St Ives is our nearest local town for shopping to the campground. Today, before we did our shop we decided to explore the town. Again some interest features.
The town was originally called Slepe but was changed after the body claimed to be that of a Persian bishop, of Saint Ivo was found buried in the town in about 1001/2. The town sits on the banks of Great Ouse River.
In Anglo-Saxon times, St Ives's position on the river was important, as it controlled the last natural crossing point or ford on the river, 50 miles from the sea. The flint reef in the bed of the river gave rise to a ford, which then provided the foundations for its unusual bridge which incorporates a chapel. The bridge also has two arches which are different from the rest. These arches were rebuilt after Oliver Cromwell blew up the bridge in the English Civil War to prevent King Charles I's troops approaching London from the Royalist base in Lincolnshire.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, St Ives was a hub of trade and navigation and was renowned for dozens of inns and many bawdy houses. Goods were brought into the town on barges and livestock rested on the last fattening grounds before delivery to London's Smithfield Market.