns. (1200-1535)
were the first owners. They moved to Hinchingbrooke in about 1200. It
was originally called the Priory of St. James. The nunnery was dissolved
(closed) in 1535 during Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. More
about the Priory.
The Cromwells. (1538-1627).
Williams (Cromwell) was given the property in 1538. It was inherited by
his son Henry in 1545. Henry passed it to his eldest son Oliver in 1602
who sold the house in 1627. More
The Montagu family. (1627-1962).
house passed into the hands of the Montagu family when Oliver sold it
to them in 1627. They held it until it was sold to the County Council
in 1962. See portraits of Montagus. More
Huntingdonshire (later Cambridgeshire) County Council. (1962- present).
building was restored and reopened as Hinchingbrooke School in 1970.
the sources available to find out what changes each of the owners made
to Hinchingbrooke House.
What changes did the Cromwell family make at Hinchingbrooke between 1538
Use the information on the Cromwells in the booklet and from the house
itself to answer this section. There is more
about the buildings here. Number your answers carefully.
Find out about how the Cromwells took over the site.
You need to look at the Dissolution of the monasteries and the role of
Why did Richard Cromwell choose Hinchingbrooke, out the four properties
he acquired, as the site of a country house? Think about the geographical
advantages that Huntingdon has, over Ramsey, for example.
Describe how the nunnery was converted into a house. Look at the changes
made by Richard and later Cromwells.
Look at the physical evidence that remains, both inside to the interior
and outside to the grounds. Look at the building materials they might
have used and how they can be used to date the house building work.
You should use drawings for this section and label them clearly.
How important was the house?
Look at the history of the house and describe any events or visits by
What do they tell you about the importance of the house and its owners?
What was the position of the owners in the local area?
Did they have any power?
What changes were made by the Montagu family to Hinchingbrooke between
1637 and 1962?
of the House taken in 1900)
Find out about how they acquired the house.
What changes did they make to the interior and outside of the house? Did
they make any changes to the grounds?
Were there any famous events or visitors during their ownership of the
What was the position of the Montagu family in the Huntingdon area?
What changes were made to the house and grounds when the house was converted
into a school between 1962 and the present?
Find out about why the County Council bought the house from the Montagu
What changes have been made to the house and grounds since 1962?