Oakington, Cambridgeshire

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Oakington is a small rural Anglo-Saxon village 7 miles north-west of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire in England, and belongs to the administrative district of South Cambridgeshire. The village forms part of the parish of Oakington and Westwick.HistoryBased on the finds of several hand axes in the area it is believed that there may have been a settlement in the Oakington area during the Palaeolithic era, and given the quantity of Roman pottery shards found in gardens and fields, it appears almost certain that the village was settled from the 2nd to the 4th century AD.In 1938, an early Anglo-Saxon graveyard was discovered on what is now the Queens Way recreation ground (south east of Water Lane, and on land surrounded by fields containing visible evidence of Medieval settlement). Excavations on the site in 1993 revealed evidence of 25 burials and a cremation. In 2012 further excavation of this Anglo-Saxon cemetery led to the discovery of a woman buried with a cow.Oakington was quite a large village in the Middle Ages with 55 residents counted in the Domesday Book and 100 by 1279. Listed as Hochinton in the Domesday Book of 1086, the name "Oakington" means "estate of a man called Hocca".The Black Death decimated the population in the 14th century wiping out half the tenants of the largest manor. By the 17th century there were around 180 residents and the population steadily grew until the early 19th century when it began to rise rapidly reaching a peak population of 610 in 1851. However, poverty and unemployment then took its toll with up to a third of the villagers leaving (some for Adelaide, Australia). The population stabilised at circa 425 by the 1890s and by 1950 there were around 500 inhabitants. Today the combined settlements of Oakington and Westwick have circa 1400 residents.
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