Kimbolton is a village and civil parish in England. Kimbolton is about 9 miles (14 km) west of Huntingdon and 14 miles (23 km) north of Bedford. Kimbolton is administered as part of Cambridgeshire; however it is geographically situated within Huntingdonshire, which is an historic county of England and is now a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire. The parish includes the hamlet of Stonely.
Limited archaeological finds in the vicinity of the airfield suggest that there may have been a small Roman settlement. The name Kimbolton, however, is Anglo-Saxon meaning "Cenebald's Ton" (or estate).
Kimbolton, and the lands of its soke, comprised the only estate of King Harold in Huntingdonshire. It is believed that Harold had a hunting lodge nearby. The town was listed as Chenebaltone and Kenebaltone in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the Hundred of Leightonstone in Huntingdonshire. The survey records that there were 20 ploughlands at Kimbolton in 1086 and, in addition to the arable land, there were 70 acres (28 hectares) of meadows, 3,784 acres (1,531 hectares) of woodland and a water mill. By 1086 there were already a church and a priest at Kimbolton.
Many members of the Montagu family (Earls and Dukes of Manchester of Kimbolton) are buried at St Andrew's Church. Several Montagu monuments still exist in the South Chapel, while the Montagu vault (extended in 1853) is located beneath the North Chapel.
The main road through Kimbolton bends through four tight right angles in quick succession. Originally, the road travelled directly through the outskirts of the village, nearer to the River Kym to the north.
The centre of the village is Kimbolton Castle which now forms the main building of Kimbolton School (an independent day and boarding secondary school), but its predecessor on the same site was once home and prison to Catherine of Aragon after her divorce from Henry VIII. Catherine died at Kimbolton Castle in 1536 and was transported from there to Peterborough Cathedral to be buried.
Kimbolton was in the historic and administrative county of Huntingdonshire until 1965. From 1965, the village was part of the new administrative county of Huntingdon and Peterborough. Then in 1974, following the Local Government Act 1972, Kimbolton became a part of the administrative county of Cambridgeshire.
For Kimbolton the highest tier of local government is Cambridgeshire County Council. Kimbolton is part of the electoral division of Brampton and Kimbolton and is represented on the county council by one councillor. The second tier of local government is Huntingdonshire District Council, a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire. Kimbolton is a part of the district ward of Kimbolton and Staughton and is represented on the district council by one councillor. District councillors serve for four-year terms following elections to Huntingdonshire District Council. As a civil parish, Kimbolton has a parish council.
At Westminster Kimbolton is in the parliamentary constituency of Huntingdon, and since 2001 has been represented in the House of Commons by Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative). For the European Parliament Kimbolton is part of the East of England constituency.
In the period 1801 to 1901 the population of Kimbolton was recorded every ten years by the UK census. During this time the population was in the range of 915 (the lowest was in 1901) and 1661 (the highest was in 1861).
From 1901, a census was taken every ten years with the exception of 1941 (due to the Second World War).
All population census figures from report Historic Census figures Cambridgeshire to 2011 by Cambridgeshire Insight.
In 2011, the parish covered an area of 4,964 acres (2,009 hectares) and so the population density for Kimbolton in 2011 was 190.4 persons per square mile (73.5 per square kilometre).
In 2019 there are around 1150 people living in the village.
In 1200, a prominent local landowner, Geoffrey Fitz Peter, Earl of Essex and Chief Justice to King John, who constructed the first castle on the present site, received a Royal charter to hold a market and fair in Kimbolton. There is still a fair every September, known as the "Statute Fair" – referred to affectionately by locals as the "Statty". Continuation of this fair (despite the chaos which formerly ensued when this meant partial closure of a trunk road) and a plaque marking the site of the market cross are claimed by some as evidence that Kimbolton is a town and still has a right to hold a weekly market. The main road was diverted to its present course to take it through the market place and increase toll revenue. Eight hundred years later, as a result of numerous vehicles striking walls and houses near the sharp bends, car transporters are not allowed in the village.
Kimbolton is known locally for its facilities, including High Street shopping, two public houses, a Budgens outlet (formerly Robinsons fuel station), fire station,a Post-Office, a medical center, a Pharmacy and the Mandeville Hall, a charitable organisation providing facilities to the local community.
Kimbolton railway station was closed in 1959.
In World War II, the USAF 379th Bombardment Group was stationed at the nearby Kimbolton Airfield from May 1943 to June 1945. Part of the airfield is now used by Kimbolton Karting Club. In 2019 there is free access on foot without supervision.
Kimbolton Fireworks, a well-known manufacturer of fireworks and organiser of public fireworks displays, is based in Kimbolton. It grew from the extracurricular activities of Kimbolton School chaplain and chemistry master, Ron Lancaster, sometimes dubbed the "master blaster pastor."
- Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 153 Bedford & Huntingdon (St Neots & Biggleswade) (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2013. ISBN 9780319231722.
- Dr Ann Williams, Professor G.H. Martin, eds. (1992). Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin Books. p. 1365. ISBN 0-141-00523-8.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
- Professor J.J.N. Palmer, University of Hull. "Open Domesday: Place – Kimbolton". www.opendomesday.org. Anna Powell-Smith. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
- Guided Tour of St Andrew’s Church, Kimbolton, access date 27 July 2015
- Huntingdonshire.gov.uk Archived 19 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Express, Britain. "Kimbolton, Cambridgeshire". Britain Express. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
- "Ordnance Survey Election Maps". www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "Cambridgeshire County Council: Councillors". www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
- "Huntingdonshire District Council: Councillors". www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk. Huntingdonshire District Council. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "Historic Census figures Cambridgeshire to 2011" (xlsx – download). www.cambridgeshireinsight.org.uk. Cambridgeshire Insight. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "HOME - The Mandeville Hall, Kimbolton". e-voice.org.uk. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
- "Kimbolton Fireworks". www.phoenixfireworks.co.uk. Retrieved 26 May 2019.