Exning is the most westerly point in the county and stands on the New River, which is a tributary of the River Cam.
One of the enduring myths (started by a 19th century Vicar of Exning who was guessing) is that nearby Newmarket started because of the plague in Exning. Newmarket was actually granted its market charter in 1200CE, but the plague didn't come to Exning until 1227. Rev. Peter May discovered the market charter document during his research in the 1980s, whilst the Victorian Vicar had no access to this document.
The Lord of the Manor of Exning was granted a market charter after Newmarket's - but seems never to have enacted it. If an older market had existed in Exning he would not have needed to get a charter.
The Newmarket Cherry Tree (and probably a number of other pubs) was historically in Exning; it appears the current boundary between the two parishes only dates from the second half of the 20th century.
A Romano-British villa and the early Saxon "Devil's Dyke" give links to the past. Together with St Etheldreda, daughter of King Anna, who was born here about 630CE.
The village was recorded in Domesday as "Esselinge" and appears on John Speed's 1610 map as "Exninge"
The 1844 White's Directory lists 2 beer houses run by R. Warren (also listed as a brewer) and Philip Webb (also listed as a butcher) and also Benjamin Miller (also listed as a brewer & coal merchant).
The 1855 White's Directory lists 3 beer houses run by James Porter, Philip Webb (also listed as a butcher) and Robert Warren.
The 1861 Census lists Robert Warren (Shopkeeper & Publican, 6 Swan Street, pub not named, Head/Married/72y/born Exning) with + Elizabeth Warren (6 Swan Street, pub not named, Wife/Married/64y/born Exning).
The 1865 Kelly's Directory lists John Bullen (& butcher) …
Some historical detail supplied by Sandra Easom