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Origin: Gisla’s ham


Isleham sits on a small rise in the landscape above the surrounding fens. The present well drained fields give an erroneous impression of what it would have been like 500 years ago and a visit to nearby Wicken Fen (National Trust) gives a feel for what the surrounding land would have once been like (very wet!).


The village is mainly built from an attractive honey coloured brick with a few older houses adjacent to the parish church. The church, which was built in 1330, (with additions – the tower fell down in 1861) is tremendous. The wooden roof has angels all around, the old pews have wonderful carved ends and the painted tombs of the Peytons are somewhere between startling and gaudy. They give a feel for what church interiors must have been like before the Puritans got their whitewash out. Excellent brasses and various oddments from Peyton tombs (cloth, sword etc) complete the picture.


Also of interest in the village is the old Priory Church which was built in 1090 and which was for many years used as a barn.



Ann Peyton of Isleham was my 11th great grandmother (according to the Heralds Visitation records for Northampton 1618). The main problem I have is that I cannot find an Ann who did not get married to someone else.

If anyone has information on Ann, daughter of Sir ? Peyton, born I think about 1510, and who married Henry Shortgrave of Worcester I would love to hear from you.