Quaint village of Waresley has plenty of beauty spots for country walks

The Church of St James the Great in Warsley. 

The Church of St James the Great in Warsley. - Credit: ARCHANT

Waresley is a quaint village with a little under 300 residents recorded in the 2001 census – but its picturesque landscape holds plenty of beauty spots. 

Waresley is on the B1040 road between Gamlingay and Eltisley, five miles south-east of St Neots and seven miles north-east of Sandy in Bedfordshire. 

The area was listed in the Domesday Book in the “Hundred of Toseland in Huntingdonshire”, with the name of the settlement written as Wederesle, Wedreslei and Wedresleie. 

In 1086, there were three manors at Waresley; the annual rent paid to the lords of the manors in 1066 had been £10.5 and the rent had fallen to £8.6 in 1086. 

The Domesday Book does not give full details of the population, but it records that there were 28 households at the time. Using these figures, it was estimated that in 1086 there would have been between 98 and 140 people living there. 

Over the years this number hasn’t greatly increased; with the census showing in 2001 that the population of the parish - including the parish of Tetworth - was 283. 

At the time of the 2011 Census the population was included in the Civil Parish of Little Gransden. 

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Waresley has had three church buildings. The original church stood in the east of the village and was mentioned in the Domesday Book but was destroyed by a storm in 1724.  

In 1728, it was rebuilt but was pulled down and the current church built on a new site, at the junction of the roads to Great Gransden and Eltisley in 1856.  

It is dedicated to St James and was designed by William Butterfield.  

The church's spire blew down in a storm of March 1987, just missing a bus-stop full of school children that had left minutes before it came down. It was rebuilt by John Charlton, Paul Raffles and Chris Phillips of Waymans. 

Waresley Wood, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is managed as a nature reserve by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.  

Waresley Park, is a former deer park landscaped by the 18th Century designer Humphry Repton.