the Conqueror's inventory, the Domesday Book
of 1086, reports that Great Gidding supported
at least 6 'sokemen' - half of the village in
the soke of Accumesbury, the other in the soke
of the hundred of Cresseuuelle. No mention of
of Little Gidding. Total population 343-490.
Norman barons Engaine became landlords, displacing
Little Gidding - Gidding Parva
- formed as separate manor for a younger son
1185 Fund raising for the Crusades
- Maud Engaine granted Little Gidding church
the Order of
Knights Templars at Temple Bruer in Lincs., but
the Inquiry of the Knights Templars in 1186 reveals
that the church returned 'no geld'.(The gift
would have been of the revenue due to the church
Engaines continued in possession
of their manors Little Gidding and Great Gidding
until 16th century
1279 Little Gidding had 600
acres under cultivation, and 31 households living
either side of the street
which ran from the present main road to a point
in the wood behind the church
1312 Order of the
Knights Templars dissolved in England, and their
property passed to the
Knights Hospitallers "hence the present
dedication of the church to St John" according
to a Victorian writer; but the St John of Jerusalem
was John the Baptist, and Little Gidding is dedicated
to John the Divine, or Evangelist. Is this a
mistake, or a change of preferences?
great plague - Little Gidding village deserted
Hospitallers dissolved along with the Monasteries,
patronage went to the Crown.
were 6 households. The plague was not the only
cause of Little Gidding decline: it seems that
landlords turned to livestock rather than arable
farming, as the workforce declined. Enclosure
followed, and possibly eviction of the remaining
were no houses left in the village.
bought the Manor of Little Gidding, found the
church and house in ruins and started rebuilding.
The family comprised old Mary Ferrar, her sons
Nicholas and John, daughter Susanna; John's wife
Bathsheba and their 2 children, Susanna's husband
John Collett and their 16 children; along with
friends and elderly people in an almshouse.
Ferrar ordained Deacon by Archbishop Laud
in Westminster Abbey.
Ferrar died. 'It is the right, good old way you
are in: keep in it.'
Charles I spent the day with the community, in
March, en route for the north.
1643 During a period of local unrest in the Civil Wars, John Ferrar and some of his family went to Holland, but had returned by 1646. There have been successive allegations of ransacking of the church and the estate during this period. Latest research shows that this did not happen.
Charles visited 2nd May on the run after the battle of Naseby. He was led across the fields to Coppingford Lodge during the night by John Ferrar.
Ferrar and Susanna Collett died; the end of community,
although the family remained.
Ferrar and his son the Reverend Thomas renovated
the church. Installed
wooden panelling. Church reduced in length about
2 feet, new façade built.
1790Dr Peter Peckard published his ‘Life of Nicholas Ferrar’. Dr Peckard had inherited the Ferrar papers from his father in law, Edward Ferrar II, the last male heir of the Little Gidding Ferrars. This contains the first published reference to the alleged ransacking of the church in 1646, which is now discounted.
Inglesant' by JH Shorthouse published. In it,
the hero is described visiting the Ferrars at
Little Gidding in the year of Nicholas' death,
and on later occasions. An intimate picture is
drawn of daily life in the family, of personalities,
appearances and habits, as well as the daily
routine of worship. It was extremely popular.
of the Good Shepherd established at a meeting
at Little Gidding
renovation, wall sconces added; the gift of Lady Margaret Proby of Elton Hall.
Maycock's biography of Nicholas Ferrar published
Eliot's Fourth Quartet 'Little Gidding' published
and Edith Maycock visited Little Gidding, found
the church in poor condition, and with others,
formed the Friends of Little Gidding in July.
Friends organised and paid for many renovations and repairs to
the church over the next decades, and organised an annual pilgrimage
led by the Bishop of Ely.
and Judith Hodgson bought the Manor Farm at Little
Gidding, formed a new community.
flowerbeds replaced the old fence separating
the church from the Manor Farm property. Carpark
improved. Community of Christ the Sower flourished.
window replaced - stained glass crucifixion sold
to Peterborough High School; 'venetian' window
installed, designed by the Diocesan architect,
disbanded. Ferrar House in the charge of wardens-caretakers appointed by The Little Gidding Trust.
The church in the care of the Parochial Church
Council (Giddings PCC)
2004 Society of the Friends of Little Gidding re-founded
2005 Tony and Judith Hodgson returned to Little Gidding as Wardens of Ferrar House, appointed by the Little Gidding Trust. The church continues in the care of the Giddings PCC. Resumed summer-time pilgrimage, led by Bishop Simon Barrington-Ward. This is to be an annual event, organised by Ferrar House and the PCC.