Huntingdon

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This article is about the English town of Huntingdon. For other uses see Huntingdon (disambiguation).

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Huntingdon is a town in Cambridgeshire in East Anglia, England. It was the county town of the historic county of Huntingdonshire, and now serves as the administrative headquarters of the Huntingdonshire district. The town was chartered in 1205, and has been celebrating its 800th anniversary in 2005. The village of Hartford lies just to the east.

The town lies on the River Great Ouse, not far from the market town of St Neots. It has the largest meadow in England, Portholme Meadow. Around 257 acres (1 km²) in size and contains many rare species of grass, flowers and dragonfly. It also acts as a huge natural reservoir for holding excess water in times of flood enabling the river to be run off more slowly, thereby helping to prevent flooding of nearby towns.

The town has a well preserved medieval bridge that used to serve as the main route of Ermine Street over the Great Ouse. The bridge only ceased to be the sole crossing point to Godmanchester in 1975, with the advent of what is now the A14 bypass. Its valuable trading position was secured by the now-vanished Huntingdon Castle. The Castle Hills on its site are now a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and are home to a beacon to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Spanish Armada.

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Huntingdon has been represented by two exceptionally famous members of parliament: Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century and John Major in the 20th.

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Huntingdon_Old_Bridge.jpg
The Old Bridge across the Great Ouse, to Godmanchester.

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