Village Focus: Houghton and Wyton
- Credit: HUNTS POST
Houghton and Wyton are separate villages but are administered under one parish council and share some resources and join together for community events. Wyton is connected to the village of Houghton, so much so, that the two settlements are now known under the one name of Houghton and Wyton.
Houghton lies approximately three miles east of Huntingdon on the A1123 road, and close to RAF Wyton. Houghton is mentioned in the Domesday Book and described as Hoctune.
Houghton Mill is an old watermill owned by the National Trust that is still used for the milling of flour but for demonstration purposes for visitors.
At the height of the Victorian era Houghton Mill was one of the most successful flour mills in the region, producing flour on an industrial scale and exporting it far and wide. Visitors can explore the history of the building and discover more about the milling process. The mil has three floors which have some of the traditional machinery used in the milling process.
St Mary's Church in Houghton dates back to the Norman era. It serves as the church for the combined parish of Houghton and Wyton.
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At the centre of Hughton is an area known as the village green, although it is completely paved. The centrepiece of the green is a thatched clock tower and adjacent to the tower is a monumental bust of former village resident Potto Brown (1797–1871), a miller and nonconformist philanthropist. Also on the green are an old water pump and a traditional red telephone box.
Wyton lies approximately two miles east of Huntingdon. The village lies about a mile south of RAF Wyton. Wyton was listed in the Domesday Book in the Hundred of Hurstingstone in Huntingdonshire and the name of the settlement was written as Witune. In 1086 there was just one manor at Wyton; the annual rent paid to the lord of the manor in 1066 was £7.
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RAF Wyton has been a military airfield since 1916, when it was used for training by the Royal Flying Corps and then its successor the Royal Air Force.
During World War Two, it was used primarily as a bomber base, flying Bristol Blenheim de Havilland Mosquito and Avro Lancaster aircraft. In 1942, it became the home of the famous Pathfinder Force under the command of Group Captain Don Bennett.