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A Spy in Our Midst



Peterborough has hosted several production companies for a variety of film and television productions, two of which were for James Bond films. The first, filmed in 1982, was Octopussy with Roger Moore, where Nene Valley Railway transformed into Karl-Marx-Stadt and formed the backdrop to a thrilling carriage-top fight through the local countryside. The second, in 1995, was Goldeneye with Pierce Brosnan. The film crew utilised the old British Sugar sugar beet factory in Woodston and again the Nene Valley Railway near Castor.


Woodstons Fair



Its position abutting the Nene has provided Woodston with both fertile growing land and access to and from the water. This access has made it desirable as a place to disembark if travelling from the west, for the Peterborough toll could be avoided. It is possible that Wharf Road was the toll road used. The Abbot of Thorney had been granted the right to hold a regular market in Yaxley by William the Conqueror. Goods and people travelling there would disembark in Woodston, which was also in the possession of Thorney Abbey. The abbot asked for a market to be held in Woodston on the day before Yaxley market in 1268. In the same year the abbot requested a fair to celebrate 'the vigil and feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist'. Woodston fair would fall on the 29th August, despite sounding like something more appropriate for 31st October! There is no evidence that this fair ever took place, but a fair to celebrate a beheading must have been an interesting sight. Reference: Picture Credit: cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Nigel Cox -

St Augustine’s Saxon Wall



The parish church of Woodston is St. Augustine's. Sitting on Oundle Road behind some trees, it would be very easy to forget that the church was there. However, there has been a church there for at least 1,000 years. The first written record of Woodston church was in the Domesday Book of 1086. The church, however, dates to the period before the Norman conquest. This is evident in some of the architecture of the west tower. On the west wall of the tower is a small section of wall with a window, which belonged to a Saxon church. St Augustine's Saxon wall is typical of pre-Norman architecture with small rough stones and a small window. Thankfully the wall survived despite much rebuilding of the church. It would be incredibly difficult to date the wall remains, so it has been given the rough date of 1,000AD. This will be changed with any new information. Photo credit: cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Mike Bardill -