There has been evidence of a settlement existing in Soham since the Stone Age but the documented history goes back to the year 630 AD when St. Felix 'The Apostle of the East Angles' is said to have founded an Abbey here.
St. Felix's Abbey pre-dates the building of Eltheldreda's Convent/Monastery at Ely by 43 years and was the first centre of Latin Christianity in the whole of Cambridgeshire.
A cemetery of the pre-Saxon period has been found at Soham, and the history of this place is well authenticated from then through Norman and Medieval times.
Soham became a prosperous port and trade centre during this period.
For many centuries the route to Ely was by boat across Soham Mere and over the Fens until windmills were introduced to drain the fens by lifting the water to maintain levels.
Some of these windmills had been in existence since the early 18th century and must have presented an inspiring view. With the arrival of the steam pumping engines in the late 19th century,
the Mere was finally drained completely and the reclaimed land used for farming.
The town also has to its credit three unique commons as well as Horse Fens and Charity Land which are all derived from strip farming methods and land rights that go back to the medieval period.
The Commons are still protected by law and not allowed to have developments built on them. They are not known to exist, in quite the same way as they do in Soham, anywhere else in the country.
Soham has a very long, rich and varied history which has been much ignored by tourists and overshadowed by the more predominant towns and cities in the area such as Ely, Newmarket, Bury St. Edmunds and Cambridge.
The present day small town is the centre of a prosperous farming and urban community.
It has all the modern services and amenities and a very active and progressive urban life. Although it stands in a low-lying countryside, devoid of the scenic contrasts of hills and valleys, its far horizons and vast sky-scape of ever changing patterns and tints endow this fenland with distinctive charm.
Situated in the extreme South-East of Cambridgeshire, adjoining the County of Suffolk and The Isle of Ely, Soham is a large parish of reclaimed fens and meres which are now highly productive agricultural land, being particularly noted for root crops and fruit.
The Town lies 8 miles North-West of Newmarket, 6 miles South-East of the Cathedral City of Ely, 8 miles west of Mildenhall and 19 miles North-East of Cambridge, London being 70 miles in a Southerly direction. Click on the United Kingdom Map for a larger Road Map Image.