More news from St Ives
St Ives

Click Oliver Cromwell (who once lived here) to go to contents list.

A personal view
by Philip Grosset

Older News from St Ives


The first photos below show the situation in January 2003 before the scheme had started. There was severe flooding, although the damage to houses was comparatively slight.

The Waits The Waits
The Waits were flooded in a way that had not been seen for many years - and hopefully, if the flood prevention scheme works, will never be seen again. On the top right is the parish church. You could still walk along the pavement, even though parts of the road were under water.
The Quay

On right: the far end of The Quay was affected too.

For more 2003 flood photos, please see here.

Immediately after the floods in January 2003 came the snow.

The flood prevention scheme, finally completed in summer 2007, should protect 1611 residential properties except in a 1-in-100 years flood situation. The cost came to £8.5m - but it was money well spent as there has been no major flooding since then.

The two aerial photos below, showing the flood prevention work in progress, were taken by Geoff Soden.
Flood defences
Aerial view
The Waits Flood prevention
The completed work looks good.
Flood prevention Flooded river July 07
Even when the Great Ouse floods, it now stays far below The Waits.
Dolphin car park
The Dolphin car park is part of the flood plain, but not every driver realises this. This, and the photo below, were taken on January 14th 2008. But it still happens.
View from bridge
View from the bridge The deliberately flooded flood plain can be seen in the background between the Dolphin building (on the left) and the tree. The river usually flows just to the right of the tree.
Noble's Field
Flood gates
Above: The entrance to Noble's Field was a little on the damp side.
On right: protective gates can be locked to safeguard The Waits.
The Quay
The Quay too remained above water.

THE NEW BRIDGES. Well, new in 1822!
The southern causeway to St Ives Bridge is in urgent need of expensive repairs. Cambridgeshire County Council is responsible for its upkeep, but the cost of repairing it would come to over £3 million. However it now has Grade II listed building protection, so cannot just be knocked down, and Cambridgeshire County Council are putting forward a bid for government funding for repair and restoration.  Aerial photos by Geoff Soden.
Aerial view
The Dolphin car park, usually not flooded, is at the bottom of the picture (parking fee £2, but free if you buy food or drink), then above that is the causeway, and above that the converted mill/marina.
The Civic Society, in cooperation with the Town Council, has placed explanatory plaques on buildings of historical interest in St Ives.
You can see the medieval stone work at the foot of the photo on the right. These big stones very probably came from the priory, after it was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539. Also see the limestones shown below.
23, East Street On left: can you spot two of the three limestones at 23, East Street, that were also most probably taken from the priory ruins?
There is a closer view of one of them below.
Railway Hotel
Here's another building marked by a plaque. It used to be the Railway Hotel but is now used for offices. It was built in 1853, but was closed in 1951 when the railway station was shut down. It as at the far end of Station Road, past Waitrose.
The Dickensian Market on November 30th 2008 was its usual washout - but some people managed to stay cheerful!
The 2006 Dickensian market had had to be cancelled at the last minute because of the appalling weather.

The 2007 market had had driving rain in the morning, but the stall holders persevered.

It was decided not to hold a Dickensian market in 2009!

It returned in November 2010 - but on a reduced scale and looking rather less Dickensian than before.

For even earlier Christmas Markets, see here.

SNOW IN ST IVES is fairly rare nowadays - but there was plenty on February 5th 2009.
An ITALIAN MARKET was held on Market Hill on September 12th 2009. It was very well attended with long queues forming at the food counters, and has since become a popular annual event.