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Isleham is a small village and civil parish in the Englishmarker county of Cambridgeshire.

Geography

Isleham is located in the Fensmarker of south-east Cambridgeshire. The western parish boundary is formed by the Crooked Ditch, the eastern boundary largely by the Lea Brook and the north by the River Larkmarker. The village lies on the B1104 from Prickwillowmarker to Chippenhammarker. Isleham is twinned with Neslesmarker in Francemarker and Magdalamarker in Germanymarker and recently with Maltov in Russia.

Amenities

The village has three shops: a Co-op supermarket, a general store known as "Pattersons", a Post Office, as well as a Chinese takeaway and an Indian takeaway. There are also three public houses - The Griffin, The Merry Monk and the Rising Sun - and three churches - the High Street Church, plfc (Pound Lane Free Church) and St Andrew's Church of England parish church.

Archaeology

The region between Devil's Dyke and the line between Littleportmarker and Shippea Hill shows a remarkable amount of archaeological findings of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Findings in Isleham include the famous Isleham Hoardmarker of more than 6500 pieces of bronze, both manufactured articles and fragments of sheet bronze, all dating from the late Bronze Age.

History

Its name seems to come from Anglo-Saxon Gísla hám = "the home of the hostages". It seems that in Anglo-Saxon societies the position of a hostage from one political group held by another political group, was sometimes more or less voluntary, and the meaning of the word could slip into "representative".

The Priory of St Margaret of Antiochmarker was founded in the village in 1090. It was always an alien priory run directly from France and, as such, was dissolved in 1414. It was later used as a barn and is now looked after by English Heritage.

St Andrew's parish church is the burial site for important ancestors of the Peyton family. Many visitors who have Peyton ancestors visit the church throughout the year, and obtain rubbings of the famous brasses decorating the Peyton monuments. The church continues to be restored with the help of donations from Peyton families in the UK and USA.

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