Leighton Bromswold (also known as Leighton) is a small village in west Cambridgeshire in the historical county of Huntingdonshire around 10 miles (16 km) west of Huntingdon and 7 miles (11 km) north of Kimbolton and is about 1 mile north of the A14 at junction 17.

There are about 70 houses in the main village and with the outlying houses has a population of 224. 

Lecton (xi cent.), Leghton, Leghton-upon-Brouneswold (Brunneswold) (xiv cent.). The usual civil parish spelling is 'Leighton'; but known as Leighton Bromswold for ecclesiastical purposes.

The parish of Leighton Bromswold is about half arable and half grassland. Salome Wood is the remains of a fairly large plantation in the north of the parish, and there are one or two coppices.

The soil is heavy and the sub-soil is Oxford clay.

The land is undulating and is watered by two brooks. One flows from the west through the north and middle part of the parish, and the other (the Ellington Brook) flows eastwards through the southern part of the parish forming its boundary for short distances.

Between these two brooks is a high ridge of land known as 'the Bromswold'. On this ridge, and also northwards of the northern brook, the land rises to rather over 200 ft. above sea-level; from the ridge it falls to about 100 ft. to the southern brook and to about 70 ft. to the northern. The population was chiefly engaged in agriculture until the 1980’s

The village is about four and a half miles north-east of Kimbolton, and is on the ridge between the two brooks; it contains some 17th century timber-framed and plastered houses. The village street lies along the road to Old Weston, with Sheep Street branching off to the north-east to Duck Lane and Leighton Hill to the south. The church stands at the south-east end of the village, with the Manor Farm (formerly called Church Farm) to the west.

The following place-names occur in local records: Churchestreete, Plowewright (xv cent.), Kudle Hill, Bury lease, Sallam green (xvi cent.). An Inclosure Award was made in 1765-6, and a Tythe Award was made in 1851.

The Castle – Gatehouse

The Gatehouse

This interesting earthwork, the site where Sir Gervase Clifton (died 1618) 'began to build a goodly house',1 is a grass field 600 ft. by 300 ft.enclosed on three sides by large banks averaging 35 ft. across the base, and being 4 ft. 6in. high within the enclosure but 10 ft. outside. On the west side, there is a slightly raised ridge which seems to indicate the line where a bank ran.

At the four corners and almost entirely outside the lines of the banks are curious circular bastions; that at the south-east corner is the best preserved, and is 80 ft. in diameter and its top rises 5 ft. above the bank; those at the other corners appear to have been the same but are not so well preserved. Wherever the edge of the banks and bastions has been cut into a line of broken red bricks, apparently of early date, is exposed, and it would therefore appear that these banks were made by Sir Gervase Clifton, who used the materials of an older house for the purpose.

The bastions were probably merely ornamental features and never intended for purposes of defence. The gatehouse of Sir Gervase Clifton's house, now a private residence, has a moat.

Village life

The Green Man

The village is home to the Green Man public house the licensee being Ms Toni Hannagan. In 1253, Walter Terry who held land in Leighton granted it to Thomas Terry in return for a promise to maintain an inn in Leighton Bromswold, in medieval times it was known as ‘the Blind Pig’ and to render a yearly rent of 2 marks. The public house in the village was known originally as ‘The Blind Pig’. The Green Man was first licenced as the on 27th January 1650, one of the first in the country to be licenced. The Green Man was struck by lightning on 12th October 1821 destroying a tree and causing ‘distress to their dog’.

The Green Man serves Real Ale and Cooked Food.

The  Chapel

The Forge

The village has a social programme. In July 2011 the village celebrates its charter to run a fair by holding a street party.

Street Part celebrating the 800 year Charter

The charter was given by William, treasurer of King John, in 1211 obtained a charter for a fair to be held on the Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross (3 May). There were later two fairs, one on May Day and the other on 24 September. Through the Leighton Bromswold Social Committee a number of other events are being held in 2011 they include Safari Supper, Cheese & Wine Evening, trip to the seaside, music festival, Halloween and Bonfire, Senior Citizens' Lunch and Children's Party.


Just outside the village is existence of a hamlet now disappeared. The chapel of Salen is mentioned in the Doomsday Book and in 1299 the question arose as to its being a sanctuary. In 1444 the sum of 16s. 8d. was paid 'pro le riggyng and redyng de la chapell, hall and le chaumbre' at Leighton Bromswold. The site is marked on a map by Thomas Norton (c. 1660) as a square inclosure at the north-west corner of Elecampane Close near the south-west angle of Salome Wood. Near it is a spot marked St Tellin (St Helen) Well. The inclosure is still represented by a slight mound and ditch, and excavations by Dr Garrood disclosed the foundations of the chapel, tiles, glazed pottery, fragments of medieval painted glass, and a coin of Gaucher de Porcein (1314–1329); while a damp depression in the ground nearby may represent the well.

Notable residents

Nicholas Grimald (1519–1562) the poet, was supposed to have been born in Leighton Bromswold.

Spanish Armada Muster Call - 2 August 1588 of Captain Wanton's men, Richard Clarke – Pikeman and Nick Colton – Pikeman were both from Leighton Bromswold.

The villagers on 800th Celebrations