Abbotsley is a village and civil parish within the Huntingdonshire district of Cambridgeshire, England. It is three miles from St Neots and 14 miles from the county town of Cambridge. At the time of the 2001 census, the resident population was 425 people living in 164 household,. increasing to a population of 446 at the 2011 Census.
The village's name is derived from 'woodland clearing of a man called Ealdbeald.' It was not mentioned in the Domesday book but appears to have formed during the 12th century.
As a civil parish, Abbotsley has a parish council. The parish council is elected by the residents of the parish who have registered on the electoral roll; the parish council is the lowest tier of government in England. A parish council is responsible for providing and maintaining a variety of local services including allotments and a cemetery; grass cutting and tree planting within public open spaces such as a village green or playing fields. The parish council reviews all planning applications that might affect the parish and makes recommendations to Huntingdonshire District Council, which is the local planning authority for the parish. The parish council also represents the views of the parish on issues such as local transport, policing and the environment. The parish council raises its own tax to pay for these services, known as the parish precept, which is collected as part of the Council Tax. Abbotsley parish council comprises seven councillors, a chairman and clerk.
Abbotsley 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, Abbotsley became a part of the county of Cambridgeshire.
The second tier of local government is Huntingdonshire District Council which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire and has its headquarters in Huntingdon. Huntingdonshire District Council has 52 councillors representing 29 district wards. Huntingdonshire District Council collects the council tax, and provides services such as building regulations, local planning, environmental health, leisure and tourism. Abbotsley is a part of the district ward of Gransden and The Offords and is represented on the district council by two councillors. District councillors serve for four-year terms following elections to Huntingdonshire District Council.
The highest tier of local government for Abbotsley is Cambridgeshire County Council which has administration buildings in Cambridge. The county council provides county-wide services such as major road infrastructure, fire and rescue, education, social services, libraries and heritage services. Cambridgeshire County Council consists of 69 councillors, who are elected to four-year terms, representing 60 electoral divisions.Abbotsley is a part of the electoral division of Buckden, Gransden and The Offords and is represented on the county council by one councillor. County councillors serve for four-year terms following elections to Cambridgeshire County Council.
At Westminster, Abbotsley is in the parliamentary constituency of Huntingdon, and elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. Abbotysley is represented in the House of Commons by Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative). Jonathan Djanogly has represented the constituency since 2001. The previous member of parliament was John Major (Conservative) who represented the constituency between 1983 and 2001. Abbotsley is part of the East of England constituency which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
Abbotsley village is 14 miles from the county town of Cambridge and 47 miles from London. It is on the B1046 road between Great Gransden and St Neots. The elevation of the parish is between 22 and 60 metres (72–197 feet) above sea level. The subsoil is Oxford and Ampthill clay.
In the period 1801 to 1901 the population of Abbotsley was recorded every ten years by the UK census. During this time the population was in the range of 287 (the lowest in 1801) and 498 (the highest in 1871).
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 5,676 acres (2,297 hectares)
The ethnic group of all residents was white; 78% described themselves as Christian.
A war memorial which stands in the churchyard commemorates Abbotsley men who died in the First and Second World Wars.
19 buildings in Abbotsley are listed (including the church). Among them are four houses along Blacksmiths Lane, nine houses along the High Street, a red telephone box and a table tomb in the churchyard.
St Margaret's Church has stood in Abbotsley since around 1300, though there was a church in the village as early as 1138. The current building was restored in 1854 and 1861 and the tower in 1884; it is a Grade II* listed building. Abbotsley is part of the deanery of St Neots and diocese of Ely.
A village hall is used for meetings, events and private functions. An annual Feast Week and Scarecrow Festival is held to raise money for maintenance of the village hall. Residents construct themed scarecrows and place them outside their houses for a week while there are various fundraising events held.