Durobrivae was a Roman fortified garrison town located at Water Newton in the county of Cambridgeshire, where Ermine Street crossed the River Nene. More generally, it was in the territory of the Corieltauvi in a region of villas and commercial potteries. The name is Celtic in origin, and essentially means “fort bridge”.

During the Iron age Britain was divided into distinct tribal areas. The area lay between the Catuvellauni to the south and the Corieltauvi to the north, with the Iceni to the east. The origin of Durobrivae is said to have been as a vicus attached to a “pre-Flavian” fort, established about half a kilometre to the east of modern Water Newton, between th 43 AD and  69 AD. Its first historical mention is in the late 2nd century. Archaeology of the Roman period shows that Durobrivae was then the production centre for a fine tableware known as Nene Valley Colour Coated Ware, from the 2nd century to the 4th. In Anglo saxon times, local settlement came to centre on Medeshamstede, now known as Peterborough.

The Water Newton Treasure is a hoard of fourth-century Roman silver, discovered near the Roman town of Durobrivae at Water Newton. The hoard consisted of 27 silver items and one small gold plaque. Because of inscriptions found on some of the pieces in the collection it has been suggested that they may have been used in a local church, and they therefore comprise the earliest probable group of Christian liturgical silver yet found in the Roman Empire.

The hoard was discovered during ploughing in February 1975; several items were damaged by the plough. It was probably buried by an inhabitant of the nearby Roman fortified garrison town of Durobrivae. There are nine silver vessels, and the remainder of the items are votive tokens engraved and embossed with the labarum (the chi-rho cross), mostly of triangular shape. The larger items include jugs, bowls, dishes, a strainer, and an unengraved standing two-handled cup of the form (cantharus) later used as chalices.

Due to the importance of this find, it is now in the British Museum, with replicas at Peterborough Museum.


The church of ST. REMIGIUS consists of a chancel (27 ft. by 14¾ ft.), nave (42½ ft. by 16¾ ft.), north aisle (6¼ ft. wide), south aisle (9¾ ft. wide), west tower (8½ ft. by 8½ ft.) and south porch. The walls are of rubble with stone dressings and the roofs are covered with stone-slates and lead.

The church is mentioned in the Domesday Survey (1086), and numerous 12th-century stones have been re-used or built into the later walls, but nothing of this date remains in situ. The chancel and nave were rebuilt and presumably the two aisles were added in the 13th century, and to this church a west tower was added early in the 14th century. (fn. 36)


A few years later the south aisle was rebuilt and possibly widened and the clearstory and the south porch added. The western end of the north aisle seems to have been rebuilt as a small chamber at the extreme end of the 14th century. In 1887 the greater part of the north aisle and its arcade were rebuilt and the whole church generally restored. The tower was restored in 1892.

The 13th-century chancel has a 15th-century threelight east window, but the inner jambs and parts of the arches of the original window, possibly two grouped lancets, remain; there are also two 15th-century brackets on this wall. In the north wall are two mid 14th-century two-light windows and a square locker. In the south wall are two similar windows, a small door, and a single-light low-side window, all of the same date, and the remains of two 13th-century windows; also 13th-century sedilia with three pointed arches supported on jamb-shafts and two circular shafts; and a 14th-century piscina with a segmental arch.

The chancel arch is modern (1887), but some earlier stones have been re-used. Under it is a 15thcentury oak screen much restored.

The 13th-century nave has an arcade of three bays on each side. The rebuilt north arcade has semicircular arches of one chamfered order resting on octagonal columns with moulded capitals and bases; the eastern respond having a moulded corbel resting on a notch-head, and the western respond being a halfcolumn now enclosed in the churchkeeper’s storeroom. The south arcade has similar arches, the western slightly later than the others; the eastern column, which is largely modern, is composed of four grouped shafts, and the western is octagonal, both with moulded capitals and bases. At the east end, on the north side of the chancel arch is a mutilated early 14th-century piscina with a cinquefoiled head. The clearstory has three mid 14th-century two-light windows on each side. The roof is modern, but six 15th-century figures of angels have been fixed on the jack-legs. (fn. 37)

The rebuilt north aisle has a mid 14th-century twolight window reset in the east wall, and two others and a blocked doorway in the north wall. The western end of this aisle is of late 14th-century date, is shut off from the rest by a cross wall, and used as a churchkeeper’s storeroom; the west and north walls each have a narrow window, and near the top of the former is a small trefoiled opening, now blocked, which once opened into a space between the roof and a lower ceiling, possibly used as a dove-house for the rector’s pigeons.

The mid 14th-century south aisle has a two-light window in the east wall and three others and a reset 13th-century doorway in the south wall. In the sill of the south-east window is a small sexfoiled sunk basin for a piscina; and in the south-east angle is a plain chamfered bracket. The roof is modern but is supported on some 14th-century stone corbels.

The early 14th-century tower has no tower arch, but a plain doorway, of c. 1400, opens into the church, and above it is a rough relieving arch; still higher up is a square-headed opening made up of 12th-century stones. The two side walls have each a reset 13thcentury lancet, and the west wall has a small niche containing the figure of a man (the head modern) and below it a sunk panel inscribed ‘vovs ke par issi passez pvr le alme [th]omas pvrdev priez,’ which is supposed to commemorate the builder of the tower. The belfry windows are two-lights, those on the north and east enclosed in a semicircular outer arch, and the others under pointed arches, but the outer orders are all decorated with the chevron ornament, and they appear to be 12th-century windows altered and reset in the 14th century. The tower, which has no buttress, has a very bold plinth, and is finished with a cornice of notch-heads and surmounted by a rather short octagonal broach spire having two tiers of lights; the upper part has been rebuilt with new stone and the old stones have been built into the churchyard walls. The height to the top of the spire is 95 ft.; and the vane has the initials ‘J.C. 1803,’ for John Compton. The stairs are in the south-east angle.

The 14th-century south porch has a pointed outer arch of two orders, the inner one resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. In the northeast corner is the moulded octagonal base of a shafted stoup.

The 15th-century font has an octagonal panelled bowl on a modern octagonal stem and base.

There are three bells, inscribed: (1) Ave : gri : plena : Dns : tecum; (2) 1665; (3) Sancta Maria ora pro nobis. The first probably by William Rufford; the second by Tobias Norris (III). The bells were restored in 1902.

In the chancel are three carved bench-ends, two of them with poppy-heads of three grotesque faces; all c. 1500.

Several 12th-century stones are built into the wall of the north aisle. Lying loose in the south aisle is a small stone figure, c. 1300, of a man in a long gown, with angel at his head, and feet resting on a lion, all under a crocketed canopy carved with dog-tooth. An octagonal font-bowl, also lying loose in the church, was found in a field near Oundle. In the churchyard is a large Roman coffin and lid.

There are the following monuments: in the chancel, to Caroline Knipe, d. 1832; Harriot Jane Knipe, d. 1833, and William Knipe, infant, d. 1824; Harriot wife of the Rev. Randolph Richard Knipe, d. 1840; Frances Knipe, d. 1844; Frances wife of Edward Samuel Knipe, d. 1844; the Rev. Randolph Richard Knipe, Rector, d. 1859; the Rev. Randolph Knipe, Rector, d. 1873, and Elizabeth his widow, d. 1908; floor slabs to John Harbottill, of Baston, Lincs, d. 1646/7; the Rev. Jeffery Hawkins, Rector, d. [1700]; Mary wife of the Rev. Jeffery Hawkins, Rector, d. 1709; [Hannah] daughter of the Rev. Jeffery Hawkins, Rector, d. 1715; the Rev. Robert Fuller, Rector, d. 1735, and Jane (Fuller) his widow, d. 1757; Original Jackson, d. 1771; Jane daughter and heiress of the Rev. Robert Fuller and Jane his wife, d. 1805; the Rev. Edward Kerriche, Rector, d. 1807; Richard Edwards, eldest son of Richard and Mary Edwards, d. 1808, and Edward Edwards, Admiral of the White Squadron, their second son, d. 1815; Mary wife of Samuel Edwards, their fourth son, d. 1816; and glass windows to Henry Edwards of King’s Lynn, d. 1868; Samuel Edwards of Lewisham, Kent, d. 1882; and Elizabeth widow of the Rev. Randolph Knipe, Rector, d. 1908. In the nave, floor slab to John Compton, d. 1815, and Elizabeth his wife, d. 1831. In the north aisle to William C. Woodhouse, brother of the Rector, d. 1892; Charles James Sampson, d. 1916; Hugh Delane Sampson, died of wounds received in France, 1917; and floor slabs to the Rev. John Old, Rector [d. 1753], and [Jane] his widow, d. [1767], and [Elizabeth] (fn. 38) daughter, d. 1767; Easter Fuller, d. 1769; Jane daughter of Richard Edwards, d. 1780, William son of Richard and Mary Edwards, d. 1784, and Samuel another son, d. 1816; Mary (Fuller) wife of Richard Edwards, d. 1801. In the south aisle glass window to Caroline Maria Woodhouse [mother of the Rector], d. 1876; and C.B.E. 1887.

The registers are as follows: (i) baptisms, 29 January 1687/8 to 12 October 1812; marriages, 2 February 1712 to 31 March 1752; and burials, 18 February 1699/1700 to 22 October 1812; (ii) the official marriage book, 25 June 1758 to 1 May 1812.

The church plate consists of (fn. 39) a silver cup which looks as if part of the base is missing, inscribed ‘Water Newton’ and hall-marked for 1636–7; a silver cover-paten which does not fit the cup, inscribed in script, except the two capital letters, ‘Water Newton,’ 17th century, but no hall-mark; a small silver bread box inscribed ‘I.M. – – – E.L.R. 1918,’ hall-marked for 1909–10.


36 The re-used materials seem to suggest an earlier tower, but there is, otherwise, no indication of it. 37 As late as 1868, the nave had a low-pitched roof of the same date as the clearstory, and covered with lead (F. A. Paley, Twenty Churches near Peterborough, p. 104; W. D. Sweeting, Parish Churches in and around Peterborough, p. 168). 38 This and the five preceding items in square brackets are from the Transcripts of the parish register (Rec. Archd. Hunt. no. 115). 39 In 1709 there were ‘a silver cup without inscription, worth about £3’ and a pewter flagon. In 1724 there was also a pewter plate, but this is not mentioned in 1763 (Rec. Archd. Hunt. no. 232, Terriers). 40 Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 648; Rot. Rob. Grosseteste (Cant. and York Soc.), 290, 293; Linc. Episc. Reg. Time of Bp. Cooper (Cant. and York Soc.), 69, 70; Cambs and Hunts Arch. Soc. Trans. iii, 271–72. 41 Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 648. 42 Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 36; Feud. Aids, ii, 480. 43 Valor Eccles. (Rec. Com.), iv, 268. 44 Chan. Proc. (Ser. ii), bdle. 229, no. 16.



We have all heard of the story of Pandora’s box but there is another story associated withanother vessel with the name Pandora. HMS Pandora was the Royal Navy ship captained by Edward Edwards, a resident of Water Newton, which was sent to the South seas to capture the mutineers from The Bounty.

‘Captain Edwards of his Majesty’s ship Pandora was directed to proceed in that ship to Otaheite and other Islands in the South seas for the purpose of recovering  His Majesty’s armed vessel the Bounty, which had been violently and forcible taken from Captain Bligh her commander on 28th April 1789 by Fletcher Christian, who was Mate of her, assisted by others of the inferior Officers [and] Men’ http://www.fatefulvoyage.com/trial/trial02Edwards.html


The mission to recover the Bounty and the mutineers was not wholly successful. whilst a number of mutineers and crew of The Bounty were recovered the ship itself was not found and the Pandora sank, having collided with The Great Barrier reef during the return passage to England. The sinking of the Pandora resulted in the drowning of 31 crew and 4 bounty mutineers. the survivors made their way in lifeboats to Timor and then to England.


Captain Edwards was court martialled for the sinking of the Pandora and, whilst being cleared of any wrong doing, was never given another sea command, instead filling the purpose of a recruiting officer in Hull .In 1809 he was promoted to the position of Vice admiral (on half pay) and eventually retired to his native Water Newton, having been given the honorary title of Admiral of the White.


Captain Edwards