The Bridge Chapel

The Bridge Chapel


The last prior of St Ives priory was allowed to retire to the chapel to live out the rest of his life after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539.

In 1736 it underwent restoration work and two additional stories were added to it. By all accounts this did little to improve it, making it rather ugly in fact. Over the next 200 years it passed through many hands and amongst other things was a private house, used for toll collection and even a Public House!

As a pub it achieved a very unsavoury reputation and locally was known as "Little Hell". Vast amounts of beer were drunk and it was a regular scene of drunken brawls with people even ending up in the river occasionally.

In 1928 is was bought by George Day, the Town Clerk and Frederic Warren who presented it to the town. It was now listed as an ancient monument and it was decided to restore it to it's original size. By 1930 the top two stories had been removed. It is basically a tourist attraction now, and probably the most photographed feature of St Ives.


Telephone:  Bridge Street, St Ives, Huntingdonshire.
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Copyright 2003 David Bartlett